It’s hard to believe, but we’re already halfway through 2008 — so I’m continuing my quarterly Top 25 of this year’s most infectious singles. Eligible for this round are springtime singles, ranked according to personal preference but compiled based on chart success and digital sales. We continue with nos. 15 through 11.
15. Weezer, “Pork & Beans” (Billboard Peak: #64)
If “Beverly Hills” was tongue in cheek, then Weezer’s “Pork and Beans” is downright snide. In just over three minutes, Rivers Cuomo rambles on about rogaine, Timbaland and everything in between — all while his band switches from folksy to fuzzy and back again. The best line? “One look in the mirror and I’m tickled pink/I don’t give a hoot about what you think.”
14. Coldplay, “Violet Hill” (#40)
In a season dominated by Lil Wayne, it comes as a surprise that Coldplay’s “Violet Hill” is the best summer single for turning up your bass. Archaically funky, the track comes from the first line that Coldplay wrote together as a band — “Was a long and cold December” — and maintains its relentless chug save a few soaring choruses. Only Coldplay could launch such a meditative song into the Top 40.
13. Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake, “4 Minutes” (#3)
What’s wrong with this single is simple: If “4 Minutes” were a house, you’d walk inside and have no idea Madonna lived there. Instead, the Queen of Reinvention takes a backseat to Timbaland and Timberlake this time around, who provide her a beat that could turn band geeks into cool kids. But seriously, you can barely hear Madge on the track — like she forgot that her personality is the best thing she’s got going.
12. Jesse McCartney, “Leavin'” (#10)
As if co-authoring “Bleeding Love” didn’t prove his songwriting chops, Jesse McCartney returns this summer with “Leavin'” — a new chapter in a career that started before he could drive. The song’s production is an orchestra of blips and trinkets, and the colloquial lyrics — often too street for Jesse — are rescued by a flurry of singalong “oh oh oh”s.
11. Chris Brown, “Forever” (#6)
At this point, Chris Brown could shit on a plate and folks would buy it — and “Forever” ain’t that far off. The song’s airy arcade beat and recycled lyrics reveal just how little time was actually spent in the studio, and the lack of a killer chorus turns the whole thing into an exercise in monotony. That said, it’s nice to be reminded that before ‘umbrella, ella’ came ‘forever ever.”