Songs of the Week: Drake, No Age, Curren$y, M.I.A., and John Mayer’s Broken Heart

Drake feat. James Fauntleroy, “On My Way”

Above: the week’s second-most important piece of art produced, intentionally or otherwise, by Aubrey Drake Graham. Below: the week’s most important piece of art produced, intentionally or otherwise, by Aubrey Drake Graham.

No Age, “No Ground”

Yeaaaaah, rock-and-roll music! Free-spirited and true! A clarion call of a face-punch of a bucket-of-water-to-the-head to always live your life entirely within the city limits of give-no-fucks rage-town shred-’em-all, USA! As premiered on NPR!!!!

Challenge of the Future, “You Can’t Call Off the Dog”

The story here is that, when he was at Bard, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs played in a band called Challenge of the Future that apparently wrecked their fair share of Annandale-On-Hudson ragers. Now, 12 years after disbanding, Zinner has brought ’em back together to raise money for the daughter of a former Bard classmate, Sebastian Quezada, who recently passed away. Even if the music wasn’t any good, it’d be a heartbreakingly tender thing to do. Thankfully, though, “Dog,” a slippery, shouty thing, goes.

M.I.A., “Bring the Noize”

I gotta say, I feel like M.I.A.’s working her comeback right. Since the disappointing // / Y / and Lynn Hirschberg’s infamous New York Times takedown (Trufflegate 4ever), the erstwhile Coolest Woman Alive has mostly laid low, popping up only to work indisputable bangers. First, there was “Bad Girls” and its long, movie-trailer-fueled shelf-life; now there’s “Bring the Noize,” a new bit of schizophrenic career boost (that also sounds, not in a bad way, a little like Die Antwoord). While we’re here: Let us always appreciate that M.I.A. is staging this slow-burn comeback from the debilitating consequences of a newspaper article.

Curren$y and Roddy, “Grizzly”

Oh, Roddy. You had me at “I’m self-made, man, never had to piggyback / Like Paul Pierce I’m the truth, no lying in these raps.”

John Mayer, “Paper Dolls”

As you might have heard, thanks to a few notable lyrical cues, this has widely been presumed to be John Mayer’s Taylor Swift revenge track. This kind of thing has been bandied about before by Swift’s musical ex-paramours (Joe Jonas, where you at), and I’m certainly glad someone’s finally gone through with it. The problem, though, is that “Paper Dolls” is waaaaay too subtle. John, my dude: Her song was called “DEAR JOHN.” You need to get back in the lab, cook it up, come back with something along the lines of “Taylor You Cuckoo We Only Nuzzled in the Back of My Prius Like Four Times.”

Robyn feat. Snoop Dogg, “U Should Know Better”

Why a video for this track years after the fact? In Robyn’s words: “[Stylist] Decida came along for a part of the European tour I was doing, we had dinner, drinks and laughs with Decida’s friend Pernilla and we were talking about how much Pernilla looks like Snoop. It was there and then that Decida and I decided to pursue our idea of making a video for ‘U Should Know Better’ where Snoop and I switch gender. All we needed to do was to find a “little Robyn” … Even though “U Should Know Better” was released a couple of years back … I wanted to make this video now anyway because the song is still banging and we had too much fun with this video idea to just sit on it.” The lesson: If it’s still “banging,” you get a late pass.

Eminem, “Symphony in H”

The “H” stands for Hemoglobin. No, it stands for Hamantaschen. No, it stands for pretty Horses. No, it stands for …

jj, “Fågelsången”

This new joint from Swedish duo jj will make you feel like running, arms outstretched, through a sun-drenched field of poppies. I hope they spend their Prozac-commercial money wisely.

Trick Daddy, “In Da Wind”

Just a brief, probably completely ineffective reminder that not all things related to the city of Miami are the absolute worst.

Filed Under: Drake, Eminem, John Mayer, Songs of the Week

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad