September 24, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 15  

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Ryan Malcolm and Justin Timberlake fail to impress

the single guy
By: Brian Wong

Ryan Adams:
"So Alive"

The alt-country-rock poster boy with the shaggy hair gets a Brit-pop makeover - and a haircut. In under three-and-a-half minutes, Adams erases everything he's done in the past to go RIGHT TO the past and conjure up his best Morrissey, complete with echoed vocals. The track, slated to be on Adams' forthcoming Rock 'N' Roll album (due Nov. 4), is a glorious new wave number that begins with some energetic jangle guitar reminiscent of early U2, which eventually launches into the uplifting anthem of the chorus: "I am on your side/I'm so alive." It's retro Ryan and he rules!

Ryan Malcolm:
"Something More"

Okay, I will first publicly declare my love of Ryan Malcolm; he'd work in a pop-country-Elvis Costello kind of way, but this weak victor's single is nothing of that caliber and the lyric "I never wanted something more" makes me pray Malcolm is just joking. First unleashed last week during the final Canadian Idol shows, the song is just another tepid thank-you-for-this-moment Idol ballad; "A Moment Like This," "This is the Night," "Something More" - they're all in the same vein and it's a vein I wish I could cut open to make sure there really is blood in there.

Belle and Sebastian:
"Step Into My Office, Baby"

A song about office work (just like a day at The Gazette!) A song about having meetings (just like a day at The Gazette!) A song filled with sexual innuendo (oh, man. This is OUR song). This whimsical, upbeat single will have you doing a musical number in your place of work as you sing along to lines like "Wanna give you a job" and "I took down all she said/I even took down her little red dress." It's darkly comic, as sunny as the Beach Boys and a surefire way to feel some good vibrations during lunch hour.

Justin Timberlake:
"I'm Loving It"

I'm not.

"Signals Over the Air"

Fuck, if rock radio doesn't catch onto this song that has the words "signals," "air" and even "RADIO" in it, I just might lose all hope in the format (okay, I've already lost it - stop playing that Linkin Park/Evanescence shit). This track, off of their latest disc War All the Time, has been out for a while now. Also, as much as Thursday have been tagged an "emo" band, it's balance of moody, Cure-like melodies, propulsive chorus about sexual obsession and anguished cries makes it emotional without coming across as sappy. Terribly infectious.

Jennifer Lopez:
"Baby I Love U"

Aw. The latest single from J-Lo's This is Me... Then is a quietly elegant '60s girl group number that was probably once a declaration of love to Ben... but... not... anymore. Sob. I'm still devastated.



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