Track Reviews – 1/13/11

‘H.A.M.’
Kanye West & Jay-Z
Roc-A-Fella

After 2010’s chart-topper My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye’s much-anticipated collaboration with Jay-Z on Watch the Throne single “H.A.M” falls far short of the hype.

“H.A.M.” opens to a scattered robotic beat that builds into a melodramatic and frantic crescendo of “O Fortuna” wailers. Over the clamor, Kanye, followed by Jay-Z’s baritone, raps with uncommitted apathy, as the duo spits lack-luster rhymes that fall short of even MBDTF’s simple prose. It’s like a “who’s biggest” com- petition of lyrical duds — with “this a new crack on a new stove” (Kanye) and “I swam waters with great whites” (Jay-Z). But the biggest lyrical offense is courtesy of the song’s title — possibly the worst acronym every birthed by the hip-hop genre — “H.A.M.,” which we’re supposed to believe stands for HardAsaMotherfucker. Not that Yeezy cares (as usual). “I’m about to go HAM,” Kanye yells — go hog wild, you crazy motherfucker. (3/10)

– Neda Salamat

‘Hold It Against Me’
Britney Spears
Jive Records

Our gal Britney has come a long way since her “Oops I Did It Again” glory days. But even after a few kids in the oven, Britney isn’t doing so bad for herself; though sterile as ever, her last album Circus was an unabashed return to picture-perfect pop form. But for “Hold It Against Me,” the first single of her new album, Britney and producers Max Martin and Dr. Luke decide to hop on the wagon of the latest dance music trends, throwing together David Guetta-style Euro synths with a hint of — wait for it — dubstep, and it’s not exactly a winning combination.

Britney’s voice sounds like her typical fembot self, but when layered upon a horribly asthmatic beat, the few charms of its artifi- ciality are worn thin. The pop star’s voice is so banal that the lyrics are irrelevant, even when she’s spouting controversial innuendo (The Bellamy Brother claim the song’s lyric “If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?” comes from their 1978 hit). (4/10)

– Arielle Sallai

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$200
$500
Contributed
Our Goal