Single Reviews Round-Up: 21 October 2009

Okay, a little bit later than expected, I am here to review this week’s singles. That is, singles that were released Friday, 21 August in Ireland and Monday, 24 August in the UK. Might as well get started…

Biffy Clyro: ‘That Golden Rule’

 After the mainstream success of single Mountains a while ago, Biffy Clyro are back with new single That Golden Rule. Does it live up to Mountains? You bet it does! While not as catchy as Mountains, this track should impress some of the band’s more hardcore fans. And more casual fans, give it a few spins and you’ll be hooked! You certainly can’t deny the riff heavy guitar work from the band and the symphonic outro. To be honest, the outro does go on a bit but overall adds to the epic quality of the song. I can safely say that I’m looking forward to One Revelation, their upcoming album. Muse and Red Hot Chili Peppers better watch their backs as Biffy Clyro are the newest rock gods in town. 4/5

Erik Hassle: ‘Don’t Send Flowers (After I’m Dead)’

 What is it about the Swedes eh? We have Alphabeat, Basshunter, Robyn and September: just four acts who have made a massive impact in our charts recently. Obviously trying his hand at the UK/Ireland market is Erik Hassle, already a massive superstar in his native country and sporting an unusual ginger quiff (not unlike Elly Jackson from La Roux), can his debut single over here crack the charts?

Well sadly no! Not that this is bad! Far from it in fact! But I just don’t see it getting much airplay here sadly! Anyway, the tune, as you can tell by the title, is a little morbid but you wouldn’t know it from the opening to the song. Strangely enough, the verses have a bouncy, kind of chery, guitar/piano style swagger and only when you hit the chorus, does the tone of the song become a bit more morbid. There are a few subtle synths thrown in there too. It’s a pretty good song but Hassle right now seems to alternative to me to crack the mainstream over here. Don’t underestimate him though, this guy could be big! The pop World just needs to change a bit first. In other ways move away from electropop…4/5

Flo Rida featuring Nelly Furtado: ‘Jump’

 I wish I could say something good about Flo Rida. I really wish I could! But sadly, I can’t! As far as the man’s concerned, all you need is a catchy chorus sang by a top R&B artist, a sample and an upbeat sound while he raps senselessly about lapdancers, Lambrouginis and money. This worked for Low and Elevator but got very tired after that.

This is the third single from his R.O.O.T.S. album and also his third single to feature a female vocalist on the chorus. This time it’s someone more high profile than Ke$ha and Wynter…it’s Nelly Furtado! Sadly, however, she disappoints with a chorus as bland and soulless as her computerised appearance in the Asian, G-Force themed video. What’s the deal with that by the way?! Sure it should be another commercial success for Flo Rida but I just count down the days when the public stop buying his records forcing him to change his musical strategy. 1/5

The Ian Carey Project: Get Shaky

 Wow! Could this be the underrated dance tune of 2009? This is simply a get up on the dancefloor, shake your booty (I can’t believe I said booty) house tune. Metro Station told us to “shake-shake-shake it!” and now this American DJ Ian Carey is telling us to do the same. Like David Guetta, Ian Carey doesn’t actually sing. Instead he enlists a wonderful female vocalist who sounds like a combination of Gwen Stefani, Shirley Manson and the girls who sing that song Loveshack (the B-52s I think they’re called). Actually, I think I should shut up now and tell you this is a 5-star song. Now just keep your fingers crossed that this will get enough airplay in clubs and on the radio. 5/5

Jet: ‘She’s A Genius’

 Husky vocals? Check. Funky guitar riffs? Check. Shout along uh-uh-oh part on the chorus? Check. Jet, a bunch of Aussie rockers, have given us a very unoriginal indie pop song that has been done plenty of times from every indie act under the sun, from Franz Ferdinand to The Kooks. That said, this is a nice late Summer entrant to the charts. Whether it will do well in the charts is unknown. I’m gonna guess…no! But still I do admire the simplicity of it! And the Chewbaca inspired video? Good song, nice to listen to on a hot, sunny day and nice to sing along to at a concert. But it won’t set the World alight. 3/5

Lily Allen: ’22’

 Lily Allen has always been the perfect popstar. Ever since she first graced the airwaves with the cutesy yet lyrically dark Smile, she has always managed to combine infectious hooks with lyrics that have meaning, or at least an interesting story behind them.

With 22, Single Number 3 from her second LP It’s Not Me, It’s You, Lily is pushing the meaningful hook “It’s sad but it’s true how society says her life is already over” (for a woman pushing 30). Hmmm, a bit of a mouthful for a pop chorus, isn’t it? Exactly! Compare this to previous single, the uber catch Not Fair and we can see that the singles coming from Lily Allen’s new album are fast running out of steam. It’s not that it isn’t catchy, Lily’s vocals are as charming as ever and there’s a nice little piano refrain on the bridge but compare this to The Fear and Not Fair and it just feels sort of disappointing. 3/5

Noah And The Whale: Blue Skies

 We have another 5-star song here! Last Summer, Noah And The Whale released a cheery folk song called 5 Years Time. With it’s pleasant whistling and cheery melody, it was in no ways bad but I kind of dismissed this act as a novelty one.

How wrong was I? This song is simply stupendous. It’s so subtle yet so beautiful. With quiet vocals and a softly strumming guitar, this song is just so peaceful and gives forth a good message of optimism. The male and female vocals by Charlie Fink and Laura Marling on the chorus give the song an epic soundtrack quality while the verses sound like a Mike Skinner who can actually sing. Watch the video too, it’s directed fanatastically by Charlie Fink himself. I really underestimated these guys, I actually think I might buy their new album The First Days Of Spring  when it’s released later this week. 5/5

T.I. featuring Mary J. Blige: ‘Remember Me’

 I would have given this song a higher rating. But then I listened to the lyrics. And my liking for the song went down a lot. T.I., a man currently in prison for holding arms, compares himself to Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King, a man of peace versus T.I., a man caught carrying guns. Look, T.I. just because you went to prison and didn’t look for special treatment á la Paris Hilton does not make you some kind of martyr okay! I mean I know rappers tend to brag, but this is way out of proportion T.I.!

Anyway banal, self-indulgent lyrics aside; the heavy, epic sounding production really works. And Mary J. Blige gives her best vocal performance in years on this track. In fact, this is better than T.I.’s last collaboartion with Justin Timberlake. Mary J. saves T.I.’s neck on this tune and because of his self indugent lyrics, I have to give this a lower rating than initially planned. Oh well. 3/5

*Anyways, that’s my round up for the week. Let me know what you guys think! Both about the round up and the songs themselves. And even have a listen to each song yourself by scrolling through the iPhone under this text. Official music videos are included so let Unreality Shout have your feedback on the music videos too!

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