The Songs We Can't Escape


The Art Museums
"We Can't Handle It"

"We Can't Handle It"—about the anguish of being a such a super-duper rock fan, wanting to matter as much as one's idols, and feeling terrified that you won't quite make it there—sounds like a song written to the distressed chirp of a busted drum machine via somebody's free recording software iPhone app because, well, D.I.Y., right?   

Bloody Panda

Now this is grand-mal-stroke music, on-the-edge-about-to-break music, Bruce-Banner-turning-Hulk music—a massive, grating tension-build that refuses to let up on the raw nerves it crushes even as the song's claustrophobic metal thunder allows some melodic fresh air in.

Brown Recluse
"Rotten Tangerines"

Not quite insular or cruel enough to be the new American Art Brut, Brown Recluse fancy themselves the new American Belle & Sebastian, which means that they sound a lot like warm, honeyed milk tastes. "Tangerines" lacks real zing and zip, but its palpable desire for us to adore its doleful rhythms and yearning strings and joshing horns almost makes that desire manifest—almost. 

Jennifer Lopez

J.Lo isn't serenading the "Louis Vuittons" she's walking out on you in on the chorus, but it sure sounds that way. Less "Irreplaceable" (get to stepping, I swear I won't miss you) or "Since You Been Gone" (why didn't I get rid of you sooner?) or even "Friday I'll Be Over You" than Sex in the City II tie-in soundtrack bait, "Louboutins" wears its product-placement shallowness like a badge of pride even as its plodding to pulsing to lullingly hypnotic Dream/Tricky Stewart beat invades and colonizes your afternoon constitutionals.

R. Kelly feat. Tyrese

Kells wants to put you in his kitchen; Tyrese wants you to co-star in one of his movies. When these playas say, "C'mon, and fuck with us," they're neither kidding nor mixing metaphors; they really wanna "knock you up." Really. Really. Please?