here they are:
"Just One of the Guys" by Jenny Lewis: The Rilo Kiley frontwoman's latest song is a piece of alt-country melancholia, centering around how she feels regret for how she just can't be "one of the guys" no matter how hard she tries. The titular phrase could be interpreted in one of two ways. It could refer to how she always feels like a female in a crowd full of males, or it could refer to how she doesn't feel like an individual even though she wants to be seen as one ("guys", in this case, would simply mean "people", referring to both genders). The second part of the chorus states that she also feels regretful about not having an open mind. The irony about the statements in this song are that she is incredibly individual, she usually blends in successfully with men (I particularly like it when she collaborates with Elvis Costello, which she has done a few times by now), and that she (as far as I know) does have an open mind. Is this a song of true regret, or just four minutes of sarcasm disguised as a lonesome country-rock song?! Perhaps we'll never know!
"Rent I Pay" by Spoon: It's been about four years since the indie-pop/rock quintet known as Spoon last released an album. Their simple but quirky name goes well with their musical style, which is also simple but quirky, influenced equally by rock, pop, and folk, with a dash of Elton John/Billy Joel-esque piano-pop thrown in there on occasion. Spoon's latest song, "Rent I Pay", almost seems like their attempt at trying to be The Rolling Stones, with its main riff sounding somewhat like a slowed down version of "Street Fighting Man". The lyrics, though, are pure Spoon. I mean honestly, would you expect Mick Jagger to have lyrics like, "that's the rent I pay/like my brother say"? Probably not. But such offbeat lyrics would seem pretty typical for a guy like Britt Daniel!
"Slow Motion" by Phox: Monica Martin is a black woman who leads an indie-folk-rock group!! Not every day you come across that! The instrumentation of "Slow Motion", the debut song from her band, Phox, is also something unusual, even by indie standards. In the beginning of the song, you think you're gonna get a bluegrass song, but it quickly turns into something that comes off as a cross between Florence & The Machine and The Kopecky Family Band. Top it all off with a clarinet solo in the middle, and a section towards the end with a slight reggae influence, and you've basically got a tasty indie-pop stew on your hands! "Everything I do, I do in slow motion", Monica sings during the chorus. An apt description for the song, but the eclectic mix of sounds chosen for the song seem like they were done in anything but slow motion!
"U Get Me High" by Tom Petty: Doesn't it bother you when musicians release one single off their new album one week, and then the VERY NEXT WEEK they release ANOTHER one?! Well, it bothers me!! This is exactly what Tom Petty did with his latest album, "Hypnotic Eye". "American Dream Plan B" was released last week, and now we have "U Get Me High". Not exactly as forceful and driving as "American Dream Plan B", but rest assured, "U Get Me High" is still good. It sounds a bit like something Petty might have done circa the mid '90s, using rock 'n' roll guitars with a mid-tempo drumbeat. This song may or may not be about drugs, as it is equally likely to be about a girl he's in love with, who gives him "something so deep". There's only one other complaint I have about this song, aside from its earlier than expected release date, and that is that eye don't no Y Tom Petty chose 2 have the letter "U" in the title of the song instead of the pronoun "you", with its proper spelling. Seriously, what did he have 2 do that 4?