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New Music Week Of September 14th, 2009: From Cudi to Q Tip

The Pursuit Of Happiness – Kid Cudi – The best song in the best week of new music this year. It took till June for 2009 to settle itself (literally: the Dirty Projector’s Bitte Orca was released June 9th and the year started to swing) and it took what Rolling Stone has amusingly dubbed “Emo Hip Hop” for the continuous ameoba’s of pop to mutate again. With electronic indie greats MGMT and Mia colloborators Ratatat playing backup, “Pursuit” is an atmospheric pop triumph. And what makes Kid Cudi extra special is this is a hip hop sound folks like Common have been trying to perfect for years and suddenly it is here. I don’t wanna hear shit about how things were better back in the day, Flo Rida and Kid Cudi are the best things to happen to hip hop THIS DECADE. And while I hadn’t much cared for Drake, his rap with Jay-Z last week and a song I’ll be reviewing later, prove maybe JUST MAYBE, I underestimated him. I will be reviewing the entire Kid Cudi album in another post, it has been met with some very mixed reviews but I think it’s brilliant. Till then: Single Of The Week.
Undisclosed Desires – Muse – My pals Brett Jensen and Remy Caplan both give Muse heavy shoutouts but I still can’t hear it. This sounds like mid-temp alt rock to me and not very special at all.
Fox On The Run – Ace Frehley – This is a very Kissy type of year. Everything I’ve heard from the upcoming Kiss album Sonic Boom has been aces with me and former Kiss guitarists cover of Sweet’s bubble gum hit is smoking hot, every lead on every chorus is a very melodic hit of power chords.
Survival Skills – KRS-One & Buckshot – I’ve got nothing but love for KRS-One, and Buckshot I might add, but haven’t we heard this slithery snyth hook around ten million times already. The rapping is great and KRS-One has always been gifted (though he preaches too much in her concerts) but this needs something more.
Forever -Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Eminem – From the soundtrack of the eagerly awaited Lebron James documentary of James years playing High School ball in Ohio (by me -my pal Matt Drummond is only waiting for him to join the Knicks), this is a whosee who of hip hop and Eminem blows em all away though, hey, at least Drake can hang with the big boys.
We Weren’t Born to Follow – Bon Jovi – Listen, I hate Bon Jovi as much as the next guy and more than most BUT in the 00s they have really found their way with a single and this power rock ballad is a pretty credible blow out.
Time – Cute Is What We Aim For – Rumor has it Cute have disbanded which makes em one hit wonders and this song from the soundtrack of “Jennifer’s Boy,” while innocous enough in a pop-rock sorta way isn’t it. It was “Curse Of Curves” if you were wondering…
Suor Angelica: Senza Mamma O Bimbo , Tu Sei Morto – Renee Fleming – a snappy Puchini number by the great American Soprano and a track of of what appears to be another big hit on the Classical Charts Verismo. Fleming could well be a major crossover star, she can sing Opera sure, but she has a completely different range, maybe even a tenor or least lower, when she sings pop. So start listening here.
Do You Dig U – Q Tip – This is as weird and abstract and dark a take on hip hop as flying Lotus and by a guy who certainly took A Tribe Called Quest in some strange places, the flute is all sonic smooth jazz hooks and the backing track a complelling two word loop of Q Tip singing “Dig U”. Still, cmon guy, it’s been a decade since you’ve been vivrant, you even got D’Angelo out of retirement last year and couldn’t figure out what to do with him
I Want To Know What Love Is – Mariah Carey – Look: nobody has the range or the command Carey does: she may be a mechanical and not an emotional vocalist but she is mechanical to a purpose and this is a brilliant version of a godawful song. It is shockingly lovely and a complete triumph, she caresses the melody and makes it her own. I’m awestruck. Can’t wait for the album.

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