The Songs We Can't Escape
Stuff we can extrapolate from this slow-brewing tune: Taylor, whoever he is, likes to hang loose, takes his time on city sidewalks (never jaywalks or flips off taxi drivers); is a cautious headbanger; really mulls over questions before responding; digs jagged, loud feedback; has chronic bedhead; and probably has a pet cat.
If you were reading Pitchfork, you'd probably encounter a grisly roadkill photograph, a dancing hamster jpg, or a video clip of the "shit sandwich" scene from This Is Spinal Tap in place of this sentence.
"Politics As Usual (Obama Is Here)"
Those not-so-distant days when Luda was just an especially entertaining Southern party rapper are long, long gone; dude's all political. And while I respect free expression and recognize that he's got an album to promote, have we learned nothing from the 2004 presidential contest? Dear celebrities: Please save your "controversial" endorsements of Democratic candidates for after middle America's queued up to elect them, not before—or you'll scare that entertainment-industry-hatin' majority into GOP land faster than you can say "Vote For Change Tour."
"Queens Get the Money"
Time—way past time, some might say—for Nasir to put down the microphone and enroll in some acting classes. We don't care how much of a legend he's supposed to be: In this economy, you've gotta have a Plan B. Just ask Common.
"I Kissed a Girl"
As a fairly liberal-minded fellow and somebody who, in college, drunkenly made out with a few members of the same sex, I've no truck with this song's core sentiment. I do object to the fact that it's essentially a stunt, in a T.A.T.u./pre-legal Britney Spears/Riskay sense of the word: being provocative standing in for being talented. When you consider that Jill Sobule got there first, in 1995, the gesture seems even more dishonest. For those seeking a less sensationalistic take on real lesbianism in pop music, check out Tender Forever and/or Melissa Etheridge.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.