Hello October! Justin Bieber might have been spotted doing the dougie with Santa Claus this week, but we're not quite ready to abandon our flip flops in favor of playing "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" on repeat just yet. You'll know when we are. It's officially fall, or "autumn" if you have a high opinion of yourself, and with that comes new TV, baseball playoffs and highly anticipated album releases. Read onward for music you should be blasting this weekend—some old, some new—and thank us 12 times over for not including that Courtney Stodden track on the list.
1. J. COLE, "WORK OUT"
The sampling of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" has a lot to do with this choice, but Jay-Z protege J. Cole more than delivers on all the hype that's surrounded his debut album with a cool, head-bobbing jam. Throughout a conversation with his lady, it's the Carolina swagger and twang that make the uncertainty of the romance in question OK for now. Sure, the ambivalent nature of whether this is a good thing or a one night stand won't help to quell a woman's crazy, but both sound good when coming from Jermaine's mouth.
2. COLLEGE FEAT. ELECTRIC YOUTH, "A REAL HERO"
Most people you know who have seen Drive have probably gushed about the soundtrack. With good reason—it makes a difference. The haunting track "A Real Hero" not only serves as a descriptor for Ryan Gosling's character in this weird '80s-influenced throwback thriller, but the the pulsating synth and breathy vocals stay with you throughout the film as well as the ride home.
3. JENNIFER HUDSON, "SPOTLIGHT"
Jennifer Hudson was a solo artist before getting her Nina Simone on in those inescapable Weight Watchers commercials. Glee is tackling the song on Tuesday's episode, which obviously means it has arrived, if only three years after the fact. We're confident Mercedes can do J-Hud justice, but before tons of tweens start singing and downloading, take solace in the original which never quite got its due.
4. RADIOHEAD, "KARMA POLICE"
Did you make it to the uber sold-out shows at New York's Roseland Ballroom? How about the Occupy Wall Street protest? No and no? Sorry to stir up bad feelings, but at least you can listen to this on repeat.
5. T-PAIN, "TIPSY"
New song "5 O'Clock" attempts to shed his image of a bar patron hoping his telepathy when it comes to cocktail orders will help him get in your pants, but strange bedfellows aside (Lily Allen), we have a soft spot for that lovable creep. Particularly on "Tipsy," where Pain wants you to take comfort in the fact that yes, he's trying to get drunk but not that drunk. We appreciate the honesty.
For the best song of the century so far and more ways to please the ladies, click NEXT.
6. BEYONCÉ FEAT. JAY-Z, "CRAZY IN LOVE"
We've ranked this at the top of Beyoncé's list of personal bests, and now friends at VH1 have gone one step further by crowning Bey's solo debut as the best song of the aughts. The horns, the horns, the horns.
7. WALE FEAT. MIGUEL, "LOTUS FLOWER BOMB"
Another anticipated release, this time in the form of DC native Wale's proper sophomore LP. Teaming up with Miguel allows him to reach the ladies—but rhyming about high-end perfume also helps—as Wale makes a gradual transformation from harmless admirer to forward braggart, boasting about where he’s headed (her thighs) on this slow-burner.
8. ROBIN THICKE, "LOST WITHOUT U"
"Lotus Flower Bomb" is a valiant effort in lady-snatching, but if Wale really wants to get a woman in the mood he should know to throw on some Robin Thicke. Those high notes have never been sexier.
9. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, "SEÑORITA"
Another way to seduce a woman: remind her of what she doesn't get from her unappreciative boyfriend of hers. JT is busy saving the world with his bevy of important non-musical things for now, minus the occasional FreeSol gig, so this Justified track will have to do. Good thing it comes with complimentary, albeit slightly cheesy lyrics ("When I look into your eyes/I see something that money can't buy" used to sound sincere, we swear), smooth horns and a participatory call-and-response breakdown. Also, we miss Pharrell.
10. DUCK SAUCE, "LUIS GUZMAN"
How To Make It In America begins a new season on Sunday night, and what better way to honor the outstanding Luis Guzman—whose gangster Rene often makes up for the boring and cliched plots within the HBO series—than with his own, eponymous dance track? Barbra Streisand had her moment.