Single Reviews Diary 25 – 23rd July 2010

I’MMMMMM BACCCCKKKKKK!!!!!!

Anyway for those of you wondering where I was – my laptop charger broke and I was left Internet-less for a whole two and a half weeks! You won’t believe the trouble I have had trying to find a laptop charger. Thankfully my dad is quite handy with electronics and he managed to do a rather crude job of fixing my laptop charger. Still, the charger seems to be stable, intact and powering up my computer again so time for me to power up my writing skills and catch up on the three SRDs that I’ve missed so far.

Naturally, these reviews are going to be shorter than usual because I simply have so many things to get out of the way. At least, there will be a lack of my infamous rambling. There will also be no single artwork or video links because I have no time. Go search yourself, you lazy bums! 😛

Lots of 5 STAR singles this week! 😀

Single Reviews Diary 25 – 23rd July 2010:

01. Ali Love: Smoke & Mirrors
This British singer provides something a little different to the dancefloor with this tune from his sophomore album
Love Harder. Rather than overly Auto-Tuned Europop, instead we get some funky disco. The skittering ‘80s synths of this track are the real standout of this song. While the verses and chorus are relatively catchy, it doesn’t sound very different from anything Pet Shop Boys, MGMT or Sam Sparro would do. Still, this is something I’ll have no problem bopping to on the tiles this Saturday night. 3.5 STARS

02. Amy Macdonald: This Pretty Face
I was a massive fan of Amy Macdonald’s debut album
This Is The Life but her sophomore effort A Curious Thing has failed to live up to my standards. The whole project just feels tired and like a rocked up rehash of her first LP with the whole tracklisting just feeling stale in comparison to her older songs. While her previous two singles Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over and Spark grew on me immensely, I haven’t enjoyed this track at all. Sounding like her album track Footballer’s Wife, Amy’s rich voice is not enough to save this ultimately dull song. The chorus is weak and meandering, the instrumentation is nothing extraordinary and the lyrical content, while true, is just more tired celeb bashing. I find Amy likeable, talented and wise beyond her years but she’s really going to have to come up with something more exciting for her next musical project.2.5 STARS

03. Chicane featuring Owl City: Middledistancerunner
There’s a definite case of recycling going on here. While Chicane’s trademark euphoric synths and Owl City’s (a.k.a. Adam Young’s) trademark emotive whining work well together on this track to provide a lonely dancefloor anthem, the two are on autopilot for this track, never straying outside their comfort zone. This sounds more like a mash-up of
Hiding All The Stars and Umbrella Beach rather than a brand new single. Granted both songs were pretty cool so… 3.5 STARS

04. Crystal Castles: Baptism
After releasing their brilliant promo single
Celestica over here, Canadian duo Crystal Castles are releasing their first proper brand of ethereal trance over here. UnlikeCelestica, this track is unlikely to have any crossover appeal because the song barely contains any vocals apart from a icy pulsing dance beats and high pitched, barely distinguishable screaming from singer Alice Glass who reminds me of Yeah Yeahs Yeahs Karen O on this track. While this is not a song for the radio, it is actually an IMMENSE club track and will definitely go down a storm with me when it’s played there or pumping out of my car like the boy racer I so desperately want to be. 4.5 STARS

05. Drake: Find Your Love
Drake is without a doubt one of the most exciting rappers to climb out of the woodworks recently, reminding many of a young Kanye West. The only problem is that Drake sounds a little to like Kanye and this track sounds like a cut from West’s Auto-Tune heavy album
808s & Heartbreak. Despite, Drake’s eerily similar flow to Kanye’s and Kanye’s production credits on this song which push the track into unoriginality, Drake makes this song his own by crooning out a vulnerable, heartfelt chorus. While he doesn’t have one of the strongest vocals about, Drake ditches the rappingand sounds nothing but sincere as he sings all melancholicon the track. The laidback yet primal production on the track give it a warm Summery feel that still grabs your attention thanks to its loud squelchy beats. Now if only I didn’t keep going to my 808s & Heartbreak CD everytime I listen to this song, it might score higher. 3.5 STARS

06. Fugative: Bad Girl
Fugative is basically a puberty conquering Justin Bieber meets Chipmunk. He’s quickly causing the hearts of girls to race with his youthful, 16 year old looks but sounds nearly exactly like Chimpunk, in both his flow and musicality. Which is not really a good thing. I am so sick of this urban pop crap trying to get its way into the charts. These guys are hailed as the new princes of grimes and then they go along and rap about shallow subject matters and get someone else to sing a dreadfully Auto-Tuned catchy chorus on their song, without even crediting said vocalist, which I think is just plain rude. It’s clear Fugative is looking for crossover appeal, judging by this single and its predecessor
Crush but he’s going to need to do something a little more original if he wants to get noticed. Unlike Bieber, Fugative doesn’t have the best team or Usher behind him to ensure his looks allow him to go all the way. 3 STARS

07. Goldfrapp: Alive
Okay so this single was cancelled but since the duo went to the trouble of filming a video for it and with its ascent to the top of the US Dance Charts, I feel it’s only fair that it deserves a review. This track is gorgeous and heavenly with Alison’s sweet, soaring vocals providing a magical chorus that is far catchier than you’d first give it credit. It’s not as infectious or singalong as their floptastic
Rocket but it does the job of keeping up with their consistent singles catalogue. 4 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
08. Gorillaz: On Melancholy Hill
A simply marvellous laidback Summer pop tune with enough organic quirkiness to make you feel like you’re transported to another World – which is where the Gorillaz ingenious appeal applies. Damon Albarn’s soft mumbling works perfectly against the skittering chirpy synths and epic backing vocals of the track. It’s official, Gorillaz are one of the most innovative, sonic pleasing bands of our time.
5 STARS

09. Grafitti6: Annie You Saved Me
A really promising new band. Okay, so indie singer Jamie Scott and TommyD are no strangers to the music industry but now that they’ve teamed up, they’ve managed to create a really appealing song. Scott (sure to set many a female heart a flutter) is a mighty vocalist and TommyD manages to produce a song that marries rock and electro perfectly. What we get is a song that manages to have an indie sound to it but enough pop smarts to please casual listeners. If only the track had a catchier chorus…
4 STARS

10. Katie Melua: A Happy Place
Katie Melua has quickly become one of my most favourite female artists with her latest album
The House. Following on from the sonic masterpiece that is The Flood, A Happy Place doesn’t quite live up to the standards set by its predecessor but still contains plenty of charm and avant garde influences. Seriously I think KM is the new Bjork! This track sounds a little like her earlier work, which is either a mildly bad thing or a very good thing. The verses are sang in a whimsical, run-on way and the lyrics have an other-worldly feel to them and although I am reminded slightly of her irritating signature hit Nine Million Bicylces with this song, the music has enough quality to stand on its own and almost erase that memory from my head. 4 STARS

11. LCD Soundsystem: I Can Change
LCD Soundsystem, a.k.a. James Murphy’s latest single from
This Is Happening lacks the energy of previous single Drunk Girls. While the sparse wonky electro and Murphy’s vocals are on point, the song isn’t particularly exciting or interesting. It sounds like strong album filler and probably shouldn’t have been chosen as a single. 3 STARS

12. Lissie: When I’m Alone
This single was released a while back but I didn’t bother reviewing it because…y’know…I can’t review everything. Since Lissie has been met with much hype and critical acclaim since, I feel like I have to throw my two cents into the mix. I’m glad I listened to this tune because the former YouTube star from Illinois lives up to the height. Starting off in stunning acapella, Lissie reminds one of Fleetwood Mac’s legendary Stevie Nicks but can stand on her own with a building folk backing and a powerful, catchy chorus which sounds like a raspier Florence Welch. Definitely checking out this chick’s album if the songs are as good as this.
5 STARS

13. The Pipettes: Call Me
Unlike Girls Don’t Catch (RIP) and Mini Viva, The Pipettes are unlike them as they don’t appear to be interested in cracking into the mainstream with any of their singles. The ladies don’t have a Top 20 hit to their name but that actually makes them appear less manufactured than the other competitive girlbands such as The Saturdays, Girls Aloud, Mini Viva and Sugababes. Mini Viva are a rather posh band you see and the second single from their album
Earth Vs. Pipettes is another slice of shameless ABBA-esque pop that is a little cheesy for my taste but I know would appeal to certain major pop enthusiast so I’d recommend if ABBA, Spice Girls and early Take That are at the top of your record collection, giving this single and its parent album a try. 3.5 STARS

14. Plan B: Prayin’
This is a rousing dramatic third single from Plan B. I recently bought his
The Defamation Of Strickland Banks LP and I’m in love with it. This is the album’s standout track, being a large orchestral ballad that is simply epic, no question! The prison riot video that accompanies the track only further highlights the cinematic nature of the song and fits with it perfectly. 5 STARS

15. Preeya Kalidas featuring Mumzy Stranger: Shimmy
Ugh, this is terribly generic. While former EastEnder Preeya Kalidas, better known to some as Amira Masood (the only hot person in
EE), doesn’t take the overused Auto-Tuned dance route, her music is still lacking in soul. With clichéd lyrics about “not frontin’” and a tired Middle-Eastern urban pop backing, I just can’t get behind this song. While the bhangra influences are apt considering Preeya’s and guest rapper, the unfortunately named Mumzy Stranger’s, ethnicities, the song just comes across as a completely corporate and comparable to Alesha Dixon or Sugababes 4.0 – which isn’t very good to be honest. Mumzy’s guest rap, where he does his best Sean Paul impression, is completely uncalled for too. I will say this though, Preeya has a much better voice than I expected from her – her vocals are really strong and commanding. Perhaps with the release of her album this September and a better second single, she might be able to turn this cheap mess around. She’s got the looks, fame and talent to do it! 2 STARS

16. RPA & The United Nations Of Sound: Born Again
The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft has set out on a new project with his brand spanking new band The United Nations Of Sound. Unlike his work with The Verve which was generally cold symphonic rock, his new music sees him embrace some Gospel style rock with an uplifting sound and harsh yet impassioned vocals. While this is nowhere near as good as anything the Verve have put out and with the album receiving mainly negative reviews, things don’t look good for Ashcroft’s little venture but this isn’t a bad lead single at all.
3.5 STARS

17. Swedish House Mafia featuring Pharrell: One (Your Name)
The Swedes are basically running pop and mainstream dance music at the minute so it’s about time three Swedish producers in Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso teamed up with American rapper/producer Pharrell for a masterful dance smash. This is screaming at you to get that thang popping on the dancefloor because those massive pounding synths, bassline and Pharrell’s surprisingly commanding, sometimes warped vocals are just the perfect tonic to forget your troubles and just dance. Wow that line was clichéd and sounds like I’ve taken it from every pop song circa 2009 to 2010 but I’m tired. Great dance tune, a little unoriginal but completely thumping. Great work to all involved.
4.5 STARS

18. Tom Jones: Did Trouble Me
Wow! Tom Jones is certainly impressive with his second A-side single from his latest album
Praise And Blame. Ditching the guilty pleasure naff pop of his earlier records, Jones is really suited to the stripped back Gospel rock of this new album. Rousing yet intimate and undoubtedly sounds great live, Tom sings the lyrics of this song with great passion. 5 STARS

19. Tom Jones: Don’t Knock
Jones is in upbeat mode for this foot-tapping country tune. This is really very good with some great female backing vocals and shows that Tom has plenty of energy for his age. If you’re not a fan of country music, this is hardly going to peak your interest and it doesn’t really standout from other country tracks but it still will prove to go down a storm at Tom’s live shows.
4 STARS

20. Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars: Billionaire
This song isn’t going to change the World but it’s a fun and beautiful Summer pop tune. Bruno Mars continues to be a scene stealer on the two singalong choruses of this song, having last won us over with his romantic vocals on B.o.B.’s
Nothin’ On You and Travie’s cheeky chappy rapping against a bouncy reggae backing is completely charming. Unlike the majority of rap tunes, Travie doesn’t just about material possessions and getting in girls’ panties, although, they understandably are part of the lyrical content too, but also rhymes about adopting kids that ain’t as fortunate as him and donating money to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. No doubt, radio is going to play this to death and perhaps Travie could have delved deeper lyrically and less superficially into the track but as a fun, relatable Summer pop tune, this does the trick! 4 STARS

21. Wallis Bird: An Idea About Mary
Hippie chick Wallis Bird sings in an Irish accented voice for this autobiographical, folk track with some witty, relatable lyrics that are odds with the morbid subject matter which detail the death of a woman named Mary. Wallis manages to really appeal with the anguished chorus and climax of the song but the humdrum production and verses sadly suck the momentum out of that stunning chorus and hence ruin this from being a defining single. Sad.
3 STARS

22. The Wanted: All Time Low
I’m sorry but this song is completely lame. Okay, not
completely lame but not much better from what JLS are inflicting upon. I’m not exactly excited about the sudden resurgence of popularity in boy and girl bands because boy and girl bands are just corny, products of sex that make shoddy, manufactured music. I do quite like the pompous strings during the first minute or two of the song, some of the guys have interesting voices and the chorus does quickly bury itself in your head but the song just feels very clunky, random 😉 and unfinished. Like a demo or something. The way the song builds up from pompous indie ballad to ravey pop tune just brings back too many bad memories of JLS’ One Shot and the video has to go down as one of the worst clips of 2010. They look so corny jumping around in the air with flares, repeating ”low-a-low-a-low-a-low” over and over and over again. Aren’t they supposed to be in the throes of depression? Why are they dancing in a crumbling warehouse? Probably hoping the building falls on them, I guess. 2.5 STARS

23. Yolanda Be Cool and D-Cup: We No Speak Americano
Please, one
Riverside (Let’s Go) is enough! I do not want another gimmicky, irritating dance tune, thanks! You can call me boring and humourless but even when off my face in a club, this headwrecking tune still remains unappealing to me. I researched last weekend, y’see. And Yolanda Be Cool have lost all credibility as a starting out band. 1 STAR

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
24. Young Money: Every Girl In The World
Originally released as the record crew’s first single in the US back in April 2009, the song has now been released over here for a bid at Irish and British stardom. Well it’s not going to get it because unlike there previous hit
Bedrock, this song lacks a strong chorus or an interesting production. This is your typical misogynist hip-hop track with pain-wrenching use of Auto-Tune from Lil’ Wayne, Drake, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda and Mack Maine (“Who?” at the latter three). There is absolutely nothing redeemable about this track. 1 STAR

I will hopefully have next week’s SRD tomorrow evening and the week after the day after – hopefully! 😀

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Eminem scores double whammy on the US Chart

Eminem might be looking a little glum in the image above but he’s sure to turn that frown upside down when he finds out that he’s bagged the top spot on both the US single and album charts. Eminem has succeeded in taking down the monster that is Katy Perry’s record breaking smash California Gurls with his own monster smash Love The Way You Lie, which features Rihanna. This is now Eminem’s fourth US #1 single and Rihanna’s seventh!!! In Rihanna’s five short years on the scene, she has achieved the most #1s out of any artist in that timespan. That’s pretty impressive.

Rihanna’s fellow Bajan Shontelle has also managed to defy her sceptics with the former one hit wonder reaching a new peak of #13 with her catchy ballad Impossible. Paramore may have already moved onto next single Careful but its predecessor The Only Exception is proving to be something of a sleeper hit by reaching #36 on the singles chart. Paramore’s previous singles Ignorance and Brick By Boring Brick from their #2 album Brand New Eyes failed to make any significant placing on the chart so I guess this is Paramore’s first US hit from the album.

Usher has proven that there’s just no stopping him! DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love, the Pitbull assisted lead single from new album Versus has debuted at a stellar #19. I smell future OMG like success but I’ll actually be happy for it because DJ is a catchy, fun song. The biggest drop in the chart is Kanye West’s Power which goes from #29 to #60. Kanye better get a video made and some promotion done quick to ensure that he doesn’t face a similar fate to Christina Aguilera.

California Gurls hasn’t died just yet. Its still sits at #1 on the Pop Charts while Paramore’s The Only Exception gains a rise in airplay and debuts at #19. The R&B/Hip-Hop Chart is still held on to by Alicia Keys with Un-thinkable (I’m Ready). I think Un-thinkable is the least commercial single Keys has released to date from The Element Of Freedom but it has ironically sold the best. Looks like my dream of working for a record label has been cut short. I brought you Wynter Gordon’s Dirty Talk video a few days ago. That was  the master of the Dance Chart last week but has now being kicked off by British duo Goldfrapp’s Alive. Great to see that the single has charted somewhere after it flopped in the UK.

Enrique Iglesias continues his reign at the top of the Latin Charts with Cuando Me Enamoro, Shinedown are #1 on the Rock Chart with The Crow And The Butterly while Luke Brian is atop the Country Charts with Doin’ My Thing.

Eminem might be spending his fourth week at #1 with Recovery on the album charts but there are quite a few Top 10 debuts this week. Metal band Korn have debuted at #2 with their ninth LP Korn III: Remember Who You Are, Christian rock band; the terribly named Newsboys debut at #4 with album Born Again, Sting’s new record Symphonicities slides in at #6 followed by unknown-to-me artists Jerrod Nieman and HellYeah at #7 and #8. The US are kinder to M.I.A. than the UK were. Her new record /\/\ /\ Y /\ has debuted at #9 while it flipped feebly into the UK album charts at #21.

Thanks to Rap Radar for the image.

And watch this cool Top 50 video from the wonderful Billboard Goddess on YouTube. I really appreciate her hard work.

Katy Perry continues to reign on the Billboard Hot 100, Drake #1 album on Billboard Hot 200

*drools all over computer screen*

Sorry, what?! Oh that’s right, I’m composing a post. Okay, so trying to drag my eyes away from the image above and look down at the keys, Katy Perry has managed to hold onto her position at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100 with her infectious comeback hit California Gurls. While not participating in mouthwatering shots for Esquire, Katy Perry also has to deal with her new album’s title track and second single Teenage Dream leaking online earlier today. Wish I could share the clip with you but it’s being pulled down everywhere and I didn’t get a chance to listen. 😦

The rest of the US Top 10 singles chart comprises of universal hit tracks from Usher, B.o.B., Drake, Ke$ha, Lady GaGa, Taio Cruz, Eminem as well as forthcoming international singles by Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy and newbie Mike Posner.

Seeing as Drake has managed to climb straight to #1 in the albums chart, a few tracks from his debut album Thank Me Later have made it into the Hot 100 which include his Nicki Minaj assisted Up All Night, his second Alicia Keys duet Fireworks and Drake all by himself with 9AM In Dallas.

Over on the Billboard Hot 200, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Sarah McLachlan, NOW 34, Jack Johnson, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Justin Bieber, Lady Antebellum, Christina Aguilera and Glee snap at Drake’s heels in the Top 10 in respective order.

Meanwhile in specific genre single related charts, Katy Perry also reigns at the Top of the Pop Charts. Three Days Grace are atop the Rock Chart with their single The Good Life, Alicia Keys is atop the R&B/Hip-Hop Charts with Un-thinkable (I’m Ready) and Miranda Lambert is on top in the Country Charts with The House That Built Me. The Latin Charts sees Spanish heartthrob Enrique Iglesias’ Spanish language duet with Juan Luis Guerra Cuando Me Enamoro and the Dance/Club Play Charts are ruled by Lady GaGa’s Alejandro see GaGa on top with a similarly Latin themed but more upbeat track.

We’re already halfway through 2010 now so let’s take a look (with some analysis thrown in by me) at all the #1 singles in the US this year so far.

01. Ke$ha: TiK ToK (9 weeks)

Seeing at the song has been overplayed to death at this stage thanks to its nine weeks atop this chart and elsewhere, many of you probably hate this song by now. But at the time Ke$ha’s TiK ToK, a fun drunken girl party anthem, was one of the catchiest tunes of late 2009 thanks to Dr. Luke.

02. Black Eyed Peas: Imma Be (2 weeks)

The Black Eyed Peas continued their lucky streak from the 2009 album, The E.N.D.,scoring their third US #1 and 4th Top 10 single from the era. What is will.i.am doing so right at the moment?

03. Taio Cruz featuring Ludacris: Break Your Heart (1 week)

The Brit Invasion continues in the US with Taio Cruz, following in Jay Sean’s, footsteps and scoring a #1 out of nowhere. Pity Cruz is so bland and boring and the song is so generic, made even more so by throwing Ludacris on it.

04. Rihanna: Rude Boy (5 weeks)

Rihanna ditched the dark side of earlier singles with this sunny, upbeat jam about a rude boy failing to get ‘it’ up.

05. B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars: Nothin’ On You (2 weeks)

This surprisingly romantic hip-hop track introduced us to the latest innovative rapper B.o.B.. And newcomer Bruno Mars!

06. Usher featuring will.i.am: OMG (4 non-consecutive weeks)

I fail to understand why this monstrosity of a song about tech speak acronyms sang by two 30 year old men managed to make 4 weeks at the top of the chart as well as #1 elsewhere. will.i.am either has a Midas touch or is bribing a lot of chart officials.

07. Eminem: Not Afraid (1 week)

Eminem made chart history and showed the two above how real urban music is done with his stellar comeback single. While unspectacular, it did inform listeners that Eminem is aware of past mistakes and ready to make you love him again. Aparently the love didn’t last long because Usher and will.i.am. were back on top next week.

08. Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg: California Gurls (3 weeks so far)

Dr. Luke has struck gold again with TiK ToK Part 2. As well as sounding sonically the same, it looks like Katy’s pop track is going to get the same overplay as TiK ToK resulting in super catchy to super irritating tune.

So what do you think of the various US Singles Charts and Album Charts? Do you agree or disagree with how well (or how bad) a particular record is doing? What do you think of this year’s #1s.

For full news on the chart: visit Billboard.com.

Singles Reviews Diary 6 – 12th March 2010

It’s getting even earlier and earlier…but I have my reviews for singles being released on Monday this week. Cos I’ll most likely be busy. It’s a whopping 37 singles I’ll be covering this week (all though not all of them will be major releases).

As per usual, here are my thoughts on all major singles being released next week on:

Singles Reviews Diary 6 – 12th March 2010:

01. All Time Low: Lost In Stereo
Nothing remotely original about this at all, but if you’re like me and into you’re uptempo emo cuts, you’ll love this.
2.5 STARS

02. Ash: Dionysian Urge
I only continue to review/mention singles from Ash’s
A-Z Series because I’m pedantic and can’t bare to leave them out. This is Single Letter L so there’s still a bit to go until Ash finish this project and hopefully release something a little more hyped up. If you like Ash, then you won’t mind spending 99p/99c on this single. 3 STARS

03. Band Of Skulls: I Know What I Am
A big stomping garage rock tune from the up and coming British rock band. It has a great chorus and if radio picks it up, it could be a big hit for the group.
4 STARS

04. Black Eyed Peas: Imma Be
Seeing as the futurtastic
Imma Be Rockin’ That Body mash-up video seems to be getting a nice amount of airplay on the music channels, there is a small chance this song might chart in its own right. Really, its probably a good thing that this song is only being officially released over in North America, because this wouldn’t be an ideal single on this side of the Atlantic. This song is very hit and miss. Like previous hit My Humps, you’ll either find this very catchy, very irritating or both. The BEP repeat the words Imma Be about 100 times throughout this song, they show off some urban swagga, send out messages of positivity (yet again!) and the whole thing has that schizophrenic quality that a lot of tracks on The E.N.D. have, changing tempo about 3 times throughout. If you like what you hear, then get downloading. If not then, don’t.2.5 STARS

05. Black Eyed Peas: Rock That Body
The Black Eyed Peas go all Daft Punk on this David Guetta produced track. While not instantly accessible or poppish as
I Gotta Feeling and Meet Me Halfway, this pulsating electro tune is rather brilliant. Definitely one of the better songs to dance to in a club, this single fits best with The E.N.D.’s futuristic theme. My only concern is a lack of normal voiced Fergie (she been swallowing far too much helium on this song) but the Black Eyed Peas seem to be unstoppable this year with everything they touch turning to chart gold. 4 STARS

06. Cheryl Cole: Parachute
Like
Fight For This Love, this sounds terrible at first. However, after a few listens, this quickly infiltrates your brain until you don’t mind hearing it anymore. I wouldn’t give it 5 stars but this is a pleasant enough listen. Good stuff although ironic at this for Mrs. Cole/Ms. Tweedy. 4 STARS

07. Chris Brown: Crawl
Poor old Chris. Is his career on the downfall because of what he did to Rihanna or is it because his latest LP
Graffiti a substandard bland affair. Good points out of the way first, this has a lovely sparse intro and the strings are suitably dramatic. The video is also rather good too. But this is a ballad that is so generic, so bland, so lacking in any identity with its lyrics and vocals that any R&B singer could have pulled it off. I know I’d much rather listen to Jason Derulo sing this song. 4 STARS

08. Chris Brown featuring L.A. The Darkman: In My Shoes
As well as promoting
Graffiti, Brown has also released the mixtape In My Zone. As you’d expect, this just sounds like an underground version of I Can Transform Ya. Chris sings about a girl with a nice ass and a skinny little waist. Wow, Chris you’ve convinced us all, you’re so ghetto. L.A. The Darkman shows up for the customary rap.1 STAR

09.Craig David: One More Lie (Standing In The Shadows)
For his new album
Signed Sealed Delivered, Craig David will sample old Motown classics and give them a modern twist. On this new single from the album, he delivers by sampling The Funk Brothers Standing In The Shadows over some ravey production. To be honest, I’m done with Craig David. I don’t like his voice and I don’t like any of his new material. This is okay, I can’t see it being a huge hit. 2.5 STARS

10. Delphic: Halycon
The Teens Decade’s (2010-2019) answer to New Order return with this brilliant new single. Like their criminally underselling previous single
Doubt, this takes a few listens to reach its full catchy potential. Hopefully this charts better than Doubt. 4 STARS

11. Drake featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy: I’m Goin’ In
I really like Drake. I really don’t like crude slimy Lil Wayne and horse voiced Young Jeezy. They make an otherwise underground solid hip-hop track less enjoyable.
3 STARS

12. Drake: Over
After months of releasing mixtapes and appearing on other peoples’ records, Drake releases his first proper single from his first proper album. Things look promising with this track, a moody and brooding “fuck you” to all his detractors. Despite cracking the Top 30 in the US, this is more alternative but the wonderful production should see it get some mainstream attention.
4 STARS

13. Elaine Doonan and Pete Fagan: Haiti Child
Another week, another Haiti single. This is a nice yet unextraordinary live acoustic cover by little known Irish singers.
2 STARS

14. Erykah Badu: Window Seat
Wow just discovered this girl and wow she is good! With lovely silky vocals and a smooth R&B production, she sounds like a modern day Macy Gray.
4.5 STARS

15. Glee Cast: Don’t Make Me Over
Jennifer Hudson Junior is perfect for this retro styled cover of the soulful Dionne Warwick track. A great way to start of this week’s episode Hairography.
3.5 STARS

16. Glee Cast: Papa, Don’t Preach
Again, another epic cover by the Glee Cast. Pregnant Cheerleader is perfect for this acoustic cover of Madonna’s 1986 smash. Her voice works so well with this song.
3.5 STARS

17. Glee Cast: Imagine
The Glee Cast are on a roll this week, this is an actually amazing heartwarming cover of the John Lennon classic.
5 STARS

18. Glee Cast: Bootylicious
Glee goes Destiny’s Child with this karaoke rendition. Probably the weakest cover in this week’s episode.
2.5 STARS

19. Glee Cast: True Colors
The Quirky Girl With The Fake Stutter gets her chance to shine with her cover of Cyndi Lauper’s
True Colors. Its perfectly fine but Quirky Girl hasn’t a very distinguishable voice. I would have much preferred if she cover “Puh-puh-puh-poker face, puh-puh-puh-poker face”. 3 STARS

20. Glee Cast: Hair/Crazy In Love
This is another amazing mash-up by
Glee and it features my two favourite characters – The Wheelchair Guy and Jennifer Hudson Junior. It’s brilliant and is the most likely tune to break the chart next week. Hairography is an episode you do not want to miss. 4.5 STARS

21. Groove Armada featuring Will Young: History
Very ’80s and very good. I must go out and buy Groove’s new album
Black Lightsoon…and I recommend you do too. 4.5 STARS

22. Jamie T: Emily’s Heart
Jamie T is a wonderful songwriter and this single from sophomore album
Kings And Queens showcases that perfectly. Sounds a bit like The Streets. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
23. Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston: Eenie Meenie
I was going to award Stinker of the Week to Justin Bieber’s other song but I decided that this promo single is even more dire. This is a joint collaboration from the tween…sorry teen…heartthrob and the irrelevant Jamacian singer/rapper. Built around the juvenile “Eenie Menie Minie Mo” rhyme, Sean and Justin sing about an “eenie meenie mo lover” (sounds explicit for someone whose not legal yet) and refer to her as “shawty” throughout the song. Yeah guys, cos ye are so tall. This song is terrible. Terrible. Boring R&B. Has a Summery vibe but still crap. Has to be heard (for free) to realise how terrible it is.
1.5 STARS

24. Justin Bieber: Baby
I have nothing personal against the Biebmeister but if he continues to release such generic R&B junk, I’m gonna keep up my criticisms. This, for me, is worse than
One Time. The chorus is just a lazy man’s way of being catchy, repeating “Baby” over and over again. Justin’s voice also sounds weak on the chorus. Ludacris turns up to spit out some uninspired verse about his tweenhood. Can I ask why cool rappers like Ludacris and Drake (who appears in the video) want to hang around with a bunch of 15-year-olds? Like come on! 2 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
25. Lady GaGa featuring Beyoncé: Telephone
GaGa might be pretentious and fond of using gimmicks but you can’t deny her talent, creativity and her knack for writing some amazing pop songs. This will hopefully be GaGa’s fourth Number 1 in the UK. Originally written for Britney Spears, it’s a good thing GaGa held on to this for herself because only she could pull off the restrained harp backed intro and outro, the speedy club friendly production and sirens, the countless number of hooks and the fast paced verses. Beyoncé almost steals the show with her raspy verse, but after her being the lead artist on their last collaboration
Video Phone(which was a real stinker), it’s only right that Lady GaGa shines on this much better offering from the pair. 5 STARS

26. LIGHTS: Ice
Yes! A brand new find! A much cooler, female version of Owl City. LIGHTS is a one woman band who writes and plays her own New Wavey electropop tunes. Sounds like a bit like
Blackout Britney. 4 STARS

27. Major Lazer featuring Vybz Kartel: Pon De Floor
This combines rave and dancehall quite effectively. Great production but we’ve heard it all before.
3 STARS

28. Michael Bublé: Cry Me A River
Housewife favourite Michael Bublé returns with the second single from his crazy selling album
Crazy Love. The intro to the Canadian crooner’s new song is epically dramatic and his voice is very powerful but this ballad doesn’t really go anywhere. Could be a nice James Bond theme. 2.5 STARS

29. Paloma Faith: Upside Down
Paloma changes pace with the third single from her brilliant debut album,
Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? After teary eyed ballads like Cold Stone Sober and New York, this is a much more lively track from the multi-talented soul artist. 4 STARS

30. Rod Stewart: (You’re Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
Rod Stewart releases this solid but really unnecessary cover of the Jackie Wilson classic. Rod Stewart fans will lap it up but for everyone else, this will hardly be a blip on your radar.
1.5 STARS

31. Rowetta Howett: Beautiful Lies
Anyone remember Rowetta? Nope neither did I! She got to the Final 9 (yup, it was the Final 9 as opposed to the Final 12 back in those dark days) of the first ever series of
The X-Factor. She was also the first to be knocked out of those live finals. Her debut single is actually rather nice, nothing out of this World. Showcases that she has talent though. 3 STARS

32. Rox: My Baby Left Me
Much like Noisettes
Don’t Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go!), this could be a massive crossover hit if it gets enough airplay. A super catchy soulful indie track! 4.5 STARS

33. Skepta: Bad Boy
A slicky produced grime track. Much like Rox, this could be a massive crossover hit. Much better than Tinie Tempah, in my opinion.
3 STARS

34. Snoop Dogg: Rida Man
Snoopie samples the
Spiderman theme in this novelty promo single. I like it but its nothing amazing. 3 STARS

35. Snoop Dogg: I Wanna Rock
A solid old skool hip-hop track that samples Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s 1988 song
It Takes Two. It Takes Two is popular this week has the Black Eyed Peas have also sampled the song for Rock That Body. But while Black Eyed Peas shoot to the future, Snoop sticks to keeping the song in the past. 3 STARS

36. Three 6 Mafia vs. Tiësto featuring Flo Rida and Sean Kingston: Feel It
Wow, I’m pleasantly surprised that a song featuring my “two favourite artists” Sean Kingston and Flo Rida could be so good. Thanks to Tiesto’s fast paced production, this is a great club banger and driving song combined. Love it!
4 STARS

37. T.I.: I’m Back
T.I.’s comeback from prison song. I like T.I.’s so I won’t knock this too much but we’ve heard this kind of track from him (and many other rappers) many times before.
3.5 STARS

38. Timbaland featuring Bran’Nu: Meet In Tha Middle
Timbaland continues to release promo singles from his poor selling
Timbaland Presents Shock Value II album. This is a really great rap track and has that old skool feel of some of his earlier tunes. Brandy (of Moesha fame) also shocks by unleashing her rapping alter ego Bran’Nu and she’s just fantastic at it. One of the few artists who can rap as well as they sing. 3.5 STARS

Singles Reviews Diary 5 – 5th March 2010

It’s getting even earlier and earlier…but I have my reviews for singles being released on Monday this week. Cos I’ll most likely be busy. It’s a whopping 37 singles I’ll be covering this week (all though not all of them will be major releases).

Singles Reviews Diary 5 – 5th March 2010

01. A Fine Frenzy: Happier
Better known to her Mom and Dad as Alison Sudol, this gorgeous singer is something like a combination of Colbie Caillat and some anti-folk artist from the
Juno soundtrack. As for Happier, it’s a breezy Summery track with some light breathy vocals. Really like this actually. 4 STARS

02. Agnes: On And On
Poor Agnes. Looks like she’s gonna be a #1 hit wonder after failing to replicate the success of her surprise smash Summer hit
Release Me. This basically sounds like an inferior version of that song. Theres nothing to distinguish this from any songs we’re likely to hear in the Eurovision, only a month and a half away. Yup, ’nuff said. 2 STARS

03. Alicia Keys featuring Drake: Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)
Alicia Keys keeps the momentum going for her
The Element Of Freedom LP with this promotional single. It’s actually a really beautiful song but probably wouldn’t work as an official single. Drake’s harmonies work well with Alicia’s soulful vocals. 3 STARS

04. Avril Lavigne: Alice (Underground)
“IIIIIIIIIIIII….Iiiii’lll get byyyyyyyyyyyy…” yells Avril on the lead single of the Almost Alice soundtrack. Well we certainly won’t Avril as you’re making my ears bleed with your banshee howl. I can’t help thinking this would have been way better in the hands of a more stronger singer like Alanis Morrisette or Amy Lee. However, the thundering percussion and the quiet piano melodies make this just about bearable. 2.5 STARS

Sidenote: What’s the deal with the Almost Alice soundtrack? I mean you think a soundtrack based on a Tim Burton film would be that bit more alternative and gothic sounding. But instead we get 3OH!3, All American Rejects, Owl City and Metro Station — talk about disappointing acts.

05. Bombay Bicycle Club: Evening/Morning
It’s okay and that’s all I have to say. It’s more of an instrumental than a song with vocals. The video disturbs me greatly.
2 STARS

06. Enter Shikari: Tribalism
The clue is in the title – this song is… um well…tribal. Enter Shikari are a hardcore punk band so vicious vocals and loud screaming are to be expected. This isn’t quite as noisy as official single Thumper though. 3 STARS

07. Evanescence: Together Again
Ahead of the release of their new album this Autumn, Evanescence do their bit for Haiti by releasing a B-side of their 2006 album
The Open Door as a charity single. This is a typical Evanescence track…dramatic strings, tinkling pianos, creepy choirs and Amy Lee’s haunted wail. It’s all a bit too melodramatic for a Haiti single but if you’re a fan of the band, I recommend you go out and buy this. 2 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
08. Gabriella Cilmi: On A Mission
All my personal (stalkerish) obsessive feelings of love (and lust) for Cilmi aside, this is actually a fantastic tune. It sounds like it came right out of the ’80s and everything from the production to the chorus to the verses and even the cringeworthy rap breakdown in the middle are all amazing. If this is what she’s doing at 18, can you imagine what a fantastic artist she will be in a few years time.
5 STARS

09. Glee Cast: Endless Love
It’s all about the ballads this week on
Glee as the episode these songs are taken from is called ‘Ballad’. A big solid cheesy cover of Diana Ross and Lionel Richie from Hot Social Outcast Girl and The Shoe (Uncool Glee Leader). I actually hope the TV footage is used as a music video for this song ’cause the Shoe’s facial expressions are absolutely hilarious. 3 STARS

10. Glee Cast: I’l Stand By You
The Jock takes the lead with this song. I cringed so much in his soppy cover of The Pretenders/Girls Aloud song/cover.
3 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Don’ Stand So Close To Me/Young Girl
The Shoe does a really good job of this mash-up of songs by The Police and Gary Puckett & The Union. However, this is more episode centric and works better if you see it on TV.
4 STARS

12. Glee Cast: Crush
This actually far surpasses the 1998 original by Jennifer Paige basically ’cause Hot Social Outcast Girl has a much better voice. My favourite
Glee track this week. 3.5 STARS

13. Glee Cast: (You’re) Having My Baby
This is a cover of a song by Paul Anka and Odia Coates. Again, I cringe everytime I hear the Jock sing and I’m kind of annoyed his Pregnant Baby Mama didn’t join him. Still his voice is good enough.
3 STARS

14. Glee Cast: Lean On Me
And this is the big heartwarming ballad that the whole Glee Club come out and sing for the Jock and his Baby Mama. It might bring a tear to some people’s eye but for a heartless cynic like me, I just stare stony faced at the screen when this is sang.
3.5 STARS

15. Goldfrapp: Rocket
As I’ve said on the Goldfrapp post already, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever surpass their hippyish folky album
Seventh Tree with me. However, Rocket, a synthy, icy mid-tempo ’80s throwback is a quiet grower. I love it. 4 STARS

16. Hadouken!: Mic Check
This is actually amazing. The ravey instrumental for this is worth purchasing alone. If this comes on in a club, I will definitely be first on the dancefloor for this beauty.
4.5 STARS

17. Hermione Hennessy: Fall At Your Feet
This song is by the British raised daughter of late Irish singer Christie Hennessy. This is actually a really enjoyable song. Might work best for the adult contemporary crowd but this actually sounds like The Corrs.
3.5 STARs

18. Ja Rule featuring R. Kelly: Incredible
Are we seeing the return of classic R&B? I sure hope so. But maybe just ’cause R. Kelly sings the chorus on this track. This takes me back to the early 2000s when R&B was so good and not trashy and generic like it is now. This is all classic piano loops and smooth harmonizing from Kelly. Ja Rule’s pretty good too.
4 STARS

19. Jimi Hendrix: Bleeding Heart
This is classic rock ‘n’ roll from the legendary guitarist. This is very enjoyable but I’m really against the release of posthumous singles and albums. These were all probably demos Hendrix created and didn’t think was good enough for a studio album and now they appear 40 years later after his death (my God, has it been that long)! Will appear on his upcoming album
Valleys Of Neptune. 3.5 STARS

20. John Mayer: Heartbreak Warfare
As much as it pains me to say this, this womanizing racist actually has a lot of talent. Great rock track. Kind of sounds like Coldplay.
3.5 STARS

21. Kat Deluna featuring Akon: Push Push
She sounds like a combination of Shakira and Rihanna. In other words, she has no originality and needs Akon to help her out on this dancehall R&B track. Unlikely to be a hit. If her brilliant
Run This Show couldn’t make it, then I doubt this will. 2.5 STARS

22. Kid Cudi: Know Why
Poor Cudi looks like he’s fallen into the same trap as fellow intelligent rappers Wale and Lupe Fiasco in that he’s unlikely to see the success of a hit like
Day ‘N’ Nite again. Can’t believe this song will be ignored when crap by Flo Rida and Pitbull will be snapped up by the masses. 4 STARS

23. Lil’ Jon: Get In And Get Out
I like the beat for this but that’s about it! Jeez John, do you actually talk like that in real life.
1.5 STARS

24. Livvi France: Automatik
After the terrible
Now I’m That Chick, Livvi returns with a rather good club banger. But aren’t we hearing this from everyone in the charts at the moment especially Lady GaGa. Sounds like Just Dance and Poker Face. 2.5 STARS

25. Ludacris featuring Chris Angel: Mindfreak 3 STARS

26. Ludacris featuring Trey Songz: Sex Room 3.5 STARS

27. Ludacris: Sexting 2.5 STARS

^^^^The above three are all promo singles from his Battle Of The Sexes album. It’s a fun album and the songs are all fine but fairly standard run of the mill rap tracks. I love Sexting. I thought I had made that word up myself but obviously not. 😦

28. Monica: Everything To Me
The incredibly soulful Monica makes a nice yet unextraordinary return to the World of music. This is really good but nothing we haven’t heard before.
2.5 STARS

29. McLean: My Name
Boring. Who is this guy? This sounds like a Taio Cruz B-side. Next!
1.5 STARS

30. Norah Jones: Stuck
I’m pleasantly surprised. I was expecting another sleepy ballad from Miss Jones but she’s really moving outside the box with this more interesting second single from upcoming album
The Fall. I might check it out if this single is an indication of the new album. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
31.
Pixie Lott: Gravity
I really like Pixie and think she’s amazingly talented for her 19 years and think she gets an awful lot of unnecessary abuse. But this song is kind of disgraceful as a single. I haven’t listened to her album
Turn It Up but I’ve heard there’s much better songs on the album like Here We Go Again and Turn It Up. Okay, so it’s not the worst song ever but Pixie sounds like she has a headcold with that nasal singing against the mid-tempo setting. “Gravity, gravity, gravity…” is repeated too many times on the chorus and I don’t like that a deep male voice sings it too. Its just annoying. 1 STAR

32. Robbie Williams: Morning Sun
It’s good but it’s not great. Robbie plays it safe with this so-so ballad. I’d prefer
You Know Me anyday. 2 STARS

33. Sean Garret featuring Plies: Lay U Down
Ah go away, T-Pain impersonators!!!!
1 STAR

34. Shane McGowan & Friends: I Put A Spell On You
This is my favourite Haiti charity record. Really raw and emotive vocals from Shane McGowan, Paloma Faith, Johnny Depp, Bobby Gillespie, Glen Matlock, Chrissie Hynde and Eliza Dolittle. Not sure if a cover of the Screaming Jay Hawkins hit is appropriate in relation to Haiti. But hey! This is a good record people will want to buy instead of feeling obliged to buy.
3 STARS

35. Steve Aoki featuring [[[ Zuper Blahq ]]]: I’m In The House
This sounds suspiciously like Will.I.Am on this novelty dance track which uses the hook “I’m in the house!” for chart success. We all know how crappy Will is solo and over a dance beat, he’s probably worse. This isn’t Will.I.Am. but it sounds identical to him. This is obviously cashing in on the success of Sidney Samson’s
Riverside (Let’s Go!)which this track also sounds like. 2 STARS

36. T-Pain featuring Young Jeezy: Reverse Cowgirl
If you’ve heard one T-Pain track, you’ve heard ’em all. Auto-Tuned drivel.
2 STARS

37. Young Jeezy featuring Plies: Lose My Mind
Much like his collaborator above, if you’ve heard one Young Jeezy song, you’ve heard them all from the gruff voiced rapper. What’s he doing releasing his own solo material. Do what yo do best: being a rent-a-rapper.
1 STAR

That took FOREVER!!! Please feel free to compliment/argue with my reviews!

Singles Reviews Diary 4 – 29th February 2010

Why can’t I ever post my singles review diary on the right day? Oh well. Took me ages to write this one out. And guess what?! These posts are now a month old. Time just flies, doesn’t it? Here are the forthcoming singles.

Singles Reviews Diary 4 – 29th February 2010:

01. Alex Cornish: Scotland The Brave
Nope, this isn’t a cover of the patriotic Scottish song. Instead this is a decent enough but hardly groundbreaking soft rocker by the up and coming Scottish singer songwriter.
2 STARS

Scotland the Brave

02. Amy Macdonald: Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over
It’s all about the Scottish singer songwriters this week, isn’t it? The fabulous Amy Macdonald is back ahead of the release of her second album A Curious Thing. Website We Are Pop Slags have compared this song to Shakira and Muse. True, enough Amy does sound like Shakira on this one albeit with a more Celtic lilt to her voice and the more heavy guitars and strings could be compared to Muse. It’s an interesting new direction for the singer and I’ll keep my ears open but I’m still preferring her earlier folk tunes.
3.5 STARS

File:Amy macdonald-dont tell me that its over s.jpg

03. Ash: Song Of Your Desire
Another melodic song from Ash. This is the 12th single from their A-Z Series so still another 15 singles to go. The lack of hype or the sheer difficulty of being able to find these singles online show that these guys need to seriously start a new project soon.
3 STARS

Ash - Song Of Your Desire: 7-inch + Download: £5.00 packshot

04. The Automatic: Run And Hide
The Automatic are back and sounding better than ever on this uptempo new track from their upcoming album Tear The Signs Down. This is immediately gripping on first listen.
4 STARS

05. Boyzone: Gave It All Away
Boyzone are back after a rough year. This reggae tinged ballad features vocals from late band member Stephen Gately and features him singing the lyric “I will learn to live before I die”. To be honest if this had been released with Gately still alive, I would have considered it a solid rather than spectacular effort from the Boyz. The fact that Gately is now gone, this track holds a lot more significance than it would have originally.
2 STARS

06. Crookers featuring Miike Snow: Remedy
Miike Snow are back with another grim yet enjoyable listen. Italian producers Crookers, probably best known for remixing Kid Cudi’s Day ‘N’ Nite, give the song an alternative club mix.
3 STARS

07. The-Dream: Love King
The producer behind Rihanna’s Umbrella and Beyoncé’s Single Ladies (Put It In A Love Song) releases a new single. Like the two aforementioned songs he produced, this is a fun and catchy if a little repetitive R&B track.
3.5 STARS

08. Eels: A Line In The Dirt
The Eels return with the first single from their fantastic new album End Times. Mark Oliver Everett’s distinctive vocals are in place as usual against this melodic, piano backed song.
3 STARS

09. Fe-Nix: Swagga
Britain’s favourite underground girlband fe-nix come out with a real winner of a urban pop song. It’s really catchy and should make up for the lack of Pussycat Dolls at the moment. A refreshing alternative to all the Sugababes and Saturdays stuff at the moment.
3.5 STARS

10. Glee Cast: Dancing With Myself 3 STARS

Dancing With Myself (Glee Cast Version)

11. Glee Cast: Defying Gravity 4 STARS

Defying Gravity (Glee Cast Version)

12. Glee Cast: Proud Mary 4 STARS

Proud Mary (Glee Cast Version)

Covers of Generation X, Wicked and Creedence Clearwater Revival this week. There’s no real point in me reviewing these songs because with Glee, you get the original song made a little more cheesy, a little more stage schooly and features kooky backing vocals. However, I did sit down and watch the show last night with my sister for the first time. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. For all its cheese, Glee is a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is actually quite satiric when it comes to all the typical high school movie/TV show clichés. It’s still a bit too cheery for me so I don’t think I’ll be a long term fan

Anyway I think I should comment on the cast members vocals. I don’t remember any of their names so I’m gonna give them all nicknames. Well, the rulers of the Glee club at the moment are the Uncool Rapper Teacher and the Blond Unsmiling Evil One. Uncool Rapper Teacher is all down with the kids so much so that he raps along to Kanye West and Sisquo tracks. But he’s actually not that ghetto cos he’s afraid of conflict and in an unhappy marriage with Crazy False Pregnant Woman. But the kids of Glee bring out the best in him and all that. But there’s a bit of a love square going on as Uncool Rapper Teacher is secretly in love with Freaky Ginger Woman and she’s secretly in love with too. But too make things even more complicated, Heavy Football Coach is in love with Freaky Ginger Woman too. Like OMG! Drama!

Meanwhile, Blond Unsmiling Evil One is trying to destroy Glee Club for some reason. I like Blond Unsmiling Evil One, she’s really funny in a dry kind of way.

Then meanwhile there’s the kids. There’s the Social Outcast Hot Girl who in real life would never be a social outcast because she’s so hot but she is anyway. Anyway, she’s in love with Tall Jock Guy and I think he’s in love with her. Tall Jock Guy, however, is going out with Pregnant Cheerleader Girlfriend who is like pregnant and prevents Social Outcast Hot Girl and Tall Jock Guy from going out with each other. The drama is just killing me.

There’s also Feminine Guy, Jennifer Hudson Junior, Quirky Asian Girl, Naturally Olive Skinned Sidekick Of Pregnant Cheerleader Girlfriend Who Cries When Her Tanning Products Are Taken Away, Eastern European Descended Sidekick Of Pregnant Cheerleader Girlfriend, Wheelchair Guy and Badass Jock With Mohawk who make up the rest of Glee Club.

Okay, kind of rambled with the plot synopsis. But now that we know all the characters, here’s what I think of their vocals.

  • Uncool Rapper Teacher – his voice is solid, hardly amazing. NEEDS TO STOP RAPPING!
  • Social Outcast Hot Girl – her voice is really amazing, very clear and gives me goosebumps.
  • Tall Jock Guy – his voice has lots of potential. It sounds a bit boybandish at the minute but if he keeps training, his voice could take on a more intriguing husky sound.
  • Jennifer Hudson Junior – the clue is in the name. She has a real soulful powerful voice like J-Hud or Christina Aguilera. Tends to oversing a bit but who cares when ya have a voice like that!
  • Feminine Guy – clue’s also in the name. His voice is feminine from what I’ve heard.
  • Quirky Asian Girl – has a softer voice than the other two girls I mentioned. I like it but it’s not amazing.
  • Wheelchair Guy – I wish he would sing more. He has that real strong, raspy kind of voice that Tall Jock Guy hasn’t developed yet.
  • Pregnant Cheerleader Girlfriend – She has a really good voice too. Kind of has a detached quality to it which suits her character.
  • I’ve only heard Badass Jock With Mohawk, Naturally Olive Skinned Sidekick Of Pregnant Cheerleader Girlfriend Who Cries When Her Tanning Products Are Taken Away and Eastern European Descended Sidekick Of Pregnant Cheerleader Girlfriend on backing vocals so can’t really judge them.

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
13. Gorillaz featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack: Stylo
Everyone’s experimental group are back. I can’t put into words how excited I am to see the return of the Gorillaz and hope this track gets plenty of airplay and chart successful. Icy, ominous, a little bit funky, sounds like it should soundtrack a video game from the ’80s, this is literally amazing!
4 STARS

Stylo (feat. Mos Def and Bobby Womack)

14. Gramophonedzie: Why Don’t You
More experimental stuff as this song drags us right back to the ’40s with this Peggy Lee sampling tune. I love this entertaining return to the seriously retro and its definitely interesting. But the old jazzy sample doesn’t blend well with the modern production of Gramophonedzie.
3 STARS

15. Iyaz: Solo
Sean Kingston’s replacement, singer/rapper and basically a Virginian Islands junior version of Akon releases his second single. Not to everyones taste but I love Iyaz’s brand of sunny pop/R&B. This has the same level of catchiness as previous single Replay but like Sean Kingston might suffer from sounding too much alike his other material.
3 STARS

Solo

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
16. Ke$ha featuring 3OH!3: Blah Blah Blah
I’ve actually listened to Ke$ha’s Animal album and after a few listens am surprised by what a fun pop album it is. One song that didn’t get my seal of approval though was this monstrosity. Lyrically, its stupid. Vocally, its Auto-Tuned trash. Production wise, it’s all over the place with random bleeps and blips. And 3OH!3 turn up for a cameo where they deliver a robust, gramatically incorrect verse. Can’t believe better songs are stuck on the album while this gets the single treatment.
1 STAR

17. Lil’ Wayne featuring Nicki Minaj: Knockout
The soon-to-be incarcerated rapper drops another single this week. This is from his rock album Rebirth and I’m surprised to find I actually really like this. Against punk pop guitars, Wayne and my new favourite femcee Nicki Minaj warble in Auto-Tune over them. This has major crossover potential. Minaj sounds sexy and Wayne sounds listenable. Might check out his album now.
4 STARS

Lil Wayne ft Nicki Minaj - Knockout

18. LMFAO: LaLaLa
Generic Auto-Tuned R&B. Heard this all from T-Pain before too many times.
1 STAR

Click pic to play "La La La"

19. Ludacris featuring Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Fate: Hey Ho
Funky if a little repetitive new track from Ludacris. Second single from his Battle of the Sexes album. Great fun to hear Ludacris, Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Fate have a big rap battle over who is the better of the sexes.
2.5 STARS

20. Mary J. Blige: I Am
Despite earning the title of Queen of Hip Hop Soul, Mary J. hasn’t had a great run of success with her last few singles. Mainly ’cause they were rather boring. Thankfully, Mary J. is on to a winner with this well, produced, catchy, glossy R&B track. Sounds a bit like Pussycat Dolls
Stikwitu with better vocals. 3.5 STARS

21. Mumford & Sons: The Cave
After the infectious
Little Lion Man, The Cave is a bit of a disappointment. However, it does seem like it could be a grower and I find the folk group refreshing in today’s music industry. 2.5 STARS

22. Nerina Pallot: I Don’t Want To Go Out
A fun, cheery and bouncy pop song that doesn’t sound unlike Little Boots or Lenka. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
3 STARS

23. OK Go: This Too Shall Pass
I know I’m making lots of comparisons but this song sort of reminds me of the White Stripes. Amongst chimes and a marching band, OK Go give us another quirky tune. However, this features childrens’ vocals and I just cannot stand kids singing in songs. Drives me nuts. Not my cup of tea but some people might like it. I’d like it if they’d strip away certain elements.
3.5 STARS

24. Sean Kingston: Hot Like The Summer
More Summery reggae pop from Mr. Kingston. It’s fine, nothing special. Poor guy will probably never have a mega hit like Beautiful Girls again though. The only reason last single
Fire Burning was so successful though was because of RedOne. 2.5 STARS

25. Stunt: Fade Like The Sun
Harmless Eurodance. Should keep Cascada fans and drunken nightclubbers happy.
2 STARS

26. Timbaland featuring Drake: Say Something
Timbaland is back with another promo single. Don’t worry, you probably won’t hear much of it. I really like Drake as a rapper and he provides a solid chorus here. This has a more old school R&B feel to it. One of the better tracks from my guilty pleasure
Timbaland Presents Shock Value II. 3.5 STARS

27. Tinie Tempah featuring Labrinth: Pass Out
Really unoriginal grime track. It’s fine but throwaway. Features cocky rapping from Tinie Tempah and singing chorus by Labrinth.
3 STARS

28. Naughty Boy presents Wiley featuring Emeli Sande: Never Be Your Woman
Wiley may be over to crossover into the mainstream again with Naughty Boy’s garage production and Diamond Rings singer Emeli Sande. Good stuff. I like this. Samples a song from the late ’90s that samples a song itself. Clever. It’s like a sample within a sample within a song.
4 STARS

29. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Skeletons
Not my favourite track from Yeah Yeah Yeahs criminally underselling It’s Blitz! album but I want this track to do well all the same. Karen O’s voice is just amazingly haunting. Yeah Yeahs Yeahs are like the Blondie of the 21st century. Why can’t people see that???!!!
3.5 STARS