The stuttering, skittering feel of "My Love" matches perfectly the disorienting, dizzying, and exhilarating emotions of infatuation. Timbaland's production is at its inventive best, and T.I.'s not quite convincing "I can get along without you" rap is a perfect fit.
"Lose Yourself" was Eminem's first single to hit #1. It spent 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, the most weeks for any rap song. The song was recorded to be part of the 8 Mile movie soundtrack and won an Academy Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture. "Lose Yourself" also won two Grammy Awards while being nominated for Song of the Year.
A single piano with the backing of strings gives way to one of the most technically stunning voices in pop music singing words of pain, guilt, and grief in the loss of a loved one. The words work their way to a climax accented by percussion then gently fade away again leaving the listener in stunned silence from the beauty of the moment. Christina Aguilera's ballad of loss is one of her finest moments.
Katy Perry's breakthrough generated some controversy over its subject matter, but it is mostly an extremely catchy pure pop hit. Bathed in praise for "cherry chapstick" and "soft skin, red lips, so kissable," Katy Perry states her unquestionable independence with stylish spirit.
"Gold Digger" kicks off with Jamie Foxx's plaintive bluesy cry about a woman who takes his money when he's in need. Soon Kanye West arrives telling tales and cautioning wealthy young men about the perils they may face. Before the song closes, there is also a caution for the women out searching for a poor young guy who has "that ambition...look in his eyes." Many artists perform in either contemporary mode or aping a classic pop genre sound. Few are as expert as Kanye West at blending the past with the present.