"Window Seat"

by Erykah Badu
(Universal Motown)

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"Jump Up in the Air (Stay There)"

by Erykah Badu feat. Lil Wayne and Bilal

Nimble, simple, comfortable, "Window Seat" is the sound of Badu settling back into the groove she jettisoned for her last album. "Don't want nobody sitting next to me," she avers, and competition-wise she has nothing to worry about. "Jump Up," the online-only "bonus track" for New Amerykah Part Two, grabs a chunk of the P-Funk All Stars' "Hydraulic Pump," slows it just enough to make it viscous, and enlists a couple friends to help her make the title manifest.

"Haven't Met You Yet"

by Michael Bublé

Don't tell my mother, whom I mock for loving him to pieces, but Bublé is genuinely not bad. It's taken two dozen or so hearings of this song on the radio to convince me—not to mention the "Ham and Bubbly" sketch on SNL—but what decided it was when I realized that this reminded me of Rufus Wainwright's "April Fools," only more pop. So I give.

"The City Never Sleeps"

by the Crystal Ark

Gavin Russom's releases on DFA (under several names) are analog-synthesizer showcases that unfurl as long as they feel like: This 12-inch goes on for 12 and a half minutes. It's Russom at his best—a grinding beat, droning bass, and of course flickering expand/contract keyboards creating a vortex that smiles and snarls in equal measure.

"Kaychunk"/"You Know What I Feel"

by Kyle Hall

Everybody's favorite teenage Detroit producer puts both hands in Hyperdub Records' cement, rather than just the fingerprint he'd made with his remix of Darkstar's "Aidy's Girl Is a Computer." "Kaychunk" lays octave-leaping bass over Philip Glassy piano flourishes, and "You Know What I Feel" is something like a dubstep lullaby.

"Pain in the Ass"/"I'm Gonna Get You"

by Nina Kraviz

A Russian techno love goddess: killer DJ, great producer, memorably sultry voice, and lyrics that are not shy. "Love is such a pain/The greatest pain in the ass/You never know how to deal with it," she moans over jittery programming, before getting to "Go slow/Get my body to the brink." The B-side sends up a would-be lothario: "My cock is so hard it hurts," she mocks, before sending the scenario stage left.


by Avril Lavigne
(Buena Vista)

Who better to evoke the candy-colored psychedelic Wonderland of Alice than someone who couldn't yawn without it seeming stage managed? recommended