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Ghostface: “Message From Ghost”
Ghostface gets tender here, turning in one for all the struggling ladies out there. His sentiments are right on, but his metaphors are another matter. “Your last man had you mad open like a pap smear, but that’s the past dear,” raps Ghost. In a word, yuck.

St. Vincent: “The Strangers”
Sure, there are fluttering synthesizers and big Disney-style arrangements, but look beneath the surface and St. Vincent isn’t playing it particularly cute these days. “Playboys under the mattress/ did you think I wouldn’t notice?” she sings, clearly unamused. Sounds like there’s trouble in paradise and a tear-streaked reconciliation doesn’t sound particularly close at hand. “Paint the black hole blacker,” the chimes a choir of over-dubbed St. Vincents during the chorus.

Redman & Method Man: “A Yo”
Wow, haven’t heard much from these guys in a while. Sounds like not a lot has changed for Method Man, his verses are still all about blunts and cars. Redman, on the other hand, seems to have been a little more industrious with his time. “I network on Myspace real late/hoping my Apple make me another Bill Gates,” he raps, snubbing Steve Jobs in favor of a better rhyme.

Akron/Family: “Everyone is Guilty”
Collectivist-rock band Akron/Family tightens up, forsaking the unfettered prog-rock of its earlier work for a soulful and somewhat straightforward afro-funk groove. These guys are hippies, though, so there are a few confusing psychedelic detours, but they’re well spent on a fuzzy psychedelic guitar solo and a wistful brass break down that down throw the song’s consistently sunny mood.