The ice couple of pop: Lana del Rey and the Weeknd's numb cool vs. the heat of Kanye and Rihanna

Lana Del Rey and the Weeknd bring a welcome iciness to pop

By design or simple proximity, America usually winds up with a first couple of pop. In 1985, Madonna and Bruce independently wrangled received ideas about working-class saints and sinners for an audience that got it backward half the time. In 2015, we have two pairs — one hot, one cold — who couple up consciously. Kanye and Rihanna work the orangey white end of the spectrum. Rihanna maintains an even heat: She directed a music video for "Bitch Better Have My Money" that flickers between stunning and baffling (and which Ellie Goulding just quoted in her "On My Mind" video); she livened up a song by Kanye and a Beatle; and she slouched better than you strut....