New Music: David "lil' Archy" Archuleta, Paris Hilton, and far more relevant artists
The past few weeks of music releases have been strong. Not strong in the lasting sense--no one's going to care about Lloyd or David Archuleta's new releases ten years from now--but as a sensory distraction, nothing can beat "Year of the Lover," off Lloyd's Lessons In Love, functioning as this fall's "Bed." It's dirty, but it's beautiful. Lloyd comes off a little lizardy in my opinion, slithering around in a manner far too like a salmonilla-spreading komodo dragon, and that detracts from the believability of the track. (I'm not sure calling Lloyd "lizardy" constitutes an argument, but listen and you'll get me.)
If there's one thing studying at UT has taught me, the weekends are all about letting loose. Interpret that as you will, but two songs I never would have listened to have been brought to my attention by the kind DJs of 6th. "Swing," from some irrelevant "rapper" that is too unimportant to be named, is an infectious track with a bass line so deep is basically encourages drunken girls with fake IDs to grind until one of them passes out. Literally, I (or he, or she, or you) walk into a venue, and if "Swing" is playing, I (or he, or she, or you) will follow his commands: "Oh sh**/shake that a**/now move it like you're tipsy/...drop it low, down to the floor..." Sick. The only knock I have against "Swing" is Soulja Boy's verse, the musical equivalent of vomit on a birthday cake. Watch out, SB wants you to "let him" pull "yo hurr." Really, pull her hair? That's hot now?
The other track is an ancient Jibbs number called "King Kong." Funny story: the first time I ever heard this track was in Finish Line Sports with two friends of mine. One of them, Kevin, was bobbing to the beat (=faggoty sentence, sry), and I totally blew it off. That was over two years ago.
"King Kong" is a blast. It's so straightforward. There's really nothing beyond a chopped and screwed vocal sample as a clever metaphor for massive car speakers. In fact, speakers so heavy they flatten tires and make the "doors fall off." Jibbs, like the rapper behind "Swing," is certainly not a player in the industry this year, but he's got a great sense of humor. Remember "Chain Hang Low?" You know, the creepy track with children singing modified nursery rhymes about gangster bling?
I'm so sick of writing about Kylie Minogue. I don't like her near as much as my blog would lead you to believe. She's fun, but I can only use the word "glittery" as her musical description so many times before...well, before I just stop writing about her. "Nu-di-ty," a track I resisted for a while, is wholly worth a $1.07 purchase. Off X, her now-defunct "comeback" album (that I don't hate), "Nu-di-ty" sounds like a better version of Britney's "Piece of Me." Admittedly, it's odd hearing a fully-grown, married mother commanding, "let me see nudity," telling her partner to "expose it," but at least she hasn't developed that scary stretched-face muscleman syndrome so common in her elderpop counterparts. You know who I'm talking about. The beat hops and changes tempo constantly, synchronizing with the jumpy vocal samples; the production on "Nu" is better than your typical pop track, which is why it won't be a hit, but it's also why it's worth your time.
The Killers have a new single out called "Spaceman," and it's kind of a disappointment. I was really hoping for a Sam Sparro-esque influence for their upcoming album, but it sounds like they'll be going for a Sam's Town/Hot Fuss hybrid. Blippy production with cryptic lyrics and obnoxious vocal flourishes from Flowers.
David Archuleta released his debut album this Tuesday, and while it's getting ravaged by critics, I happen to like a few of the tracks. "Running" is nice--the critics' darling--but, like the rest of the album, it's boring. Nice, though. "Touch My Hand" is scaled-back and emotional, hinting at a bright future for Archuleta. It's clear by the cover art that Clive Davis will be pushing for a more grown-up image--the Jonas Brothers have the tween market carved clean--and I wonder how radio will respond. "Crush" was fluttery and accesible, but "Touch" will be the real test of his mettle.
Now, for the grand opus of guilty pleasures. Paris Hilton, in case you didn't know, released a horrid album a year or so ago, to little commercial fanfare. She had some random reggae track called "Stars Are Blind," which was too lyrically confusing to be enjoyed by a Paris Hilton fan, who's reading experience likely chalks up to the back of cereal boxes and the track listings for old Backstreet Boys' albums. BUT, her second single, "Nothing In This World," is one of those irresistable tempations in life, like reading People at the checkout line or watching Into The Blue, and after two years I gave in and downloaded it. The chorus is, um, kind of like an exploding pinata, and if the song was a pinata, "Nothing In This World" would definitely be made out of paper mache, and would definitely contain those nasty candy neclaces. If you can tell, I'm avoiding any direct compliments to this track, which is simply a reflection of my natural instincts telling me to avoid humiliation.