1. De La Soul's Plug 1 & Plug 2: “We Made It”
If you're sad, this new track from the D.A.I.S.Y. Age rappers is your cure. If you're already happy, well, you still aren't as enraptured as you will be if you press play on this whirl of soul, hip hop and funk.
2. Curren$y ft. Wale: "What It Look Like"
The new Orleans rapper references Pinocchio, Gilligan's Island and even Lever soap on the first proper single from his upcoming album The Stoned Immaculate. Curren$y celebrates the "jet life" without forgetting his wordplay got him there in the first place.
3. Kanye West ft. DJ Khaled: "TheraFlu"
West covers his bases here: Fashion with Anna Wintour, sports with Kris Humphries, celebrity with Kim Kardashian. Rap... Yeah, he's still pretty good at that, too. Read our "Pop Culture Cheat Sheet" to "TheraFlu" right here.
4. Japandroids: "Jack the Ripper"
The noisy yet anthemic Canadian duo shed their typically joyous sound for their cover of this 1992 track by the perpetually dour songwriting genius Nick Cave. Like Jack the Ripper, it's soothing in a most unsavory way.
5. Soundgarden: "Live To Rise"
Listening to Soundgarden's song for Joss Whedon's summer blockbuster The Avengers, you'd think the grunge era was still in its full, laconic swing. The alt-rockers sound no different on this fist-pumping hard rock anthem than they did when they left off 15 years ago. But this song is no longer online, so just imagine that it sounds really cool.
6. Field Music: "Rent"
No, this isn't the Brit band's take on the Broadway musical but rather its cover of Pet Shop Boys' lovely, sad song about the materially satisfying, yet empty, life of a kept woman. Eschewing the original's synths in favor of wonky pop, Field Music ace this by making it their own. [Soundcloud]
7. T.I.: "Love This Life"
The Atlanta rapper is all about tough romance on the lead single from Trouble Man: "You can't get what you get here nowhere else, ma, keep it real now"
8. A Place To Bury Strangers: "You Are the One"
Here's the first song from the atmospheric New York shoegazers' upcoming album, Dead Oceans (what a pleasant title!) Come for the psychedelic washes of guitar and brittle Joy Division-esque drumming, but stay for the awesome spindly guitar pickin.'
9. Kelly Rowland ft. Future & Bei Maejor: "Need A Reason"
Rowland's bedroom R&B ballad "Need A Reason" is her contribution to the Think Like A Man soundtrack. After hearing her silky come-hither lyrics, many listeners will, indeed, be left thinking like a man. [Essence]
10. Liars: "No. 1 Against the Rush"
This is the first track from WIXIW, the upcoming album from Brooklyn's thunderous art-rock band. It has a slightly poppy electronic sheen—along the lines of early Human League or Suicide—not usually present in their sound. Still, a more melodic direction from these guys hardly brings them into iTunes commercial territory, so experimental music purists need not fret. [Soundcloud]
What do you think? Did I sift, rank and evaluate this week's releases flawlessly or am I full of sh*t? Let me know in the comments below!