[Originally published @ Birdseed Shirt, 24/06/2009]

U2 – Obsessed
Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance
Darius Rucker – Alright
Empire of the Sun – We Are the People
What happens when you mix David Bowie, Star Wars movie posters, and useless jargon like ‘electroacoustic’? Whatever it is, it’s called Empire of the Sun. It’s got the same strum-along groove as Milow Technology and ethereal synths, but it doesn’t really go anywhere, or justify its own existence. The fact that it reminds me of Weekend Wars, rather than one of MGMT’s three tolerable moments, condemns it.
Eels – Fresh Blood
Fight Like Apes – Something Global
High energy, overstuffed, synthy, fuzzy, nindie dance punk? I think I’m in love. These folks sound like a more straightforward female-fronted Los Campesinos! They have the same dense, meta lyrical tendencies and the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ musical approach. The lead singer’s voice at times lacks passion and presence – the vocals sound a bit removed – but the song swings and is catchy as hell. Give me my hook!, they shout on the chorus, but clearly already have it. They got me too: hook, line and sinker.
Maxwell – Pretty Wings
Clipse – Kinda Like a Big Deal
“I’m the reason the hood need a dental plan.” Also the reason why hipsters need a punch in the mouth. How many tired coke punchlines do we need from technically skilled rappers before we can move on to new topics? On Hell Hath No Fury, Golden Era Neptunes horror-house beats resuscitated the lamer moments, but the beat here is nothing special. That said, it’s good to hear Kanye moving out of EmoTune mode and back to making corny punchlines about TJ Maxx and SpecEd blowjobs.
Kasabian – Fire
Keyshia Cole – Trust
Jonas Brothers – Paranoid
Manic Street Preachers – Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks
Sean Paul – So Fine
Lenka – The Show
Six-ish months after this song was inescapable on Canadian radio, I still have no clue whether or not it’s harmless and a little bit drama school, or insufferably Diablo Cody. The hook feels like it was composed in a basement, on an out-of-tune piano, by an old Jewish couple in 1920s New York. If one half of the couple was Max Martin and the other half was named ‘Mabel’. This is a good thing.
Drake – Best I Ever Had
Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
Lady GaGa – Paparrazi
Little Boots – Remedy
Coeur de Pirate – Comme des Enfants
Wale ft. Lady GaGa – Chillin’
Kissy Sell Out – The Kiss
Cascada – Evacuate the Dancefloor


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