Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys – ‘Empire State of Mind’: I’ve missed Alicia’s sexual voice. It’s been too long – apart from the tragic wannabes whining through ‘Fallin’’ on X-Factor, of course.
I’m still not sure how I feel about post-retirement Jay-Z, but this track sticks, and I think it’s down to a fabulous combination of the relentlessly upbeat, sparkling piano comping and Keys’ incredibly capable vocals.
Wolfgang Gartner – ‘Firepower’: In y’all missed it, this is the new face of electro. The latest in a stream of strong releases over the last year, this is so dirty you’ll need to have a shower after listening to it.
It sounds like someone chopped up a Justice track and used a dada technique to put it back together – excellent!
Vampire Weekend – ‘Horchata’: Vampire Weekend won the hearts of many with their sunny Paul Simon rip-off afrobeat last year. They also attracted a whole lotta hate. This continues to perpetuate their spatial, upbeat, strongly melodic beach-pop. Native drums and bubbling electronics can’t hide a retread of old ideas. This won’t upset the lovers nor quell the haters.
Chromeo – ‘Night By Night’: The disco duo are back, wielding yet another 80s inspired electro-funk tune to please our ears. It could have come straight from the soundtrack to Dynasty – an unashamed throwback to the era. But don’t worry – the Joan Collins-esque big hair and even bigger shoulder pads are optional this time around. A breezy track with that casual head-nodding quality about it, this is a wholesome sample from the band’s forthcoming LP.