Thursday, February 22, 2007

Seven Deadly Singles #42: Ghost Ride The Deli Aisle, It's Ballin'

Not one or two, but three Timberlake songs, only one of which is as stupid as Mistah Fab or Jim Jones.

The Blow - "Parentheses"

I shouldn't have to point out why the aching sweetness of a line like "When you're holding me, we make a pair of parentheses," makes this the most heartfelt love song I can remember in years. But "If something in the deli aisle makes you cry/you know I'll put my arm around you and I'll walk you outside/through the sliding doors/why would I mind?" nails it: the total essence of understanding in relationships, and the rapport that makes them tick even under the most ridiculous circumstances. And what better place for love and understanding than a tripped-out Hawaiian disco? Maybe the deli aisle. A

Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake - "Give It To Me"

Not bad. The surprise is that Timberlake is the most underused source on the track; Furtado's in full "Maneater" effect if you want to call that sexy, Timb's tone-speak fits perfectly with the interlocking robot drums and synth. Not very funky, which befits this cold 80s thing going down these days. If only he could hit it out of the park like "My Love" on his own, but that's okay, he gets by with a little help from his friends. The effect, though, is as if Ringo was saving a Plastic Ono Band track. B+

KT Tunstall - "Suddenly I See"

Consumer alert: skip the album, it sucks. If I told you that anything else on it even remotely resembled "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree," her cover of "Get Ur Freak On," or this Vh1-approved nugget of sunshine, I'd be lying out my Lilith Fair-tattooed labia. You're way better off with Regina Spektor. Still, this is good. It just sucks that a tricky bait-and-switch bitch seemed so nice with all that computer/cardboard animated friendliness in the video. B+

Jim Jones - "We Fly High"

Ignore the official "title" above, there's only one thing this song's called, and that's "Baaaaaaaaaaaalllllllin'!" Jim Jones might just be stupid enough to be a hyphy rapper, if hyphy would have him that is. But the not-at-all dramatic synth strings that soak this sub-Storch production send me back to Earth, where one wildly great catchphrase does not equal a beat, or even a hook. Just ask Lil' Jon. So if Rick Ross hasn't picked up a hook so one of a kind yet, I still prefer his song because his brand of dumb is arrogant and cool and set in a neon-lit blaxplotation context that lets you feel guilty about the whole damn thing, not just the embarassing raps. And while Dipset has more than its share of lovable retards, Purple Haze had beats to back it up. C+

Justin Timberlake & Andy Samberg - "Dick In A Box"

Not gonna lie. Samberg's way worthier of an album that Jimmy Fallon ever was. It helps that he understands the medium he satirizes, while Fallon just sort of giggled at anything that looked silly. It's important that Samberg isn't just going LOL blk ppl music and saying "freaky" a lot. And he knew just how to build to the punchline, and send it over the cliff with that outrageous "midday at the grocery store" chant near the end. The star couldn't resist getting his name on a tune that puts a notch in the "has a sense of humor" belt, no shit, but the surprise is that people are singing this, not "What Goes Around," long after the video premiered on SNL. Fuck, he has to do it live to sate his minions. A

Justin Timberlake - "What Goes Around"

. . . Does it come around, Justin? Sometimes even the brightest pop stars can be just so fucking stupid. B-

Mistah Fab - "Ghost Ride It"

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Arcade Fire, Ted Leo, Modest Mouse, Deerhunter, Menomena, The Shins, Andrew Bird, Bright Eyes, all of you, fuck off. I don't need your emotional, meaningful, intelligent, thoughfully arranged bullshit. It is 2007 and I only care about one thing: the Bay area. Always obvious, always simple, always retarded to the zth degree, the wonderfully named Mistah Fab embodies hyphy, a genre that paints big globby portraits of D-U-M-B. If his brightly-colored video doesn't grab you, with people dancing on the hood and others driving outside a pimped-out Ghostbusters car, his duh! duh! duh! duh! Patrick Swayze and Casper jokes won't get you either. I'd like to point to his genius Ghostbusters theme-mimicking synth riff, but you're probably above that too. It's no fun to call it this early, but this is already in the running for Song of the Year. It'll be much more fun to hear the prigs argue about it. A+


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