Single Review: Alesha – ‘Radio’

Poor Alesha, she’s not having the best of luck recently is she? First, ‘Drummer Boy’ underperforms after numerous promotional pushes by peaking at just #15 because people didn’t warm to it, with it being such a giant leap in a new direction, and now ‘Radio’ looks set to chart somewhere around about #41. That marks her fifth consecutive single to miss the UK Top 10, after ‘Let’s Get Excited’, which peaked at #13, ‘To Love Again’ charted at #24, ‘Take Control’ with Roll Deep, which peaked at #29, ‘Drummer Boy’: at #15, and ‘Radio’, which is looking to miss the Top 40 altogether

Ain’t that a kick in the teeth? She could be dropped for a second time!

Oddly though, it’s not like she isn’t well-exposed, is it? She’s in the public eye a lot with Strictly Come Dancing, she even performed the song on there. She’s had a collaboration with the hottest grime collective in British music, performed the song live on Lorraine Kelly, so she’s had plenty of coverage and media/public attention.

So what’s all the fuss about? Why is no-one warming to ‘Radio’? Is it so apocalyptically bad that it visibly repels crowds where it’s played, or is Arlene Phillips still sour about losing her place on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel, and in a desperate, last minute attempt to sabotage Alesha’s music career, she’s set up one of those ever-favourable Facebook campaigns to try and de-rail Alesha’s success?

Well no, actually. All Alesha seems to have done is plagiarise one of the best songs of the year. Consciously or unconsciously, she’s only gone and nicked the synth chord progression from Robyn’s own weepy ballad ‘Dancing On My Own’, and a chorus which has the faintest nod towards David Bowie’s ‘Changes’. Nothing too criminal in that, but with ‘Dancing On My Own’ being released not half a year ago, people are going to prejudge it, especially seeing as ‘Radio’ simply isn’t as good as Robyn’s Top 10 hit.

When you ignore the blatant sample, ‘Radio’ is a solid pop ballad, and a much more enjoyable song than ‘Breathe Slow’. Alesha’s vocals are on top form and carry subdued emotion during the slow verses, before moving into the chorus. The drum could do with toning down a bit, as it sounds like a military call, but other than that, there’s very little wrong with ‘Radio’.

This is the video. It sees Alesha in a caravan. Very swish.

0:20 is a very important moment, both for the video and the song. It’s when the Lady In The Car is physically seen “turning up the radio” to start the commencement of the audio/visual feast. That is a good little pop devise as it let’s us know there is about to be some “drowning out” of the Man In The Car. Clever stuff.

‘Radio’ is baffling me. Alesha is clearly a likeable, marketable pop singer who gets regular media attention. The song itself doesn’t try anything too dangerous or risky, á la ‘Drummer Boy’, nor is it so generic you’d miss it even if you were looking for it, so why it’s underperforming I don’t know.

Rating: 4.0 STARS

Download: November 29, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘The Entertainer’

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