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Singles: Oct. 7, 2011

Reviews of the latest songs from Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and more

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Rihanna, ”We Found Love”
About 40 seconds into the pop siren’s relentlessly clubby new single — from her upcoming sixth album — the synths climb so high up the electro staircase, they’re begging for some hypeman to blow his air horn. ”We found love in a hopeless place,” RiRi wails. Was it the Boom Boom Room? BMelissa Maerz

Hot Chelle Rae Feat. New Boyz, ”I Like It Like That”
Having crashed the Top 40’s summer barbecue with their hit ”Tonight Tonight,” the L.A. party combo fuel up the Jeep once again with bubbly elasti-funk and breezy hip-hop swagger. If you’re in denial that the days are shortening, consider this your official fall-resisting battle cry (but maybe still buy a sweater). A-Kyle Anderson

Bruno Mars, ”It Will Rain”
The choice of Mars for the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 soundtrack’s first single marks a more mainstream turn for the notoriously alt-friendly franchise. But the crooner obligingly meets it halfway, proffering a prettily forlorn ballad moody enough to accompany each of Robert Pattinson’s 27 variations on the undead ‘n’ sexy Soulful Gaze. B+Leah Greenblatt

Panic! At the Disco, ”Mercenary”
Were it not for a momentum-killing interlude tied to its status as a Batman videogame sound-track entry, ”Mercenary” would be the post-emo outfit’s finest piece of velvet-curtain goth punk since they became a duo. As it stands, it’s a solid accompaniment for throwing haymakers at the Joker. BKA

Nickelback, ”Bottoms Up”
The Canadian bombasters self-produced their Here and Now, due in November, but they clearly learned plenty from their last record’s knob-twiddler Mutt Lange, bringing in cavern-filling snare snaps, pristine guitar crunch, and a glass-raising chorus multitracked into infinity. It’s well-trod ground — but then again, so is complaining about Nickelback’s lack of originality. BKA

Lou Reed & Metallica, ”The View”
Why does the Velvet Underground icon keep the piston-pumping monster that is Metallica parked in neutral? What could have been awesomely shredding metal machine music instead monotonously idles in the garage, with nary a lead-footed push to the pedals. C-KA

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