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Wale: “Pretty Girls” Wale reps DC, his hometown, hard in this song, which is rumored to be drawn from his upcoming debut full-length Attention:Deficit. “Come to DC and I can make you a believer,” he raps over a slow and funky hook. But Wale’s forgetting that DC, well NW at least, has long been characterized as “Hollywood for ugly people.” So there’s a good chance his chant-along chorus, “Ugly girls be quiet/Pretty girls clap like this,” will leave local audiences largely un-stoked.
Girls: “Hellhole Ratrace” Band name aside, Girls isn’t offering up a whole lot that has to do with the female sex. Every spare measure of “Hellhole Ratrace,” is chock full of men. Wistful men. Melancholy men. Men feeling the great heartbreak. But, yeah, men all the same. “I don’t want to cry my whole life through/ I want to do some laughing, too,” mopes singer Christopher Owens. Strong men also cry, but this song, which stretches to almost 7 minutes, is positively bloated with tears.
Jonsi & Alex: “Boy 1904” Sigur Ros front man Jonsi Brigisson and his partner Alex Somers have more streamlined approach to provoking elegiac thoughts. With it’s low drones, boys choir-style vocals, and field recording snippets, “Boy 1904,” from the duo’s upcoming ambient album Riceboy Sleeps, makes almost any activity performed during the songs duration feel sublime and cathartic. All that’s missing is a rain-streaked window to gaze out of.
Air: “Do The Joy” Air isn’t big on substance, obviously, and “Do the Joy,” from its upcoming record Love 2 is appropriately ethereal. There are gossamer synths, fuzzy guitars, and the a voice that quietly murmurs, “Do the joy” over and over again, yet refrains from specifying exactly how ones does it. Conceptually, it’s a minor step down from, say, “Surfing on a Rocket.”