October 15 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 25  

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Fred Durst with Halle Berry?

the single guy
By: Brian Wong

Gazette file photo
FRED AND HALLE SITTIN’ IN A TREE. Now that Freddy Durst’s a sensitive soul, he gets to swap spit with classy chicks like Halle Berry in music videos.

No Doubt: “It’s My Life”

With the band’s recent flirtations with new-wave synths, it’s fitting for No Doubt to cover Talk Talk’s ultra-catchy 1984 angst-ridden hit for their upcoming singles collection (out Nov. 11). Gwen Stefani and company stick faithfully to the original, but inject the track with an updated punch — the drums are as crisp as the beats in The Clash’s “Train in Vain,” the bass is more sinister and the chorus explodes with Stefani’s cry-baby voice.

The Shins: “So Says I”

After an acclaimed debut, Albuquerque’s The Shins are doing nothing to shake off their lo-fi popsters tag. But who needs to when this melody shifts from sunny and soulful to severe and stubborn? “So Says I” (from Chutes Too Narrow, out Oct. 21) is another dirty hippie gem influenced by the ’60s/’70s that will give The Strokes a run for their money in the retro-rock game.

Basement Jaxx ft. Dizzee Rascal: “Lucky Star”

Like Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge, the first single from the U.K. DJ duo’s upcoming Kish Kash disc (out Oct. 21) is a mish mash of styles to create an assaulting tour-de-force that wins you over by its vivacity and excessive excitement. Mercury Prize-winning rapper Dizzee Rascal practically spits out his rhymes over a wild dance track that sounds like a blend of The Prodigy, Neptunes, Nine Inch Nails, Chemical Brothers, Kylie Minogue, the Middle East and kung-fu.

Christina Aguilera:
“The Voice Within”

There’s no doubt Aguilera has the voice within, but at times, I’d wish she’d keep it within. The fifth single from her Stripped record is an infinitely better ballad than that trite piece of “Beautiful” garbage and even has a jazz-inflected chorus, but once again Aguilera unnecessarily uses her vocals to blow the roof off the house instead of showing some Norah Jones-style restraint that keeps the quiet elegance in the room.

Limp Bizkit:
“Behind Blue Eyes”

I hate Fred Durst. And everyone else does too. But the band responsible for mostly bone-crushing songs without any real meat surprisingly gets its act together on this Who cover in which Durst eschews the usual boasts to “break you” for some earnest sensitivity. The acoustic guitar-based song (lead track to the Gothika soundtrack) incorporates a trip-hop beat and best of all is the robotic Speak ‘N’ Spell voice that spells out “LIMP” during the track’s middle section. And that kiss between Durst and Halle Berry in the video isn’t as gross as we expected.



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