Track Reviews

    ‘Today Was  a Fairytale’

    Taylor Swift

    Watertower Music

    Just in case “Valentine’s Day” doesn’t look cheesy enough, one of the film’s starlets has debuted a single to match its release. Yep, Taylor Swift’s “Today Was a Fairytale” is your latest Ben & Jerry binge song. As anyone well-versed in Swift knows, she’s good at three things: dropping Grammys, handling Kanye and crooning about unrequited love. “Fairytale” is no different from the pop melodies off 2008’s Fearless, except that it lacks the narrative that made “Love Story” a chart-topper. In place of plot, we get saccharine nothingness — “I wore a dress/ You wore a dark gray T-shirt/ You told me I was pretty when I looked like a mess” — and a lulling electric guitar to boot. Is it just me, or is this whole “White Horse” routine becoming white noise?

    — Jenna Brogan/Hiatus Editor

    ‘Stylo’

    Gorillaz

    Parlophone/Virgin

    After a five-year absence and being overtaken by obscurity (it’s hard to garner publicity when nobody sees a face behind the music), Gorillaz is back with “Stylo,” the first single leaked from Plastic Beach, their upcoming album due out March 9. The track revives the Gorillaz’ eclectic curiosity, delivering a dark synth-electro beat that meshes oddly well with distorted background choir. The lead voices, provided by the soulful Bobby Womack and ultra-cool Mos Def, lend a strange emotive power, bearing few similarities to the relaxed, freewheeling style evident on smash hit of yesteryear “Feel Good Inc.” While not a masterpiece, “Stylo” deserves props for eschewing your typical hot-hit formula in pursuit of uncommon — if not quite stunning — combination.

    — Imran Manji/Senior Staff Writer

    ‘Valleys of Neptune’

    Jimi Hendrix

    Legacy Records

    Forty years after Hendrix died, his estate is still releasing unfinished tracks like “Valleys of Neptune” — but without catchy hooks or trademark solos, “Valleys” doesn’t sound much like the rock god. The closest it gets to a famous guitar freakout is the intro: a schizoid, off-tempo instrumental breakdown that rolls right into the verse. Everything is muzzled behind the vocals, so it’s like a double-speed version of the melancholy “The Wind Cries Mary.” After a few listens, though, the track unlocks itself — the heavy, echoed guitar behind Hendrix’s forceful vocals gives the track a rambling energy. If you’re not too stubborn to let go of this guitar god’s glory tracks, “Valleys” will, at the very least, dust off your air-strument.

    -Matthew Pecot/Associate Hiatus Editor

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