Singles File: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, T.I. and Jay-Z, Plus the Beach Boys
A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind.
Lil Wayne, Kanye West, T.I. and Jay-Z: "U Ain't Neva Gotta Ask"
It's not exactly a "Swagga Like Us" sequel, but this Dem Jointz-produced mash-up is the most interesting thing Lil Wayne's done in months. And it's at least the second or third best song ever loosely constructed around a "Careless Whisper" sample.
Beach Boys: "Fallin' in Love"
For reasons that are probably very complicated, this Dennis Wilson-penned track never made it onto the Beach Boys' album for which it was probably intended, 1970's "Sunflower." Wilson recorded a version, released overseas, with Daryl Dragon (the Captain from the Captain and Tennille), but stateside copies have been hard to come by until now. This lush, string-heavy version, newly mixed in stereo, appears on the new "Summer Love Songs" compilation.
We're not sure what this impossibly adorable, all-girl Swedish trio are singing about, exactly (we're not even sure they're singing in English). But their giddy new track, which sounds like it was written with glitter pen in a Hello Kitty notebook, brings to mind a mix of the Bangles, the Shangri-La's and "99 Luftballons"-era Nena.
Rhett Miller: "I Need to Know Where I Stand"
Winsome, amiable Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller has made a handful of much-loved, little heard solo albums (including '02's super-awesome "The Instigator"). On his new single, he wants his partner to be more affectionate, and to talk about their relationship a lot. Which is usually something only girls want, but he's sensitive like that.
Hurricane Chris featuring Ludacris, Beenie Man, Lil Boosie, Yo Gotti, Pitbull, Yung Joc and C-Ride: "Halle Berry (She's Fine)" (Extended Remix)
On this overlong musical excuse for a restraining order, Chris and friends wax philosophical about Berry's various attributes. It's kind of sweet, really, although the part about "Hips wider than a Mack truck" she might not appreciate so much.
-- Allison Stewart