ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The Hova goes out in style
the single guy
By Brian Wong
To launch the cleverly-titled Black Album due Nov. 28, the jigga man, the young hova, Jay-Z has chosen an upbeat Neptunes-produced track featuring Pharrell Williams (Note to self: add "jigga" and "hova" to MS Word dictionary). The inspiration is a hot and sunny day in the '70s, banging out a laid-back groove about, well, changing clothes. Yes, it's a simple concept, but kind of charming in that Am?ie sort of way.
Chemical Brothers feat. K-OS:
"Get Yourself High"
The Bros. bring in acclaimed Toronto rapper K-OS for the second single from the recently released Singles 93-03 collection, proving that (a) new tracks on greatest hits compilations don't have to suck and (b) the duo of Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands are still cool after all these years. With some hard-edged robotic synths and K-OS's buoyant rhymes, consider this the electro-hip-hop meeting of the year.
Electronic artist Rjyan Kidwell drops his latest album Maryland Mansions on Nov. 18 and previews it with this layered, ominous hip-hop track about the pressures of the music biz. The Baltimore native turns up the echo on the guitars and the distortion on the vocals as he agonizes over the "temporary sanity in this anorexic vanity business."
I used to love this woman. But the once-provocative Amos is sounding really tired these days. So what does she do? She tries to breathe new life into an early b-side by re-recording a SLOWER version of it for her Tales of a Librarian: A Tori Amos Collection disc (out Nov. 18). Snooze. Gone are the energetic, '80s rock-ballad aspirations of the original and replacing it is a bland mix about as exciting as the next Sarah McLachlan single.
On this reflective "ode" to Jessica Simpson, Adam Green of New York lo-fi folk group The Moldy Peaches muses about the goody-two-shoes, pop-star-turned-reality-TV-star's wrong turns and "fraudulent smile." The high production values - at least, "high" for Green - make the guitars and strings grandiose as Green delivers gems like the opening line: "Jessica Simpson/Where has your love gone?/It's not in your music, no."