Javier Colon—”Stitch By Stitch”, #17
Dia Frampton—”Inventing Shadows”, #20
Adam Levine & Javier Colon—”Man In the Mirror”, #45
Blake Shelton & Dia Frampton—”I Won’t Back Down”, #57
Christina Aguilera & Beverly McClellan—”Beautiful”, #74
Vicci Martinez—”Afraid To Sleep”, #78
George Strait—”Here For a Good Time”
Strait has been coasting over his last few singles, but when you’ve absorbed as much craft as he has even coasting sounds more energetic, and certainly more intelligent, than most other country output. This isn’t a masterpiece—too much of it seems automatic—but it has moments, such as the opening line of the second verse, that seem like minor miracles. Strait may be coasting, but he’s coasting in style.
David Guetta featuring Taio Cruz & Ludacris—”Little Bad Girl”
For Guetta, not bad, but Cruz has done better, and Ludacris has done much better. I like the breakdown a lot, but have just about had it with Cruz’s phrasing. I only hope he doesn’t succeed in making pronouncing “air” as “ur” a trend.
“Moving To Mars”, #90
“Major Minus”, #92
Two obvious throwaways filling in the “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” EP, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the best Coldplay I’ve heard: rough, grounded in real emotion, sonically striking (I even like Chris Martin’s croaky croon). Thematically, though, they’re old hat: spaceflight as a symbol of alienation and paranoid anti-establishment tropes, respectively. “Moving to Mars” may very well be intended as a tribute to Bowie and/or Elton John, and good for Coldplay if it is. If Martin managed to become as good a lyricist as Bernie Taupin, they might be worth listening to more often.
Iyaz featuring Travie McCoy—”Pretty Girls”
Iyaz is as forgettable as they come, and McCoy, usually a black mark on every record that bears his name, is less painful than usual, and therefore also forgettable. As for the song…uh, what was it called again?
Big Sean featuring Wiz Khalifa & Chiddy Bang—”High”
I have nothing against people getting stoned, honest I don’t. But when all they can talk about is weed, especially in a childish, aren’t-I-clever manner like this, I consider investing in paraquat.