"Boom Boom Pow" is simply a hot, beat crazy party track in the best tradition of the Black Eyed Peas. The break will drive you to the dance floor. "Boom Boom Pow" very effectively joins together the best elements of the Black Eyed Peas while avoiding heading over the top.
Lyrically, "Use Somebody" is far from complex. However, the pleading for someone to make life complete is perfectly matched with a sound akin to roaming the streets that may bring to mind for listeners something like U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Kings of Leon have been criticized by some fans for their strong embrace of anthemic rock at the expanse of their earlier garage-based sound. However, that shift is the pop fan's gain.
This is a return to uptempo form for Perry after the slow down of the previous single "Thinking Of You." Energetic pop is clearly the best at delivering her clever and witty words. The video that accompanies "Waking Up In Vegas" is of special note. It was directed by Joseph Kahn, one of the most experienced and decortated of video directors. Actor Joel David Moore co-stars with Katy Perry in the short visual story of a couple caught up in the world of Vegas. The clip is lush and filled with visual energy.
Lyrically, the Ting Tings' "That's Not My Name" is an anthem for those who struggle to make enough impact on those around them that someone remembers their name. The song could be packaged as a painful lament but instead comes out as an accusatory howl against those who don't pay attention. The elemental beginning of "That's Not My Name" leaves plenty of room for layered sound as the song progresses but, despite two tracks of vocals in counterpoint, crunchy guitars, and a wall of sound roar to close the track it is always minimalist in its visceral impact.
15. Beyonce - "Halo"
Despite the phenomenal commercial success of Lady Gaga's three earlier singles from The Fame, this is easily the top artistic achievement yet. Bathed in warm chords that communicate a swirl of emotion, the song is a tribute of sorts to the symbiotic but ultimately fake and "plastic" relationship between stars and their trailing paparazzi. The accompanying music video takes the song to another level entirely.
The retro disco sound wrapped in scratchy 70's dance guitars is arresting and with a set of lyrics detailing an ignored partner's desires to transform into a "she wolf," the song is masterful. Shakira is clearly an artist with a world of pop styles at her command.
Elbowing her way into the independent female territory of Katy Perry and Pink, Kelly Clarkson adds just enough sugary bubblegum to the mix to leave listeners with a sweet smile on their face. A key element that sets "My Life Would Suck Without You" above the competition is Clarkson's vocals. She once again displays the clear, resonant pipes that took her to the top of the first season of American Idol.