Neil Young
“Fork In The Road”

4 out of 5 Stars

Neil Young has always been something of a political loose cannon, using his music to spew impassioned rants about issues he cares about one minute and forgets the next. The rush-released “Fork in the Road,” in which Neil satirizes America’s current economic woes, falls squarely into this classic tradition. It’s amateurish, regressive and embarrassingly topical. And it rocks. Built on a crack garage riff, it’s a tragic comedy of lines like “There’s a bailout coming / but it’s not for you” and “We salute the troops / They’re all still there / in a fucking war.” When Neil says “Download this / Sounds like shit,” it’s difficult to argue with him.

-David Watnick

Handsome Furs
“I’m Confused”

4 out of 5 Stars

Dan Boeckner has crossed the line. The co-leader of Wolf Parade has always acted as Spencer Krug’s antidote, balancing the band’s lo-fi sound with cryptic pop hooks. But the latest offering from his side project takes the infectious styling to another level. The track teases with a keyboard drone before tearing into a relentlessly searing guitar riff backed by a danceable drum machine beat. The track’s undeniable accessibility is as confusing as it is astounding.

-David Riva

Eminem (feat. Dr. Dre and 50 Cent)
“Crack a Bottle”

3 out of 5 Stars

Yeah, Shady’s back. Back again. You’d think this charade of disappearing for a while only to reassert his relevance by infecting the airwaves with an offensive single would prove to be a bit trite by now. But to the delight of millions of Eminem fans, it hasn’t. After a witty boxing-style introduction, a piano-backed loop creates a nice flow that displays Mr. Mathers’s knack for crafting vulgar yet intelligent verses and an amusing chorus (So crack a bottle / let your body waddle / don’t act like a snobby model / you just hit the lotto…”). Enjoy it now, before the radio, clubs and frat houses start playing it on repeat.

-David Riva

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