Single Review: Same Difference – ‘Shine On Forever (Photo Frame)’

Okay, so imagine you’re a bit down in the dumps, not than kind where your all emo-like with a knife to your wrist for no reason at all, but the kind where you accidentally twisted an ankle and fell into the person in front of you, starting a huge domino rally of people in somewhere like Poundland, and then you get kicked out of Tesco for eating something from ASDA, and then, someone complains you’re being too noisy in your local library, which is only exaggerated by the fact being in a library on a Saturday night is like winning the lottery, but instead of collect your winnings, you spend the night in playing Boggle with your sister.

Not your day is it?

But then, something comes along three years later and you get a chance to become a better version of what you once were, laughing in the face of supermarket brands because now you can buy designer; you can make as much noise as you want in any library because you rule the pop world, and you get an uber-sexual make-over complete with fake spectacles, blazer, choppy fringe and a chance to rub up against another girl in front of a camera to show off your new-found SEXUALNESS.

And then you dance like this:

Not sexual.

Embarrassing bodily thrusts aside, Same Difference kind of define the story from the past two and a bit paragraphs: they were all amazing and entertaining on the X Factor, when we could see them performing visually. But, like Jedward, they were very much a visual act, and as far as just listening to them went, they were about as fun as sitting on a nail gun. Hence when they were dropped by Syco, their luck really had ended.

Their début effort ‘We R One’ became the only single from their not exactly chart-topping début album, the unimaginatively titled ‘Pop’, which only hit #22 back in 2007. Still it’s both hilarious and worrying to see that it out-sold Christina’s ‘Bi-On-Ic’ by over 1000 sales, despite her fourth LP reaching the top spot not two moths ago.

Same Difference’s brand-spanking, shiny new single sees them having the “This is how you sell records in today’s environment” make-over of being sexed-up and shooting videos in a darkened club scene. Ho yes! There’ll be no chorus of dancing loonies in this video! No sunshine, no knee-length dresses, no failed High School Musical auditionees: this is PROPER POP which features ACTUAL SEXUALNESS of EPIC PROPORTIONS. Or so they think.

Opening to a dark bassline, they dancier vibe is clear from the outset, but then Sean’s emotionally transparent voice sings about having a feeling take over him (audience go “Oooooh”) but once Sarah takes over, and puts a bit of welly behind the notes, it becomes quite listenable, in that guilty pleasure kind of way (I hate to use that phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ but there are times when it’s needed and this is one of those times, OKAY?).

But ’round about 0:54 seconds in, the newly acquired, serious dance pop vibe give brushed out of the window by Sean and Sarah’s multi-coloured glove covered in sequins and glitter, whilst waving a jazz hand at the baying mob down below. Y’know the part, where the quick-fire, huskily sung lyrics become drawn-out and inflate the song in the campest way possible, before deflating it massively in the dubiously uncatchy chorus, which also comes back around at 2:19? Yeah, that part.

The balance is all wrong, and not just the balance in Sean’s dancing; the balance in the vocals too – all we seem to hear in the chorus when they’re both supposed to be singing is Sean; Sarah is left to languish in the background despite having superior vocal talent. On top of that, the chorus is as cheesy and as dated as a #41 single from 2001, and there’s no link between the verse and chorus at all. Thankfully, once the song really gets going, and another synth is added, the song is actually a lot better, but I wouldn’t play it too loudly near you’re friends, or anyone else over the ages of 12, for that matter.

For those of you interested in the song, I have a number for a great psychiatrist but for now, here’s the video:


Oof… Err… *pauses* Hmm… doesn’t it seem like the girl at 1:34 really doesn’t want to be there? Or maybe Sean’s got smelly breath?

As far as comeback singles go, this one would be an unstoppable hit if released a few years ago, clearly they’ve tried to update proceedings with a dancier, sexier sound and production, but with lyrics like that, and with choreography like THAT, it’s a bit like thinking you’re pregnant and finding out it’s just a bit of wind. Quite a let down.

It sounds like Jedward crossed with High School Musical, and is exactly what a comeback should be – boisterous, loud, flag waving, but unfortunately, that’s the biggest problem with this song, its to subtlety what the Scissor Sisters are to celibate, and if only it’d be a little less cringe-worthy, it’d be quite an impressive comeback but, as it is, Sean will finally have enough time out of the studio to beat Sarah at Boggle.

Rating: 2.5 STARS

Download: August 30, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: TBA

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  1. Gerard McGarry

    Perhaps the most generous review I’ve ever read, OddOne! I was going to review this one myself, so let me have a crack at this sucka…

    Right, speaking of a #41 single from 2001, remember when Claire and H from Steps tried to pretend that breaking up the band wasn’t going to be the end of their pop careers, nosiree? That’s what this is.

    Let me just telegraph this one out there: DUDE! You’re in a band with your sister! And it’s not a band, it’s a ‘duo’. It’s simply not cool. And whoever suggested that you might be able to bring credibility and commercial success to brother and sister pop warbling is crazy. There’s nothing sexual about a sibling act, not unless the Cheeky Girls release a sex tape.

    And for the record, I quite enjoyed the Pop album, even though it leaned very heavily on the aforementioned Steps/High School Musical and 80’s bubblegum pop. And also don’t get me wrong, I grew to like Same Difference, despite their initial slightly creepy incestuous overtones. They seem like nice people.

    But still, nothing’s going to get me past the fact that YOU’RE SINGING WITH YOUR SISTER! I don’t care if even Lady Gaga wrote the song and Katy Perry appeared in the video, the starting point for Same Difference is minus credibility. They were the goddamn novelty act for their year of X Factor and arguably the template for Jedward.

    You’ll note not a word about the actual song or video. No point. The song itself is throwaway guff. It’s not that far removed from what they did during their time at Syco, but the image is less preppy and more an attempt at being grown-ups. I say an attempt, because did you see Sarah’s make-up? It looks like she raided her mum’s make-up box and applied it with a spade. Good lord.

    The problem as ever for these two is that they can’t be credible as a brother and sister act, but neither has a hope in hell of succeeding alone. I’m surprised they haven’t followed H From Steps into musical theatre where at least they might enjoy a modicum of success.

    1. Dara Hickey

      I noticed that  Sarah did look a bit old…. Pahahaha!

      Well, that aside, it’s a good song until it get’s to the chorus, which is a complete cheesefest.

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