My earliest exposure to the former Mrs. Bobby Brown came during elementary-school carpool trips, when brassy, world-beating hits like "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Believe the Children Are Our Future" were all over the radio. Whitney Houston was an up-and-coming force of nature. By that standard, "Bill" doesn't even come close to measuring up—it may be Alicia Keys-co-written/faux disco/Motown fluff, but it's still fluff, unserious in a way that shouldn't suit this performer. But somehow, I'm into "Bill," which sorta suggests a grown 'n' sexy take on "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)."
"You'll See It"
Did somebody figure out a way to digitize the entire summer of 1987 as a free download or something? Because everybody—even people who were too young to remember—seems to recall how it sounded just as well as I do.
"You're a Target"
Not an answer song to Spoon's "Don't Make Me a Target," as the more tangentially inclined among you may surmise, but rather a splashy gush of pop-shoegaze that's more immediate than anything else these Californians have come up with so far. And by No Age's reckoning, appearing in someone else's rifle sight is far from the worst thing that could happen to you.
THE GAME FEAT. CHRIS BROWN, POLOW DA DON, MARIO WINANS, USHER, AND BOYZ II MEN
"Better on the Other Side"
"Better" holds two notable distinctions: It was the first Michael Jackson tribute track to hit the internet after the King of Pop's death was announced earlier this summer, and it features a bunch of way-past-their-prime MCs and R&B royalty. Grandeur unbecoming: "This the kind of song, makes the angels cry."
Ah, "event rap." Drake—again—cops Kanye's dorktastic style and makes a passable case for himself as a rapper. Kanye makes a Superbad funny, explains why slugging shutterbugs has become a hobby of his. Weezy brusquely flosses his gold grill. Em picks up the pace, ups expectations for Relapse 2 that may be unrealistic.