On this week's Must-Hear Music podcast, the Billboard staff talks about everything from Katy Perry working with eccentric MC Riff Raff to Brad Paisley's make-out song to insanely promising newcomers like Raury and Sofi de la Torre.
We don't always agree with each other -- and you might not necessarily agree with us -- but we can give you a (non-legally-binding) guarantee that you'll hear some worthwhile music on this week's podcast.
If you want to check out highlights from our discussion (and listen to the full tracks), keep scrolling past the podcast!
Katy Perry ft. Riff Raff: "This Is How We Do"
Jason: I don't think anybody, including diehard KatyKats, wanted a remix of this song with Riff Raff. This is highly ridiculous. I'd actually be more interested in a Soulja Boy remix of "This is How We Do."
Erika: I keep asking myself if this is a joke, and if it is, I want it to stop.
Joe: I know she already did a video for "This Is How We Do," but if they do a remix video, I want James Franco playing Riff Raff, because they had that kerfuffle where Riff Raff accused Franco of ripping him off in Spring Breakers.
Usher: "Believe Me"
Erika: It has an R&B and dance feel to it, and that's a good mix for Usher. I was happily surprised with this one.
Joe: The beginning riff really reminded me of The Godfather theme. I found that very distracting.
Jason: Usher is almost underrated now. I don't know if people are going to go insane over these songs, as forward thinking as they are. But he's doing more to innovate his sound than he ever has before.
Brad Paisley ft. Brad Paisley: "4WP"
Joe: The song is in reference to "four-wheel park," as in a full-speed-ahead make-out session. His last album found him trying to expand his horizons, and that produced the mercilessly mocked "Accidental Racist" with LL Cool J. So this one is understandably a return to the basics. It's a country party record.
Sofi de la Torre: "Vermillion"
Jason: She's a Spanish singer-songwriter living in London, and "Vermillion" is just an unbelievable song. It's built on an echoing synth line and it gives you the feeling of walking alone after a night out in the city. It has that blinking lights feel from the synthesizer.
Raury: "Cigarette Song"
Erika: He's 18 years old and very talented. He produces all his music, writes all his lyrics. His rebellious creativity is refreshing.
Ty Segall: "Manipulator"
Joe: This is something I could share with my dad, which I wouldn't usually say about Ty Segall. I could see him playing Letterman and attracting new listeners -- ears will perk up that would have previously dismissed him.
Jason: He obviously put more time into this. With Goodbye Bread, the songs were there, but the production was so hasty. I'm like a dad! I wished that album were better produced. With Manipulator, I feel like my wishes are being granted.
Jessie Ware: "Say You Love Me"
Erika: I am obsessed with this song. It spotlights her vocals instead of letting them blend into the production. And it's super emo, lyrically, which is also why I love it.
Joe: I have to be the dissenting opinion on this one. It's overwhelming, it's dead serious, and by the time it got to the gospel chorus at the end, it felt fake to me.
Erika: Joe, your words are hurting me right now.