Sunday, February 28, 2010

Singles of the Week: Feb 28, 2010

Electronic: David Byrne & Fatboy Slim — “Please Don’t (feat. Santigold)”

A concept album about the life of First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos? Sounds like something only former Talking Heads front man David Byrne and renowned DJ Fatboy Slim could pull off. The full album, “Here Lies Love,” comes out in April, but luckily for us, the duo released the Act III track “Please Don’t” early – and you can get it for free on Byrne’s website. The song features Santigold’s signature vocals laid over a bumpin’, funky groove that’ll get you moving within the first ten seconds.

-Sara Wallace ‘12

Indie: Portugal. The Man — "The Dead Dog"

When I first heard “Dead Dog,” I didn’t really believe I was listening to the much beloved, traditional rock band colorfully named Portugal. The Man. Normally, when a solid, well-liked band attempts to change its spots, it morphs into a disappointing, unpalatable piece of detritus. Not so, with Portugal. The Man. “The Dead Dog,” the first single from the band's new album “American Ghetto,” is a pure-bred, canine piece of glory. The tune is brilliantly conceived, from its swirling, digital ambiance to its catchy rock vocals. Based on this single it’s hard not to get your hopes up about the fresh, musically mature outlook that “American Ghetto” has the potential to offer.

-Lisa Han '13

Rock: Xiu Xiu — “Dear God, I Hate Myself”

No, despite the name, this is not the latest offering from My Chemical Romance or Fall Out Boy or any other band for whom the pejorative “emo” has been attached. But yes, it is just self-pitying -- or is it? Thing is, it’s never clear whether vocalist Jamie Stewart is being ironic when he croons: “I will always be nicer to the cat/ Than I am to you.” From the lyrics, you get the sense this guy’s life is in fact pretty miserable; and yet, the accompanying synthesizers and chintzy Nintendo noises render his solipsism too absurd as to be entirely sincere. Bottom line: this song is perfectly suited for those moments of emotional confusion when you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry. And if F*ckMyLife had a soundtrack, there’s no doubt that this would be on it.

- Cristina Luzarraga ‘11

Rock: Static Stamina — "Party Hands"

Fresh out of Wesleyan (you may remember it as the school you'd have more fun at than Princeton), Static Stamina's mission is to make savage romance with your ears. On “Party Hands,” the band's first single, frontman Will Feinstein spits rhymes with flow so tight you could bounce a quarter off it, which is especially impressive given the density of the wordplay. Not only that, he somehow manages to reference both The Misfits and Dragon Tales in the same song, a feat I'm not sure anyone else has yet accomplished. Throw in enormous power chords, raucous gang vocals, and the screaming-est guitar solo since “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and you have what can't be described as anything other than a party anthem.

-Dan Abromowitz ‘13

Pop: Lady Gaga — “Speechless”

Lady Gaga's newest single, "Speechless," reassures us that she is a true artist and not just a freak-show. Coming off like a female Elton John, Gaga shows her sensitive side on this track (not to mention her skills on the ivory keys) and solidifies her status as a great singer-songwriter. She performed this track with Elton himself at the 2010 Grammy Awards last week, and while he was impressive, Gaga clearly outshone him. "Speechless" is one of the most impressive songs on "The Fame Monster" because it proves that Lady Gaga is, in fact, a musician - and not just a spectacle. Take a listen.

-Jess Turner ‘12

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