Avril Lavigne’s soundtrack pit stop
“Keep Holding On” from “Eragon” — top 10 at adult top 40 and top 20 at mainstream top 40 — shows the softer side of the artist . . . and basically a lady-in-waiting before reigniting her full-on persona via third full-length “The Best Damn
Thing,” due April 17. Its launch single, the signature pop-punk anthem “Girlfriend,” spits beats per minute like a chainsaw, as
Lavigne fires off, “Hey! Hey! You! You!/I don’t like your girlfriend/I think you need a new one/Hey! Hey! You! You!/I could be your girlfriend.” Although she has been logging hits since teen time, Lavigne is only 22, and her return to sk8er land is by no means a stretch.
ARTIST: GOOD CHARLOTTE
SINGLE: THE RIVER
On fourth album “Good Morning Revival,” Good Charlotte tones down signature pop-punk banner and etches a more straight-ahead rock stencil, albeit with iron-clad melodies that would bob grandpa’s head to the beat. Following late-2006 introductory viral MySpace single “Keep Your Hands Off My
Girl,” the band gets down to business with “The River,” a fist-pumping, guitar bloodletting anthem featuring Avenged
Sevenfold’s throaty lead M. Shadows and guitarist Synyster
Gates, alongside G.C. lead Joel Madden.
ARTIST: BRAD PAISLEY
Paisley previewed this clever uptempo number at last month’s Country Radio Seminar during the label’s annual showcase cruise aboard the General Jackson riverboat. If the roar of laughter coming from country programmers in attendance was any indication, here is Paisley’s next No. 1. The lyric chronicles a guy’s barroom come-on to a pretty girl — and his approach is definitely novel. Paisley and co-writers have come up with what may be the most countrified way ever of expressing lust: “I’d like to see you in the moonlight/To kiss you way back in the sticks/To walk you through a field of wildflowers and I’d like to check you for ticks.”
ARTIST: BEYONCE & SHAKIRA,
SINGLE: BEAUTIFUL LIAR
Perhaps not since Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand joined forces in 1979 has there been a more inspired pop force field.
“Beautiful Liar” (from the April 3 rerelease of Beyonce’s
“B’Day” that includes five new songs and six in Spanish) integrates signature styles of Sony songbirds Beyonce and
Shakira, with enterprising threading of an R&B rhythmic pulse and Latin horns, alongside fiery Middle Eastern instrumental hooks. Personalities play off like schoolyard buds — this is no Mariah Carey vs. Whitney Houston duet, where either appears interested in bulldozing the other. The accompanying video, featuring the pair practically doing a lap dance, is flamethrowing hot.
SINGLE: BUY U A DRANK
T-Pain delivers a certain second-quarter hit with “Buy U a
Drank,” the first single from sophomore release “Epiphany.”
Utilizing a vocoder and keyboard, never has purchasing a shot at the bar to entice a woman to accompany you home sounded as sexy. The smooth R&B track lacks lyrical depth, but who really remembers their conversation from last night after a couple of rounds of Patron? With help from platinum rapper Yung Joc,
T-Pain conjures a track destined to be a finger-snapping lust connection for the clubs.
ARTIST: ELLIOT YAMIN
SINGLE: WAIT FOR YOU
Will Elliot Yamin become the 27th “American Idol” finalist to join ranks on a Billboard chart? The beloved season five No.
3 runner-up enters the fray — teeth thankfully capped and hair restyled — with a commanding R&B ballad reminiscent of compadre Mario Vazquez’s hit “Gallery.” Old-soul midtempo, hand-clapping production from Stargate (Nelly Furtado, Ne-Yo,
Rihanna) and rapid-fire, R. Kelly-esque verses adeptly mesh with a muscular, emotive vocal. Considering that Yamin cites
Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway as influences, the template is hands-down convincing. The singer suffered from a lack of overt star quality on the show, but “Wait for You” boasts amplitude of a radio-ready headliner.