Singles Going Steady
his week on Singles Going Steady: Blink goes even more emo, the Cure get set for their new album, Dashboard does more of the same, Slipknot still wears masks, Kevin Lyttle is big in England and D12 is still awful. On with the show!
David Drake: It's interesting how much their music has changed over the last couple years; Blink has definitely opened up musically, taken in other influences etc. This song is a pretty impressive example of this – the harmonizing on the chorus is rather hooky, and they do a good job hitting these crashing guitar crescendos. But still...the dude's voice grates, and not in a cool, quirky Tom Waits way, or a rough, abrasive John Lydon way, but in a annoying 13-year-old-whining way. Still, this song shows amazing growth for the group. For what it's worth.
Josh Love: Eternal truism: Beware mid-life rock-radio bands who release singles called “Down”--may indicate said artist has run out of ideas or has nothing left to say and can’t even come up with an interesting song title. See also: 311, Stone Temple Pilots.
Andrew Unterberger: And they’re three for three. Following “Feeling This” and “I Miss You,” two of the best singles of the last year, “Down” completes the hat trick with that fabulous sound of theirs, still on a totally different plane from any other emo, pop-punk or alternative band out there right now. This one follows the suit of 00’s stunning “Stay Together for the Kids” with its quiet verse TITANICALLY LOUD GUITAR CHORUS formula, and it remains just as effective. It’s even a semi-moving song, which is really saying something for emo these days.
The End of the World
Gabe Gloden: This band is running on empty: empty on energy, empty on ideas. “The End of the World” is kind of empty, unfortunately, but it won’t be enough to disappoint the fans.
Josh Love: I’ve never been any kind of Cure fan at all (bought the singles comp on cassette for three bucks in ’96 and that’s about it), so I didn’t go into this one with any hand-wringing fanboy baggage, and consequently found myself pleasantly surprised to hear this dreamy slice of pop-rock goodness. So what’s this about Disintegration again?
Andrew Unterberger: I don’t think anyone expected The Cure to make a revival—what with the out-and-out failure of every album they’ve made in the last 10 years (all two of them) and their ridiculous, dated image. But it’s happening, with younger, hipper bands like Blink-182 and The Rapture singing their praises and the band headlining Coachella. This new one is pretty vintage Cure—maybe around Wish era—and it sounds pretty great. Nothing new or trend-setting, but nice enough for me, at least, to give ol’ Fat Bob another chance.
David Drake: Words Eminem is no longer allowed to say: "Kim," "Daughter," "Ronnie." In this song he's 1 for three, which is ok, but still, this is awful. I've been a staunch Eminem defender for a long-ass time but this is some weak, whining self-pitying bullshit. What happened to party jams like "Business" and "Real Slim Shady"? ("My Band" doesn't cut it.) At least he dropped this load of crap on the D12 album. It's time for some stylistic development Slim. PS: That Lloyd Banks beat is hot, all is forgiven. More more more.
Josh Love: Aww, Em’s still got love for Royce (no homo), but doesn’t understand why his boy (no homo) would stick him in the back like that (no homo). Em’s sad cuz Royce is either all up in his shit now (no homo) or just don’t ever hook up with him at all (no homo). See, it used to be that Em and Royce would keep each other up (no homo) in the good times and never get down on each other (no homo) in the bad, but now Royce just wants to act all hard (no homo) and Em just doesn’t know where he’s comin’ from (no homo).
Andrew Unterberger: I dunno, this is pretty so-so “where did we go wrong?” fare. The humor of “My Band” was infinitely more compelling at analyzing the band’s inter-group problems than this over-dramatic shit. And why don’t these guys try putting someone besides Eminem on the choruses? I’m kinda sick of hearing his singing voice.
David Drake: Like whoa this is fucking good. Hahah heavy shit. Unexpectedly rocking my world. Everyone knows Rick Rubin made Slipknot listen to Lil Jon when he was producing this, right? Yeah it makes sense. (Crunk still slams harder. But this'll do.)
Josh Love: Wow, it’s like that shitpile Butthole Surfers song “Pepper” with speed metal riffage! I really wanted to like this one after General Burns-side went to bat for ‘em with a terrific review, but holy mother I can’t turn off my lyric ear like he can, and “I push my fingers into my eyes / it’s the only thing that slowly stops the ache” ain’t gonna cut it, especially WHEN IT’S THE FUCKING CHORUS.
Andrew Unterberger: Oooh, interesting metal! “Duality”. You don’t get to hear too much of that on the radio, so when you do—like with System of a Down a couple years back—you gotta hold onto it with all your might. So the questionable lyrics are definitely excusable. Just focus on the shape-shifting rhythms and fucking awesome guitars and you should be OK.
Turn Me On
Gabe Gloden: Like a falsetto-laden Sean Paul, Kevin Lyttle has produced this week’s most infectious single. No understatement. I listened to the first 40 seconds of this song, stepped away from my desk to go to work and the damn thing was with me for the rest of the day! I don’t know if anyone should be allowed to listen to this. It’s probably dangerous.
David Drake: His voice is smoover than smoove, the riddim is delightfully synth-laden, and the hook is catchy as anything. Instead of writing any more, I'm just gonna sing. Join me won't you? "YOU GOT ME GOIN' CRAZY, YOU! TURN ME ON, TURN ME ON!" This song is one satisfied smile on a hot dancefloor.
Josh Love: Everything great and necessary about this song has already been said by William Bloody Swygart in his column/interweb phenomenon UK Corral, so seriously, just do a search on this site for Kevin Lyttle and go nuts. For purely scientific purposes, I will add that this Yank is in full agreeance with Mr. Swygart about the indisputable awesomeness of “Turn Me On.” That is all.
Andrew Unterberger: Oh my god, is this song bad. “La Isla Bonita” goes reggae! This song is dancehall so tragically diluted that I can’t even imagine limping to it, much less dancing to it. Let’s hope this Kevin Lyttle character doesn’t bring the whole genre down to his torpid level.
David Drake: I was biking home and I arrived just as this song started on my discman, so I biked circles in the alleyway while I waited for the track to finish. How portentous! The tune itself is rather lifeless, or rather, it doesn't distinguish itself in any way, so the lyrics become the focus of the listeners attention, at which point the listener listener realizes that Carrabba is saying a lot but not really saying anything at all, pedalling in circles with nowhere to go.
Josh Love: So I pretty much knew what to expect from Dashboard Confessional, but you know I decided to refrain from snap judgments, and so I cop the track, get the Winamp loaded, press play, and I’M SO SELFISH OH MY GOD I’M SUCH A TWAT AND I AM SO UNLOVED AND CAN’T YOU HEAR ME SCREAMING WON’T YOU PLEASE JUST BRING ME A GLASS OF WARM MILK AND TUCK ME INTO BED BECUZ I’M SO LONELY AND much to my chagrin it’s basically just more of the same, sorry I can’t expound on that further.
Andrew Unterberger: Classic example of a good emo song going bad when the vocals enter. But I’m still such a sucker for that wall-of-guitar sound, and I actually like the guy’s voice quite a bit, so the over-emotiveness doesn’t overwhelm. Lyrics still suck, but whaddya gonna do?
By: US Stylus Staff
Published on: 2004-06-25