Christina Aguilera's 'Haunted Heart' Puts the Camp in Vamp


Snap snap: Christina Aguilera, “Haunted Heart” – This new Xtina song that sounds like a throwback to her throwback Back to Basics album but is actually cut from the upcoming animated Addams Family movie… works? Aguilera puts the camp in vamp, snarling, flitting, yelping, and curdling her her voice like Amy Winehouse. I love that she evokes “Bad to the Bone” with her “muhmuhmumuhmuhmuhmuhmuh heart” line? Aguilera is rarely less than over the top in her vocals, but here they’re harnessed and precise. It’s as controlled as it is batty. —Rich Juzwiak

Sure: Shaed, “Trampoline” remix featuring ZAYN – “Trampoline,” a song originally released by Shaed (that’s vocalist Chelsea Lee and multi-instrumentalists Max and Spencer Ernst according to my favorite source for teen news, Just Jared), before Zayn Malik hopped on the remix. I wouldn’t describe the song as particularly memorable, but it’s far from the sort of apathetic whisper-pop that dominates most music inaccurately described as “indie pop.” Also, Zayn’s voice partners well with Lee’s—I’ve listened to it twice, and I stand by that opinion. So, yeah, sure, give it a spin. —Maria Sherman

Yeah: PnB Rock feat. Nicki Minaj & Murda Beatz, “Fendi” – The song is good. What makes the song great, however, is that it is Nicki Minaj’s first song after announcing her retirement from music a short two weeks ago. That is funny, and that makes “Fendi” an especially delicious listen. She says it’s her “favorite song” at the beginning of the track and you know what? I believe her. —MS

100 Percent Yes: Sui Zhen, “Matsudo City Life” – Melbourne’s Sui Zhen (born Becky Sui Zhen) is a relatively new discovery for me, but one listen to “Matsudo City Life” has me hooked. It’s the sort of propulsive dark synth-pop that works perfectly alone in your bedroom and also, somehow, while navigating a gray metropolis on a rainy day. Consider it a dance track for your most tender impulses. —MS

No: Diplo feat. The Jonas Brothers, “Lonely” – Diplo, stay away from these boys. Jesus. I’d like the song if it didn’t have his production. That’s it. —MS

Fine, twist my arm: Kristin Chenoweth feat. Ariana Grande, “You Don’t Own Me” – OK, this song itself is a good song, but the unholy combination of these two women is also, somewhat, fine? Kristin Chenoweth normally wails in her whistle register, which I don’t love, and Ariana Grande cannot enunciate to save her life, but this delightful cover finds both women working against type. I love theatre Grande! I am here for Chenoweth working in a register that doesn’t remind me of dolphins! Yas! Song good. —Megan Reynolds

Yes: Galcher Lustwerk, “Cig Angel (Dance Mix)” – The Ridgewood-based producer Lustwerk dreams up another atmospheric house number on this remix to the insistently midtempo “Cig Angel.” As usual, Lustwerk’s vocals are laid back enough to somewhere between spoken-word recitation. Lustwerk is sometimes credited for kicking off the lo-fi house hipster craze, but this and much of his work sounds just like classic deep house to me with a flair and sometimes a flair is all you need to make something your own.—RJ

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