Keri Hilson – Knock You Down (Feat. Ne-Yo & Kanye West)
Keri Hilson has absolutely no need to set her alarm for 15 minutes. After the deservedly successful The Way I Are, Timbaland literally returned the favour with Return the Favor, a dead ringer for their original union. With Knock You Down, the ante has been upped. The combination of pounding synth beats, southern-style crunk and slick (almost overpowering) vocals from Ne-Yo & Kanye West are sublime. Ultimately though all these factors can’t trump the simplistic yet moving chorus, “Sometimes love comes around, when it knocks you down just get back up when it knocks you down.” By far the highlight of a pretty decent album, it is also the most inspiring post-break up song thus far in 2009. My hat is off to you Ms Hilson.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Off With Your Heads
Zero was a stellar introduction of The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s new direction but nothing on this thumping dance/rock outfit. From the gothic synthesisers that kick it off to Karen O’s frenetic Bjork-like vocals to a beat that sounds like it’s on lend from Goldfrapp’s futuristic disco Supernature, Off With Your Heads is startlingly good. Calling it the best Yeah Yeah Yeahs song is a massive call but it’s not just the beholder of that title, it’s an early contender for song of the year. Equal parts bonkers and brilliance, it’s a legacy in waiting.
Eminem – We Made You
Critiquing an Eminem song is made difficult by the fact you have to do it from two angles: Musically and comically. It’s been a long absence from Marshall Mathers III. As Dido and Christina Aguilera have recently proven, too much time out of the limelight can diminish even the biggest artist’s marketability. Despite the lack of a decent tune, Crack a Bottle – Eminem’s ‘comeback’ single, sold by the truckload. We Made You is Eminem’s REAL comeback. While the chorus is not quite up to standards of say Like Toy Soldiers, Sing for the Moment or Lose Yourself, it is still undeniably catchy, (particularly the “ROCK STAR” bit.) What champions this hit in waiting is Eminem’s lyrical renaissance. Bitching about celebrities is not as novelty as it was back in Eminem’s heyday, but here we’re reminded of his sniping talent, and everyone gets their serve. From Ms Winehouse, to Portia & Ellen to Britney, “Brit forget K-Fed, let’s cut off the middle man, Forget him or your gonna end up in the hospital again, And this time it won’t be for the Ritalin binge, Forget them other men, girl pay them little attention.” It’s not the work of art that we were once used to, but it is bloody fun!