Now hear this
The Arctic Monkeys - 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor'
The Arctic Monkeys' success story is as improbable as its name: The unsigned band stormed England by giving away free songs over the Internet. Their jaunty single - a blend of The Kinks and The Strokes - boasts a chorus with the lyric, "I bet you look good on the dance floor, dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984." Irresistible.
- Stephen Humphries
The Flaming Lips - 'The Wand'
Not, as the lyrics suggest, an ode to Harry Potter but rather a commentary about political power. Strip away the distorted fuzz riff (is it a guitar or a synth?) and this psychedelic track sounds like early Yes. Sadly, it lacks the band's usual magic.
Lil' Wayne (featuring Robin Thicke) - 'Shooter'
Rapper Lil' Wayne takes blues crooner Robin Thicke's 2003 single about a bank heist and turns it into a stylized riff on breaking into the music biz. A simple bass line and Thicke's languid melody morph into an all-out barrage of staccato rhyming and hypnotic harmony. Pow!
- David S. Hauck