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Singles: July 5/12, 2013

Reviews of new songs from Kelly Clarkson, Drake, and more

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Kelly Clarkson, ”Tie It Up”
The onetime ”Miss Independent” is now engaged (to Reba McEntire’s stepson, no less), so she’s clearly in wedding mode on her stomping, church-bell-infused country-pop ditty. No doubt it will find a spot on some summer-nuptial soundtracks — but unlike Clarkson classics such as ”Since U Been Gone,” the honeymoon for this nonstarter will probably be brief. B-Tanner Stransky

M.I.A., ”Bring The Noize”
Raising a fist against ”the f—ing banks,” M.I.A. hurls agit-pop cherry bombs at any symbol of the establishment she can reach. And it’s good to hear her fired up again, shooting off machine-gun rhymes, a bhangra-inspired outro, and a few goofy lines. ”Do you like my perfume?” she cries. Yep. Smells like victory. B+Melissa Maerz

Drake, ”I’m On My Way”
If you’ve ever dreamed of getting a baggage-claim booty call from Drizzy himself, this one’s for you: ”Baby I just landed/’Bout to get my bags in/All I need’s an address.” Nobody does sleepy sex talk better, but the heavy-lidded beat makes you worry he’ll just doze off in a corner before he even gets out of the terminal. BAdam Markovitz

John Mayer, ”Paper Doll”
Most of the conversation around Mayer’s lullabyish latest has centered on whether it’s a counterpunch to Taylor Swift’s ”Dear John” — probably because there’s not much else to say about a song this toothless and unfocused. Besides, nobody out-revenges the Red Queen. CKyle Anderson

Gavin DeGraw, ”Best I Ever Had”
DeGraw doesn’t want any cool-kid cred for this uptempo Mumford-style ballad (”Cuz there’s too many hipsters/And I just can’t relate”), and he won’t get it. Still, the pretty, syrupy chorus might just make your next latte line feel a little bit shorter. B+Adam Markovitz