Single Reviews: PSY, Gold Panda, Amber Hayes, Selena Gomez, Queens of the Stone Age

ROCK

QUEENS OF THE

STONE AGE

"My God Is the Sun" (3:39)

Producers: Joshua Homme, Queens of the Stone Age

Writers: Queens of the Stone Age

Publishers: various

Matador Records

Josh Homme and his dust-spewing rock cronies power back with the first single off "...Like Clockwork," QOTSA's first album in six years. "My God Is the Sun" is an appropriately gnarly, 4/4 monster, recalling their hardest-hitting early material. As Homme gazes in awe at the sun's omnipresent embrace, rock die-hards have ample time to hail the Queens' revival. -Dan Hyman

 

POP

SELENA GOMEZ

"Come & Get It" (3:52)

Producer: Stargate

Writers: Ester Dean, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen

Publishers: various

Hollywood Records

"This love will be the death of me," Gomez croons on her new single, "but I know I'll die happily." That's a heavy assertion for a 20-year-old, but the rest of the cut remains light on its feet, with Stargate's revved-up pop structure housing Gomez's string of come-ons. The songwriting's a bit loose, but Gomez strikes her best Rihanna pose in advance of a presumably more mature album. -JL

 

POP

PSY

"Gentleman" (3:15)

Producer: PSY

Writers: Park Jae-Sang, Yoo Gun-Hyung

Publishers: various

Silent/School Boy/Republic

Powerful melodies, shouting choruses and a now-familiar dance break give PSY's follow-up to "Gangnam Style" everything a listener would expect from the K-pop phenom. Ironically, "Gentleman" is just the opposite of its title: With lyrics that translate to "Damn girl, you're so freaking sexy," PSY again plays the salacious prankster while goading U.S. audiences to get on their feet. -WG

 

COUNTRY

AMBER HAYES

"Any Day Is a Good Day" (3:42)

Producer: Paul Compton

Writers: Amber Hayes, Bill DiLuigi, JP Williams

Publishers: various

A-OK Entertainment/GMV Nashville

Country hotshot Hayes is full of wide-eyed optimism on her latest single, which may prove to be her breakout. "May not ever make a million, that don't worry me a bit," the Oklahoma native shrugs contently over comforting guitar strums and no-frills production. Musically, Hayes could afford to take a few more chances, but she offers a sunny-enough reminder to not sweat the small stuff. -JM

 

ELECTRONIC

GOLD PANDA

"Brazil" (5:47)

Producer: Gold Panda

Writer: Gold Panda

Publishers: Wichita Songs/Domino Publishing

Notown/Ghostly International

"Brazil" is the type of elongated yet wholly kinetic single that European electronic contemporaries like Four Tet and Lindstrom have become so consistent at producing. U.K. knob-twiddler Gold Panda bottled lightning before with 2010's "You," and while "Brazil" similarly snips its vocal sample, the track arrives with a different veneer, relying upon a more patient structure and more complexly chattering beats. -JL

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