The Download Down-Low 

Beck
Hell Yes EP
iTunes Exclusive ($3.98)

If you frequent as many totally dorky music-oriented blogs as we do, you probably know that Beck’s new record leaked a few weeks ago, and that it allegedly has more in common with Mellow Gold and Odelay, than that overrated, overwrought piece of sentimental garbage, Sea Change. We, of course, can’t be sure because downloading music illegally isn’t our style. We swear.

On the legal tip, though, Mr. Hanson released an iTunes exclusive EP called ‘Hell Yes’, and if it’s a sign of what’s in store on the full-length, Beck could be poised for the kind of over-the-top success he last enjoyed with ‘Loser,’ — which isn’t necessarily to say it’s any good. What it is: awkward white-boy rhyming over a bed of computer-generated beats and leads, with a sufficiently dumbed-down chorus.

Bright Eyes
‘When the President Talks to God’
iTunes Exclusive (Free)

The honest-to-goodness protest song we’ve all been waiting for. Sample lyric: “When the president talks to God, does he ever think that maybe he’s not, that that voice is just inside his head when he kneels next to the presidential bed? Does he ever smell his own bullshit when the president talks to God? I doubt it.”

Hot Hot Heat
‘Goodnight Goodnight’
www.hothotheat.com (Free)

The spastic, hook-laden dance pop of Hot Hot Heat’s Make Up the Breakdown made the Canadian band a deserving breakthrough success, and ‘Goodnight Goodnight,’ from their upcoming full-length, proves that they haven’t lost a step. They don’t seem to have grown much either, but you know, if it ain’t broke…

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