"Flash Delirium"

by MGMT
(Columbia)

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Hey, look, guys—it's the mid-'60s! How do we know? The flute player sounds like he's accidentally drunk the punch at an early Acid Test, for one thing. For another, vocalist Andrew VanWyngarden sounds like he got lost on his way to his tryout for the Byrds. The fact that the song seems like sketches for a dozen different songs all strung together helps, too—as does the fact that they sound like they're worried and giggling at once.

"Bulletproof"

by La Roux
(Polydor)

Hey, look, guys—it's the late '80s! How do we know? A synth line and perky drum programming somewhere between Latin freestyle and a Bally/Midway sound card (Ms. Pac-Man, maybe? Joust?), and a vocal so in-the-red trebly it could puncture Taylor Dayne's eardrums. This actually hit last year all over Europe, but now the song is attacking American pop radio, and it won't stop till it gobbles all the pellets.

"Hole in My Heart"

by Alphabeat
(Universal)

Hey, look, guys—it's the early '90s! How do we know? Piano and string pads taken straight from Black Box, itchy strobe-synths with real Snap! to them, boy-girl vocals that cross Ace of Base with Real McCoy. Since I fell flat on my face for these Danes' early-'80s redux "Fascination" two years ago, it's good to hear them progress, in some sense—and lord knows they write better songs than, say, Lenny Kravitz. Far more importantly, they make better cheese—the most important ingredient in any Europop recipe.

"Telephone"

by Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé
(Interscope)

Hey, look, guys—it's the mid-'90s! How do we know? Well, when was the last time anyone got this excited over Quentin Tarantino? Or, more accurately, a Tarantino rip-off as shameless as the extended video for this song—a Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels that dares to admit what it's doing. Signal difference between then and now: Tarantino would have made up his own succession of front-and-center corporate logos.

"Yaba-daba-du (Come Mierda—JerkBow)"

by AR Boyz Ent Jerk LR Ley del Rap
(MP3)

Hey, look, guys—it's 2010! How do we know? When else could a Dominican group put together a reggaeton-­jerkin' rap hybrid and disseminate it through YouTube to the delight of dance-craze fans worldwide? Or maybe it's actually 1960, the year The Flintstones introduced the phrase "Yabba-dabba-doo!" to the lexicon. Either way, this is oddly reassuring. recommended