Music Article

Hot New Singles

Kanye West's ''Runaway,'' Willow Smith's ''Whip My Hair,'' and more of the fall's freshest tracks

You'll have to wait for their completed albums, but the artists below have already hit the ground running with these sneak previews.

Kanye West, ''Runaway''
Self-awareness, thy name is (surprise!) Kanye. The rapper's raw, excoriating ''toast for the douchebags'' — among other choice NSFW epithets — reveals the hurt and insecurity beneath his Taylorgate bluster, in a confessional made all the stronger by its plaintive keyboard line. A-

Willow Smith, ''Whip My Hair''
Will and Jada's 9-year-old progeny brings a surprising amount of baby-diva swagger to this saucy, hypnotic ponytail-tosser. B+

Rihanna, ''Only Girl (In the World)''
RiRi's driving, techno-flecked come-on proceeds directly to the dance floor, a near-180 from last year's downbeat Rated R. But its strobe-light wattage doesn't reach quite as far as it should. B-

Kings of Leon, ''Radioactive''
Tennessee-bred brothers Jared, Nathan, and Caleb Followill (with cousin Matthew) make like the sons of a preacher man they are on their spiraling, gospel-choir-assisted ode to Southern roots. B

Josh Groban, ''Hidden Away''
The pop-classical star, who usually sounds like he's singing every note from some cliff top where eagles soar, is a model of (relative) restraint on this Rick Rubin-produced, ''Bridge Over Troubled Water''-esque ballad. B

Originally posted Oct 01, 2010 Published in issue #1122 Oct 01, 2010 Order article reprints