Singles Reviews Diary 9 – 5th April 2010

It’s the Good Friday edition of my Singles Reviews Diary! After two poor weeks for singles, things are looking up this week with 32 singles – most of them good. Most of them okay. In fact, it was very difficult to pick a stinker this week but I did!

Singles Reviews Diary 9 – 5th April 2010:

01. Amerie: Heard ‘Em All
Amerie hit the big time with the infectious and funky hit single 1 Thing back in 2005 but ever since she’s faded away into obscurity. She’s now back with new single Heard ‘Em All. So does it tick the right boxes? Well yes. It has a reasonably catchy chorus. It has a great, drum heavy production thanks to hit producer Sean Garret. It has some World music effects that are all the rage at the minute. It has a dark yet raunchy video with some hot choreography. But what is she doing different from Beyoncé, Rihanna, Ciara et al. Nothing really. And that’s where Amerie and this song fall down. The song is listenable and fun but nothing very original about it at all. 3 STARS

02. Beach House: Zebra
A beautiful and dreamy torch song from the US band. I agree with Harry however, this song is tends to go on too long and can’t keep the momentum going for its 4 minute 52 second length. Nice background music though. 3.5 STARS

03. Ben Montague: Haunted
A schmaltzy and clichéd pop ballad about love and heartbreak. Housewives and adult contemporary radio will love the powerful voiced Montague on this song but this could just as easily have been sang by James Morrison, Robbie Williams or any of the Take That members and nobody would tell the difference. 2.5 STARS

04. Clipse featuring Pharrell: I’m Good
A breezy Summery tune from rap duo Clipse. Produced by the Neptunes and featuring Pharrell, this sounds like something that would have ruled the charts back at the start of the 2000s but probably wouldn’t do so well now as it doesn’t have the Europop effect. Still, not a bad driving song at all. Something to put you in a Summery mood despite the lack of originality. 3 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
05. Codeine Velvet Club: Vanity Kills
Jon Lawler of The Fratellis teams up with Scottish chanteuse Lou Hickey for this ambitious side project as new band Codeine Velvet Club. This song is just fantastic and I hope it gets the airplay it deserves as it gets the re-release treatment. One side of a double A-side single, this is a big band jazzy number with Jon and Lou’s vocals complimenting each other perfectly. Could easily be chosen for the next James Bond soundtrack. 5 STARS

06. Codeine Velvet Club: Little Sister
Wow, now this shows that the band is versatile. Vanity Kills might have been a big jazzy number but this track is more old school rock ‘n’ roll with Jon and Lou’s vocals complimenting each other brilliantly once again. The album which this song is taken from Codeine Velvet Club was released back at the end of last year and I’m surprised I’ve only heard of these guys now. Here’s hoping this time round, they get some recognition. 4.5 STARS

07. Coheed & Cambria: The Broken
Coheed & Cambria are back with a teaser single from their new album Year Of The Black Rainbow. Heavy and atmospheric, this prog rock isn’t a million miles away from 30 Seconds To Mars This Is War although lacking in the mainstream chorus department. A fairly decent indication of what’s to come but it doesn’t particularly excite me either. 3 STARS

08. David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi: Memories
Finally David Guetta releases the standout song from his One Love album. Amongst a ‘90s sounding piano backing, Kid Cudi dispenses his vocals in a mellow, almost bored way. But it works and fits well with the tone of the song. And I think we can all relate to the lyrics. Trust me, boy racers will love this song as they’re driving around in their souped up Puntos, but that’s not to say the rest of us can’t enjoy it to. Manages to find that neat balance between being danceable and being a chilled out holiday tune. 4 STARS

09. Delirious?: History
How random is it that Facebook are now controlling the release of songs these days. AHHHH! The Internet is taking over the World. Seeing as Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar, it’s only fitting that a Christian rock band knocks that she-devil Lady GaGa off the top spot for Easter Sunday! I quite like the song, it has an inspirational message and tone and as Harry quite rightly pointed out, it does sound a bit like U2. Its not exactly doing anything new but its something different from the usual crop of songs infiltrating the radio at the minute. 3.5 STARS

10. Doves: Andalucia
The Doves show they’ve still got it with this very enjoyable new single from their first Greatest Hits album The Places Between: The Best Of Doves. The song is a real grower mainly thanks to Jimi Goodwin’s trademark moody vocals. That’s not to say the song is moody, it has upbeat instrumentation and some great subtle backing vocals on the chorus that add an extra element to the song. Doves fans will not be disappointed. 4 STARS

11. Flyleaf: Missing
I’ve also wondered why Flyleaf weren’t more successful. They have an attractive and talented female lead singer and despite being part of the ‘alternative metal’ category always have songs drenched with catchy vocal and instrumental hooks. It’s probably because, on this song especially, Flyleaf don’t sound all that different from the more successful Paramore. Strong angst ridden vocals. Check. Upbeat instrumentation that sounds like a combination between any punk pop song out there and Evanescence. Check. On Missing, Flyleaf have everything Paramore have had on their previous singles but because Paramore became successful first, its almost like they’ve put up a road block to the mainstream and no-one else of their style can get through. Still this is a pretty catchy tune but doesn’t sound remarkably original. 3 STARS

12. Heathers: Remember When
The movie Heathers seems to strike a cord with twin sisters. It was the inspiration behind Aussie twins The Veronicas and also seems to be the inspiration behind the bandname for these Irish twins. Remember When is seriously catchy, the folky chorus will stick in your brain like bubblegum on first listen. Not sure if I care for the sisters’ singing style but why should that matter when you can’t get their damn voices out of you’re head. 3.5 STARS

13. John O’Callaghan featuring Sarah Howells: Find Yourself
This song has been around in Ireland for ages, booming out of every nightclub and it finally gets its release in the UK this week. Again, there is nothing original about this song at all. This trance song has a big chance of becoming a hit though because of the infectious bridge chorus by singer Sarah Howell who sounds like a Celtic Cascada on this track. I have to admit this is a guilty pleasure of mine. Better than Inna’s Hot by a long shot anyway. 3 STARS

14. Joshua Radin: I’d Rather Be With You
A soft and breezy song by the American singer-songwriter. Sounds pretty much exactly like Jason Mraz with the laidback vocals and warm, cushy melody. Basically, it sounds so eerily like a Jason Mraz song that I’m retitling this song I’m Yours 2010. Nice listen but horribly unoriginal. 2.5 STARS

15. The Joy Formidable: Popinjay
This song is a good one to bob the head along to. It’s not doing anything from its indie peers but with some catchy guitar riffs, subtle synths and a kind of trippy animated video, its not bad at all. 3 STARS

16. Kanye West: Coldest Winter
Who knew that Kanye was still promoting his 808s & Heartbreak album. After much critical acclaim for the album and a Top 5 hit in Love Lockdown, the whole project seemed to go downhill after some poor charting singles and his disastrous appearance at the VMAs. But no Kanye is still pushing on. Coldest Winter basically epitomises the whole 808s & Heartbreak album. It’s cold, it’s bleak, and it’s sparse. It’s got tribal drumming and not much else as Kanye whines in Auto-Tune over the loss of his mother shortly before the album was released. Despite the use of Auto-Tune, West manages to show plenty of vulnerability on this track which probably shows why he’s one of the best rappers in the game at the moment. This isn’t as immediately arresting as Strongeror Gold Digger but it’s another solid entry into the Kanye catalogue all the same. We forgive you, Mr. West. 3.5 STARS

17. Lawrence Arabia: Apple Pie Bed
Check out the video for this, its amazing LOL! This song seems to have what I call the Mika Complex. It’s both irritating and catchy in equal measure, while New Zealander Lawrence Arabia (great name!) is certainly more alternative than the colourful poppy Mika, the chorus has that whole annoying falsetto going on the whole way through. I’m not going to come down to hard on Mika…I mean Lawrence…though ‘cause he’s intrigued me into listening to his other stuff. So a good effort for a first single. 3 STARS

18. MGMT: Flash Delirium
The super hip MGMT return with this teaser from their new album Congratulations. While not exactly as infectious as Kids, this experimental song is a grower and like Lawrence Arabia above has an amazing video that would rival Lady GaGa’s Telephone if only it would get as much airplay. 3.5 STARS

19. OneRepublic: Secrets
Soaring strings and heavy drum beats. Yep, its another Ryan Tedder production. This man fails to show any originality at all. This is another soaring arena rock ballad with a giant chorus. It’s not particularly bad and its extremely catchy but shake things up a bit, Ryan, because people are getting tired off you. Thankfully, Ryan’s production doesn’t sound as recycled with OneRepublic but if he gave this backing track to another solo female artist, I wouldn’t be as kind with my rating. 2.5 STARS

20. Paramore: The Only Exception
When I bought Paramore’s album Brand New Eyes back in September, this was a track that I skipped over a lot because I prefer uptempo Paramore as opposed to gooey romantic Paramore. And while this song is all gooey and romantic and would have been a perfect Valentine’s Day single, it actually shows a different side to the band. This is the first soft rock ballad that Paramore have released in their five years on the scene and lead singer Hayley Williams shows plenty of vulnerability on the song, using a much softer range than we’re used to hearing from her with the four guys complimenting her well. Hayley brings up her parents divorce on the acoustic laden track and as the pitch in her voice and the drumbeats increase on the climax of the song, there’s a definite sense of power towards the end. It’s not quite as good as previous singles Ignoranceand Brick By Boring Brick but it definitely sounds more commercial so here’s hoping it shoots up the charts. 3.5 STARS

21. Plasticines: Another Kiss
Loving this one from the French all girl rock band. Has that 1990s rock sound that I’m really loving at the moment. Unlikely to be a hit over here but that doesn’t decrease its brilliance. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
22. Polluted Mindz featuring Master Shortie: Daydream
Finally I found myself a Stinker of the Week! This is like someone collided Akon and Sidney Samson together. If that sounds good to you well I’m pretty sure that Polluted Mindz has basically plagurised the highly recognisable synth breakdown of Riverside (Let’s Go!). Expect to see Polluted Mindz in court very soon. 1.5 STARS

23. R. Kelly: Be My #2
Ever since R. Kelly was charged with paedophilia , he’s failed to gain a hit since. I don’t know whether Mr. Kelly is actually a pervert or not but he’s certainly producing some of his best work yet. Amongst a funky dance backing, R. Kelly croons out with that smooth mellow R&B voice which has fast become my guilty pleasure. Not as good as last year’s duet Number One with Keri Hilson but pleasant enough all the same. 3 STARS

24. Sabrina Washington: OMG
Much like her former bandmate Alesha Dixon, this lead single from Sabrina Washington’s new album is irritating beyond belief…just like The Boy Does Nothing, the lead single from Alesha’s album was irritating beyond belief! Where as The Boy Does Nothing was just irritating because it sounded like a novelty tune along the lines of Mambo No. 5,OMG is just plain annoying because its absolutely drowned in Auto-Tune and Sabrina’s attempts to get down with the kids by using MSN speak is just embarrassing. That said, however, I still think Sabrina has potential as a pop star beyond this single and Alesha surprised me her follow-ups so I won’t knock this too bad. At least the production sounds good. 2 STARS

25. Slash featuring Andrew Stockdale: By The Sword
Slash, the essence of Guns ‘N’ Roses and current guitarist with Velvet Revolver, returns with this new single from his eponymous debut solo album. With Andrew Stockdale, the lead singer from Wolfmother, on vocal duties, this is a fantastic classic sounding blues rock sound. I think I can even hear a little bit of a Led Zeppelin influence in there. Very excited about the new album now. 5 STARS

26. The Twilight Sad: The Room
I have to agree with Spirit on this one. This is the song to listen to when you’re feeling sad and lonely and realise that you’re not the only person in the World that feels this way. The aching piano melody combine beautifully in a mournful way with James Graham’s thick yet vulnerable sounding Scottish accent on this terrific new single from their second album Forget The Night Ahead5 STARS

27. Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris: Break Your Heart
After successfully shooting to Number 1 and breaking records in the US with this updated version of last year’s UK number one hit, this video should be appearing on the music channels at this time. Naturally Ludacris’ rap was simply put into the song to appeal to the US market but where as guest raps generally feel phoned in, Ludacris’ rap flows well with the song. As for the rest of the song, well my mind hasn’t changed from last time, its as catchy as swine flu but so generic and once this electro craze ends, the song will be forgotten about completely. 3 STARS.

28. Taylor Swift: Fearless
Ahead of the official release of the boring and uninspiring Today Was A Fairytale, Taylor releases this for promotional purposes. While many of Swift’s songs have been watered down into pure pop songs for the UK market, this one retains some of its country roots. It’s not exactly a masterpiece but Fearless has a pretty decent chorus and message which bears closer to the hit You Belong With Me than the hot mess that was Fifteen. It’s unlikely to be a hit but I can’t help this song from Taylor Swift. 3 STARS

29. Wallis Bird: LaLaLand
The normally folky singer songwriter sounds like P!nk on the verses of this re-released single from her sophomore album New Boots. The chorus is reasonably catchy but lyrically Wallis goes down the same old path by sending forth the message that she’s real and shuns the Hollywood lifestyle. Okay. 3 STARS

30. We Are Scientists: Rules Don’t Stop
We Are Scientists are back with new single Rules Don’t Stop from forthcoming albumBarbara. This is a really strong comeback single. Instantly catchy and likeable. A must have for the singles you’re sure to download after reading this post. 🙂 4 STARS

31. Whitney Houston: Nothin’ But Love
People may say that Whitney’s voice may not be what is used to be but thanks to a little studio magic, Whitney’s strong and husky voice sounds as good as ever. To coincide with her upcoming tour of the same name, Nothin’ But The Love is a synthy mid-tempo that sounds classy but in no way’s dated. I’m actually surprised by how much I like this one from Whitney who has impressed me since her comeback a few months ago. 4 STARS

P.S. ChartBlog favourites Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber officially release new singleEenie Meenie this week. 

Log In or Sign Up

css.php
Skip to toolbar