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N.O.R.E. and Swizz Beatz: Two Great Tastes, Etc.

Mr. Beatz: It takes how many to make a thing go right?Photo: Getty Images

1. N.O.R.E. featuring Swizz Beatz, “Set It Off”
The combination of N.O.R.E.’s circa-'99 hard-core rhymes plus Swizz Beatz’s in-the-club goofiness shouldn’t work, and yet it does anyway. [Sit Down Stand Up]

2. Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane, “Off Minor”
Because even if you’re Wynton Marsalis, your weekend probably needs more jazz. [Smudge of Ashen Fluff]

3. The May Fire, “Marcha”
Slow-burning garage rock from a Spanish quartet featuring a sultry, smoky-voiced front woman. Caliente! [Obscure Sound]

4. The Decemberists, “The Perfect Crime (Junior Boys Remix)”
Colin Meloy’s twee zinger gets remixed all to hell by the dance duo du jour. [Panda Toes]

5. VHS Or Beta, “Burn It All Down”
If the Rapture are too intellectual for your taste, take a big juicy bite out of these twerk-rockers. [Spinner]

6. Jordin Sparks, “Tattoo”
The newest (and youngest) American Idol strikes her first blow on the pop-music populace. Pro: It’s better than anything on My December. Con: It still doesn’t wash away the stink of “This Is My Now.” [Ali's Blog]
Kyle Anderson