It's Tuesday! Time for another round of 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs for the Week!
Things are getting good in pop land right now, real good. This week, we've got an incredibly thrilling pop diva-meets-indie-rock collaboration, another incredible offering from the original "Idol," some slammin' power pop tracks from girl groups and boy bands across the pond, and the latest offering from the judge's table of "X Factor USA."
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1.) Coldplay featuring Rihanna, "Princess of China"
As the band's first-ever collaboration, there's been plenty riding on "Princess of China," Coldplay's hotly anticipated track with Barbadian sensation Rihanna as featured on their upcoming studio album due out on Oct. 25, Mylo Xyloto. Luckily, the result was even better than anyone even imagined.
Marching along on a series of hazy synthesizers that play like a cross between an ancient tribal chant and 23rd-century space age jam, RiRi and Martin pass off their woes to one other, painfully mourning the death of a relationship during this fairy tale without a happy ending. "Once upon a time, we weren't right/All we ever seemed to do is fight," Martin sadly sings. "I could've been a princess; you'd be a king," Rihanna angrily retorts. Don't worry, RiRi -- maybe you're not a princess, but you're a hustler.
As with her current single "We Found Love," the Barbadian beauty has turned down the sass considerably to provide one of her most startlingly vulnerable and angelic vocals to date. "You really hurt me," she chokes out as the song comes to a close. And you thought RiRi's biggest worries in life were picking out chains and whips for her secret dungeon.
It's a rare occasion in pop, but sometimes the final product matches the sheer epic-ness of the names on paper. This is absolutely one of those times. + LISTEN TO COLDPLAY FEATURING RIHANNA, "PRINCESS OF CHINA"
2.) Kelly Clarkson, "You Love Me"
Kelly Clarkson's fifth studio album, Stronger, hits stores next Tuesday, and there's seriously like, not a single flaw to be found on the entire record. While I'm not about to dedicate my entire Top 5 to Miss Clarkson next week (although this is a serious temptation), I've no choice but to spotlight at least a couple of the album's many gems over the next few weeks.
"You Love Me" is one of the album's many shining highlights, and perhaps the most anticipated track on the album. During a live webcast for fans last month, Clarkson named the song (which she says took all of 15 minutes to write) as the best track she's ever written. Obviously, there was a little bit of anticipation surrounding this one.
Much in the same vein as British trio The Sugababes' "Ace Reject" (dozens of points to those of you who get that reference!), Clarkson's heart breaks over a vintage uptempo guitar strum that plays just like The Police's "Every Breath You Take." "You didn't let me down/You didn't tear me apart/You just opened my eyes while breaking my heart," the uber-talented Texan chanteuse cries during the chorus.
The result? While I'm not ready to declare this her very best (you'll have a tough time convincing me "Sober" doesn't take the cake for that title, among some others), it's certainly one of her finest songs ever. + LISTEN TO KELLY CLARKSON, "YOU LOVE ME"
+ Listen to more Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week after the jump!