"Obsessed"

by Mariah Carey
(Island Def Jam)

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"Why are you obsessed with me?" you ask. And yeah, Mariah, I understand completely. I've known people like that—or really, stopped knowing them once they revealed themselves that way—and even beyond that, I think it's cute how you just give yourself over to The-Dream's Auto-Tune totally and only unleash the diva shit during the last half-minute or so, and then only in the background. Song gets chewier as it goes, too, especially that "OH-uh-uh-OH-OH" robo bit, which I love so much I want someone to spin it off into a song of its own. (Does -Dream do that elsewhere on your new album? If not, whose album will he do it for?) I could see this going up in score as the summer goes on. As for your question, well, I know you were just being coy and that it's an Eminem answer record—kind of late in the game, really (didn't he start talking shit about you a while ago?), but whatever. Honestly, I'm puzzled. Even after all these years and your many ups and downs and ice-cream freak-outs and broken contracts and divorce from the man who made your career, et-friggin'-cetera—I hate to break this to you, but you're really not that interesting.

"Bad Habits"

by Maxwell
(Sony)

As with Maxwell's recent single "Pretty Wings," the secret weapon here is the horns—they sneak into the arrangement about halfway into the track and then snake up front, where they belong. The song's very different, though: Its glide is mid-'70s (as are the horns), the rhythm is more important than the tune, and the tune is just fine. Last Tuesday when Maxwell was at the Paramount, "Bad Habits" was an easy highlight—not that the show needed any help.

"New Divide"

by Linkin Park
(Warner Bros.)

Might as well get my licks in now before this thing envelops the universe and becomes all we ever hear again as the last of our great megamalls dry up and turn to survivalist camps. The last thing anyone needs is to learn about redemption from the tortured-snowboarder demo.

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"Radio Self"

by Matt John
(Perlon)

Techno DJs usually take three tracks and make them sound like one, but on this 12-inch, Berlin's Matt John spends nine minutes making one track sound like three. It doesn't divide neatly and the beat doesn't change much, but with the pumping first third, the ruminatively jazzy electric piano of the middle, and a human-sounding synth finishing off, it doesn't need to. recommended

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