Kanye West, Jay-Z, and a stoned-sounding Michael Jackson dominate this week’s tracks
We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. That’s why we launched Playlisted, to share our latest recommendations of tracks music fans have to hear.
Kanye West ft. Jay-Z & Big Sean, “Clique”
While his G.O.O.D. Music crew’s record inches ever closer to release, Kanye West is doing his part to build the hype with troll-style lyrics and tons of Kardashian hand-holding. “Clique,” the latest track from the supposedly forthcoming G.O.O.D. Music record, is only out in snippets so far, but that’s enough for the Internet to be all atwitter about it. In West’s verse alone, he brags about his girlfriend’s sex tape, ponders the financial habits of former CIA head George Tenet, and references the Eiffel Tower—and that’s all in 30 seconds. Beyoncé’s lucky Jay-Z keeps their relationship semi-private.
Tim Vocals ft. Fred The Godson, “Trap Life (Remix)”
Young, hip R&B singers are big business in the music industry right now—just ask Frank Ocean. That bodes well for the similarly simply named Tim Vocals. The Harlem-based crooner’s latest mixtape, the appropriately titled Live From Harlem, covers all the R&B basics—love, romance, girls—while not skimping on all the good stuff—drugs, guns, and sex. Vocals’ “Trap Life (Remix)” turns Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” on its ear, turning the late icon’s song into a tale of stoned excess and street-corner hustling. This song’s for everyone who didn’t think The Wire was romantic enough.
Mixtapes, “Noon (Protest Song)”
From the completely opposite end of the spectrum comes Mixtapes’ “Noon (Protest Song),” a track that The A.V. Club is premièring in this week’s Playlisted. Reminiscent of The Moldy Peaches and No Idea-style anarcho-acoustic acts, the Cincinnati indie-pop act rails against scenes and egotism in this track, which is both minimal and charming. Originally issued as bonus material with the band’s 2011 LP Maps & Companions, the track is now part of How To Throw A Successful Party, a nine-song EP due out Oct. 30 on Animal Style Records.
Generationals, “Lucky Numbers”
While last year’s Actor-Caster was released on Park The Van records, Generationals have decided to go it alone for their forthcoming EP, Lucky Numbers. Out Oct. 2, the record showcases the best of the New Orleans duo’s synth-pop-lite stylings, which tend to be a little on the airy side. Just because something’s slight doesn’t mean it’s a throwaway, though. Tracks like “Lucky Numbers” can hit harder because no one expects them to.
Diana Krall, “Just Like A Butterfly That’s Caught In The Rain”
Speaking of fluffy, light stuff: Diana Krall’s latest, Glad Rag Doll, is due out Oct. 2. This time around, though, Krall’s gone for a slightly edgier sound, working with producer T-Bone Burnett. Unfortunately, “Just Like A Butterfly That’s Caught In The Rain” isn’t the best representation of that kind of grit, as it’s shellacked with Krall and Burnett’s mutual love for precious old-time music. Still, Krall’s incredibly good at what she does. Her tunes aren’t for everyone, but they should be. What she does might be coffee-shop rock, but it’s good coffee-shop rock.