Assumer Guide
Lady Gaga: Born This Way
Originally a touring bassist for Lita Ford and Courtney Love and one-time cum dumpster on Rock of Love, Gaga leverages her insta-celebrity for an acting career. The gaping hole she plugs first is that of Megan Fox on Transformers: Dark of the Moon. A media sensation for her scandalous stance on legalizing human-computer marriage (to the acclaim of bloggers everywhere), she now uses this blockbuster summer soundtrack tie-in to espouse more cutting edge legislation. Her screeching opening salvo of poledancer-rock is about more non-human marriages like “Marry the Night,” quickly followed by bung buttonholing voters about HObama’s controversial mandate of “Government Hookers.”  Cyborgism as right and natural follows on “Born This Way.” But like all shock and awe, Gaga soon espouses family values on the soccer-mom friendly “Heavy Metal Lover.” D

Lady Gaga: Born This Way

Originally a touring bassist for Lita Ford and Courtney Love and one-time cum dumpster on Rock of Love, Gaga leverages her insta-celebrity for an acting career. The gaping hole she plugs first is that of Megan Fox on Transformers: Dark of the Moon. A media sensation for her scandalous stance on legalizing human-computer marriage (to the acclaim of bloggers everywhere), she now uses this blockbuster summer soundtrack tie-in to espouse more cutting edge legislation. Her screeching opening salvo of poledancer-rock is about more non-human marriages like “Marry the Night,” quickly followed by bung buttonholing voters about HObama’s controversial mandate of “Government Hookers.”  Cyborgism as right and natural follows on “Born This Way.” But like all shock and awe, Gaga soon espouses family values on the soccer-mom friendly “Heavy Metal Lover.” D

Goblin: Tyler, the Creator 
That Italo-giallo schlock soundtrack masters Goblin have returned after decades left for dead is reason to give gore fans (and Karo corn syrup stockholders) reason to rejoice and/or have a zombie gouge out their eyeballs. Yet apparently the group didn’t have access to the world whilst in their crypt. In a world with a Kenyan black president, they still score a film that features a “controversial negro” named Tyler cast as the villainous mad scientist. That he’s the evil spawn —right down to the upside-down cross— of Californian political figure Charles Manson and the hired help is no surprise. Nor are the by-the-number cues of “Goblin,” “Transylvania” and “Nightmare.” But what is loathsome and unforgivable is using that fucking Old Navy font. D

Goblin: Tyler, the Creator 

That Italo-giallo schlock soundtrack masters Goblin have returned after decades left for dead is reason to give gore fans (and Karo corn syrup stockholders) reason to rejoice and/or have a zombie gouge out their eyeballs. Yet apparently the group didn’t have access to the world whilst in their crypt. In a world with a Kenyan black president, they still score a film that features a “controversial negro” named Tyler cast as the villainous mad scientist. That he’s the evil spawn —right down to the upside-down cross— of Californian political figure Charles Manson and the hired help is no surprise. Nor are the by-the-number cues of “Goblin,” “Transylvania” and “Nightmare.” But what is loathsome and unforgivable is using that fucking Old Navy font. D

Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues
A femme fatale supergroup (headed by Nancy Wilson no less) is brilliant in its own right, but emphasizing the low-end via three dueling bassists (from Le Tigre and Sleater-Kinney, plus D’Arcy from Smashing Pumpkins) is the real masterstroke here. Low end abounds as they mock the “helplessness” of their gender and obliterate such social constructs. These grrrls take on fashion (see the bong-rattling “Bedouin Dress”) and describe their bodies in naturalistic terms (“Grown Ocean”). In homage to the originator, these foxes also cover Tina Weymouth/ Tom Tom Club’s “Lorelei,” turning it into the type of sludgefest that makes Om fans onanistic. A

Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues

A femme fatale supergroup (headed by Nancy Wilson no less) is brilliant in its own right, but emphasizing the low-end via three dueling bassists (from Le Tigre and Sleater-Kinney, plus D’Arcy from Smashing Pumpkins) is the real masterstroke here. Low end abounds as they mock the “helplessness” of their gender and obliterate such social constructs. These grrrls take on fashion (see the bong-rattling “Bedouin Dress”) and describe their bodies in naturalistic terms (“Grown Ocean”). In homage to the originator, these foxes also cover Tina Weymouth/ Tom Tom Club’s “Lorelei,” turning it into the type of sludgefest that makes Om fans onanistic. A

Jennifer Hudson: I Remember Me
The winner of last season’s reality show hit Top Yogi Masters, enlightened guru Jennifer Hudson diversifies her own brand of leggings and yoga mat duffels with this CD/ DVD set. It features an hour of her ab-toning and butt-tightening Vipassana yoga/ core crunch/ tae bo workout routine as well as two hours of her soothing lectures delivered at a gentle whisper. Topics range from experiencing past lives (on the title track) to being in the present moment (“Where You At” and “Still Here”). Hudson talks about having your extremities tingle with divine love twice (“Angel” and “Everybody Needs Love”). But most enlightening and handy are her 8-hour tantric sex tips (“Why Is It So Hard”). B+

Jennifer Hudson: I Remember Me

The winner of last season’s reality show hit Top Yogi Masters, enlightened guru Jennifer Hudson diversifies her own brand of leggings and yoga mat duffels with this CD/ DVD set. It features an hour of her ab-toning and butt-tightening Vipassana yoga/ core crunch/ tae bo workout routine as well as two hours of her soothing lectures delivered at a gentle whisper. Topics range from experiencing past lives (on the title track) to being in the present moment (“Where You At” and “Still Here”). Hudson talks about having your extremities tingle with divine love twice (“Angel” and “Everybody Needs Love”). But most enlightening and handy are her 8-hour tantric sex tips (“Why Is It So Hard”). B+


Jessie J: Who You Are
The heyday of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) may have dimmed, but that didn’t prevent three-time champion Jessie J from breaking down the studio door and barking out an album like some pre-match jawing. It’s not unprecedented, as everyone from Jerry Lawler to Freddie Blassie to Captain Lou Albano has cut fine pop hits, but even they seemed capable of carrying a tune (as well as executing a piledriver) in comparison. So we get TMI about Jessie J’s romp with Lacey Von Erich on “Do It Like A Dude” when all we really wanted was a remake of “Pencil Neck Geek.” B  

Jessie J: Who You Are

The heyday of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) may have dimmed, but that didn’t prevent three-time champion Jessie J from breaking down the studio door and barking out an album like some pre-match jawing. It’s not unprecedented, as everyone from Jerry Lawler to Freddie Blassie to Captain Lou Albano has cut fine pop hits, but even they seemed capable of carrying a tune (as well as executing a piledriver) in comparison. So we get TMI about Jessie J’s romp with Lacey Von Erich on “Do It Like A Dude” when all we really wanted was a remake of “Pencil Neck Geek.” B  

Atmosphere: The Family Sign
While New Age music finally moved beyond beach bungalows in California (and in the nether regions of Saturday night programming), it can’t seem to emerge from post-natal soundtracks. Whoever the vegan is behind Atmosphere, he’s created the perfect soundtrack for auguring star charts for his baby daughter (cue the bamboo flutes of “She’s Enough”). Strumming a kyoto harp for the environmentally sound “Millennium Dodo” and doing drag as Mother Earth for the wispy “If You Can Save Me Now,” Atmosphere also freshens up the room after a poopy diaper change. A-

Atmosphere: The Family Sign

While New Age music finally moved beyond beach bungalows in California (and in the nether regions of Saturday night programming), it can’t seem to emerge from post-natal soundtracks. Whoever the vegan is behind Atmosphere, he’s created the perfect soundtrack for auguring star charts for his baby daughter (cue the bamboo flutes of “She’s Enough”). Strumming a kyoto harp for the environmentally sound “Millennium Dodo” and doing drag as Mother Earth for the wispy “If You Can Save Me Now,” Atmosphere also freshens up the room after a poopy diaper change. A-

Wiz Khalifa: Rolling Papers
After a decade of writing about hip-hop for the Old Gray Lady, critic Kelefa Sanneh now fucks with the even older and grayer Eustace Tilley. And he also crosses over the critical line by dropping his own rap album. “Rap about what you know,” the adage goes, so Kelefa drops street knowledge about every freakin’ aspect of working at a newspaper: the daily grind (“No Sleep”), subscription services (“Roll Up”), dealing with top edits (the Bill Keller-baiting “Top Floor”), and the liberal bias of yellow journalism (“Black and Yellow”). About as brain-numbing as reading the Sunday Style section. B-

Wiz Khalifa: Rolling Papers

After a decade of writing about hip-hop for the Old Gray Lady, critic Kelefa Sanneh now fucks with the even older and grayer Eustace Tilley. And he also crosses over the critical line by dropping his own rap album. “Rap about what you know,” the adage goes, so Kelefa drops street knowledge about every freakin’ aspect of working at a newspaper: the daily grind (“No Sleep”), subscription services (“Roll Up”), dealing with top edits (the Bill Keller-baiting “Top Floor”), and the liberal bias of yellow journalism (“Black and Yellow”). About as brain-numbing as reading the Sunday Style section. B-

The Strokes: Angles
These dweebs were solely responsible for the rise of geek chic in the 21st century, their name shorthand for keystrokes. Their debut album, Is This 8 Bit?, kick-started the loathsome trend of updating old Nintendo video game soundtracks for tattooed pencil necks, but by the time of their ambitious prog album about Space Invaders, the instant classic First Impressions of Earth, they were 1-Up on all the competition. Now comes the even more esoteric Angles, based on the hidden worlds of arcade quarter-muncher, Q-Bert. There’s songs about secret levels like “Machu Picchu,” an ode to old arcades (“Games”) and on the two blippy tracks, “Under Cover of Darkness” and “Life is Simpler in the Moonlight,” they sing about that other furtive nighttime act (the one that doesn’t require an old sock and Victoria Secret catalog), playing Nintendo all night. A- 

The Strokes: Angles

These dweebs were solely responsible for the rise of geek chic in the 21st century, their name shorthand for keystrokes. Their debut album, Is This 8 Bit?, kick-started the loathsome trend of updating old Nintendo video game soundtracks for tattooed pencil necks, but by the time of their ambitious prog album about Space Invaders, the instant classic First Impressions of Earth, they were 1-Up on all the competition. Now comes the even more esoteric Angles, based on the hidden worlds of arcade quarter-muncher, Q-Bert. There’s songs about secret levels like “Machu Picchu,” an ode to old arcades (“Games”) and on the two blippy tracks, “Under Cover of Darkness” and “Life is Simpler in the Moonlight,” they sing about that other furtive nighttime act (the one that doesn’t require an old sock and Victoria Secret catalog), playing Nintendo all night. A- 

Lupe Fiasco: Losers
Banksy may not have gripped the Academy Award this year, but that doesn’t stop him for going for a Grammy this year. After his Top of the Pops hit "Why Am I Famous?" with singer Paris Hilton, Banksy adopts his “loop fiasco” persona for his latest piss-take, recording Britpop using Garage Band and selling it in posh galleries. Cheeky and cheek-biting, Banksy’s Fiasco chides Radio 4 (“State Run Radio”) and mis-quoting media hounds on “Words I Never Said.” He then mocks fashionistas on “All Black Everything.” Too bad it retails for 750 quid at Lazarides Ltd. A-

Lupe Fiasco: Losers

Banksy may not have gripped the Academy Award this year, but that doesn’t stop him for going for a Grammy this year. After his Top of the Pops hit "Why Am I Famous?" with singer Paris Hilton, Banksy adopts his “loop fiasco” persona for his latest piss-take, recording Britpop using Garage Band and selling it in posh galleries. Cheeky and cheek-biting, Banksy’s Fiasco chides Radio 4 (“State Run Radio”) and mis-quoting media hounds on “Words I Never Said.” He then mocks fashionistas on “All Black Everything.” Too bad it retails for 750 quid at Lazarides Ltd. A-

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now
As if their name (winking at eye movements and Rem Koolhaus) weren’t clue enough, this is a benefit album spearheaded by a group of minimalist Danish graphic designers and Deutsch architects to elevate awareness about the crumbling infrastructures of Western Europe. Visually a trainwreck of sleek fonts, haphazard Photoshopped portraits, and steel girders, the type of techno displayed here is similarly a mess. The Danes copy Kompakt’s blueprints on the banger “Überlin” and the schlagger of ”Mine Smell Like Honey.” The Germans then revive happy hardcore for “Every Day is Yours to Win” and resuscitate clicks’n’cuts with Jarman-quoting “Blue.” Here’s hoping their Euro falls, too. C

R.E.M.: Collapse Into Now

As if their name (winking at eye movements and Rem Koolhaus) weren’t clue enough, this is a benefit album spearheaded by a group of minimalist Danish graphic designers and Deutsch architects to elevate awareness about the crumbling infrastructures of Western Europe. Visually a trainwreck of sleek fonts, haphazard Photoshopped portraits, and steel girders, the type of techno displayed here is similarly a mess. The Danes copy Kompakt’s blueprints on the banger “Überlin” and the schlagger of ”Mine Smell Like Honey.” The Germans then revive happy hardcore for “Every Day is Yours to Win” and resuscitate clicks’n’cuts with Jarman-quoting “Blue.” Here’s hoping their Euro falls, too. C