Track Reviews

    ‘All We Do Is Win’

    DJ Khaled

    We the best/ E1 music

    The fact that DJ Khaled’s latest has a guest list three times as long as the track’s title should be a blood-red flag for the rap-game weary. He tried the same thing four years ago with “We Takin’ Over,” but at least back then, Lil Wayne still had something to say. This time, all Khaled pulls from Ludacris and Co. is masturbatory filler, with whoops whenever Luda pauses for a breather. Though a couple rising synths do lend the beat weight, all illusion of epic climax is stretched too thin for even Snoop Dogg to save. T-Pain isn’t inspired into exploring the great big world outside his new iPhone App, either, wheezing through the Auto-Tuned chorus until his screeches of “Win!” have degraded him from “I’m on a Boat” legend to yesterday’s squeeze toy.

    — Matthew Pecot

    Associate Hiatus Editor

    ‘Let It Be’

    Kris Allen

    19 recordings/ jive

    Nothing like a tragedy to bring out the talentless hacks for a bit of media attention — somehow Kris Allen, the forgettable winner of last season’s “American Idol,” managed to butcher the Beatles’ classic “Let It Be” in the name of helping Haiti. Allen’s whiny, hyper-emotive voice cuts in over the contemplative piano riff, caterwauling the lyrics with self-absorbed sentimentality. Allen’s forced vibrato and his insistence on deviating from the original melody detracts from its raw beauty, and in an egotistic attempt at showcasing his voice, Allen trashes the original’s grandiose middle section and choral backing — amounting to a substance-less diddy. He might as well be singing in the shower.

    — Bryan Kim

    Staff Writer

    ‘Cause and Effect’

    Prince

    NPG RECORDS

    The fresh batch of fans Prince collected after his rock medley Super Bowl 51 performance will probably be thrown off by the funkadelic start of “Cause and Effect.” A wah-wah guitar rocks the intro over a fake crowd before downshifting into pop-rock blues, a launch point from which Prince’s high-pitched quaver slithers into your head and sticks. A synthesized string orchestra and an interlude where Prince addresses the fake crowd keep “Cause” unpredictable and engaging. The fact that this doesn’t make the track a confusing mess is a testament to the production quality of this fresh and solid song from the Artist Formerly Known as the Love Symbol.

    — Bryan Kim

    Staff Writer

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