Singles Reviews Diary 11 – 19th April 2010

Again, a little later than usual, it’s the eleventh Singles Reviews Diary – otherwise known as the week of pointless single re-releases.

Singles Reviews Diary 11 – 19th April 2010:

01. 3OH!3: Don’t Trust Me
Pointless re-releases are clearly all the rage these days. Following in the footsteps of La Roux and Florence + The Machine, 3OH!3 (or rather their management) have decided to re-release their breakthrough hit Don’t Trust Me. Back in July 2009, I would have been way more favourable about this track but with the rise of more superior electro punk poppers like Cobra Starship, I have come to the realisation that 3OH!3 are just plain annoying. The chorus of this song is still as infectious as ever but the verses and middle eight are just plain dumb. It also feels as if this song has just left our radio and music channel airwaves only to quickly jump back in again. Peaking at #19, why exactlyis this being released. 2.5 STARS

02. Akala: XXL
A disposable rave tune by Camden rapper Akala. It doesn’t have the crossover appeal of Dizzee Rascal’s Bonkers but should keep a nightclub of party loving ravers happy. 3 STARS

03. Angus And Julia Stone: Big Jet Plane
You can just tell by the name of the band that Angus and Julia Stone are a brother-sister indie duo. I’m not exactly familiar with the Aussie band but if this is their first UK single, they’ve given a good introduction to audiences on this side of the World. Subtle, string heavy and unlikely to make a dent on the charts, the most distinctive part of this song is Angus and Julia’s vocals which sound like raspy whispers. Good stuff. 4 STARS

04. The Boy Least Likely To: A Fairytale Ending
A sweet and chirpy folk tune from the English band. This doesn’t sound a million miles away from some of the Eels biggest hits. A nice song to play this Summer while on a long drive or at a barbeque. It sort of goes a bit too heavy on the electronics at the end but not enough to ruin the song. 4 STARS

05. Cathy Davey: Little Red
Alternative pop singer Cathy Davey is back with another insanely catchy song, this time a song based on the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. The main hook of this song is composed of Cathy’s gentle wolf howl on the chorus and her sweet yet powerful voice plodding along smoothly on the verses. It doesn’t sound very different or fresh from her earlier hits but should keep Cathy fans happy. 4 STARS

06. Chipmunk featuring Esmée Denters: Until You Were Gone
When I first heard this song, I thought “Wow, this sounds sort of like the song he did with Amelle”. Then I remembered that was Tinchy Stryder. Despite his similarities with his fellow Brrapper Stryder, Chipmunk clearly has an ear for a catchy melody in the sixth single from his soon to be reissued debut album I Am Chipmunk. Chip Diddy Chip seems to be on Auto-Pilot due to his usual rapping about how great he is but that doesn’t matter as Denters appealing chorus is the mainstay of this track. I was afraid she was going to belt out a melodramatic diva chorus for this track but things are kept simple with a restrained sing-along chorus that matches the light bouncy feel of this track. I will actually go and say that this is my favourite Chipmunk track of all time and one of the most effortless pop songs in a while. 4 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
07. Crookers featuring Soulwax & Mixhell: We Love Animals
The fourth single from Crookers Tons Of Friends album mightn’t have big profile names of previous singles like Kardinal Offishall and Kelis but that doesn’t make it any less strong. Starting off with minimal widely placed synth beats, the beats slowly become more closely placed before it turns into one big rave-a-thon. Crookers show why they are some of the top producers in the game as this is highly inventive. I know this is controversial, I’m not even a fan of Crookers really or music without lyrics, but I think this gets Track Of The Week. 5 STARS

08. Diana Vickers: Once
I know many people on this blog will rate this as Track Of The Week and hell, Diana would get it in a less inferior week. (I can’t believe I’m only half way through writing this and the amount of 4 star songs I’ve heard). Starting of with a siren and piano filed intro, Diana’s unconventional, breathy and oddly sexy voice intrigues the listener with her voice before the explosive pop rock chorus kicks in. Diana has to be the most interesting contestant to get a record deal after The X-Factor because there’s something refreshingly different about her despite the radio friendly, repetitive chorus“I’m only gonna let you kill me once once once yeah hey once once (repeat about 200 times)!”. I can’t give this song 5 stars simply because it never stood out as a 5 star for me and now, after repeated listens, it’s lost some of its magic. I also find certain ways she pronounces words irritating. That said, a very strong lead single from debut albumSongs From The Tainted Cherry-Tree4 STARS

09. Donkeyboy: Ambitions
Norwegian band Donkeyboy decide to test the waters in this part of Europe with their debut single Ambitions. I am bowled over by the number of really good singles being released this week. Brilliant vocals, fans of Empire Of The Sun will love this, I think. 4.5 STARS

Glee is already back in Ireland and back in the UK anyday now so just when I thought I’d get a break from reviewing the Glee singles after the season finale, two weeks later Season 2 is already back on our screens. The theme of this week’s episode is to sing a song with the word “Hello” in it, or as Rachel and her suspicious new love interest likes to twist it, a song containing the first syllable of Hello.

10. Glee Cast: Hello I Love You
This little number is courtesy of our Tall Jock, Finn, and while I’m not the biggest fan of Finn, I really enjoy his cover of The Doors single. The bouncy synths and Finn’s husky vocals introduce the Doors to a whole new generation of viewers. 4 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Gives You Hell
The always delightful Rachel, or Hot Social Outcast Girl as I like to call her, gives a fun rendition of the All American Rejects hit. With the original being a recent hit, this is the most likely track to hit the charts this week. However, I think its relatively weak to what we usually hear from Rachel and probably the weakest song of the “Hello” episode. 3 STARS

12. Glee Cast: Highway To Hell
The rival singing group do a performance of this AC/DC hit. It contains all the wild energy of the original and may also make a dent in the charts but it doesn’t stand out wildly like the other songs do. 4 STARS

13. Glee Cast: Hello
Rachel and her new love interest perform this soppy power ballad, originally by Lionel Richie. Both have great singing voices but I found myself wanting to fast forward my way through this sequence in the episode because it bored me after a while. 3 STARS

14. Glee Cast: Hello Goodbye
Glee saves the best for last with this fantastic, spirited rendition of the Beatles classic. The fact that my younger, Top 40 loving sister wanted to hear the original rendition of this song just goes to show how Glee’s popularity has the power to introduce a larger variety of music to young people. 5 STARS

15. Hot Chip: I Feel Better
Dramatic strings and minimal drum beats are the background of this head bobbing alternative dance number. A strong second single from Hot Chip’s album One Life Stand.4 STARS

16. James: Crazy
James won’t disappoint fans with their new single Crazy. It’s nothing groundbreaking exactly but why fix it if it ain’t broke. This sounds like classic James to me. 3.5 STARS

17. Julian Casablancas: 11th Dimension
Strokes singer Julian Casablancas is back solo with this really fantastic song. Sounding like it came straight out of the 1980s with its retro synths, guitar licks and strong yet drawling vocals, it is yet another stunning entry in what has to be the best week for singles in ages. 4 STARS

18. Kid Sister featuring Cee-Lo: Daydreaming
Poor Kid Sister can’t seem to get her big break despite all the singles from her debut album Ultraviolet being insanely catchy and enjoyable club pop rap records. This is probably her most radio friendly track of all. The middle part of the song and Cee-Lo’s cameo are real enjoyable. 4 STARS

19. Meatloaf: Los Angeloser
This will probably be a guilty pleasure for many. Really Meat Loaf’s music hasn’t aged well at all and its incredibly cheesy but there’s something strangely infectious about this slightly countrified rock tune. 3 STARS

20. Nicki Minaj featuring Sean Garret: Massive Attack
She may only be making her name on this side of the Atlantic now but a lot is riding on Nicki Minaj over in the States with her debut single after appearing on numerous tracks as a guest rapper. I was expecting something mildly poppy from the self confessed Barbie but Massive Attack is like nothing in the chart at the moment. Over a jungle dancehall beat, Nicki raps in a strange accent and seems to be rapping in a stream of disjointed thoughts while Sean Garrett singles the chorus. It really shouldn’t work but it surprisingly does. Has to be listened to a few times before the infectious beat kicks in. Naturally, Nicki is going to divide opinion but I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a femcee since Missy Elliott. 4 STARS

21. N-Dubz: Say It’s Over
The thoroughly original and saviours of British rap N-Dubz (I’m being sarcastic but N-Dubz would think I’m being dead serious) are back with what is probably the most enjoyable single from their second studio album Against All Odds. Once all the “na-na-nai-yeaaaaaahs!” are out of the way, Dappy and Fazer are spitting out their cheesy raps at a rapid pace while Tulisa sings the radio friendly hook amidst garage beats about as futuristic as the music video the song its based upon. All sarcasm aside though, this is an enjoyable single from N-Dubz very much set in the now! Don’t expect it to be a future classic but it should be a fun listen until it irritates us all in a few weeks time. 3 STARS

22. Primary 1 featuring Nina Persson : The Blues
It’s great to hear Nina Persson of The Cardigans again but The Blues honestly isn’t the best song to make a featured comeback on. It’s not a bad song but the melodic rock song kind of prattles along for 6 minutes without ever really going anywhere. 3 STARS

23. Paolo Nutini: Candy
I can’t say I’ve ever really got into Paolo Nutini’s album Sunny Side Up but I do know that it has been helmed as one of 2009’s greatest pop albums with every song worthy of becoming a single. So I’m wondering why Paolo’s team are deciding to re-release this as it already cracked the Top 30 and like 3OH!3, I feel like this song has only left the airwaves and released again. Not that Candy is a bad song, it’s a fine ballad with a relatively upbeat chorus and Paolo’s distinctive old man vocals, but I feel as if he should be releasing something else rather than going backwards. 4 STARS

24. The Pipettes: Stop The Music
The Pipettes sound like a 2010 version of ABBA on this track. On this funky Latin tinged track, the all girl duo bowl us over with a huge amount of hooks on this grower of a track. Worth checking out. 4 STARS

25. Robin Thicke featuring Estelle: Rollacoasta
Anyone looking for their Justin Timberlake fix need look no further than Robin Thicke because he’s a dead ringer for the former Mouseketeer on this funky electro number. Sexy, above average and as polished as Thicke’s Prada shoes, Estelle sings the sensual chorus on this track. It’s no SexyBack or LoveStoned but Rollacoasta sounds like it belongs on JT’s FutureSex/LoveSounds LP. Maybe Robin’s similarly titled Sex Therapy is worth checking out. 3.5 STARS

26. Shakira: Gypsy
After enticing us all with her hypnotic hips and quirky brand of electropop with previous singles She Wolf and Did It Again, Shakira tones things down for the third single from her criminally underselling She Wolf album. While it mightn’t back the punch of the previous two singles, Gypsy is a charming romantic affair thanks to its folky, Worldesque sound and Shakira’s awkward wordplay as she sings in the English language. 3.5 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
27. You Me At Six: Liquid Confidence (Nothing To Lose)
The second single from You Me At Six new album Hold Me Down steps on a theme we all know about – using alcohol to gain confidence…and making an absolute fool of yourself. Maybe the last part is just me. You Me At Six win no points for originality here and that’s why it rather unfairly earns the Stinker Of The Week this week. It has a catchy arena friendly chorus and all but I’ve heard this kind of music from them plenty of times before as well as other bands in their genre. Sorry to all You Me At Six fans but these guys need to show they have more diversity before I can rate them higher. 2.5 STARS

So there you have it, I was surprised as I wrote this how many good singles are released this week. The only high profile names really are Diana Vickers, 3OH!3, Paolo Nutini, Chipmunk, N-Dubz and Shakira but there’s some great songs this week so I urge you to get downloading.

Oh and please comment and leave feedback, good or bad, I won’t take offence as long as I don’t get “How could you give You Me At Six Stinker Of The Week. They are musical geniuses! What are you doing with your life?” or something along those lines. Giving your opinion is fine but ranting at me is not.

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