Rick Ross & Jay-Z, “The Devil Is a Lie”: Hip-hop titans Rick Ross and Jay-Z have joined forces for a new track from—presumably, considering the lyrics—the former’s forthcoming album, Mastermind. Rumored to drop before the end of 2013, the album is now expected sometime next year.
Rick Ross (#1–10 of 4)
Deerhoof, “The Trouble with Candyhands.” Evidently drawing from a different set of influences than they did on their last two outings, which both displayed a more straightforward yet still precisely Deerhoof-y eccentricity, San Francisco’s indie-rock veterans’ upcoming album, Breakup Song, is being billed as a showcase of “Cuban-flavored party-noise-energy music.” A track from the album, the groovy “The Trouble with Candyhands,” is a funky federation of Latin jazz and the band’s signature idiosyncratic pop, resulting in a head-bobbing crowd-pleaser that places Satomi Matsuzaki’s breezy, nonconforming vocals and John Dieterich’s robust guitar licks alongside silky-smooth horn and piano. Refreshing that, 18 years after their formation, Deerhoof can still reinvent themselves with such ease. Mike LeChevallier
Mariah Carey might be the most reactionary pop star of all time. Her creative decisions are seemly driven not by an artistic muse, but by a desire to maintain commercial viability. It’s likely the result of being so intimately involved with her expectedly money-minded record-label handlers early in her career, when she was amassing gold and breaking records like Michael Phelps. Mariah has always been obsessed with the past (specifically, recreating it), sometimes resulting in sublime nostalgia (as on “The Roof”), but more often coming off as pathologically regressive (embodied by her perpetuation of the male fantasy of woman-as-little-girl, which neutralizes whatever command it might seem like she has over her own sexual image). If you thought motherhood might change Mimi’s tune, or at least push her in a new direction, her new single’s artwork, previewed by the singer a few days ago, quickly put those hopes to rest: Scantily clad in a flesh-colored, peek-a-boo “dress,” Mariah is airbrushed into a literal cartoon version of herself…circa 1997, of course.
Tanlines, “Brothers.” It would be easy to dismiss the understated “Brothers,” the first single from Tanlines’ upcoming debut, Mixed Emotions. Evocative of the Brooklyn duo’s Tropicalian “Real Life,” the track is drenched in the kind of jungle-thumping world pop that so endeared Vampire Weekend to the indie world four years ago. But to call “Brothers” derivative is to overlook its quiet appeal, a combination of warm, pulsating crescendos and syncopated Afro beats. United by the low, plaintive chanting of vocalist Jesse Cohen, “Brothers” is both seductive and deliberate, and hopefully indicative of Mixed Emotions’s overall mood. Kevin Liedel