EW Staff
January 13, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

Download This Special: Songs by The Strokes, Korn, and others

It seems the iPod nation is happier with playlists and mixtapes than old-fashioned long-players. (Want proof? Take a look at 2005’s sorry album sales.) To cater to that short-attention-span audience, here’s another expanded edition of our Download This column, filled with 15 great songs to get you through the musical Death Valley that is January. The selections range from Southern soul to Australian girl-punk to Jamaican roots reggae. There’s no common thread, except that they’re top-quality tunes from the past few months that weren’t released as singles — so you might have missed them. You can find links to all of these songs at EW.com/downloads — including an EW exclusive from Sub Pop Records. So log on, download, and bliss out.

Blame that damn prison sentence: ”Slippin” catches LIL’ KIM in a stormy mood, dissing detractors, the government, the media, lawyers, and pretty much anyone she can think of over a G-funk beat so eerie, it induces chills. Buy the track on Rhapsody

Nostalgic reggae fans and dancehall-loving youngsters will dig the sweetly addictive ”All Night,” where DAMIAN MARLEY spits quick-tongued ribaldry about an extremely, shall we say, needy girlfriend over a swinging ’60s Skatalites sample. Don’t even try resisting its charms. Buy the track on Yahoo

No, hip-hop ham JUELZ SANTANA‘s ”Changes” isn’t a Bowie cover. Evoking the pop-friendly vibe of Jay-Z’s ”Hard Knock Life,” the song bounds along with an undeniable vibrancy. Buy the track on Rhapsody

Swedish pop phenom ROBYN‘s eponymous 2005 album isn’t officially out in the U.S. but you can avoid import prices by sampling her Björk-meets-Missy style — including the pounding heartbreaker ”Be Mine.” Buy the track on iTunes

The widely web-shared ”I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” was the ARCTIC MONKEYS‘ calling card; the U.K. foursome’s high-wire swagger works just as well on ”Fake Tales of San Francisco,” a riffy, electrified call-and-response that’ll appear on Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (Domino), due Stateside next month. Buy the track on iTunes

It hasn’t sold as well as their 2004 debut, but FRANZ FERDINAND‘s second album has plenty of keepers. Prime example: ”What You Meant,” which works their patented quiet-loud dynamics and scream-along choruses into a frothy, sweaty stomp. Buy the track on Yahoo

EW Exclusive A song about the power of melody and memory? Seems pretty corny, until you hear the wistful McCartneyesque trippy pop of San Francisco one-man band KELLEY STOLtZ‘s ”Memory Collector.” It’s two minutes of staccato piano vamps and one very hummable hook. Buy the track on Sub Pop Records

Promising ”I won’t budge,” rapper LIL WAYNE summons the pain and determination of his New Orleans community over a sultry, Isaac Hayes-style backdrop on ”Hustler Musik.” Buy the track on Rhapsody

Their new album dips into wonky guitar soloing and haze-free production at times, but THE STROKES still sound great when they sound like the Strokes, as on the knotty relationship plea ”Razorblade.” Buy the track on Yahoo

Jam-prone rockers MY MORNING JACKET flaunt their experimental urges with the dubby ”Wordless Chorus.” Even when singer Jim James lets loose a batch of primordial howls, his meaning is clear — and funky. Buy the track on iTunes

While we’re all waiting for the next Avril album to crash down, eyeliner-loving Australian twins THE VERONICAS are filling the angsty mall-punk void with ”Everything I’m Not.” Buy the track on Rhapsody

We’re cheating on this one, but ”Black Cab,” which originated on a 2004 EP and reappears on sweet Swede JENS LEKMAN‘s 2005 full-length Oh You’re So Silent Jens (Secretly Canadian), is a gem. A jangly folk-pop anthem imbued with Jonathan Richman whimsy and Leonard Cohen melancholia. Buy it at Emusic

Freak meets funk on KORN‘s ”Open Up,” six roller-coaster minutes of glam crooning and crunchy bass grooves. It’s catchy enough that you’ll be singing along with nasty, head-scratching lines like ”Choking you gently, gaining control/Hand you the shovel, to dig your own hole.” Therapy, anyone? Buy the track on iTunes

”Everybody needs love in their lives,” sings earthy Southern soul man ANTHONY HAMILTON on his sublime gospel-reggae jam ”Everybody.” It’s a good piece of advice. Want another? Spinning this sunny slice of spiritual soul is a guaranteed attitude-improver. Buy the track on Rhapsody

We’re smitten with ”Bird on a Wire,” the lead-off track from ROGUE WAVE‘s Descended Like Vultures (Sub Pop). The chorus — with its indelible honey-dipped melody — flashes its pretty feathers first; the instrumentation’s grand, psychedelic sweep digs in its talons soon after; just dont ask us what the song’s actually about. Buy the track on iTunes

Do Not Download! ”In Portuguese it means bring your ass,” explains Über?baby daddy KEVIN FEDERLINE on his treacherous debut single, ”PopoZão.” The soul-snuffing, repetitive booty shaker is — believe it or not — worse than expected. Warning: Exposure to the hip-hop abomination leads to major depletion of your vital brain cells — not to mention your dignity. Buy the track on Yahoo, if you must

—Ryan Dombal, Leah Greenblatt, and Michael Endelman

You May Like

Comments

EDIT POST