The Singles Jukebox
Singles Going Steady



this week in Singles: Ludacris and Bobby Valentino go on safari, Hawthorne Heights resort to cheap sloganeering, Webbie and Bun B. get grabby on us, Audioslave calls our number and Destiny’s Child make sweet promises of do-rag assistance (never can get that blasted thing on right). All this and T.I., this week on Singles Going Steady!


Audioslave - Your Time Has Come
[4.2]


Anthony Miccio: I really wish I didn't enjoy the music, that I didn't find Tom Morello's solos intriguing and amusing. I wish I didn't think their sonic palette had evolved since RATM. I do, unfortunately, and must therefore hope that Chris Cornell gets hit by a truck.
[5]

John M. Cunningham: A confident blues stomp out of the classic-rock playbook (there's an initial resemblance to Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul"), capped off by a why-not frenetic violin solo. I still giggle at a friend's suggestion that they accent the E and call themselves "audio-slah-vay," but this one's well done, guys.
[6]

David Drake: I'm not even sure why I'm supposed to have an opinion about this song. Is it really on the charts? Do people really care? I'm hitting the "skip" button now.
[2]

Ian Mathers: Okay, I was willing to tentatively defend “Be Yourself” on the basis of that chorus, but where that song was willing to stretch to embarrassing lengths to prove itself, this just sort of chugs along. Yes, the boys from Rage ensure that chug is slightly more sonically interesting than most of their peers, but it’s chug nevertheless.
[3]

Erick Bieritz: The inexplicably well-selling Audioslave present us with “Your Time Has Come,” a tired, backwards-glancing single riding a mildly memorable guitar riff into oblivion. This seems to be the band’s Doors song.
[3]

Matt Chesnut: I’m no Audioslave apologist, but I kind of dig this. It’s a fairly standard foot-stomper and the chorus is a bit tepid. But it has this descending lick during the verse that is on the verge of rocking and the solo is pretty rad. I fully expect to hear it in a commercial for a mid-sized SUV where dudes are kayaking up a mountain (because they need audio encouragement from a moderately enthused rock band, yeah! \m/)
[6]


Destiny's Child - Cater 2 U
[3.8]


Anthony Miccio: Shut up and suck it already.
[4]

John M. Cunningham: The girls thankfully keep the histronics to a minimum on this one, and in fact it's probably a more carefully blended vocal collaboration than either of the album's previous two singles. I don't even mind the silly Smoove B routine. But when Michelle comes in all thin and breathy, and the others have to coo to cover it, I just long for the resumption of Beyonce's solo career that much more.
[5]

David Drake: The DC comeback was exciting at first, but each successive single has been worse than the one before. They need another LiL Wayne guest verse, and preferably one where he offers to cater to them. What happened to all the women who independent?
[4]

Ian Mathers: Do Beyonce & Co. really not notice anything about following up “Girl” with this subservient tripe? I’m nearly as offended by this as I was by “Wait”, and all I can say about the object of the song’s affections is that he is getting the type of relationship he deserves, I suppose. Even worse, musically it’s not even within spitting distance of “Girl” (which was a grower, admittedly). Generic balladry with painfully dumb lyrics, but at least it’s final proof that Michelle always had the best voice of the three.
[2]

Erick Bieritz: “Dependent Woman, Pt. 1.” It’s a nice and relatively innocuous sentiment, although if your man wants help taking out his cuff links, and he’s not paralyzed from the neck down, you may have spoiled him with all the catering.
[5]

Matt Chesnut: The lyrical content here borders on parody. I was half-expecting a line about how she’ll go barefoot and pregnant NE THING 4 U BABEE. The vibe makes what would normally be a harmless if mediocre ballad cringe-worthy. To find a silver lining, it’s at least a source of comical derision while listening in the car with friends.
[3]


T.I. - A.S.A.P.
[6.8]


Anthony Miccio: Looking for something we can rely on, there's gotta be something better out there. Love and compassion, their day is coming. All else are castles built in the air. And I wonder when we are ever gonna change. Living under the fear 'til nothing else remains. All the children say: we don't need another hero.
[5]

John M. Cunningham: I feel like I should like this more than I do, given how warm and appealing its surfaces are, but every time I listen to it, it slips out of my grasp somehow. I haven't given up, though!
[5]

David Drake: There's something so exciting about the thunderous horns and the way T.I. rides the beat with slurred southern certainty. His album had a bunch of "crossover" tracks, which are all very generic, but luckily, his singles have all been the more street-oriented raps about bringing them out, drug dealing, and how you don't know me. I wish he'd release his song with B.G. as a single too, but this song stood out to me as one of the best moments on the album as well.
[9]

Ian Mathers: Most other weeks this would be the clear winner but T.I. being serious can’t quite top Ludacris when he’s laid back. Excellent drum machine stutter, fake bongos and horns, and the extreme repetitiveness of the chorus is a definite bonus. Low key enough that it might get overlooked, but T.I. totally sells it.
[8]

Erick Bieritz: T.I. is quickly making a name for himself as one of the most consistent active MCs. Layering syllables over an understated horn punch, “A.S.A.P.” isn’t as urgent as “Bring ‘Em Out” but matches the slow boil and clenched-tight control of “You Don’t Know Me” and proves its point even more effectively.
[8]

Matt Chesnut: Similar in tone to the last single, “U Don’t Know Me” (see: ominous; “I’m a rough customer, here’s a list of reasons why”), “ASAP” is cool for having snare rolls and MORE synth horns, but doesn’t have the oozing malice of its predecessor.
[6]


Ludacris f/ Bobby Valentino - Pimpin' All Over The World
[7.2]


Anthony Miccio: Points for charm, musicality and detail. They do help the bullshit go down.
[6]

John M. Cunningham: As if "Oh" and "Number One Spot" hadn't already endeared me to Ludacris in 2005, he comes back with nothing less than this year's premier summer jam. Luda's loose and simple flow and the song's list trope both give it a delightfully old-school feel; you can imagine it going on endlessly, with new cities to jet off to and new post-Foxworthy pronouncements of who's not pimpin', over and over with that same casual, sun-soaked beat.
[8]

David Drake: I like Ludacris, generally. Same with Bobby Valentino. But this? Meh. An odd bit of Afro-centric misogyny ('the best girls reside in Africa...'), but its really too boring for me to put much stake in a debate about its positive/negative social aspects. Luda's pimping all over the world, I'm sleeping all through the song.
[4]

Ian Mathers: It’s nice to hear Luda actually acknowledging one of Canada’s many underappreciated features (cute girls) but this song is killer even without reference to the Frozen North – great samples, great use of them, great backing from Valentine and Ludacris is firing on all cylinders–we’re talking guest-spot quality here. This is the same kind of impossibly smooth groove like Snoops’ “Let’s Get Blown” that you could listen to for hours.
[9]

Erick Bieritz: The first Ludacris single where Luda himself is not the highlight of the song. This is all about the very good hook, the pretty funny coda and the excellently booming beat. Ludacris keeps it tight, but the verses are possibly the most pedestrian set he turned in on last year’s “Red Light District.” That exiting monologue, on the other hand: “If your spinning rims spin counterclockwise… you are not pimping.”
[7]

Matt Chesnut: I didn’t think I needed it, but after hearing this, I realize there was a void in my life. A really pretty pimp anthem-shaped void. Piano flourishes? Pretty. Minor sevenths? Bellissimo. Ludacris is a dependable male lead, never straying into the tempting waters of creepy and keeping it light and breezy.
[9]


Hawthorne Heights - Ohio Is For Lovers
[4.3]


Anthony Miccio: I remember two years or so ago when there was this Thursday song that MTV was playing all the time and I had no idea why. It was a cheap video, a generic, uninspired song and the singer was a joke.
[3]

John M. Cunningham: A fantastic title, but I'm let down for two reasons. One: all that back-up retching is a real turn-off. (Did you know one of the dudes actually threw up during this song on the Warped tour the other day? He claims it was the heat.) Two: seven years ago, I was driving through Cleveland and made up a fun emo song that mostly consisted of me shouting a high, cracked "O-HIIII-OHHHH" over and over. Mine was better.
[4]

David Drake: Goofy, juvenile, ultimately interesting in spite of itself. Oh, and what they say about Ohio is true - although I'm back home in Chicago now.
[6]

Ian Mathers: This could be a dozen other bands (each with interchangeable, boring names), and I can’t remember what their music sounds like five minutes after it stops either. And I’ve been to Ohio, and Hawthorne Heights’ sarcasm is neither big nor clever.
[4]

Erick Bieritz: A nu-emo song that shows some real progression from beginning to end, a sensible arrangement, some contrast between soft and rough vocals, speeds up and slows down at the right times and has a muscular but restrained guitar riff? Another worthwhile entry in a sub-genre that has gone from the dire output a few years ago to present some genuinely good music in 2005.
[7]

Matt Chesnut: Oh, those pesky girls! Making you get all teary eyed and suicidal. Fie! GROWL! Why is MTV pushing these goons?
[2]


Webbie f/ Bun B. - Give Me That
[4.5]


Anthony Miccio: I need to check out Bun B's ouvre. Webbie needs a daily knee to the nads.
[2]

John M. Cunningham: I resisted piling on that whole blogger-fueled "Wait" debate a few weeks ago, though it's partially because once the novelty of the whisper-porn wears off, there's really not that much to hang onto. But I will say that the sexual politics of "Give Me That," which features a lyrical nod to the Ying-Yang Twins, does make me cringe, inasmuch as it suggests that her body is something to be given over, no longer in her control. Maybe if the beat was super-hot, but it's not.
[3]

David Drake: I actually like the song a lot; I think the extremely forward chorus is sort of amusing, and the sing-song is catchy. Much like "beatthepussyup" I find myself just barely catching myself saying it under my breath at work. The flip side of this, of course, is that its another song that probably means women have to keep their perv shields up all the more often. As far as verses go, the video version trades Boosie on the original for Bun-B; both rappers are fantastic, Bun-B coming with that old veteran flow and Boosie's upstart scratchy-voiced kid schtick wear pretty well. Webbie is pretty forgettable. We could drop him.
[7]

Ian Mathers: He says “give me that” like he’s in the midst of trying to wrest candy from a recalcitrant child. You know, Webbie, maybe if you were nicer to the girl in question you wouldn’t have to be so pushy to get some affection. One bonus point for the nice use of the almost cut-up yelling in the music.
[4]

Erick Bieritz: Bun B. has probably lent more excellent guest verses to hip-hop songs in the last year than anyone besides Ludacris, so why is it this half-baked song that is charting? Webbie’s lackluster verses are particularly pointless in the wake of “Wait (The Whisper Song).” The Twins got all the girls. Webbie is going home alone tonight.
[5]

Matt Chesnut: Webbie, nice knowing ya! But your presence is totally unnecessary. Song’s nice enough. Throbbing 808s and oh-noes-theramin, par for the course at this point. Bun B’s still the dude, even if he’s kind of phoning it in. I only wished he’d tossed in a “Free Pimp C” or two.
[6]


By: US Stylus Staff
Published on: 2005-06-24
Comments (4)
 

 
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