By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Cam'ron, "I Ain't No 'Mo" (or "Let Me Know" or whatever it's called): "You a fag? It's aight? You wanna fight?" Eat boogers and die, knowing that you have engaged my attention/reaction time far more swiftly and decisively than any given 27:42 by the Roots' insultingly dubbed "Black Thought"but then again, so what? I end up asking (each time Cam'ron pushes my button).
Juvenile, "Ha": He always (so far) twists syllables like rubber-toothed gears, Miles Davis Lux Vomica streams ca. 197075. "Hey, learn tha language, buddy." I study Meester honestand now I realize he's too successful to be Underground (except when he's down in his hometown, New Orleans, subsea level). And who's to say it's Primitive? Avant? The old "Is he simple or is he subtle?" Both?
Faith Hill, "The Secret of Life": The most uncute, unequivocal, unashamed, unself-righteous /justifying/ pitying negatory nugget of unlabored Country eloquenceas the Sheryl Crow fliesI've heard in a month of Sundays. And as such, as refreshing as a newly iced Big Gulp.
'N Sync & Gloria Estefan, "The Music of My Heart (Pablo Flores Remix)": The slow version makes too plain they can't sing (inc. Gloria, who's old and rich enough to know better and to get new vocal cords, or a lozenge or something, geez). But the remix glides you and them right by this unfortunate fact, like Charlton Heston parting the waters for us to walk onwheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. (The album's not bad either: A soundtrack with Jennifer Lopez, Aaliyah, Jaci Velasquez, et al., it takes a Spanish Tinge as a given in Pop, and vice versa.)