The Sheila Divine’s “Hum” wins for Best Song With Worst Title. Starts out like some humbly hummable descendant of Nilsson, or some forgotten single (or twelve) on Stiff, or Third Eye Blind. Then the singer’s third eye appears, buggin on a rhino horn, but the pressure continues—he’s honk/rasping “Oi don’t make tha laws,” or “God don’t make tha laws,” or “God don’t make tha Lord,” or “Oi don’t make tha Lord,” or something (it seems like it matters, but time to get out of his way, not study). Lemmy re-forms Mott the Hoople? Upuhwhup all I know is they won some kind of Battle of the Bands in Boston.
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. 1970–75. “Hey, learn tha language, buddy.” I study Meester honest—and now I realize he’s too successful to be Underground (except when he’s down in his hometown, New Orleans, sub–sea 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 eloquence—as the Sheryl Crow flies—I’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 on—wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. (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.)