IT’S THAT TIME OF THE WEEK AGAIN!!!
Okay, I’m doubtful you people are that excited about my Singles Reviews Diary (its 8 weeks old now by the way) so I’ll just get on with it.
Singles Reviews Diary 8 – 29th March 2010
01. 30 Seconds To Mars: This Is War
Your typical US ‘epic’ rock song. Personally I love this sort of thing but not everyone will lap up the Jared Leto fronted band’s brand of rock with soaring, angst ridden vocals and heavy power chords. It’s a strong second single from the album of the same name though. Also doubles up as the lead single from new video game Dragon Age: Origins.
02. Alex Gardner: I’m Not Mad
Xenomania might be best known for crafting pop hits for girlbands such as Girls Aloud and Sugababes but here they’ve taken time out to work with the newest UK male solo artist to bring something slightly more alternative to the table. Alex Gardner can best be described as a Scottish Erik Hassle. Much like Hassle’s work, this electropop track is brooding and angsty and probably not everyone’s cup of tea. Gardner has a good voice for his 19 years though and he’s sure to gain a legion of female fans due to looking very like a certain Mr. Rob Pattinson.
03. Ash: War With Me
Just to inform you all that Ash have now released the 13th single from their forthcoming singles format series A-Z Series. This track is a cheery little love song but nothing they, or any other band, have never done before…a thousand times before. 4 STARS
04. Corrine Bailey Rae: Paris Nights/New York Mornings
I’m glad to see that Corrine’s album The Sea is not full of downbeat material after the death of her husband. This is a beautiful, light little number with Corrine’s distinctive vocals being as charming as ever. It’s no Put Your Records On but it’s still incredibly enjoyable. 4 STARS
STINKER OF THE WEEK!
05. Crystal Swing: He Drinks Tequila
Maybe this doesn’t deserve the Stinker Of The Week award, I would have given it to the Gummy Bears track below but it’s far too easy to knock novelty singles so this gets it instead. The song was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres St. Patrick’s Day show and their basically the newest YouTube sensations. But the thing is, this song is completely naff. Comprised of a mother, son and daughter…this is a cringeworthy country and western song that can basically be heard by drunken locals in any pub in Ireland. Good voices and good performers they may be but I really just cannot get over how bad this is. 1 STAR
06. The Drums: Best Friend
The ever brilliant Drums return with this new single. On their website, The Drums have said they only write about two types of feelings, “one is the first day of summer when you and all of your friends are standing on the edge of a cliff watching the sun set and being overcome with all of your hopes and dreams at once. The other is when you’re walking alone in the rain and realize you will be alone forever.” This song appears to be about the former feeling. Anyway, I recommend you all get downloading on this song as it borrows lots of elements from the 1960s – good old classic rock ‘n’ roll. 4 STARS
07. Glee Cast: And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going
It’s the last episode of the current series of Glee *sniff whine wail* and this week we get four singles from the cast and for a while at least the chart will be free of Gleemadness. Jennifer Hudson Junior sounds practically identical to Jennifer Hudson Senior on this track from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. It’s a huge soulful number and I really think J.H.J. (Mercedes, I think that’s her name in the show) really could get a record deal when the show ends. 4 STARS
08. Glee Cast: Don’t Rain On My Parade
The Hot Social Outcast goes all theatrical on this big showtune made most famous by Barbara Streisand. Again I think, the Hot Social Outcast could get a record deal after the show ends, as she really has the most versatile voice out of the whole class and always gives it her all. 4 STARS
09. Glee Cast: You Can’t Always Get What You Want
I know I shouldn’t like their campy cover of Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get You Want but it’s actually sort of amazing. It includes all the cast getting their own solo pieces and I actually think this is my favourite Glee track of the week simply because it’s so uplifting. Brilliant stuff. 5 STARS
10. Glee Cast: My Life Would Suck Without You
This is probably going to be the Glee song that will chart this week. I still prefer the Kelly Clarkson version but with its huge chorus and lyrics about love and support, it was only matter of time before Glee covered this anyway. 3 STARS
11. Gummy Bear: The Gummy Bear Song
Like Crazy Frog except it’s a green teddy bear and he’s not exposing his genitalia to the World, this is basically another ridiculous novelty song. Thankfully, I think most people have wisened up to novelty songs and I don’t think this will be hitting the No.1 spot anytime soon. For some reason, Gummy Bear reminds me of Basshunter. 1 STAR
12. HIM: Scared To Death
The Finnish rock band are back with a new single which is actually very enjoyable. Shows plenty of emotion and vulnerability on the track. If you haven’t listened to HIM before, I recommend you give this a listen. 4 STARS
13. Katherine Jenkins: Love Never Dies
The classical opera singer releases the title track from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical. Her voice is heavenly and if you like opera then you’ll like this. Jenkins doesn’t sound much different from any other classical artist though. Probably the fact that she’s young and blonde and pretty is why she’s so successful at the minute. 3.5 STARS
14. Keri Hilson: I Like
This one doesn’t seem to be getting any airplay on the music channels or on the radio. Which is a shame. Because this is Keri’s finest solo single yet and there’s not a Lil Wayne, Kanye West or a Ne-Yo to help her out. Originally released as a German only single, this Europoppy number is perfect for the clubs. And it’s not a song about female empowerment or a song about being drunk or being hassled by your telephone. This is a sensual, euphoric type of club track about getting up, close and personal with that special someone. The production is glossy and shiny and Keri’s voice is full of longing. This track is bit like an Americanised R&B version of Ellie Goulding’s Starry Eyed. I’m hoping it will be a hit. 4 STARS
15. Kids In Glass Houses: Matters At All
A strong lead single from Kids In Glass Houses’ new album Dirt. I’m liking this a lot more than the new You Me At Six single. Has a great melody and a crowd pleasing chorus. 3.5 STARS
16. Lil Jon featuring Kee and Tinchy Stryder: Give It All U Got
Your typical crap rap club track. Lil Jon shouts a lot, Kee is the latest dance diva to warble out an Auto Tuned, catchy chorus and Tinchy provides an alternative to Jon’s shouty raps with his Cockney flow. A catchy enough track, more enjoyable than Flo Rida, but not original at all. 3 STARS
17. Mariah Carey featuring Ne-Yo: Angels Cry
After Mariah’s last album Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel flopped hard with no hit singles, it was decided that some of the songs would be remixed and would be put on a remix album known as Angels Advocate. In another bad turn for Mariah, Angels Advocate has been shelved and Mimi is working on a brand new studio album. One of the singles from the remix album is being released this week though and that is Angels Cry, a big teary eyed ballad that been given a little extra help with Ne-Yo’s smooth crooning. Not a bad one at all. I’m no Mariah fan but fans of her older stuff will be happy to know that this is as close as new Mariah (the one who’s fond of acting like a 17 year old girl) will get to being classic Mariah (the big voiced diva of the 1990s). 3 STARS
TRACK OF THE WEEK!
18. Nneka: Walking
Anyone who can’t wait for M.I.A.’s new album (due out in July) should check out Nneka. The Nigerian hip-hop soul singer releases her single Walking and it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s got a M.I.A.esque chorus and has a singy rap style that actually manages to sound soulful at the same time. Take that Ke$ha and Uffie. Love it! 5 STARS
19. Ou Est Le Swimming Pool: These New Knights
While their music is good, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool is yet another ‘80s throwback band. This song is another fantastic slice of ‘80s pop but does it have a current place in today’s market. I don’t think so. 2.5 STARS
20. Plan B: She Said
Absolutely loving this! I know that Plan B has been somewhat successful but if this track goes the right way, Plan B could be as big as Amy Winehouse. And Amy Winehouse isn’t a bad comparison with this song. In fact, it could be compared to the Ghostface Killah remix of You Know I’m No Good. Singing in falsetto amongst a jazzy backing and finger snaps, Plan B never destroys the sound of this melodic singalong track even when he breaks into his gruff rap. In fact, I love that aspect of the song – the change from singing to rapping. It keeps the song fresh. Plan B is showing us all that there’s still hope for male artists in the music industry. 4 STARS
21. Scouting For Girls: This Ain’t A Love Song
Yes it is actually but that’s not the point. I loved S.F.G.’s She’s So Luvverly but every song that succeeded that sounded almost the same and I lost interest in the band. Thankfully, they’ve returned with a very strong lead single from new album Everybody Wants To Be On TV. The band have matured a bit with this very catchy power ballad and Roy Stride’s distinctive vocals have a hint of a falsetto to it. Now, the lads have to prove with this new album that they can deliver beyond lead singles.
22. Yeasayer: O.N.E.
A great experimental rock track from the US rockers. A real grower. I love it! 4 STARS