Kelly Rowland gets her dance on in the OFFICIAL premiere of her ‘Commander’ video

Kelly Rowland Commander e1273925340638 New Video: Kelly Rowland   Commander (Official Version)

It leaked weeks ago but finally Kelly Rowland’s team have launched the official premiere for the former Destiny’s Child singer’s new Commander video. Commander will the first international single to be taken from the singer’s third studio album with the imaginative title of…Kelly Rowland. I bet we’ll be hearing some guff about how she chose that name for the album because it 100% represents her as a person or something to that effect.

Regardless of bullshit, Commander is an absolute smash and might just be one of my favourite pop songs of the year. The David Guetta produced track isn’t exactly trying anything new or fresh but the production is made for the club, Kelly’s vocals are larger than life, the lyrics are filled with sass and there’s just the right amount of Auto-Tune so the song sounds ‘futuristic’ instead of  ‘current’.

The video is also a winner. Kelly has certainly planned on relaunching herself with a bang. The clip below sees her jumping through glass, getting involved in a dance-off with herself (reminiscent of Destiny’s Child’s Lose My Breath) and just generally looking all round sexy.

My one complaint is David Guetta – why does this man have to appear in every video he’s involved in? The 42-year old DJ is just seen bobbing around in the background, looking like a crazed fan. He’s not singing, dancing well or acting in the videos so just give it a rest and disappear like the majority of famous DJs. I don’t like how David Guetta has a feature credit on this song either. It completely undermines Kelly as a solo artist. Since when did producers deserve a feature credit. Ridiculous.

Commander is being released as the first international single from Kelly Rowland. The single should be released, or on the verge of release, everywhere now.

In the US, however, Kelly has taken a different approach, releasing dual singles in Grown Woman and Rose Coloured Glasses. Despite dance music being at it’s most popular in the US, Kelly has decided to avoid the risk of flopping and has chosen the more traditionally favoured radio friendly R&B.

I don’t know how they’ll do but hopefully well. Kelly doesn’t deserve to do badly when she has just as much talent as her superstar former bandmate Beyoncé.

Watch Commander below and have a listen to Grown Woman and Rose Coloured Glasses below.

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Singles Reviews Diary 17 – 28th May 2010

So here I am with the seventeenth edition of the Singles Reviews Diary. I can’t believe I’ve managed to stick writing these for 17 long weeks but I’ve really found it quite rewarding in the end. So it kind of hurts that this could be the last one I do in a while. I’m moving into a new apartment for the Summer and I probably won’t have Internet! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Still, I’ll try and work my way round that little problem but there’s no guarantee that I’ll get these out every week like you’re used to.

Singles Reviews Diary 17 – 28th May 2010:

01. Akon featuring Keri Hilson: Oh Africa
This song has been floating around for a while now but with the World Cup getting closer and closer, it looks like the song is getting its official release. Basically ignore Akon and Keri Hilson – they’re on autopilot here. Akon sings away in his nasal tone while Keri croons her drawn out vocals. The only redeemable part of this song is the tribal drums and the African chantings of “weh-oh-weh, weh-oh-weh”. This makes it an infectious World Cup which without them would just be crap.
2.5 STARS

02. Alphabeat: DJ (I Could Be Dancing)
The cheesy Danish band are back with the third single from their sophomore album
The Spell, retitled The Beat Is… for British and Irish audiences. What is surprising about DJis that it’s actually very good. It manages to sound like a feel-good track that would soundtrack an ‘80s rom-com or family film which isn’t a bad thing at all. Perfect for the Summer and a big improvement on their previous two singes. 4 STARS

03. Aston: Rude Boy
Who would have thought that Rihanna’s island jam about boys sticking it in her could sound classy? Well it sure does when Aston cover it. The Australian classical musicians mightn’t try and imitate Rihanna’s distinctive vocals butthey do give us a stunning instrumental instead.Dramatic swooping strings, pounding drums and quick and dramatic piano flourishes turn Rihanna’s shallow pop song into something much more powerful and epic. A talented bunch of musicians, I also recommend checking out their cover of Lady GaGa and Beyonce’s
Telephone. 4.5 STARS

04. Craig David: All Alone Tonight (Stop Look Listen)
After his previous single
One More Lie (Standing In The Shadows) failed to make any noticeable dent in the charts, the R&B crooner has fired ahead with the second single from his Signed, Sealed, Delivered album. Like the previous single, All Alone Tonightsamples retro-soul act, this time The Stylistics Stop Look Listen (Listen To Your Heart), and gives it a modern twist. I didn’t like One More Lie but I actually like this smooth and groovy mid-tempo R&B. Sadly for Mr. David, like everything he’s done lately, it does sound sort of dated. I don’t think this will be a hit. 3 STARS

05. David Guetta and Chris Willis featuring Fergie and LMFAO: Gettin’ Over You
Only two short months after releasing
Memories, David Guetta has gone full steam ahead with the fifth single from his Gold selling album One Love. For this rejigged album track, Guetta is in full recycle mode. The original album version had Guetta and long time collaborator Chris Willis but for the single version, Fergie and LMFAO (are added to…I dunno…give the song more commercial appeal. What we get is a bouncy guitar heavy dance track like what we heard on Love Is Gone and I Gotta Feeling (which sampled the former). Fergie and Chris Willis are vocally stunning and I don’t know whether to love or hate LM*AO’s ‘Party’ breakdown (or LMFAO for that matter). All the same, the song just feels lacking, when Fergie sings the hook from Boom Boom Pow, changing virtually one word, it feels like we’ve heard this all before. 2 STARS

06. The Drums: Forever And Ever Amen
The brilliant Drums are back with a sunny and sonically pleasing track. The fastly strummed guitar work on this track and the slight backing vocals are great. However, I don’t think I could distinguish this song easily from all the other indie offerings at the moment. An enjoyable enough Summer track but nothing amazing.
3.5 STARS

07. Glee Cast: Funny Girl
Idina Menzel channels Barbara Streisand in this by the numbers cover. Menzel has a great voice but I found myself wanting to fast forward through this scene because it just dragged out to long and their wasn’t much performance involved.
2.5 STARS

08. Glee Cast: Bad Romance
Probably my favourite song of the episode, the ladies of
Glee and honorarygirl Kurt perform the song in all its bombastic glory. I wasn’t looking forward to this performance much because we had just got rid of this song from the airwaves but the Glee kids manage to grab the original Lady GaGa version and make it sound…well…gleeful. Amongst the explosive synths, the Glee kids pour their powerful vocals over the song making it nearly as good as the original. 4.5 STARS

09. Glee Cast: Shout It Loud
Who says
Glee can’t rock???!!! It’s great to hear them cover a wide range of music and the Glee boys definitely deliver with this energetic performance of the Kiss hit. 4 STARS

10. Glee Cast: Beth
In the token heartwarming moment of
Glee, Puck sings this Kiss ballad beautifully. He really has a great voice and should be able to highlight that more in the show. Of course, heartwarming is a euphemism for sickeningly cheesy in my book, but those more romantic than me might just love this ballad. 4 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Poker Face
It seems a bit strange that Rachel and Shelby would sing a song about covering up your sexuality and “bluffin’ with your muffin” as the mother and daughter prepare to say goodbye but since when as
Glee being completely logical. Anyways the two look-alikes do a great job of covering the second Lady GaGa song of the episode. Rather than going for the dark electro of the studio version, Lea Michele and Idina Menzel mimic GaGa’s acoustic performance of the song, getting the piano player “whose always around” to play while they bellow out their vocals Broadway style. It’s a terrific performance but it doesn’t sound much different from GaGa’s performance of the song.4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
12. Jason Derulo: Ridin’ Solo
I really hate this track. While
Whatcha Say and In My Head were flawed yet extremely catchy, Ridin’ Solo is just pure irritating. It starts of acapella like Lady GaGa singingPoker Face live before breaking into electro heaviness. The thing that irritates me about the song is the stupid faux Caribbean accent Derulo uses to sing the verses and the fact that he substitutes “tholo” for “solo” on parts of the chorus. Since when was it cool to mispronounce words for no reason? Also, like his previous two singles, Ridin’ Solo sounds like it could be sang by any R&B singer and lacks and real identity or anything to shout about. Plus, it’s just such a headwrecker. 1 STAR

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
13. Johnny Flynn: Kentucky Pill
This is just fantastic. The male equivalent to Laura Marling has been lying under the radar for years now so I hope that soon he’ll find some degree of success. Flynn, also a poet an actor, has a rich voiceand this is lyrically brilliant against an organic, celebratory production. I recommend you check him out.
5 STARS

14. Lena: Satellite
Lena deservedly won the Eurovision with this catchy toe-tapper. Many people have been comparing her to Lily Allen or Kate Nash but I prefer comparing her voice to Ellie Goulding, albeit more upbeat and less dreamy. Like Ellie, Lena’s distinctive voice is likely to become annoying if the song gets plenty of overplay but for now the song is a pretty catchy jam that makes you want to click your fingers and direct you to the dancefloor.
4 STARS

15. Miley Cyrus: Can’t Be Tamed
I really hated this track when I first heard it but Miley’s magical powers of persuasion have changed my mind. Miley might hate pop music herself but that hasn’t stopped her following pop trends, ditching her Disney pop rock sound for a more electro sound. Still Miley manages to keep things good with a killer pop tune – toe tapping synths, confident verses, a surging bridge and a bombastic chorus. It’s like a twee version of Britney Spears’
Blackout. There’s even a bit where the vocoder is turned up and Miley sounds like Daffy Duck. If Miley continues a career in music, pop or not, she should grow into an interesting artist. 3.5 STARS

16. R. Kelly featuring Soweto Spiritual Singers: Sign Of A Victory
R&B crooner R. Kelly is another artist with a World Cup song. Against minimal Aficanised production, R. Kelly echoes Michael Jackson in his prime. The Soweto Spiritual Singers provide beautiful ethnic backing vocals. This mightn’t exactly be a song you chant along to but this is one of the better World Cup songs out there.
4 STARS

17. Royal Air Force Squadronaires featuring Stacey Solomon: At Last
Remember Stacey Solomon?! The beautiful and talented yet slightly lifeless performer who takes on a cringeworthy bumbling personality when she isn’t singing? Well she’s appearing on the Royal Air Force’s new album and if you’ve heard her rendition of Etta James’
At Last on The X-Factor then you don’t really need to buy this single – unless you’re a diehard Stacey fan. Her voice is fine and the RAF’s brass instrumentation is rich but I am so sick to death of this song being covered over and over by every able voiced singer. 2 STARS

18. Shakira featuring Fleshlyground: Waka Waka (Time For Africa)
The most danceable World Cup song yet. Electro, folk and African music are combined here against Shakira’s distinctive yet seductive vocals. Like most Shakira singles, this is incredibly infectious although the lyrics are missing the quirkiness affiliated with Shakira. Still, if this gets airplay you’ll be humming along to it all Summer.
4 STARS

19. Stornoway: Zorbing
After failing to make a dent in the charts with their last single
I Saw You Blink, hopefullyZorbing will do better. It certainly seems to be getting more promotion. Singer Brian Biggs has a great voice – so ear snagging. This great track has enough changes in tone and instrumentation, it’s sure to keep you intrigued. I must check out their new album.4 STARS

20. Sunset Hotel: The Bitter End
This is the debut single by Irish indie band Sunset Hotel which recently (out of nowehere) managed to get into the Irish Top 10. What I’m hearing is a lot of angsty whining without any definable chorus. It’s not particularly bad, I can see how radio would pick it up but this doesn’t sound much different from a number of indie tracks that have come and go over the years.
2.5 STARS

So yeah, this week has been a pretty disappointing one for mainstream releases. If it wasn’t for World Cup songs and Eurovision songs, would there be any real singles released this week. Anyways, as usual comments and feedback would be nice. Hopefully, I’ll be back next week with another Singles Reviews Diary.

Singles Reviews Diary 16 – 21st May 2010

The sixteenth edition of the Singles Reviews Diary is here. Again it’s a bit late but what the Hell, it took a long time to write and I’ve been busy.

Singles Reviews Diary 16 – 21st May 2010:

01. Alicia Keys: Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart (Video)
This is possibly my favourite track from Alicia Keys
The Element Of Freedom album. Most of Britain seems to agree with me as the track has already hit the #13 spot before an official release. Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart mightn’t have the killer choruses of Alicia’s biggest hits such as Fallin’, No-One and Empire State Of Mind (I and II) but what we get is a much more subtle approach that’s no less engaging. Containing pounding ‘80s drum machines, underlying synths and soft breathy vocals from Keys’, the track is a seductive and passionate performance from Alicia that deserves to go down as one of the top hits from her catalogue. 4 STARS

Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart

02. Ash: Binary (Video)
Well, well, well. After some understated and fairly inoffensive singles from their
A-Z Series, Ash decide to go all out with this single. Featuring a futuristic video, Ash provides us with a huge up-tempo electro-rock number with giant pop chorus to boot and “oh-oh-oh” hooks. I think the band have regained my interest again. 4 STARS

Ash - Binary: 7-inch + Download: £5.00 packshot

03. Detroit Social Club: Prophecy (Video)
I can see why this band is favoured by
NME so much… this is rather epic! Featuring fuzzy guitars and drum claps, the song is a definite must have on this Summer’s rock playlist, allow this to grow on you and before you know it you will be bobbing your head and jumping around your room to the massive and powerful chorus. 5 STARS

04. Dizzee Rascal featuring Daniel Pearce: Dirtee Disco (Video)
I really have a fractured relationship with Dizzee Rascal. I
hated Dance Wiv Me in Summer 2008, I hated Bonkers in Summer 2009 and it’s now Summer 2010 and I hate Dirtee Disco. But the most likely thing is, I will be joining the masses, like I did in Summers 2008 and 2009, and loving this song before the season is out. You see Dizzee’s music of late seems to have this creeping infectiousness, it sounds terrible at first but radio seems to latch on and before you know it, Dizzee has another hit on his hands. Dirtee Disco contains the rapper’s brash rhymes over a ‘70s funky house beat and vocals from reality TV reject Daniel Pearce. It shouldn’t work, it doesn’t work but it will work in a few weeks time when the dancefloor will be full and moving to Dizzee’s dulcet tones. 3 STARS

05. DJ Team: Stereo Love (Video)
Edward Maya’s naff, accordion sampling Eurotrash number gets the remix treatment by the DJ Team. I can’t believe this crap got into the Irish Top 10 even if the DJ Team version is slightly better than the original, piling on a few extra beats.
2 STARS

06. Edward Maya featuring Vika Jigulina: Stereo Love (Video)
I think I said everything about this song already above. This is naff, Eurotrash trance which fits in perfectly with all the Eurovision guff sure to infiltrate the charts in the next two weeks or so. Maybe this would be passable fodder at a Spanish holiday camp but I certainly know I don’t want this accordion heavy trance track to be played anywhere in the vicinity near me!
1.5 STARS

07. Glee Cast: Dream On (Video)
Glee was back on form this week, mainly because they waited until about 20 minutes into the episode to start singing. In other words, they didn’t sacrifice the plot for the sake of cramming as many songs as possible into an episode. What they also got right is the choice of songs – no bad songs in Glee this week. Yay! This song, a cover of the Aerosmith 1973 classic, sounds rather good. It’s not a patch on the original but Matthew Morrisson and Neil Patrick Harris are vocally good here, well Morrisson is vocally good, Harris is vocally outstanding. I have a real hate for the too-perfect character of Will Schuester so I’m delighted to hear that Neil Patrick Harris absolutely kills him in the rawk vocal department. I say we get rid of Schue and replace him with Bryan Ryan. Who’s with me? 4 STARS

Dream On (Glee Cast Version Featuring Neil Patrick Harris)

08. Glee Cast: The Safety Dance (Video)
Artie’s learned how to walk!!! And also dance.
The Safety Dance, originally by New Wave band Men Without Hats isn’t exactly the vocally outstanding number of the episode but it’s probably the most fascinating visual number. Artie never fails song-wise and re-creates the original funky, electronic sound while throwing out some choreography that would make a Jackson proud. Like I said, this isn’t the song of the episode but it’s actually a pretty good listen once you get used to watching the video over and over again. 4 STARS

Safety Dance (Glee Cast Version)

09. Glee Cast: I Dreamed A Dream (Video)
SPOILER! Rachel and her mother Shelby (Idina Menzel, who eerily looks like Lea Michelle) cover this song from Les Miserables. Both give an impassioned and vocally strong performance but I have to admit I’m really sick of that song now after it became synonymous with Susan Boyle, Britain’s Got Talent and any reality TV show that’s connected to Simon Cowell. Still a good performance earns… 3.5 STARS

I Dreamed A Dream (Glee Cast Version Featuring Idina Menzel)

10. Glee Cast: Dream A Little Dream Of Me (Video)
This is another heartwarming closer to a
Glee episode. Again it sticks pretty close to the original 1931 dreamy, head swaying number made all the more vulnerable by the wheelchair bound Artie who is on lead vocals. It’s all made more irresistible by the show choir vocals in the background. 4.5 STARS

Dream A Little Dream (Glee Cast Version)

11. HURTS: Better Than Love (Video)
More ‘80s nostalgia from the Manchester duo. I’ve heard better tracks from the Manchester duo but this is an acceptable enough listen. It’s one of those tracks that starts off rather monotonous but builds up with sparse guitar licks, an explosion of synths and rising backing vocals. I’d give this a much higher rating if I wasn’t sick of listening to ‘80s throwbacks by now. However, I will keep this duo on my One To Watch list.
3 STARS

Better Than Love

12. Jamie Cullum: Wheels (Video)
This piano and string heavy number is yet another fantastic entry in Jamie Cullum’s song catalogue. Lyrically, it’s brilliant as always and the chorus with it “woah-oooah-ooah” hook may ensure this gets played on the radio…though I doubt it. Oh well, you can change that if you buy this new single.
4 STARS

13. Josh Dubovie: That Sounds Good To Me (Video)
The only word for this is naff, naff, naff. Maybe back in those dark days when Steps, Scooch and S-Club were ruling the charts, this might have been a hit and an acceptable entry into the Eurovision but I can’t see this doing well. Lyrically atrocious with cheesy backing vocals, it makes the UK look like a country devoid of any talent where’s there’s plenty. And the same goes for Ireland (although our entry isn’t as embarrassing, no offence to my British cyber friends). I cannot understand that the industry big wigs cannot get it into their thick skulls that you send a death-metal band that like to play dress-up (see: Lordi), faux lesbians (see: tAtU) or some sexy lady that can grind on a pole and you have it – WIN! WIN! WIN! Didn’t Lady GaGa teach these people? – the public love gimmicks!
1 STAR

14. K’naan featuring will.i.am. and David Guetta: Wavin’ Flag (Video)
This K’nann penned track was originally given to the Young Artists For Haiti as a charity single a few months ago and even won the prestigious Track Of The Week. However, something is lost in translation when sang by its original songwriter and *shudder* will.i.am with production credits from *shudder* David Guetta. I like K’nann’s international sounding voice and hope to see more of him in the future. The reason I’m not crazy about this version of the track might be because the lyrics have been changed around so that the wordplay sounds clumsy and overall ruins the song’s catchiness, moving it into really schmaltzy territory. The good thing is that David Guetta doesn’t turn the song into a remix, only adding a few extra beats to the track and will.i.am. lays of the Auto-Tune and becomes the much more likeable retro Will. (Okay, so his “rock the beat” voice comes out towards the end of the song but it’s not overbearing like much of the post
E.N.D. material. To sum up, the song still remains enjoyable enough but it’s nothing compared to the Haiti version. 3 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
15. Margi Clarke: Like A Memory (Video)
When I sit down to type up my Singles Reviews Diary, I first have to choose among the 50+ singles released each week, which ones I’m going to review. I generally choose to review songs by well known artists, songs by hyped artists, songs likely to make the Top 40, songs by artists I’ve already reviewed in previous diaries and songs by artists with a certain ring to their name. Margi Clarke was one of those names that had a ring to them and so I went of typed her name into YouTube. Expecting to find an adult contemporary track á la Susan Boyle, I clicked play on the video and my ears were greeted by trippy noises and an even trippier video. I squinted at the screen… wait a minute! IS THAT TYRONE’S PINK HAIRED MUM FROM
CORONATION STREET???! I was gobsmaked. What next – Peggy Mitchell leaving Eastenders to pursue a pop career??? Margi Clarke cannot sing at all and the electro track is complete trash. Poker Face 2.0it ain’t, honey. She actually does sound like Madonna in certain places, albeit less talented and more classy. Anyways I believe I’m scarred for life now. *goes to corner and cowers, rocking over and back* 1 STAR

16. Muse: Exogenesis: Symphony (Video)
Aww! Isn’t Muse good to their fans? This track, split in three parts at the end of their latest album
The Resistance has been melded together into an epic 12 minute number and packaged as a single for their fans. The single really showcases Muse’s instrumental talents, the orchestra number is huge, atmospheric, overblown, epic and so completely Muse. However, this Muse fan believes that the track is better split in three parts and kept on the album because this constitutes as fun background music and nothing more. Oh well, each to their own I guess. 4 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
17. Muse: Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever) (Video)
Acting as the lead single from the wildly anticipated
Eclipse film, Stephanie Meyer (author of Twilight) must be hopping up and down now that her favourite band Muse are soundtracking the never ending love of her protagonists Bella and Robert PattinsonEdward. For a big mainstream release like Eclipse, Muse are in mainstream mode here, the song has a big heart wrenching chorus that radio are sure to pick up, romanticised pianos and big crunching guitars. Hey, I think this is another fantastic entry into Muse’s catalogue and if it gets more people into Muse then I’m all for it. Actually, this is my favourite love song ever…so it gets…5 STARS

File:Neutron Star Collision.png

18. N-Dubz featuring Bodyrox: We Dance On (Video)
Once we get the trademark N-Dubz “na-na-nai” out of the way, this song is actually rather fantastic. Tulisa’s vocals are smooth and passionate and probably the best we’ve heard yet from her, Dappy and Fazer’s rapping is also very good – there’s definitely an American influence here, their rhymes have that very reflective feel to them, the sort of rhyming you’d expect from Jay-Z or Lupe Fiasco. The chorus has a real inspirational feel and the production by Bodyrox is pretty cool too although the best part (the strings) are sampled from Johann Pachelbel’s
Canon in D Major. Anyways, if N-Dubz continue to make music like this Street Dance 3-D soundtrack single for their US debut, then consider me a fan. 4 STARS

File:NDUBZ We dance on final.jpg

19. Nas and Damian Marley: As We Enter (Video)
One of my favourite underrated rappers Nas (probably better known as Kelis’ ex-husband) and Bob Marley’s son Damian come together to provide this head bobber. Nas is a great rapper and Marley’s lyrics are rather clever here, this is a real head-banger, great for playing while cruisin’. 😛 The fast paced back and forth rapping between Nas and Marley really push this song above mediocrity.
3.5 STARS

20. Neil Morrissey and England’s Pride: England’s On The Way (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) (Video)
This song was purely designed for English people to sing along to when getting excited about the World Cup. The recognisable twisting of the lyric
The Lion Sleeps Tonight toEngland’s On The Way should make it easier for them to chant along to. To be honest, I thought this would be terrible but I’m a sucker for The Lion Sleeps Tonight and love the original chant and Africanised beats – which make it perfect for the World Cup really. It would be great if Neil Morrissey sang I in a less cheesy way but what the hell! “A wimoweh, a wimoweh, a wimoweh!” 3.5 STARS

21. Niamh Kavanagh: It’s For You (Video)
Niamh Kavanagh already won the Eurovision once – can she do it again? That’s the question on every Irish person’s lips as we get ready to send her off to ChartBlog legend Alexander Rybak’s homeland of Norway.
It’s For You, like Jade Ewen’s It’s My Time, is a big power ballad sang by a soulful able voiced singer full of generic lyrics in the vein of any Celine Dion song ever. I imagine this could do pretty well, bland and dated material generally does well at Eurovision, but it certainly won’t win it. I think we should have sent the sexy and gimmicky Monica Ivkic instead. 2 STARS

22. Seán Óg: I Still Love You Without Your Car (Video)
You can probably tell by the title alone that this is a parody song. The production is cheap, the vocals are non-existent, this will probably have to get Stinker…and OH MY GOD THE VIDEO HAS DOGS PLAYING BANJOS, FIDDLES AND GUITAR HERO! THIS THE BEST SONG EVER! 5 STARS! Seriously though this video kicks GaGa’s
Telephone video in the mud, Seán Óg needs to become famous and the song is actually a grower. 2.5 STARS but the video gets INFINITY STARS

Sean Og : The Answer

23. Rihanna: Te Amo (Video)
With her crotch grabbing in
Wait Your Turn, her suicidal nature in Russian Roulette, her army promoting Hard and her explicitly sexual lyrics in Rude Boy, Rihanna has come a long way from the early days when she was just a cute 17-year old in a tank top singing about love in much more veiled terms. So it’s a relief to see Rihanna return to some cleaner, more island influenced material of her earlier career. Okay, so the song talks about her breaking some lesbian’s heart but it’s great to hear RihRih avoid singing about guns, bad language and parts of the male anatomy. Te Amo is a beautifully written mid-tempo pop song with lovely tribalesque island synths and percussion and Rihanna expresses emotion in her Marmite voice – listening to this song will transport you to a Caribbean island (figuratively of course). Probably my favourite track from her Rated R album, this strong Summery track is a worthy rival of Lady GaGa’s forthcoming Spanish tinged Alejandro. 4 STARS

24. White Rabbits: They Done Wrong/We Done Wrong (Video)
A brooding rock tune from the White Rabbits. I really like this group and I love the chugging guitars and bass in this but the track is lacking in something, I don’t know really. Perhaps it will grow on me but it’s a bit lacklustre really. Good instrumentally though.
3 STARS

They Done Wrong / We Done Wrong

I see the chart game never really took of last week so I guess it won’t go ahead this week either. But feel free to leave your single ratings below if you wish… and comments and feedback of course. 😛

Singles Reviews Diary 9 – 2nd 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 Ahead. 5 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.