The Singles Jukebox
Singles Going Steady



this week in Singles—David Banner decides to use his inside voice, U2 gets blinded by the light, Damien Marley gets out the good China for our visit, and 50 and Mobb Deep work it out in Thugs Gone Wild. All this, and startling narcotic confessions from those cardiganed boys in Weezer, this week on Singles Going Steady!


Weezer - We are All on Drugs
[3.5]


Ian Mathers: The last time an artist I used to like disappointed me this badly, it retroactively tainted my appreciation for the first/last three episodes of Star Wars. I still can’t watch Return Of The Jedi without cringing a little, and if Rivers keeps on this path, the same will soon be true for Weezer’s first four albums. Please release “This Is Such A Pity” as a single and move on to the next, hopefully better album.
[1]

Matt Chesnut: I’m beginning to think there is a thin line between the Weezer songs I enjoy and the one’s I reject viscerally. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I liked “Hashpipe” and not “Holiday.” I like this, but not “Beverly Hills.” I got it. Songs abut narcotics: yay. Songs about vacation: boo.
[7]

John M. Cunningham: Apparently not enough of them to make this song not suck.
[3]

Josh Timmermann: I much prefer Courtney's song about being on drugs, and not just because it's presumably somewhat less ironic.
[2]

Alfred Soto: Either Rivers Cuomo is smarter than the rest of us (hell, he went to an Ivy League school and shit) or his recent devotion to loud, stoopid bedsit-rock represents a devolution the signs of which, even his staunchest apologists must recognize, were apparent even on the Blue Album. Rivers doesn't need to tell us in his best constricted Benjamin Orr voice that he's on drugs; the music suggests he hasn't done anything but smoke bad weed in his bedroom since scoring his comeback. I doubt he'll get another.
[3]

Anthony Miccio: It's been far too long since I put on my headphones and stepped into the zone while I'm on drugs. I don't even know where to get drugs in this town anymore. I need to find out. Thanks for the reminder, Rivers!
[5]


Damien Marley - Welcome to Jamrock
[5.8]


Ian Mathers: How the hell did this get on the American charts? I don’t know enough about Jamaican music to tell whether is anything more than a collection of reggae/dub signifiers, but from over here it sounds pretty damn good. Marley’s forceful delivery and less than idyllic lyrical content marries perfectly with the woozily compelling sway of the music, and that sample is just the icing on the cake.
[8]

Matt Chesnut: You had me at “Chuck Norris.”
[6]

John M. Cunningham: It's kind of cool to hear a straight-up reggae cut interspersed with the dancehall riddims on the radio these days, and especially something so somber. I just wish it didn't hew so closely to that original 1970s template.
[5]

Josh Timmermann: Is this another son of Bob's? Or is Marley in Jamaica like Smith is here? Either way, this is passable enough.
[5]

Anthony Miccio: Gangstas all over the world.
[5]


David Banner - Play
[6.5]


Ian Mathers: Not only less offensive and creepy than “Wait”, but more interesting (that sliding alarm whistle, squeaky little synth and the dry kick thump are all great), “Play” is the first indication that this whole whisper thing might actually work. It would be nice if we could see if it works for anything but sex raps, though.
[6]

Matt Chesnut: When it comes to the female orgasm, David Banner means business. And DJ Smurf means more bizarro sex jams! I’d make a pun about this being a “banger,” but I’m more of a gentleman than that.
[8]

John M. Cunningham: Despite being the raunchiest thing I've heard in some time, I have an odd appreciation for Banner wanting not just to beat the pussy up, but also to admire and egg on his partner's solo tricks. But I also have to wonder if the novelty of that "Whisper It Like It's Hot" beat is wearing off.
[6]

Josh Timmermann: Not as baroquely profane, nor as effectively bare-bones, as "wait 'til you see my dick," and I expect more from Mr. M-I-crooked-letter-crooked-letter-I-hump-back-hump-back-I (motherfucker die) anyway. Still, I find the fact that he may well be quoting Napoleon Dynamite ("but my lips hurt real bad!" or maybe "do your chickens have large talons?") right now to a bodyguard (who's sick to death of it but won't confess as much because he wants to keep his job) sort of oddly endearing myself; kind of like the thought of Timbaland bumping Coldplay and Norah Jones in the hummer. And kind of like this song.
[6]

Alfred Soto: Police sirens, "Drop It Like It's Hot" finger snaps, helium synthesizer. He'll do anything, anything, to make you cum.
[6]

Anthony Miccio: LL Cool J's running around his house, looking in the dressers, sifting through the laundry, checking the pockets of his jeans, wondering where the hell he left all his sighs.
[7]


Rise Against - Swing Life Away
[3.8]


Ian Mathers: As my previous experience with Rise Against consists of hearing from my punk rock-loving brother that they’re good, I didn’t exactly expect this sort of acoustic tune. And the verses are pretty meh – but that chorus! I’ll be humming it for weeks. It feels somehow old-fashioned, which probably says more about when I grew up than anything. The singer has a good voice for this sort of thing too.
[7]

Matt Chesnut: Whoa, guys, earnest guy with acoustic guitar coming through. Rise Against inspires no such action as their name might suggest, offering instead a thoroughly subdued affair to the point of eliciting naps.
[3]

John M. Cunningham: I felt like I knew all I needed to know about this band when, a few months ago, I overheard some 16-year-old bleach-blond dweeb brag, "This chick was totally pressing her ass against me at the Rise Against show." But this is actually much less embarrassing than I would've expected from a track on the Punk Goes Acoustic comp, and kind of pretty, too.
[5]

Josh Timmermann: I'm sorry...Maybe it suddenly turns all amazing after the one-minute mark--stuttering bassline, Jackson 5 sample, Slim Thug guest-verse, etc.--but I just can't stomach this.
[0]

Alfred Soto: "I'll show you mine if you show me yours first" is the best pickup line I've heard in ages, worthy of Rob Thomas. Too bad it's not a line; he's talking about scars, dude. Singer Tim Mcllrath and his gal are just lyin' on the front porch with a plate of grandma's cookies and a frosted pitcher of lemonade, lookin' into each other's eyes, that big wheel still toinin' on the ol' Mississippi. In this pastoral idyll, love-as-labor is the norm. Nick Drake clones are not.
[4]

Anthony Miccio: My sympathy for young white co-dependent males is at an all-time nadir.
[4]


U2 - City of Blinding Lights
[5.0]


Ian Mathers: The same damn guitar line the Edge always plays. Truly dire lyrical conceits. Bombast-by-numbers. Trite emotional content. A bad case of déjà vu. The “biggest band in the world”. Why?
[3]

Matt Chesnut: “Remember those songs we did long ago? Yeah, people seemed to really enjoy those a lot. Let’s do them again why not?” I abhor the piano on this song. I guess they thought it would make it prettier but it drags it into treacly territory. I still like the Edge’s guitar work in general, but…yeah, Bono.
[3]

John M. Cunningham: This song has the same effect as much of Coldplay's catalogue: frothy and comforting while listening to it (the "ooh ooh" chorus suggests the cozy angst of the Breakfast Club soundtrack) but largely forgettable after the fact. Just a bit scrappier, perhaps.
[6]

Josh Timmermann: I was all set to give this a three, maybe a four, and keep on believing that they hadn't made anything worth not passing on since at least Zooropa, but this actually isn't half-bad. Memorable-enough chorus, shiny guitar, some Joshua Tree jangle thrown in for good measure: a solid six.
[6]

Alfred Soto: Ah, gimme my blankie and a glass of Quik. In this ever-changing world in which we live in, how comforting to know that U2 are ready to show us How To Reach Transcendence In Five Easy Minutes. This time it's Edge's intro piano which signifies the band's attempt to touch the face of God, or something. It's Bono's job to spell these things out for us, and although his continued reluctance makes him unpopular among cognoscenti, in this case I'm just happy he's part of the band and not a guest on "The O'Reilly Factor." My favorite single from How To Dismantle An Endearing Twat; if it was 1991, it would have hit number one in 15 countries.
[7]

Anthony Miccio: Six minutes is a little long for autopilot, don't you think?
[5]


50 Cent feat. Mobb Deep - Outta Control (Remix)
[6.0]


Ian Mathers: The only slight disappointment here is that the beat at first made me think this was Roots Manuva’s great “Clockwork” single. As soon as that slight shriek starts cycling, though, it’s clear we’ve got a distinct but equally entertaining beast on our hands. His chorus vocals are great – 50 is always at his best when he’s at his most pop, and this is the best thing he’s had his name attached to since “Hate It Or Love It”. Mobb Deep acquit themselves well too, of course.
[8]

Matt Chesnut: After the majority of his Massacre singles output has left me saying, “Boy, that new 50 song is really wearing on me,” I think this may be the first one that will hold up three weeks from now. And I love the piano on this song. It’s not out of control at all!
[7]

John M. Cunningham: For a song in which 50 professes his capacity to cause chaos in the club, the whole thing's amusingly mellow. But that's fine, because his hazy flow is perfect for the track's backbone: a loop of dizzy violins and warm piano chords that keeps my head nodding. Mm-hmm.
[7]

Josh Timmermann: I've recently decided that I like The Massacre more than I thought I did initially, but this particular track played no discernible role in my coming-around.
[5]

Alfred Soto: Like R. Kelly, 50 Cent is only as good as his beats, and at times not even then. The horrorshow organ, while a plus, is a bit recherché. So is the marching-band beat, care of "Jesus Walks." As "Just A Lil' Bit" proved, Fiddy plays horny toads better than callous mofos, so when he tempts his bitches with ecstasy he's about as convincing as Bryan Ferry wearing gold chains. Is this what he meant by taking them to the candy shop?
[3]

Anthony Miccio: 50 Cent has a good time at the club and makes music that both fits and improves the club atmosphere. He would also like you to know that Mobb Deep are his friends.
[6]


By: US Stylus Staff
Published on: 2005-08-05
Comments (4)
 

 
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