"Oh David, I feel like I'm the only girl in the world!"
"Oui. And you see how I do not use my hands."
I like how Rihanna’s line “Sheeza been a crazy dita” cops the shape of “Quien es esa niña” from “Who’s That Girl?” It’s a nice touch, somehow allowing subtler, more mysterious, more Latina early Madonna to inhabit the same THUMP THUMP CLUB CLUB feel of recent Madonna fitness music. Also dig the pretty chords and funny electro voices that leaven all the thumping.
The Joy Formidable: "Austere" [7/10]
It seems Lilliputian or Kleenexian, by which I mean charming in a stringing-stuff-together-as-it-occurs-to-us way. The high vocal hook over the bass is fun, and then they realize they want to add some extra beats every couple bars, which necessitates changing the hook, and then the guitarist decides to sound all Joy Division-y, and the drummer forebodes, and they figure if they’re sounding foreboding they better play something worth boding, so they start exploding. Dense swaths of noise ensue, with guitars playing rhythms out of phase. They wisely peter out after just the right amount of time.
Sugarland: "Little Miss" [1/10]
This seems to further Sugarland’s long sad slide into sounding like big fat nothingness — my wife suggests, “It sounds like generic Christian rock,” while I’m leaning more towards Melissa Etheridge. I’m trying to think of another band that started off bursting with so much life, only to wind up singing empty assurances to adult contemporary radio. Bon Jovi?
...et le mot juste (not so much for me, but the collective effort's pretty funny):
The Katy Perry Boobs Explosion: "Firework" [3/10]
Despite this thing’s ubiquity, I never know what or who it is until she gets to the part that sounds like Erasure’s “Always”. Then I remember it’s the one where she sounds more constipated than usual. Different problems trying to parse the video, in which — what? Katy’s breasts liberate a chubby girl from doubt and fear? How does that work, exactly? And what kind of Firework cuts away to Katy’s face in the middle of a gay kiss?
Blake Shelton: "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking?" [6/10]
Sara Evans: "A Little Bit Stronger" [2/10]
Nicole Scherzinger: "Poison" [3/10]
Also, I didn't review this one, but it's a really cool garage rock cover of an early Detroit techno track, and you should investigate:
The Dirtbombs: "Sharevari" [7/10 overall, I'd've probably given it an 8]