February 4, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 69  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Janet Jackson dishes mall-pop cheese

the single guy
by brian wong

N.E.R.D.:
“She Wants to Move”


The lead-off single for N.E.R.D.’s sophomore record Fly or Die (out Tuesday, Mar. 9) isn’t much of a departure from their previous efforts, but why tweak a good formula? For a club song about seeing that hot girl with her protective boyfriend, Pharrell and the under-appreciated Chad Hugo use live percussion, synths, heavy breathing and a menacing guitar riff to come up with another randy solution of rock and R&B that’s sexy, and more importantly, sleazy.

Janet Jackson:
“Just a Little While”


Escaping the darkness — and greatness — of her mid-’90s work, the mentor of lip-synching pop tarts goes for a happy-go-lucky number that attempts to capture the perkiness of early rock ’n’ roll and Prince-style funk. However, she ends up with a lightweight pop nugget that sounds like it would be perfect for hawking bottles of carbonated beverages and Dentyne. The unofficial first single off Janet’s Damita Jo disc (out Tuesday, Mar. 30) is sugar-free, mall-pop cheese — and not nearly as raunchy and slutty as I hoped — but it’s still better than anything on the vapid and brainless All for You album.

Kylie Minogue:
“Red Blooded Woman”


After taking it slow, Kylie finally gets to the point: “This girl wants to rock with you,” begs the sassy, horse-toothed siren on the new single off her Body Language disc, which finally gets a North American release next Tuesday. Minogue makes it clear she has needs, and ponders why she’s still hanging around this dude who keeps turning it on, then turning it down [Note to Kylie: your dude fanbase, while very, very attractive, is also very, very GAY]. The track meticulously rips off the pop-noir, synth-laden R&B of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River,” complete with operatic background vocals and Timbaland-esque beats, but whatever — it’s just too damn smooth to complain about.

Peaches feat. Iggy Pop:
“Kick It”


On this two-and-a-half minute barebones punk number from her Fatherfucker record, electro-raunch priestess Peaches trades rhymes with the godfather of punk, promising to tear it up, rip it up and kick it up. Lots of yelling ensues.
Peaches: Some people don’t like my crotch!
Iggy: Because it’s got fuzzy spots!
The Single Guy: Hahaha! That’s awesome!

John Mayer:
“Clarity”


He still sings like this: “AnIwilwaitofiinifthiswilasforevehhhhbehhyehhh... ” But my fear of suffering through another mellow, acoustic, coffeehouse snoozer was subsided when the twinkling of piano keys, steady handclaps and jubilant brass slowly accumulated into a passionately tumultuous swirl. I never thought I would say this, but good work, John Mayer. However, points lost for hooting like an owl.

 

 

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