Hook’d: February 3

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With Katy Perry delivering a surprisingly decent Super Bowl performance (with the help of Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott, of course), and Rihanna releasing a new song for the first time in two years, this week has been all about the unexpected. Here&rsquo;s a look at some songs that have been released in the past little while.<br />

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1. &ldquo;Begin Again&rdquo; - Purity Ring<br />

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With their sophomore album, <em>Another Eternity</em>, Purity Ring seems like they&rsquo;re pushing towards a more accessible, pop direction. Recently, one half of the band, Corin Roddick, was quoted saying &ldquo;I don&#39;t have patience for long, wandering pieces. I need a focused song, usually with a vocal, and it has to be concise, and get from A to B quickly.&rdquo; That focus is apparent on the second offering from the album, &ldquo;Begin Again&rdquo;. An ode to rekindling the passion that once was, Megan James sings over a trance-inducing electronic arrangement, &ldquo;You be the moon / I&#39;ll be the earth / And when we burst / Start over, oh darling / Begin again, begin again.&rdquo;<br />

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2. &ldquo;FourFive Seconds&rdquo; - Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney<br />

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After the initial shock of Rihanna releasing a country-influenced ballad as a lead single, you kind of realize that she can do whatever the hell she wants and go with it. &ldquo;FourFive Seconds&rdquo; is pretty perfect for when you&rsquo;re straight up over everything. &ldquo;&lsquo;Cause all of my kindness / Is taken for weakness,&rdquo; is a line that everyone can relate to at some point or another. Sometimes, you just feel underappreciated.<br />

While some people may think that Rihanna is rather limited in terms of vocal ability, I would argue that the huskiness really adds to the song. The song veers in the same direction as West and McCartney&rsquo;s &ldquo;Only One&rdquo;, released earlier in the year, and in the back of my mind, I&rsquo;m hoping for some sort of epic Springsteen-style song by the trio in the near future.<br />

Also, can we laugh about how so many people on Twitter were asking who Paul McCartney is after &ldquo;Only One &ldquo;and &ldquo;FourFive Seconds&rdquo;?<br />

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3. I&rdquo; Bet&rdquo; - Ciara<br />

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Fresh out of her separation from singer/rapper Future, Ciara is back in the studio. I&rsquo;m still hoping for some of those slow jams that she does so well on her upcoming album (seriously, &ldquo;Promise&rdquo; and &ldquo;Body Party&rdquo; are her two best songs), but who can be mad at her for showing some attitude and letting out some post-breakup stress? &ldquo;I bet you&rsquo;ll start loving me / As soon as I start loving someone else / Somebody better than you,&rdquo; Ciara sings over some slow guitar. She&rsquo;s not looking back, sorry Future.<br />

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4. &ldquo;Anna&rdquo; - Will Butler<br />

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Arcade Fire member Will Butler is releasing his first solo album, <em>Policy</em>, in March, and &ldquo;Anna&rdquo; is the second cut from the album. The song is all about building momentum, as a few musical ideas loop around and around over a persistent beat. There&rsquo;s a pentatonic electronic motif, a piano riff, a saxophone line, and Butler himself singing &ldquo;pam pa pa pam pam pa pa pam.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s certainly catchy, and it&rsquo;ll be interesting to hear it in the context of the album.



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