Cobra Starship—”You Make Me Feel…”
Musically Cobra Starship isn’t any better or any worse than every other electroclash inspired dance band, and their lyrical message isn’t any different, either, but there’s something about their sound that emphasizes the most offensive and sexist elements of the music. This is especially true when Victoria Asher is singing. She sounds as if she were a proud blank, a woman whose sense of submissiveness is the closest thing to emotion she’s capable of feeling. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t women out there like that, or that a man couldn’t act in the same way, but the message of this song seems to be that all women should be like that. It sounds creepy, and I don’t think that was their intention.
I couldn’t begin to translate the words, but it doesn’t take any Spanish to realize how insane this record is, especially since one of the more insane moments is in English. “You are my lady, it’s more than sexual, and you make me complete” Santos croons, while the music slips and slides all around him. The light but propulsive Latin rhythm is constantly shifting from one pattern to another, sometimes creating the illusion of stopping, backing up, and turning off in another direction entirely. At one point a chorus of crickets takes over. I’d be willing to bet it doesn’t make any sense in Spanish, either, but it sure is fun to listen to.
Korn featuring Skrillex—”Get Up!”
Not terrible by a long shot. L.A. producer and DJ Skrillex adds not just sonic texture but sonic jokes, including a Pink Floyd reference that’s both unexpected and a perfect fit. I like the theme, too: urging self-pitying slackers everywhere to stop feeling sorry for themselves and get busy. Just to make sure the guy gets the message, during the instrumental break the band prods him with power tools.
Big Sean—”I Do It”
I like Sean’s easygoing flow, which is like Ludacris crossed with Drake (or just Drake with a sense of humor). For the moment, though, that’s all Sean’s got, and unless he latches on to a real idea, it isn’t going to be enough.
Lloyd featuring Awesome Jones—”Cupid”
One of the best hooks of the year so far, and the mix of sounds, from crunk to mid-’80s British soul, though it never quite gels, keeps things interesting. Unfortunately, though the music is sometimes reminscent of Scritti Politti, the lyrics are strictly Spandau Ballet. If Lloyd could master a lyrical style as daring as his music he could be a monster, but I’m beginning to wonder if he has the talent, or even the ambition to try.