Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Big Review: The Summer Comebacks of '06


*Update: The links are back online.

Beyoncé - Deja Vu Feat. Jay Z
So let's put aside all that negative buzz about this being an obvious attempt to create a sequel to 'Crazy In Love'. It is, and Rodney Jerkins is no Rich Harrison. The horns, the bass line, the lyrics...the evidence is all there. But what if I judge it based on the addictiveness of the melodies alone? Terrific. I was hooked right from the first listen. It's shiny and joyful and just plain fun to sing on top of your lungs. In an era of uninspiring, cookie-cutting R&B/Hip-Hop that's just all over the place now, this song's a gem, a summer anthem, although it's not Beyoncé's best. I admit The Jay Z appearance is not necessary. Anyway, there's also a kickass Freemason Club Remix of 'Deja Vu' floating around somewhere, so you may want to check that out.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man
This song is frustrating. It took me about 10 listens to get to like it, and once I finally felt the vibe, I've grown tired of it. Anyway, it filled the shoes of being the 'Crazy In Love' of 2006. Nice old school throwback, there's fair use of blasting horns here, and Christina does sound real happy with her man. Nice comeback. It's a shame not a single song on her double-disc is as great as this one.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Diddy Feat. Nicole Scherzinger - Come To Me
Uhmm, Diddy's back? Who cares? Did I miss him when he's not around, too busy boggling the minds of young, naive girls dreaming of a pop star career? Certainly no. So he's filthy rich, he's impossibly powerful in the business, and he can grab anyone to feature on his cd. But good guest stars don't equal good songs. This single is lame, even when he's got Nicole Scherzinger backing up. It tried hard to be a club banger, and never quite lived up to it. Just bored the hell out of me. And the music video is kinda unintentionally amusing. Diddy thinks he can dance. Funny.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober
When you're one of the top-selling bands of the recent few years, you're expected to come back with a storming instant classic single, right? Not in this case. Somehow this just sounds like an odd fifth single off 'Fallen'. Disappointing. Lack of efforts. It's not that bad, just okay, but okay for a first single of a new album is not enough. That's why I still hesitate to check out 'The Open Door'.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Jamelia - Something About You
I already reviewed it before, so the texts below are just copy-and-paste actions:

"When the beats first start off, I thought I was gonna hear a decent r&b song,but I was wrong. The song's kinda rocky, not like real rocky but more like lite Kelly Clarkson-rocky. There are guitars and all. I don't know how she did it, but in this song, pop, r&b, and rock just inertwined. Infectious chorus. Good vocals. Radio-ready. This song's seriously HOT! When I use 'hot' with capital letters, I mean it."

Rating: 4/5 stars

Janet Jackson feat Nelly - Call On Me
Ugly. Real ugly. Pathetic. Jermaine Dupri is your husband, and all you two can come up is this? I can barely hear you sing. It doesn't make me hum (well, the tinkling samples are catchy, give you a point for that), doesn't make me move my feet. And the music video...god...my eyes! Stop showing your abs, they're disgusting. Stop flapping your CGI silk at the screen. The Japanese must feel so humiliated and insulted, the way she skankified their traditional kimonos. Second single 'So Excited' is not so good either, so I'm sure I will not waste my time listening to that cd any day soon.

Rating: 1.5/5 stars

Jessica Simpson - A Public Affair
So, do I like this? Tough question. It rips off Madonna's 'Holiday' big time. It's bubblegum girlie pop. And it's kinda catchy. I don't like it much, but don't hate it either, and I'm never a fan of Jessica. But six-year-old girls (or the six-year-old girls inside some people) will dig this for sure.

Rating: 3/5 stars

JoJo - Too Little Too Late
JoJo's only 15, and she's EVIL. She's capable of doing such unimaginable things. All she does for a comeback is using the same formula of 'Leave (Get Out)' (acoustic guitar, girls-diss-boy, blah blah...), write some lyrics that's not appropriate for her age at all, and put a tune cherry on top of it. And yet it's quite addictive pop. See, she makes people feel ashamed of themvselves for liking her songs! She sends subliminal messages through music videos, encourages teenage girls to date dudes who look as old as their uncles, and use 'dumping the trash' as an excuse to soak wet in the rain and get their sexy on for the naked eyes of lusty neighbors. Now that's pure evil! So, truth is, the song's poppy and catchy in a commercial way. I can resist if I try, but I find it enjoyable...Damn! That evil, hot-legged underage girl, you should call and date me if you're reading this.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Justin Timberlake - SexyBack
Timbaland's back on top of his game right now, so when I heard this is his production, I'm very excited. First time listen: utter bullsh!t. And now, as the song grows on me, I can declare that the song's quite groovy and okay. I love the electro vibe, but it's just too repetitive and tuneless. 'My Love' is million miles better. Props to Justin to always try new things and put the unconventional in the mainstream chart.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Muse - Supermassive Black Hole
Yay, Muse! Doing danceable, Franz Ferdinand-esque rock! With a beat and a riff coincidentally similar to those of Britney Spears' 'Do Somethin''. And a chorus resembling 'Time Is Running Out'. So practically, the style is not that fresh. But I still love this song, though. The falsetto is smooth and eerie, and whoever thought a Muse song can be a floorfiller. Muse's still one of the best arena-rock bands around, it is.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Outkast - Morris Brown
Big Boi + a college marching band + silky hooks = good comeback. I dont't care much for the movie, but this song just exudes this kind of positive energy and puts a smile upon my face. An essential song for the summer.

Rating: 3.75/5 stars

The Killers - When You Were Young
I was a minor fan of The Killers. I enjoyed all the singles from 'Hot Fuss'. But when I heard Brandon Flowers was growing a mustache and channeling Bruce Springsteen, I was confused. This single, it could've been better. The chorus could get more soaring and less bland. Like the epic intro riffs, though, and the music video's cinematically cool. Like I just said, could've been better.

Rating: 3.25/5 stars

Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin'
Good part: The song's damn catchy, and Jake's falsetto is irresistible, twisting you into this '70s dimension.
Bad part: It brings nothing new to the table. They need a change in their sounds, sure I can't sound like this forever.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Sidenote: Due to my spending much time for this feature, Picks Of The Week will be put off this week.

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