Reasons to turn the radio on or turn it off -- We give thumbs up or down to songs by Rihanna, Damien Marley, Bo Bice, and D.H.T.
Reasons to turn the radio on or turn it off
RIHANNA ”Pon De Replay” The dancehall-reggae crossover hit of the summer, utilizing the same clap-happy beat as 2003’s model (remember Lumidee?). This recycled reggae-pop rump shaker will almost certainly expire soon after Labor Day, but until then, its catchy plea to ”Mr. DJ” is as welcome as a nice frosty daiquiri in August. B
DAMIEN MARLEY ”Welcome to Jamrock” Another warm-weather reggae single, though this surprise hit flips dancehall’s jittery pulse for a dubbed-out roots groove that Damien’s dad might dig. The lyrics are more ”Burnin’ and Lootin”’ than ”One Love,” portraying a Jamaica (a.k.a. Jamrock) filled with guns, ganja, and gangs. A
BO BICE ”Inside Your Heaven” American Idol winner Carrie Underwood fares a little better with her version of the same tune, but runner-up Bice’s over- the-top version is a formless piece of schlock. Idol may be good TV, but its musical track record is still awfully spotty: Bice’s anonymous vocal can’t compensate for the song’s lack of hooks. D-
D.H.T. ”Listen to Your Heart” Splenda-sweetened Belgian trance that has somehow managed to cross over from sweaty nightclubs to the pop charts. It’s not a big surprise that a Euro dance act sings lyrics that are trite and clichéd, but we would have expected some much cooler synth sounds from our Continental cousins. C-