Singles Going Steady
his week on Singles Going Steady—Nelly and Chrstina go broadway, Lindasy Lohan laments her fate, Talib Kweli complains about shit, Loretta Lynn and Jack White kick it old school style, and the Donnas do whatever it is they do. All this and more Nelly (this time with Tim McGraw!).
Josh Timmermann: The beat is solid, but I'm not really sold on the rest. It's a very cookie-cutter oh-the-awful-burdens-of-being-rich-and-gorgeous-and-famous track. And "Rumor[s]"? A more appropriate title would be "Rumor (My Boobs Are Real, Okay?!)."
Josh Love: This one’s just kinda sad. If Lindsay truly wanted to embrace her sexuality then that’s fine, but it just seems too convenient that she’s now on display so soon after her 18th birthday (for fuck’s sake, she was in Parent Trap like what, three years ago?!). It’s a shame too because she’s a fairly talented actress, and now the best she can do for herself is a pallid Britney imitation.
Matt Chesnut: Whoa, slow down that bandwagon and make way for Lindsay! Never one to be outdone by her rival Hilary Duff, the aim of this is to be totally “banging”. However, this is entirely too flat and boring to bang. Sorry, L. Lo (please let this meme catch on), but as a pop starlet you can’t hold a candle to Mrs. Federline, even though your fake breast rumor is much more debatable than Britney’s.
Andrew Unterberger: It looks like releasing a club-ready single lamenting the perils of fame and overexposure is the new go-to formula for musical it girls—first the Duff girls, then Britney, now Linday Lohan with this debut. I like the beat OK, and if “My Perogative” hadn’t just come out, this might sound fresher. But, y’know…it did.
David Drake: Sure, complaining about being a popular pop star is SO 1999 and I'm surprised Lindsay Lohan goes to clubs but this is some great shit. Great buildup, even better payoff. This is like the girl-club version of “Gossip Folks.” What a great year for teen-girl-pop.
Nelly f/ Tim McGraw / Nelly f/ Christina Aguilera
Over and Over / Tilt Ya Head Back
[7.0 / 4.0]
Josh Timmermann: I like Big & Rich a lot and Gretchen Wilson's grown on me considerably, not to mention Lucinda Williams, but I'll still admit upfront here that I'm decidedly not country enough to tell a Tim McGraw song from a Kenny Chesney song. That said, this is a really nice song. Usually that would be a bit of a backhanded compliment, but after "Flap Your Wings," I'll settle for nice. "Tilt Ya Head Back," on the other hand, sounds fairly awful. When either that or "Car Wash" come on, I immediately change the station.
[7.0 / 2.0]
Josh Love: To be honest, I’ve never cared much for Nelly the Hitmaker, and “Tilt Ya Head Back” doesn’t do a whole lot to convert me, especially not when it beats the dead horse that is Superfly. Imagine my surprise then when I fell for “Over and Over.” This could’ve been a disaster had either star made a half-assed bid to mime the other’s style, but thankfully Nelly and Tim find common ground in genreless slow-dance fare (you remember “I Swear” right?). The St. Lunatic stretches out “she’s leavin’” to painful, evocative effect, while the Nashville populist moans a lonesome cowboy tune beneath miles of faraway static. Ballad of the year.
[9.0 / 5.0]
Matt Chesnut: Not counting Kid Rock, is this the first hip-hop/country collab? Regardless, aside from some frivolous “unhs”, there’s not much wrong here. The “over and over again” vocal/guitar melody is so damn hummable. But on the Sweat side of things. I’m not sure how to feel about “Superfly” being sampled yet again. Since it’s one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite albums from one of my favorite artists, I’m automatically biased in favor of it, but it’s just Nelly and Xtina getting durrty over the bass line, isn’t it? I’m nonplussed by this listening experience!
[8.0 / 5.0]
Andrew Unterberger: Nelly…being subtle? Low-key? Well, he is on “Over and Over” anyway. It’s a fairly typical heartbreak ballad, but there’s no big swell, no overwrought bridge…just genuine-sounding hurt. Thanks to Tim McGraw for keeping Nelly in check on this one, I guess. Luckily, we also have “Tilt Ya Head Back” to remind us just how fucking annoying and obnoxious Nelly can be, especially when paired with his female equivalent in annoyingness and obnoxiousness, Xtina. It’s tolerable at first but its showtune-iness (you know X’s been craving to do this for years) and overall cheesiness isn’t stomachable for a second time around.
[7.0 / 3.0]
David Drake: Nelly with McGraw is an unexpected pairing. One of my favorite things about Biggie's Life After Death is the way he explores different worlds in hip-hop, but Nelly can't really carry this sort of burden on his recent album, and his song "Over and Over" is an example of why. This song is all chorus. Kudos to Tim McGraw though. "Tilt Ya Head Back" is cool, but mostly because of the interesting sample of Superfly. It somehow sounds unexpected. This is probably the last we'll hear of Nelly.
[4.0 / 5.0]
Josh Timmermann: I try to tune it out but I can''t
I have to listen to it for this column
So I try to like it
Talib Kweli is just not very exciting.
Josh Love: You’re fucking kidding me, right? I’m inspired to break out a lame-ass David Spade Hollywood Minute quip here—“Get By” called, it wants its hook back.
Matt Chesnut: You guys, I can’t write about this song today. There’s so much injustice in society, so I must address--wait, don’t go!
Andrew Unterberger: The hook reminds me a whole lot of Dilated Peoples’ “This Way,” which like this song, was kinda catchy at first but sounds weaker and weaker with each respective measure. Kanye’s got a major holding pattern to get out of if he doesn’t want to already be irrelevant by the end of his breakout year.
David Drake: Hey man, this is just like "Get By"! It must be good! Oh wait, I’ts crap.
Fall Behind Me
Josh Timmermann: It's getting increasingly difficult for me to stomach the whole self-conscious "retro" rock thing, but for the Donnas (as well as their Swedish rivals, Sahara Hotnights) I'll happily made an exception. I played the shit out of Spend the Night, and from the sound of "Fall Behind Me," I imagine I'll be following suit with its source album.
Josh Love: It’s clear The Donnas (better known as Our Drummer's Hotter Than Yours) don’t have any immediate plans to update their 70s lite-metal shtick one bit, but at least their A-sides usually crack more than this limpid, hookless throwaway that’s nowhere near as spunky as “Skintight” or “Take It Off.”
Matt Chesnut: Presently, trying to out classic rock The Darkness is an exercise in futility. Still, give them credit for hanging in there after one of the members got fat, thus solidifying their position as the new Heart.
Andrew Unterberger: Eh, I’ve never been too impressed with the Donnas and I’m not starting now. As far as 70s rock revivalists, I’d even take Jet over ‘em—this music is just tremendously unexciting. Maybe it’s just me.
David Drake: Wow these girls sure rock! Girl power!
Loretta Lynn f/ Jack White
Josh Timmermann: Comeback shmomeback: Van Lear Rose may be preferable to the emperor's new clothes that is You Are the Quarry but Love & Theft it ain't, and though I'm not per se the hugest admirer of The College Dropout, I'm already thinking c'mon miracle come Pazz & Jop time. As for Jack White, I liked him much better as Meg's creepy fake brother than as Loretta's gigolo.
Josh Love: Raises more real hell than just about anything on the rock or country charts (Gretchen Wilson excepted). You might think the world would have passed Loretta by, but she still understands sex better than any rock ‘n’ roller with a third of her years. And that includes Jack.
Matt Chesnut: When I first heard this song, I thought “When did The Walkmen become the backing band for Loretta Lynn?” But eventually it develops into a country rock foot-stomper you knew it would be. And it’s arguably the best use of “uh huh” since Ray Charles set the diet cola record straight. After the disappointment of Elephant, I needed Jack White to give me a reason to care. Well, I’ve found a reason.
Andrew Unterberger: I don’t know the first thing about Loretta Lynn beyond Coal Miner’s Daughter, but this is pretty good. I’m not sure I understand the critical re-awakening over her lately, though—yeah, it’d be nice to hear this on the radio from time to time but it still doesn’t sound exceptional enough to me to be worth this kind of attention.
David Drake: Easily the most overrated album of the year which is too bad because it is a decent album anyway. I wish this song didn't take so long to get started. But once it does - its pretty nice. After all, isn’t music better when it’s authentic? I kid.
Take it Away
Josh Timmermann: Yep, this is just the sort of thing I'm trying to avoid. Also: The singer guy looks like he should be playing for the Red Sox. NOT A PLUS.
Josh Love: We go from one week reviewing three emcees banging Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” to the next week reviewing a band that’s only famous because their lead singer was banging Ozzy’s daughter. Can’t you just feel the synergy?
Matt Chesnut: This song is either really intense or really irritating. Either way, I’m entirely creeped out by that strangled whimper at the end. Yikes.
Andrew Unterberger: This is just good, intense emo-punk. Shout-along chorus, shotgun sound intro (take that, Nas!) and the recently inescapable ranting screamy-guy on the bridge. A step or two down from Taking Back Sunday, but fairly blazing none the less.
David Drake: Man the RAWK is full powered I just wish the vocalist was any good. He sounds really whiny which is too bad, because in terms of rockage, this song has got it goin' on. Hooky as hell.
By: US Stylus Staff
Published on: 2004-10-15