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Singles: May 25, 2012

Reviews of the latest songs from Azealia Banks, David Cook, and more

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Alanis Morissette, ”Guardian”

Canada’s still-jagged little pill has an undeniable knack for power ballads. Too bad this one’s just pretentious, with lyrics about ”soldier[ing] through the profane” and ”smiling mid-crestfall.” The grunge-meets-gospel chorus is nice, but the rest sounds like it was written with a magnetic poetry kit she had left over from the ’90s. C+Melissa Maerz

Azealia Banks, ”Jumanji”

The ”212” rapper leads a calypso parade through the concrete jungle of Manhattan, and it’s so fun and bouncy that we’re not even mad at her for shutting down traffic. Our only quibble? No guest verse from (timely-movie-joke alert!) Robin Williams. A-Ray Rahman

David Cook, ”The Last Song I’ll Write for You”

The seventh-season Idol champ’s music remains under the same moody adult-contemporary-rock umbrella. Still, the slow-burn hook on this self-released breakup ballad (he recently cut ties with label RCA) is earnestly catchy. BGrady Smith