1. Modest Mouse's New Album, 'Strangers to Ourselves,' Will Be Out in March

    December 14, 2014 7:50 PM EST Modest Mouse teased a new single called "Lampshades on Fire" last week with an Instagram post , and now the band has let a lucky fan release news of a new album set for next year.  Modest Mouse & Brand New Rock New York's Forest Hills Stadium According to a Twitter post…

  2. Syria's Hazem Shareef Wins 'Arab Idol'

    December 14, 2014 12:52 PM EST Hazem Shareef of Aleppo beat contestants of Saudi Arabian and Palestinian descent Weeks before American Idol returns to its 14th season on Fox, the pan Middle Eastern edition of the show has just crowned its latest winner. Palestinian ‘Arab Idol’ Winner Gets Permission For West Bank Move…

  3. BSBB Finals: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, 'Drunk In Love' vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, 'Latch'

    December 14, 2014 11:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith ERNEST BAKER: “Latch" is a hot song. "Drunk In Love" is a definitive moment in pop culture history. It's the most honest, personal look at…

  4. BSBB Round 5: Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, 'Latch' vs. Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, 'Rather Be'

    December 14, 2014 10:05 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne JEM ASWAD: This is a very tough matchup. In terms of innovation and vocal performance, I've got to give it to DiSmithsure for their artful treatment…

  5. BSBB Round 4: Charli XCX, "Boom Clap" vs. Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Boom Clap Charli XCX Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne CRAIG JENKINS: Semifinals are without fail a bloodbath, and this one isn't any different. Charli XCX's single was a ball of joy and a welcome bombshell…

  6. BSBB Round 4: Katy Perry feat. Juicy J, "Dark Horse" vs. Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, "Drunk in Love"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Dark Horse Katy Perry feat. Juicy J Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z JAMIESON COX: At this stage in the competition, it’s harder and harder for me to point to musical qualities when making decisions. I like all of these songs,…

  7. BSBB Round 4: Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:03 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Shake It Off Taylor Swift Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CRAIG JENKINS: Yo Taylor I'ma let you finish, but Mariah and Jermaine had the best "Shake It Off" of all time. T-Swift's ode to the cathartic power…

  8. BSBB Round 3: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith CAITLIN WHITE: It's pretty safe to say the rest of Sam Smith's career hinges on his feature on Disclosure's "Latch." For most of us, the song was…

  9. BSBB Round 3: Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be" vs. Jeremih feat. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Rather Be Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG DENISE WARNER: It’s almost a toss-up between “Rather Be” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em”: both are vibrant, engaging and memorable. But what it really…

  10. BSBB Round 3: Aloe Blacc, "The Man" vs. Katy Perry feat. Juicy J, "Dark Horse"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules The Man Aloe Blacc Dark Horse Katy Perry feat. Juicy J DENISE WARNER: Aloe Blacc may be “The Man,” but is he able to get a baby to stop crying with just the first notes of his song? If Perry can inspire this kind of…

  11. BSBB Round 3: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk In Love" vs. Pharrell Williams, "Happy"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Happy Pharrell Williams DENISE WARNER: Yes, Pharrell’s “Happy” got Meryl Streep up out of her seat at the Oscars. But had Beyonce’s oh-so-dirty duet with her husband been eligible for an…

  12. BSBB Round 3: Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" vs. Sia, "Chandelier"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Shake It Off Taylor Swift Chandelier Sia CAITLIN WHITE: This is a face-off between a fluffy, happy song about fighting off sadness and a sad, trembling song about grasping for happiness — clearly 2014 is full of confusion.…

  13. BSBB Round 2: Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan, "This Is How We Roll" vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules This Is How We Roll Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan Problem Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea JAMIESON COX: I live and work in a university town, and if “number of times heard while walking by a raging kegger” was an…

  14. BSBB Round 2: Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne, "Rather Be" vs. Bobby Shmurda, "Hot Boy"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Rather Be Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne Hot Boy Bobby Shmurda MEAGHAN GARVEY: I’m going to come clean: I had never heard “Rather Be” before this bracket (it hasn’t seemed to make significant waves on NYC radio, and certainly not…

  15. BSBB Round 2: One Direction, "Steal My Girl" vs. Jeremih ft. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Steal My Girl One Direction Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG MEAGHAN GARVEY: The sun rose and set on what felt like a dozen supposed release dates for my most anticipated R&B album of the year, Jeremih’s Late…

  16. BSBB Round 2: Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, "Latch" vs. Becky G, "Shower"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith Shower Becky G DENISE WARNER: Becky G’s “Shower” is cute, but “Latch” launched both Disclosure and Sam Smith into prominence. We have to give the advantage to the dance track over the pop…

  17. BSBB Round 2: Paramore, "Ain't It Fun" vs. Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake, "Love Never Felt So Good"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Ain't It Fun Paramore Love Never Felt So Good Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake JAMIESON COX: Argh, this is a tough one. “Ain’t It Fun” is exactly that, fun — so vital, sung to within an inch of its life by the…

  18. BSBB Round 1: Florida Georgia Line, "Dirt" vs. Sam Smith, "Stay With Me"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Dirt Florida Georgia Line Stay With Me Sam Smith CHRIS PAYNE: Call Sam too depressing, too old-timey, too male Adele, whatever — this was a damn sincere song with damn great vocals that ruled all sorts of radio in 2014. Pulling…

  19. BSBB Round 1: John Legend, "All Of Me" vs. Ed Sheeran, "Sing"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules All Of Me John Legend Sing Ed Sheeran MAURA JOHNSTON: The battle of the stridently solo balladeers comes down to one simple criterion: Which one will last as a first dance song for weddings immemorial? My Vote: "All Of Me…

  20. BSBB Round 1: Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj, "Bang Bang" vs. Maroon 5, "Animals"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Bang Bang Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj Animals Maroon 5 CRAIG JENKINS: Maroon 5 is a machine of startling pop efficacy in 2014; “Animals” arranges all the notes where they should be -- without ever making you feel…

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