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Rihanna Reunites with Calvin Harris for “This Is What You Came For”

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Rihanna Reunites with Calvin Harris for “This Is What You Came For”

Rihanna x Stance

Rihanna Reunites with Calvin Harris for “This Is What You Came For”

Rihanna’s latest album, Anti, is notable for its dearth of dance beats. The EDM bubble has, of course, deflated, if not burst, but some of the singer’s biggest hits have beckoned listeners to the dance floor: “Pon de Replay,” “SOS,” “Don’t Stop the Music,” “Only Girl (In the World).” Her crowning achievement in the genre is her collaboration with Scottish super-DJ/producer Calvin Harris, “We Found Love,” a song our own Eric Henderson once claimed “makes the urge to get turnt up feel like an almost religious impulse.”

Single Review: Gwen Stefani, “Baby Don’t Lie”

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Single Review: Gwen Stefani, “Baby Don’t Lie”
Single Review: Gwen Stefani, “Baby Don’t Lie”

From her collaborations with electronic pioneer Moby and rapper Eve to her ’80s dance-pop and R&B-influenced albums Love. Angel. Music. Baby. and The Sweet Escape, Gwen Stefani’s solo work has always given her the opportunity to explore genres and styles outside the already eclectic No Doubt brand. And while the singer’s appearance on DJ/producer Calvin Harris’s upcoming V promises to continue that tradition, it comes as a bit of a surprise that her long-awaited solo comeback single, “Baby Don’t Lie,” doesn’t venture too far from her band’s established template. Co-written by Benny Blanco and Ryan Tedder, the midtempo pop song finds Stefani effortlessly grooving to a reggae-flavored beat and an admittedly catchy hook, complete with her signature yelp, but it hews too close to the sound of No Doubt’s slept-on sixth album, Push and Shove, for which Stefani partly shelved her thriving solo career for eight long years. And a hip-hop-inflected breakdown, in which the Voice star raps, “You can tell me what you’re hidin’ boy/And you can tell me if I’m gettin’ warm,” feels forced, even for the eternally youthful Stefani, on an otherwise breezy track.

The 10 Best Cover Songs from Tori Amos’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour

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The 10 Best Cover Songs from Tori Amos’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour
The 10 Best Cover Songs from Tori Amos’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour

Tori Amos is best known for her brutally honest, often opaque original songs, like “Silent All These Years” and “Caught a Lite Sneeze,” but longtime fans also know her to be a consummate interpreter of other musicians’ work. In 2001, Amos released Strange Little Girls, a collection of songs originally written and performed by men, and she’s covered the music of everyone from Joni Mitchell to Metallica during her live shows. The crimson-haired singer-songwriter’s Unrepentant Geraldines Tour features a segment coined the Lizard Lounge, in which she performs covers selected by fans, and her Tori-fied renditions of Radiohead’s “Creep” and Madonna’s “Frozen,” not to mention a mashup of songs by feuding songstresses Sinéad O’Connor and Miley Cyrus, recently got the blogosphere buzzing. Amos, who celebrates her 51st birthday tomorrow, wraps up the North American leg of her tour in the great state of Florida this weekend, and while there’s bound to be more gems given the straddled-piano-bench treatment when she hits Australia in November (our pick: Aussie pop icon Kylie Minogue’s “Slow”), here are our favorites from 2014 so far.

Grammy 2014 Winner Predictions

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Grammy 2014 Winner Predictions
Grammy 2014 Winner Predictions

Starting tomorrow, we’ll predict the winners in all four General Field categories of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, airing Sunday night on CBS. To kick things off, though, here are our thoughts on some of the smaller categories:

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: If this category is indeed meant to honor performance and collaboration, it’s hard to argue with the crossover synergy of Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines,” whereby Pharrell supplies the Marvin Gaye sample (plus those all-important head-bobs), while Thicke brings the yelps, grunts, and falsetto blue-eyed R&B flourishes that critics have admired for a full decade, even as Thicke failed to drop a #1 single. That single is here, and we suspect it means Thicke will be taking home at least one tchotchke on Grammy night. Ted Scheinman

The Killers Team Up with M83’s Anthony Gonzalez on New Single “Shot at the Night”

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The Killers Team Up with M83’s Anthony Gonzalez on New Single “Shot at the Night”
The Killers Team Up with M83’s Anthony Gonzalez on New Single “Shot at the Night”

With just four albums and about as many recognizable hits under their belts, the Killers have announced plans for a greatest hits collection. Direct Hits (the cover is a bullseye—get it?) drops November 11th, and will feature Hot Fuss tracks like “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” as well as a new Calvin Harris remix of “When You Were Young,” the lead single from 2006’s Sam’s Town. The album will also boast two new songs: “Just Another Girl,” produced by Stuart Price, who was at the helm of 2008’s Day & Age, and “Shot at the Night,” recorded with M83’s Anthony Gonzalez, who was reportedly recommended to the band by their record label. The sparkly “Shot at the Night” immediately announces itself as a Gonzalez track, but it also recalls the Killers’ past gospel-infused efforts. It might not be either the band’s or Gonzalez’s best work, but it’s a promising direction for Brandon Flowers and company. Listen below.