Some news on Glee’s Britney Spears episode

To all Gleeks out there! The phenomenally successful musical comedy drama that is Glee is returning to FOX in September. Considering the rest of the World was only a few days behind FOX for the second part of the last season, you can probably expect it to come to a network to you, wherever you are in the World, around the same time. So less than two months for the second season to begin.

And for all those Britney Spears fans, the episode dedicated to her music, confirmed by creator Ryan Murphy last week, will actually be the SECOND episode of the season. So expect plenty of ass kissing Britney’s way and a disgruntled Matthew Morrisson who plays the annoyingly perfect Will Schuester to be given something embarrassing for speaking out about his wish that he hoped “the show would not go down (the Britney) route”.

Murphy has also stated that Heather Morris’ delightfully ditzy character Britanny (ah, see the connection) will perform two Britney Spears songs on the show. Murphy claims that Morris has “a fantastic voice”. I wonder if he’s proved right in September because so far we haven’t hear Brittany sing solo yet. {Source}

So are you excited about the upcoming Britney centric episode? What songs do you think will be performed? I’m sure Heather Morris will perform plenty of great choreography like Britney did in the early days but what TWO songs do you think she’ll perform? And what other songs will be performed on the show?

I’m sure …Baby One More Time is a given considering the famous schoolgirl music video. I’m sure we’ll see Finn or Puck act like a douche leading Rachel or Quinn to sing Womanizer at them. And Stronger or I’m Not A Girl…Not Yet A Woman will prove to be the big inspirational ballad sung by Rachel or Mercedes. Or if you want something real fucked up, have Will, Sue and Emma engage in a threesome to the soundtrack of 3. Brittany could go for one of the more heavier dance numbers, as suggested by TV Guide, with I’m A Slave 4 U or Boys.

Oh and just for all you hopefuls, Britney will NOT be appearing in the episode. She’s much too reclusive these days.

Singles Reviews Diary 18 – 4th June 2010

Okay I’ve settled into my new home and rather later than usual, here are my thoughts on this week’s singles. There’s actually quite a lot of notable singles being released this week, mainly celebratory songs about England and the World Cup. I’m really in no form for listening and reviewing – but I must! Check out my dedication. Here they are:

Singles Reviews Diary 18 – 4th June 2010:

01. Andy Bell: Call On Me
My first thoughts. What a cheap video! Why is Andy Bell dancing around in a nightclub bathroom? Screw it, I don’t care! I’m in quite a snarky mood today.I do like the synthy instrumentation in this and Bell’s vocals are somehow endearing which probably led to him gaining a legion of fans during his Erasure days. However, I find this track cheesy and the chorus is pretty weak. I also don’t like how his voice is vocoded all deep in one area of the song. We don’t want to hear a budget version of
Boom Boom Pow, thanks!2.5 STARS

02. Ash: Physical World
Ash releases another single. I’m only reviewing the billionth single from their
A-Z Seriesout of sheer stubbornness. This is a fun, enjoyable song…like all the other ones were! Think poor man’s Green Day with the lyrical content that streams the same line as Eggnog Quigg’s 28,000 Friends only much more sophisticated. Overall…should keep Ash fans happy and non-Ash fans probably won’t change this if it comes on the radio. 3 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
03. Chico: It’s England Time
Chico, stop trying to extend your 15 minutes of fame by re-releasing your ONLY (novelty) #1 hit, changing one word to suit a current event, and do everyone a favour and return to the strip club where you belong. Thanks.
1 STAR

04. Crookers featuring Róisín Murphy: Royal T (Riva Starr Remixes)
German knob twiddlers (no dirty double entendre intended) and Irish dance diva team up.Róisín sounds faintly like Macy Gray on this rather hot and funky club track with ravey electronica, fast paced verses and powerhouse vocals. Crookers are fast becoming my favourite producers and Róisin Murphy is probably the only Irish international talent we have. Brilliant – no actually amazing!
5 STARS

05. The Dead Weather: Old Mary
The hardest working man in music – Jack White and his band of other people who are from other bands as well with The Dead Weather are back with another single
Old Mary. You kind of know what to expect from a Jack White track? Garage rock with tinkling pianos, bumbling guitars and kooky vocals. There seems to be an ominous tone to the song with lyrical references to the Virgin Mary, creepy child vocals and the chorus hook being “Now to the moment of your last breath”. Cheery. It has me intrigued but not enough to buy or download the single. 3.5 STARS

06. Delphic: Counterpoint
Despite much hype in the mainstream, Delphic have failed to live up to critic’s predictions as their previous two singles
Doubt and Halycon failed to make any noticeable dents in the chart. Re-releasing first single Counterpoint appears to be a good idea. Its instantly listenable thanks to its infectiously rushing synths, and earnest and angsty vocals from lead singer Richard Boardman. However, this doesn’t really have the pop smarts of other ‘alternative’ acts like Florence and Marina so it looks like Delphic will be forever a cult band. Oh well, I’ll always love them. 4 STARS

07. Field Music: Let’s Write A Book
I instantly love this song because it explores the subject matter of writing a book. Why don’t more bands write about these small things unlike the usual quota which appears to be about love, heartbreak or being too damn sexy for everyone in the room. I’ve heard Field Music before but I have to say I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t get to hear a stuffy old professor rapping over a beat. Oh well.
Let’s Write A Book is a psychedelic and funky number that really takes you to some far-out places, man! I really love the synthy bit at the end – it sounds like it was taken straight from a Crash Bandicootgame. Damn that was a fine video game – they don’t make ‘em like they used to! 4 STARS

08. Gabriella Cilmi: Hearts Don’t Lie
My future wife one day Gabriella Cilmi really made a fantastic comeback a few months ago with her brilliant single
On A Mission. She managed to reinvent herself as a sex symbol while actually going in a really interesting musical direction – compared to most popstars who churn the same junk out for years. Hearts Don’t Lie doesn’t match the brilliance of the aforementioned single mainly because the Bee-Gees influenced chorus annoys the heck out of me but there’s still plenty to love about the song. The groovy Donna Summer disco vibe and Cilmi’s seductive repetition of the lines “My heart keeps ticking, my heart keeps ticking, when you’re not around” are huge plus points that save this song from its dreadful chorus. Don’t worry my love, we’ll be together soon. *lights candle at Gabriella shrine and starts passionately kissing photo of Cilmi* 3.5 STARS

09. Giggs: Look What The Cat Dragged In
The rapper with the scary voice is back, this time B.o.B-less. Lyrically, this is pretty sexist and Giggs is not doing any favours in dissolving the stigma towards rappers. Still the shiny production and Giggs dulcet tones really work together. Think of this track as a British version of 50 Cent’s
Candy Shop. 3 STARS

10. Glee Cast: Loser
Oh man! I forgot how amazing Beck’s
Loser was? I actually forgot how amazing Beck is! And Glee do the band justice in this bluesy rap rock track. Puck is normally pretty good but Finn is surprisingly excellent on this, probably because he doesn’t need to sing on this. By the time we hit the nonchalant yet somewhat impassioned chorus, with typical but not overdone Glee backing vocals, I thank Ryan Murphy for introducing genuine classics to a whole new generation. 5 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Of The Sucker)
Okay, I know trying to make logic out of
Glee is well…illogical…but should Quinn be doing such elaborate dance moves on stage? Wouldn’t that harm her baby?! Would she even be able to do those dance moves if it weren’t for in real life, she isn’t really pregnant at all but wearing a fake baby bump – just like Terri! Oh the irony! Anywho, wandering off! I really enjoyed this rendition of the Parliament song. It was – shall we say Gleeful with big Gleeful vocals and Mercedes crazy ad-libs. I particularly liked how they sped the vocals up towards the end and I laughed my ass off at Kurt’s uncharacteristically deep vocals. More please. 4 STARS

12. Glee Cast: Another One Bites The Dust
Glee don’t really divert from the original in their second Queen single of the series. Jonathan Groff who plays Jesse has a powerful set of pipes on him though and does Freddie Mercury justice though doesn’t replicate Mercury’s way of singing quite as well.
4 STARS

13. Glee Cast: Tell Me Something Good
Bleerrrggggh! I just projectile vomited everywhere. Seeing Will Schuester wiggle his ass in and out like that – I can see why Sue looked so damn uncomfortable. Despite Will being clearly in love with himself, he gave a powerful vocal performance of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s soulful hit.
4 STARS

14. Glee Cast: It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World
Quinn gets a rare chance to shine when she covers James Brown. Really Quinn’s voice is like a lesser Mercedes, there’s soul there but not enough power. She gives a solid vocal performance but you can hear her vocal limitations when she hits the high notes. Still the pregnant backing vocalists were great.
3.5 STARS

15. Glee Cast: Good Vibrations
Glee generally always end with some feel good closing numbers and this is no exception. A big funky party track, Mercedes mimics Loleatta Holloway and Puck and Finn stick to the rapping by imitating Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch. The backing vocals are infectious and Mercedes blows it out of the bag as usual. All really good songs in Glee this week, I’m happy to report.
4 STARS

16. Goldfrapp: Alive
After their comeback single
Rocket peaked at a rather disappointing #47, can they achieve success with the second single from Head First. I sure hope so. Alive isn’t quite as catchy as Rocket but it’s just pure ‘80s magic from start to finish and a real grower. Alison’s vocals are beautiful and serene and I hope this does well – especially with it’s rather quirky video. 3.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
17. Jónsi: Animal Arithmetic
Icelandic singer Jónsi releases his debut album
Go was released last month and he has now released the lead single Animal Arithmetic. Can I say wow! We need more male vocalists like Jónsi. I am vaguely reminded of Florence when I hear this song. It’s full of crashing cymbals and heavenly backing vocals with fast paced verses and chorus that has that building soundtrack feeling to it. I doubt old Jónsi will get much airplay but if you don’t hear this track then you are severely missing out. 5 STARS

18. Ke$ha: Your Love Is My Drug
From singing about brushing her teeth with “a bottle of Jack” to “dancing with no pants on”, it’s good to see Ke$ha go for a bit of clean Summer fun with the third single from her successful debut album
Animal. After the terrible 3OH!3 assisted Blah Blah Blah, Ke$ha redeems herself big time with this guaranteed Summer smash. Starting of with buzzing, sunny synths, we’re quickly dragged into an infectious bridge and then a huge Dr. Luke produced chorus. Ke$ha also shows plenty of personality in her lyrics with humourous lines about “feeling like a lovesick crackhead” and finishing the song with a flirty “I like your beard”. Many haters and conspiracy theorists have accused her of subliminally promoting drug use but ignore them. Because Your Love Is My Drug is a super fun pop song that will have you bopping around the barbeque for the next three months. 4 STARS

19. Madcon: Glow
I never really liked Madcon’s debut single (and only hit)
Beggin’ but this is different. This is a fantastic Eurodance track that’s probably best known for soundtracking the flashmob across Europe in Eurovision 2010. At almost 8 minutes long, this is way too long (unless you’re carrying out a massive dance workout) but a radio edit would suffice to make this feel less overlong. Tshawe and Yosef do seem like they’ve been raiding will.i.am.’s Auto-Tune cabinet but that’s the thing – this track seems so now!Which means that the Norwegian duo could easily break the US with more promotion and a good influx of songs. There already a more bearable will.i.am. and they’ve got the club sound that the US (and the rest of the World) will just go crazy for. Anyhow, I’m rambling. Glow is a euphoric club track that may just prompt another bout of flashmobbing across Europe. 4 STARS

20. Mumford & Sons: Roll Away Your Stone
The fourth single from Mumford & Son’s album
Sigh No More has definite vibes of déjà vu. I found myself singing the chorus of Little Lion Man in my head when really I should have been singing along to the chorus of Roll Away Your Stone. Which makes me think…are Mumford & Sons one trick ponies? Time will tell. This is a passable single, not particularly offensive, not particularly exciting. 3 STARS

21. Pixie Lott: Turn It Up
On
Mama Do and Cry Me Out, Pixie sounded like Duffy, on Boys And Girls, Pixie sounded like Sugababes and on the dreadful Gravity, Pixie sounded like Jordin Sparks. On Turn It Up, Pixie reminds me of Natasha Bedingfield. However, unlike with her previous four singles, Pixie has chosen the perfect time to release yet another generic single – Summer. With its groovy R&B synths, its airy bridge, those chavvy “turn it arrrps!” and its undersung chorus, Lott injects a much needed Summery feel into the charts. This is my favourite Pixie single because it’s just so carefree and fun and I think it will always remind me of Summer – just chilling in my garden drinking a refreshing ice cold drink, feeling the balmy air on my face. For once, Pixie’s music has actually struck a chord with me – even if she does sound like Natasha Bedingfield. 4 STARS

22. Reece: Party Till Lights Out
Ummm…excuse me, Reece. What are you doing that’s so different from Chipmunk, Tinchy, Fugative? Emmmm…nothing! Yet another rapper to climb out of the woodworks, ditch his grime roots and create another watered down club rap track, desperate for a dent in the charts! Boring! How much more can we stand? And I doubt Reece has any long term career in the industry. Did I mention that there’s a vocalist to sing out the chorus…yet he’s uncredited and I can’t find his name anywhere on the net which is a crying shame because he’s the one that gives this song an extra half point with his euphoric vocals. Gain some originality and then I might take some interest, Reece.
2.5 STARS

23. Sade: Babyfather
Another track to add to the Summer playlist, the super sexy and ageless Sade is back with a breezy mid-tempo, the second single from her/their(?) comeback album
Soldier Of Love. It mightn’t be the most exciting track ever but Sade’s rich vocals shine through on this song and the song has a groovy relaxed feeling to it once you’re done dancing along to Alejandro, Your Love Is My Drug and Turn It Up this Summer. 3.5 STARS

24. Shuttleworth featuring Mark E. Smith: England’s Heartbeat
A light folky track with some pretty nice vocals but it doesn’t really explore the celebratory, euphoric feel of the World Cup. It’s probably more of a grower track than an anthem you’ll shout along too.
3 STARS

25. Soundproof: Only By The Night
A rousing pop rock track from an up and coming Irish band. Lead vocalist Ste O’Donoghue has a powerful set of pipes on him and there’s some pretty talented instrumentation going on there. Right now though, the song feels a little too clichéd and samey. Still, a band to keep your eye on.
3 STARS

26.Stringfever featuring Stuart Pendred: Forever England
I think I’m going to be all exhausted after reviewing all these World Cup singles. So far we’ve heard big shout-along anthems or Africanised tracks – with Stringfever and Pendred we get the big serious patriotic World Cup song.Pendred provides some powerful opera vocals while Stringfever’s orchestration is grand and regal. It does sound a bit too sombre for my tastes but it should keep English people happy.
3 STARS

27. Tiësto featuring Tegan And Sara: Feel It In My Bones
Dutch trance maestro Tiësto has been involved with several different artists for his fourth studio album
Kaledioscope. Having worked with Nelly Furtado on previous singleWho Wants To Be Alone, the DJ has teamed up with fellow Canadians – duo Tegan And Sara. The great thing about this track is we get Tiësto’s masterful production while Tegan and Sara provide catchy pop rock vocals. Another fantastic single from Tiësto – I still haven’t checked out the new album yet – I must go out and get it! It’s on my to-do list. 4 STARS

28. Tinie Tempah featuring Labrinth: Frisky
As I’ve said many times before, I never really liked Tinie Tempah’s UK #1
Pass Out and hearing Frisky, I’m getting serious cases of déjà vu, this sounds near identical to the aforementioned previous single. I do like that Tinie is bringing dubstep to the mainstream though and almost gave this 3 STARS until I heard the terrible lyric “Would you risk it for a chocolate buiscit?”. Which brought it down to 1 STAR…but then Labrinth’s anguished cries of “it’s what I’m feeling, baby!” and the fast paced outro brought it back up to 3 STARS. You’ve won this round, Tinie, but you better produce a better third single if I’m to continue with this generosity. 3 STARS

29. Tom Dice: Me And My Guitar
I think I’m pretty good at reviewing as many singles as possible – since I started these diaries eighteen weeks ago, I’ve reviewed practically every
Glee single and Ash A-Z Series single too. But there’s no way I’m reviewing every Eurovision single that might make a dent in the chart this year. However, Tom Dice’s Belgian entry Me And My Guitar has been garnering a lot of attention lately and I think out of all the Eurovision stars this year – could have a successful international career outside of the competition. Because Me And My Guitar wouldn’t sound out of place on an album by Paolo Nutini, Jason Mraz or John Mayer. Sure, you could ask do we need another Paolo, Jason or John in the industry? Well, no not really. But Belgium was dead right in sending a very contemporary song to Eurovision – not having to rely on flashy gimmicks or over-the-top performances. They sent a song that was likely to do well in the charts. The song itself is a bit drippy but probably one of the best song’s in Eurovision this year – great for bringing out the inner romantic and Dice sings with this beautiful falsetto. I think this could be a guilty pleasure of many. 3 STARS

30. Tom Jones: Burning Hell
The Welsh legend covers John Lee Hooker’s classic bluesy
Burning Hell very well. I love the original and Tom does the song justice, although he doesn’t divert much from the original. 4 STARS

31. Tom Jones: What Good Am I
Again, Jones does another cover – this time Bob Dylan. Jones is solid enough but it doesn’t have a patch on the original.
3 STARS

32.Uffie featuring Pharrell: A.D.D. (SUV)
Ke$ha’s biggest fan, Uffie, goes up against her with the release of her new Pharrell assisted single. What you get is a typical electropop track with a slight alternative sound – a bit reminiscent of Britney Spear’s
Blackout or M.I.A.’s latest single XXXO. The song is really infectious and I like Uffie’s flow. It’s also great to hear Pharrell rapping again. I think this is going to be one of those under the radar pop hits. 4 STARS

33. We Are Scientists: Nice Guys
We Are Scientists are back with another passable but fun and bouncy indie pop rock track. Nothing particularly special but it makes good car journey music. Nice to drive and sing along to.
3 STARS

Oh, finally done! Comment, feedback, you know the drill. I’m exhausted after that! *collapses on keyboard and dies*

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 15 – 14th May 2010

Another week of singles, another week of reviews. Sorry it’s a bit late – I’ve been quite lazy the last few days.

Singles Reviews Diary 15 – 14th May 2010:

01. Alexandra Burke featuring Pitbull: All Night Long
Despite a #1 album, a #1 single and another Top 10 hit, Alexandra’s success as the winner of
The X-Factor seems to be eclipsed somewhat by fellow contestants JLS and the fact that there’s a new ‘hot’ female artist every week. Thankfully, All Night Long is the most instant hit from Alexandra’s debut album. While previous singles Bad Boys and Broken Heels were pretty hit and miss, All Night Long is a song that makes you want to instantly jump on the dancefloor with it’s hypnotic seductive bassline, Alexandra’s smooth and commanding vocals and its catchy chant-along chorus. The song has a beautiful euphoric feel to it also. However, this has tampered with somewhat by the addition of a rap from Pitbull. This does nothing to help the song and the album version of this track would have done just as well. I guess Alex is just desperate to crack the American market. However, Pitbull’s verse is pretty ignorable so the song still remains a pleasurable listen, especially after a few shots at the bar. 4 STARS

02. Amy Macdonald: Spark
The talented Amy Macdonald might have scored a #4 album in the UK with her sophomore album
A Curious Thing but lead single Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over peaked at a disappointing #48. This single doesn’t look like it’s going places either, sadly. Despite a powerful chorus and some Snow Patrol-esque guitar work, Spark kind of paints Macdonald as a one trick pony. Maybe because I was a massive fan of her debut This Is The Life but Spark just sounds like so many other songs she’s done before, one of the many songs from the album that sort of sees one Amy Macdonald song blend into the other. Spark, however, is a decent single amongst an album of lacklustre material.3 STARS

03. Atari Teenage Riot: Activate
German bands are obviously all the rage this week with this being the first of the nation’s band to release a single this week. This is a pretty aggressive house punk track. Nothing particularly original but should be enjoyed by some.
3 STARS

04. Band Of Skulls: Death By Diamonds And Pearls
Britain’s answer to The White Stripes is back with another single from their album
Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. I know I shouldn’t make comparisons as often as I do but this sounds like some decent filler on a White Stripes album. In other words, it’s no Seven Nations Army, more a plodding garage rock track that doesn’t go anywhere. Band Of Skulls, of course, are capable of producing much greater tracks – Friends and I Know What I Am being perfect examples so I wouldn’t worry about releasing the odd lacklustre single now and then. 2.5 STARS

05. B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars: Nothin’ On You
My current favourite rapper B.o.B. releases his debut single over here. With a soothing, Summery mid-tempo production and some romantic croon from the Jason Mraz-like Bruno Mars, this is the perfect single to release for this season. In fairness, B.o.B.’s rapping isn’t anything extraordinary (despite some witty verses about a girl who pays her taxes and comparing their romance t a Nintendo 64.) and like many rappers these days, depends on a guest vocalist for his singles. However,B.o.B. is showing that hip-hop has a future beyond rapping about shawties gettin’ down in a club and he firmly picks up the reins from the increasing quiet yet innovative Andre 3000.
4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
06. Boyzone: Love Is A Hurricane
“One step forward and two steps back”
These are two lines of the chorus that sum up this song perfectly.
Gave It All Awaymight have been a fairly bland ballad but at least it sort of fit in with the Boyz adult contemporary sound in a Take That kind of way, Love Is A Hurricane is dated and as naff as the video which would put JLS to shame with the amount of skin exposed and cheesy choreography (except at least JLS can dance). It’s more up-tempo and catchy than what we’re used to hearing from and many disagree with me, believing its better than Gave It All Away. Whatever! Once again, Boyzone fail to live up to the standards of their ‘rivals’ Take That in making good quality music since their return. 2 STARS

07. Chemical Brothers: Swoon
Taken from new album
Further, the intro to this experimental electronica track faintly reminds me of the Skins theme tune, composed by Fat Segal. Swoon is a strong comeback single from the British duo that is sure to keep their many fans happy. It’s nothing new from them exactly but why fix it if it ain’t broke. 4 STARS

08. Chiddy Bang: Truth
After delighting with their sampling of MGMT’s
Kids on previous single The Opposite Of Adults, Chiddy Bang are at again with their second single Truth, this time sampling Passion Pit’s Better Things. The song works thankfully due to Chiddy’s rapping and the slightly euphoric dance sound taken from the Passion Pit song. However, I don’t think their sampling works as smoothly as it did last time and does their over-reliance of sampling affect a long term career in music for the duo? I think so because people are likely to get bored of it quick. 3 STARS

09. Duke Special: Wanda, Darling Of The Jockey Club
The very talented and innovative Duke Special is back with another 1940s inspired gem. This piano laced ditty is actually a pretty nice toe-tapper, made all the more interesting by Duke Special’s Northern Irish tinged accent.
4 STARS

10. Ellie Goulding: Guns And Horses
Now that
Starry Eyed is being played on an irritatingly sickening level on radio, it’s great to see that Ellie has a new single out. Guns And Horses is probably my favourite track on Ellie’s debut album Lights, mainly because it injects a very agreeable folk sound into her music and ditches the Auto-Tune which made the formerly good Starry Eyed so unbearable now. Her distinctive vocals won’t be for everyone but there’s a lot of longing and emotion in them so it should keep fans happy. I hope Ellie will do something a little more folky for her next album because I really really like this track and could listen to a whole album of similar sounding tunes to this one. 4 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Jessie’s Girl
One of my most favourites tracks from the 1980s – Rick Springfield’s Grammy Award winning
Jessie’s Girl is absolutely butchered by Cory Monteith’s Finn this week. The instrumentation is pretty much identical to the original so that’s a good thing but Finn’s breathless vocal delivery of the song just doesn’t work at all. I know the song fits with the storyline but how about having – maybe Puck or even Artie – to sing the song instead because that was underwhelming. I’ll tell you why Rachel (my future wife Lea Michelle) doesn’t want you Finn, it’s because you’re standing in front of her singing but looking like you want to take a dump on the floor with your constipated facial expressions. Not cool, man. 2.5 STARS

12. Glee Cast: The Lady Is A Tramp
Now, this is more like it. The Puck character (Mark Salling) gets a chance to sound like a modern day Humphrey Bogart in the jazzy 1937 show-tune cover, only to be joined by the soulful Mercedes (Amber Riley) towards the end. What we get is something the right side of retro, love it.
4 STARS

13. Glee Cast: The Boy Is Mine
I had forgotten how good R&B heavyweights Brandy and Monica’s
The Boy Is Mine was and it’s brought to justice by Mercedes and Santana (Naya Rivera), who I think we get to hear sing for the first time solo. She has an excellent R&B voice, nothing that could blow Riley’s vocals out of the water but still pretty strong. The two girls’ vocals blend well together. 4 STARS

14. Glee Cast: Rose’s Turn
Could Kurt (Chris Colfer) be the best male singer in
Glee? I think so. In this theatrical number taken from the play Gypsy: A Musical Fable, Kurt vents out all the anger and emotion at his father in what is a very good performance full of building tension. It could be the best song in Glee this week. 4 STARS

15. Glee Cast: One
The closing number this week for
Glee is a cover of One by U2 (or U2 and Mary J. Blige). Unlike with Jessie’s Girl, Finn gives it all with his constipated vocals and if you don’t watch the video, he actually sounds very strong and powerful. Rachel is also very good as usual and Mercedes jumps into throw some of her crazy ab-libs. Joined by the rest of the harmonious cast at the end, the cover manages to convey a lot of emotion but doesn’t have that goosebump feeling you get when listening to Don’t Stop Believin’or Like A Prayer. Still a very strong effort. 4 STARS

16. Gorillaz featuring Gruff Rhys and De La Soul: Superfast Jellyfish
I’m so annoyed no video has shown up for this single yet. This is a fantastic follow-up to previous Track Of The Week
Stylo sees the Gorillaz joined by Super Furry Animals Gruff Rhys and critically acclaimed rapper De La Soul as they satirise commercialism in the developed World. It’s all a bit daft really but while many found Stylo lacked any real chorus or hooks, Superfast Jellyfish is probably the most infectious song on Plastic Beach. All three collaborators shine here – Gruff Rhys with his goofy deep cartoonish vocals, De La Soul with his confident raps and the Gorillaz themselves with their relaxed, nonchalant chorus all amongst a backdrop of aquatic bouncy synths and sampling of an American commercial from the 1980s. Now bring on the video already! 4 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
17. Katie Melua: The Flood
Woah! Norah Jones and Katie Melua (who I often mix-up both in looks and music style) are really stepping out of the box with their new albums. From her new album
The House, Melua ditches the irritating melodies of Nine Million Bicycles for a much more refined sound. It starts off all dramatic with strings which sound rather beautiful, like it would work well for a soundtrack or something. Then halfway through, there’s a major change in tone, synths and electro beats start moving in and Melua suddenly sounds like Kylie, there’s even a slight psychedelic sound to it. I think Melua deserves Track Of The Week for giving us something truly innovative and different. I hope radio picks this up. 4.5 STARS

18. Laura Marling: Rambling Man
The shockingly talented and wise 20 year old Laura Marling returns with a new single, which like its predecessor
Devil’s Spoke, shows wisdom and lyrical prowess well beyond her years. It sort of switches between parts that contain quiet and subtle vocals and parts that contain heavy acoustic guitars and Marling’s longing, rich vocals. Almost like folk-grunge (new genre).
It doesn’t quite have that wild, sinister feel that made
Devil’s Spoke one of the best songs of the year but it isa song that should make up a pretty cohesive album. 4 STARS
Note to self: By Laura Marling’s album!

19. LCD Soundsystem: Drunk Girls
Well, isn’t this song charming. Lyrically clever and comical, this song is so easy to sing along with it. With a melody that you can bob your head along to and a shout-along chorus of
Drunk Girls, I can imagine many people will be roaring out of tune along to this song at the next family occasion or house party. 3.5 STARS

20. Lemar: Coming Home
After the Top 10 success of
The Way Love Goes, the first single from his first Greatest Hits compilation, Lemar is obviously trying to strike it lucky again with the release of the compilation’s second single. There is nothing original about this at all – it’s all very synthy and shiny with Lemar being all troubled about those pesky women again – but it lacks the strong hook that The Way Love Goes had. It’s still quite likeable though, Lemar’s deep soulful vocals make it so. I’d imagine this could be decent enough if you let it grow on you. 3 STARS

21. Lethal Bizzle featuring Luciana: Go Go Go
After a very loud and noisy intro, Bizzle raps about wanting Beyoncé and Alesha Dixon in his gruff rapping tone. Underrated dance diva Luciana provides the catchy chorus. Yes, I know we’re getting yet another party rapper who relies on a woman to sing the chorus but this is actually really really good. Mainly thanks to the instrumental which should go down a hit in clubs anyways. Could this be Summer 2010’s answer to Dizzee Rascal’s
Bonkers. 4 STARS

22. Michael Bublé: Crazy Love
Housewives will be fanning themselves while swooning, listening to the title track from Michael Buble’s most recent million selling album
Crazy Love. Covering Van Morrisson’s classic was a wise choice for Bublé as most of his target audience will love this track. He sings it well, as per usual, his voice is commanding and smooth but nothing we haven’t heard from Bublé before. If you’re a fan, you’ll love this but this track won’t gain him any new fans like Haven’t Met You Yet did. 3 STARS

23. Owl City: Umbrella Beach
After satisfying and then irritating me with his breakthrough single
Fireflies, Owl City is back with another melancholy tune over electro beats. While it lacks the catchy nature of its predecessor, give Umbrella Beach a chance, because it’s actually quite a little gem. Granted Adam Young a.k.a. Owl City’s emo whispers are kind of annoying but with lyrics about underwater ferris wheels against a backdrop of bouncy, epic and surging synths and island percussion beats, Owl City is successful in transporting the listener into another World. It’s quite a Summer tune really but expect it to annoy you after a few weeks. 3.5 STARS

24. The Pretty Reckless: Make Me Wanna Die
Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen wants to be a credible artist, guys. And how to do that – develop a mildy punkish attitude, mimic P!nk and get yourself a band. Make Me Wanna Die is actually rather good though, Momsen has the same husky vocals as P!nk and The Pretty Reckless are actually pretty good instrumentalists, providing some grungy instrumentation for this angsty number. They actually sound like a watered down version of Hole. I’m a sucker for angsty female rockers though so its only natural that I’d love this – I do think, based on this lead single though, that many other people will have place in their heart for The Pretty Reckless. 4 STARS

25. Rammstein: Haifisch
The second German band to impact the UK release schedules this week, they obviously must have a following over here as this song is sang completely in German. Lead singer Till Lindemann’s deep throaty vocals are actually rather hilarious but the industrial metal band are strangely engaging – I can’t tell why. Maybe I’m just an industrial metal fan and I don’t know it yet. Anyways this gets…
4 STARS

26. We Are The Fallen: Bury Me Alive
Meet Evanescence 2.0 – former Evanescence founder Ben Moody, former members Rocky Gray and John Le Compt, random bassist Marty O’Brien and former Irish
American Idol finalist Carly Smithson – together they make up We Are The Fallen. Their debut single Bury Me Alive is so 2003 – it hurts. Well, I thought 2003 was the Golden Year for 21st Century music and this is no exception. Featuring crunching guitars, swooping strings, icy piano melodies and Carly Smithson sounding eerily like Amy Lee in the first two lines of the song before taking on a more Kelly Clarkson vibe to her voice as the song reaches its devastating climax, this is no Bring Me To Life or Going Under. However, no-one has managed to do mainstream goth-pop so well since Evanescene’s first album Fallen so I welcome We Are The Fallen despite their unoriginality and hope there’s a place for both them and Evanescence in the industry. With Evanescence (basically Amy Lee and her guitar playing slaves) promising to go in a more alternative electronic direction with their next album, We Are The Fallen can be a good bout of nostalgia to how great Evanescence were in 2003. 3.5 STARS

So that’s it. Comments and feedback as usual, please? I promise the next Singles Reviews Diary will arrive sooner – but be warned it will be a Eurovisiony one – but also a Musey one! 🙂

Singles Reviews Diary 14 – 7th May 2010

I’m finally free from college! Success! However, what’s not a success this week is the amount of rather boring singles being released this week. Oh well, next week looks much more promising. 🙂

Singles Reviews Diary 14 – 7th May 2010:

01. Ash –Insects
We’re on Single Letter P of Ash’s
A-Z Series and Insects sounds like Ash are, like me, getting into the Summery mood with this mellow guitar heavy new single. Like every other single in the A-Z Series, this is a pleasant but unspectacular listen. 3 STARS

02. Beyoncé – Why Don’t You Love Me
All those sick of Beyoncé, please don’t worry! While the Queen Bee may have released her eight
I Am… Sasha Fierce single Ego in the UK and Ireland last week, this isn’t going to become the ninth single (any time soon). Instead a video was filmed for the song as “a gift to her fans”. If you’re a fan of Beyoncé, then you should love this song which appears as a bonus track on I Am… Sasha Fierce: Super Ultimate Platinum Mega Deluxe Edition. For everyone else, it has to be said that this is a really good disco number from the R&B star. While Ego sounds like it came from the 1960s, Why Don’t You Love Me is rooted in the 1970s with super fast funky production and lyrics filled with Beyoncé’s usual sass. However, if I’m honest, Beyoncé’s harsh oversinging on the chorus can really make the song grating which I find is the case with most of the singles that have been released from this era. Still, this probably won’t get any airplay so head on over to YouTube to check out the super hot and stylish video. Groovy. 3.5 STARS

03. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Love Turns To Hate
The gothic punk band with the incredibly long name is back with this guitar heavy, shout along track that should go down well in the mosh pits this Summer. The chorus on this does get very irritating after a few but thankfully this is a strong comeback single that should keep their fans happy.
3 STARS

04. Fugative featuring Gina – Crush
The 16-year old rapper is very much in the same vein as his contemporary Chipmunk in that he was once a favourite on urban music channels like Channel AKA and Starz but it now looks like he’s going to be the latest ‘it’ rapper with this poppish radio friendly single. While the rapping is pretty much inoffensive rapping about a teenage crush (while sounding eerily like Chipmunk), the standout star of this song is Gina who sings the super catchy chorus with her smooth R&B vocals which can be compared to American singers such as Ashanti or Ciara. This is pure catchy fluff but Fugative looks like he’s pretty much replicating Chipmunk’s formula for getting his rap records on the radio.
3 STARS

05. Fyfe Dangerfield – She’s Always A Woman
Guillemots’ frontman Fyfe Dangerfield covers Billy Joel with this fantastic timeless ballad that is currently being used in an ad for John Lewis. Dangerfield’s vocals are smooth and powerful, the production is classy and dare I say it but I think this is better than the Billy Joel version. A great alternative to all the electro infiltrating the radio at the moment.
5 STARS

I missed Glee this week so I can’t say if the songs used in this week’s episode “Bad Reputation” fit well into the storyline. I can, as usual, review how the Glee Cast has managed to fare up after last week’s bland episode.

06. Glee Cast – Ice Ice Baby
Ahhh, first Jedward and now Will Schuester. While Will rapping and dancing makes me want to cover my eyes with the cringyness of it, thankfully Glee do this song more justice than Jedward because listening to this in audio doesn’t sound bad at all…if you can manage to dispel Schuester’s “trying to act cool” posturing in the video. Perfect party fodder that doesn’t stray too far from the original.
3.5 STARS

07. Glee Cast – U Can’t Touch This
Okay, another cringeworthy video aside, it’s great to see that anyone who isn’t Lea Michelle or Cory Monteith get their chance to shine. My favourite singer in the Glee Club, Artie gets his chance to sign with his fast paced rapping. Again it doesn’t stray too far from the original but this is another solid entry from the Glee Clubbers.
4 STARS

08. Glee Cast – Physical
This much hyped up collaboration between Sue Sylvester and, to sound like Puck, the World’s greatest MILF Olivia Newton John falls a little short for me. Maybe because I’m not a fan of the original but I feel like this lacks the energy of the original and did I just here some really obvious Auto-Tune? Not cool, Glee. Lynch and Newton-John have great voices though.
2.5 STARS

09. Glee Cast – Run Joey Run
This cover of David Geddes’
Run Joey Run is probably the second best song on Glee this week because it takes on the theatrical, narrative sound of the original with some great back-up vocals from Santana and Brittany and the rest of Glee I assume. The video has me intrigued and made me laugh out loud and not ‘cause I was cringing. Rachel was fantastic as ever and so was Puck and Jesse St. James (is that his name?) but they really showed up the male lead Finn whose vocal limitations were noticeable this time around. 4.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
10. Glee Cast – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
The obvious song to chart this week, this has that epic quality of the original. Rachel gives Bonnie Tyler a run for her money with her booming theatrical voice. Jesse St. James is also great with the little bits he does get to sing alongside Puck and Finn. What’s the deal with two songs between Rachel, Finn, Jesse and Puck? Is there some love square going on? Anyway with bombastic production and soaring backing vocals from the rest of Glee, this is another Glee song that will give you goosebumps and a deserved winner of Track Of The Week.
5 STARS

Yes the Glee tracks this week are much more up to scratch.

11. Groove Armada featuring Jess Larrabee – Look Me In The Eye Sister
Another consistently strong single from Groove Armada, the second official single from their
Black Light album. This track finds them in their usual trance mode but freshened up with rocky overtones, fists in the air euphoria and a smooth chorus from Larrabee. Fantastic and one track I’ll be listening to this Summer. 5 STARS

12. Hannah – I Believe In You
A serviceable enough light and colourful dance tune by the Australian newcomer. This actually sounds like a lesser track from Madonna’s
American Life LP. Hannah might sound like Madonna but doesn’t show much innovation with her debut UK single. 3 STARS

13. Kaci Battaglia – Crazy Possessive
This song isn’t very original and lacks depth but it’s actually a great pop song. Sounding very like Rihanna’s
S.O.S. (Rescue Me), it’s a light techno pop tune with a huge expletive filled chorus that should do well on radio because it doesn’t take a genius to understand where the expletives are covered up. This could easily be a Summer smash but the song could easily have been sang by any other American pop/R&B princess because its so anonymous. Battaglia does show some personality in the video though as a crazy possessive yet incredibly sexy woman – don’t get on the wrong side of this bunny boiler. 3.5 STARS

14. Keane featuring K’nann – Stop For A Minute
This is a really strong comeback from the band who release a new EP on 10 May,
Night Train. The song is immediately ear snagging on first listen which show that Keane continue to show the innovation they displayed on last album Perfect Symmetry by reducing the number of piano ballads and going for something a little more so. This is extremely radio friendly pop rock, made all the more so by Somali Canadian guest rapper K’nann who adds a little bit of international feel to the track. If this doesn’t get Keane back in the Top 20 then nothing will. 4 STARS

15. Kelis – Acapella
It’s a testament to Kelis that she cracked the UK Top 10 weeks before official release after previously being brushed off as a fad artist with her breakthrough single
Milkshake. In this classy, energetic and soaring dance ballad with some tribal elements, Kelis sings about how the birth of her baby boy has brought so much more energy to her life. A fantastic lead single to start of the campaign for her Flesh Tones album and one to dispel any sneers from her critics. 4.5 STARS

16. Lee Ryan – Secret Love
Lee Ryan attempts to stay relevant with this by the numbers generic electro dance track. The song has a decent enough chorus and radio friendly but cynical old me is just thinking that this is Ryan trying to add a little extra cash in his pocket. I’d avoid it.
2 STARS

17. LIGHTS – Saviour
The much cooler, female version of Owl City releases her second UK single. I previously compared her to Britney Spears from the
Blackout era. I continue to believe this although this has a more melancholy sound than what we heard from that album. I really like this although many may find LIGHTS really prominent Canadian accent off-putting, as well as the Auto-Tune and wailing at the way. Still this is a great pop song that many others will like. 3.5 STARS

18. Mary J. Blige featuring Jay Sean – Each Tear
Mary J. and Jay Sean team up for this ‘inspirational’ ballad. The song uses every lyrical cliché in the book, classy R&B production and smooth “I’ll always be there for you” vocals from Blige and Sean. The video is hilarious with Mary J. and Jay Sean’s overly earnest expressions. Check it out. The song might be heartwarming for a small variety but won’t do anything to save Blige’s declining career as many of us will be reaching for the sick buckets.
2 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
19. Miley Cyrus – When I Look At You
Eurrgh Miley. Stick to the up-tempo numbers because “sitting at the piano, sobbing” ballads really don’t work for you. While her last ballad
The Climb was decent enough in a reality TV singer’s winning song kind of way, that was because Miley showed some restraint. For her tragically romantic new movie The Last Song, Miley provides us with the soundtrack’s lead single, an overblown tearjerker that shows Miley really show off her vocal chops. The song made me cry, cry with the overwhelming pain in my ears of listening to Miley’s nails against chalkboard voice. I can’t even hear the lyrics thanks to Miley’s nasal delivery. Obvious stinker. 1 STAR

20. Mini Viva – One Touch
I don’t understand all the critical hype surrounding Mini Viva. Sure, I really enjoyed their flop
I Wish but never really cared for Left My Heart In Tokyo. I think its just that I find the girls’ voices annoying. On this racy number, they are more bearable although I still think this is a by the numbers ‘80s throwback. I don’t think the chorus is particularly strong but I do like the “Hips, lips, fashion status” breakdown. A good enough pop song but not essential in today’s market in my opinion. 3 STARS

21. Sub Focus featuring Coco – Splash
Euphoric drum and bass from Sub Focus and Coco of I Blame Coco equals dance heaven. I don’t know if this has much mainstream appeal but with a fists in the air chorus, this might be one of those under the radar dance numbers to enjoy this Summer.
4 STARS

22. TV Rock featuring Rudy – In The Air (Axwell Remix)
This isn’t remotely original but this will probably serve as the Eurodance song to feature in all the clubs this month with it’s brief vocal sections and big rave friendly dance parts. Decent enough but nothing overly exciting.
3 STARS

Ah, 14 weeks and 360 singles reviewed, I’m quite proud of myself for sticking with it this long. Comments and feedback please.

Singles Reviews Diary 13 – 30th April 2010

I’m being extra good this week and getting in what is actually my thirteenth Singles Reviews Diary (I made a misprint on my last one). Summer is here so let’s see what songs we can listen to by the BBQ this week.

Singles Reviews Diary 13 – 30th April 2010:

01. Aggro Santos featuring Kimberly Wyatt: Candy
Unknown British rapper Aggros Santos and former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt (the one with the slightly superior dancing to the others) get together for this unoriginal but surprisingly enjoyably infectious dance rap track. Generic as it may be, icy electro beats and a repetitive sexy chorus from Wyatt make this above the average club tracks were all hearing at the minute. Santos is also a pretty decent rapper, being a dead ringer for Sean Paul in looks and fast paced rapping style, although Santos has a London accent instead of a fake Jamaican one like Paul. However with the similar sounding and much more hyped
Dirty Picture being released this week also, this is unlikely to do well. This is by no means a classic but it succeeds very well in staying with the now without being irritating. 3 STARS

02. Beyoncé featuring Kanye West: Ego (Remix)
The human machine that is Beyoncé returns with the eighth single from her
I Am… Sasha Fierce LP despite not realising that everyone got bored of the era back in August after the release of Sweet Dreams. The album version of this track with Beyoncé should be a classic – old school R&B soul with classy pianos, a loud and boisterous brass section, finger snaps and flawless and sassy vocals from Beyoncé. The song sounds like it was taken from the golden era of R&B music. However, the video for the song is not so golden, more black and white Single Ladies knock off with Beyoncé wearing a dodgy wig. Worse still, Kanye West comes in “to keep the urban crowd” happy with an ill paced rap which he does in a sing-songy way while rambling on about recession and name-checking Beyoncé and Jay-Z. This modern rap sounds completely out of sync with the retro-ness of the song and hence spoils it immensely. Well, at least Kanye gets the rap out of the way at the start and the rest of the ‘should be classic’ can be listened to in peace. 4 STARS (But it would be 5 if Kanye didn’t wreck it!)

03. Biffy Clyro featuring Josh Hommes: Bubbles
I was a bit shocked to find that this was the fifth single from Biffy Clyro’s
Only Revelations album but then I remembered Mountains back in 2008 was actually the lead single from the album so I guess they’re well on their way through it. Bubbles features some extra guitar work from Josh Hommes of Queens Of The Stone Age and you can definitely tell as its one of the best tracks instrumentally on the album. Borrowing a little from Kings Of Leon, it’s nice to hear Simon Neil’s Scottish tinged verses but once the chorus hits, the song just doesn’t seem to really go anywhere. The prog rock breakdown at the end though is pretty satisfying. I would love if they release God & Satan as the next single. 3 STARS

04. Estelle featuring Kardinal Offishall: Freak
Oh Estelle! What have you done? After creating a modern classic with
American Boy, your following singles from your sophomore album Shine didn’t do so well but at least you maintained your dignity. With the lead single from her third album All Of Me, Estelle enlists David Guetta to help her jump on the dance bandwagon. The song’s main hook “I can be a freak/I can be a freak/every day of every week” is cringeworthy and irritating and overall, the song just sounds a little desperate and calculated. Props to Estelle for still managing to inject a little soul vocally into the track and the jumpy hooks in the song almost make up for it until Kardinal Offishall shows up for his pointless rap and I hate the song all over again. 2 STARS

05. Faithless: Not Going Home
You know this new single can only be bought exclusive to Tesco. For a brief second, I thought the final three words of my last sentence were actually part of the song title which had me intrigued. While the song doesn’t make any references to Tesco, Faithless show us all how good they are with another consistently strong trance track. Perfect for playing at a rave, the calmly spoken verses almost have a disturbing quality to them. Still, great song and the animated and erotic video is another one to add to the list of 2010’s Top Videos (quite a few already actually).
4 STARS

06. Foals: This Orient
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Foals but never actually took the time out to listen to them. Thanks to my writing of these Singles Reviews Diaries, I’ve actually listened to them for the first time.
This Orient being the first song I’ve heard from them shows a lot of promise. With an exciting electronic intro, the song opens with a crashing of guitars and drums while the synths continue to play quietly in the background. The song is a definite grower with a catchy yet subdued chorus. I’m going to check out some of their other songs now. 4 STARS

__________________________________

I have to say that this week’s episode of Glee is probably the weakest and so are the selection of songs. Too many Broadway ballads for my liking. However with the incredibly talented Kristin Chenoweth back this week. Some of the songs are made above average thanks to her contributions. This week doesn’t have as fixed a theme as other episodes but it seems to be about feeling secure in yourself and your home.

07. Glee Cast: Fire
I’m trying to remove images of Will Schuester’s (Matthew Morrison) terrible dancing and portrayal of fake embarrassment when April (Kristin Chenoweth) starts a karaoke rendition of this song. While these two don’t have a patch on the original, their soaring rendition of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band’s ‘80s hit
Fire is probably the best song in Glee this week. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
08. Glee Cast: A House Is Not A Home
It’s great to see Chris Colfer as Kurt is getting more of a chance to sing this part of the season with only Cory Monteith’s Finn joining in towards the end. It’s probably not so great though if he’s given drippy and cheesy ballads, this one being a 1964 song by Dionne Warwick. Their version is solid but I found myself fast forwarding at Kurt’s cringeworthy longing looks at the permanently confused looking Finn.
2 STARS

09. Glee Cast: One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home
This week’s mash-up is just plain lazy because one of the songs in the mash-up was already used in the episode, just before this song in fact. The other song was originally sung by The 5th Element. Credit needs to go to Matthew Morrison and Kristin Chenoweth for doing the best job they could with the rather boring mash-up, especially Chenoweth whose powerful Broadway vocals have a classic, old movie style sound to them.
2.5 STARS

10. Glee Cast: Beautiful
This is the song that’s likely to chart this week. Covering Christina Aguilera’s soppy modern classic is obviously the only singer close enough to rival Aguilera’s powerhouse vocals is Amber Riley (Mercedes). Her rendition is very good and on-par with the original but I could never really stand the song apart from its catchiness.
3.5 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Home
The closing numbers from the last two episodes have been extremely satisfying but this track is another boring but well sung Broadway ballad with lead vocals by April from the musical
The Wiz. I found myself drifting away from the song and verbally abusing the TV by telling Will to man up when the overly sentimental teacher began crying again during a performance. 2 STARS

12. Grace Jones: Love You To Life
Lady GaGa’s biggest fan makes a return to the industry with this new single. The track’s production is sparse and haunting yet it still sounds sort of like it belongs on a soundtrack to James Bond with its soulful chorus. Jones’ voice sounds as distinctive and poetic as ever. A fine return for Miss Jones that should keep her fans happy.
4 STARS

13. Hole: Skinny Little Bitch
I do love Hole and Courtney Love. Combining the sound of the Smashing Pumpkins, Joan Jett and Nirvana, Courtney Love’s tobacco edged vocals are the standout point of what is probably the angriest and grungiest moment on Hole’s consistent new album
Nobody’s Daughter. If you’re like me and love the 1990s grunge sound, then you will adore this. But in all honesty, this is probably one of the weakest songs on the album and it’s strange that this was chosen as lead single over the much more commercialSamantha. Bring on Pacific Coast Highway. 3.5 STARS

14. John O’Connor and Audrey Trainor: Falling Up
This is reminiscent of the Waterboys in that it has a very folky sound with a particular emphasis on the violin played by Trainor. O’Connor sings the track in a way that you almost want to chant along with despite its mid-tempo setting. I’ll have to check out more of his stuff.
4 STARS

15. M.I.A.: Born Free
After the surprise commercial success and mainstream attention of M.I.A.’s
Paper Planes, this track, a buzz single from M.I.A.’s as of yet untitled third album has divided fans and critics. Well this critic (humble old Randy) thinks the new M.I.A. is fast paced, intriguing and a good indication for the album ahead. Casual M.I.A. fans probably won’t like this but those who have been following her since her Arular days should enjoy this jarring track, made all the more so by the disturbing video. Now bring on the first official single XXXO, M.I.A.! 3.5 STARS

16. Mika: Kick Ass (We Are Young)
I actually have to say Mika kind of does kick ass on this song because I don’t hate it like I hate every other Mika single that followed
Love Today. And it’s not the RedOne effect that has made this song great because I’m definitely starting to hear him recycle his beats but rather Mika’s powerful, euphoric and anthemic chorus which really sticks in the head like bubblegum. A great return to form for Mika although I do feel his falsetto may get on my nerves after more listens. Hopefully, this will see Mika’s return to the charts although I doubt it. 4.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
17. Moby featuring Kelly Scarr: Wait For Me
The incredibly versatile Moby releases
Wait For Me, an ambient yet affecting track from his album of the same name. Kelly Scarr’s vocals are haunting and beautiful and Moby has designed the perfect backdrop for those fantastic vocals, really setting up a dramatic and atmospheric concept. In an ideal World, this would be a modern classic. 5 STARS

18. Ocean Colour Scene: Saturday
Starting off with the sound of cawing seagulls, the underrated but fantastic Ocean Colour Scene release the first perfect song of the Summer. The song manages to be high energy and chilled out at the same time with a big booming chorus, this perfect for that beach BBQ. This just about missed out on being rewarded Track Of The Week.
5 STARS

19. Pendulum: Watercolour
Pendulum are back! My excitement has waned slightly though as this doesn’t live up to my expectations and I know there capable of much greater. I wouldn’t give it 2 stars like the Big Mac did but Pendulum have released better songs than this. However, with a little drop of angst and racing, fast paced synths… the song still shows why Pendulum are regarded as one of Australia’s greatest bands. The drum and bass on this track has been toned down a lot on this from their earlier stuff though.
3 STARS

20. Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Bittersweet
Sophie Ellis Bextor is also back but don’t expect me to cheer. I like her but nearly all her songs sound the same – classy yet icy electropop. As some other ChartBlog commenter stated (can’t remember which one) – the verses on this are fantastic but the chorus is sadly lacking. Not good for a pop song and I’m getting tired of the ‘80s sound. Still I’ll forgive Sophie because this in the hands of someone else could have been disastrous.
3 STARS

21. Taio Cruz featuring Ke$ha: Dirty Picture
I really wanted to bomb this because this song is pure and utter trash – complete tripe!!! But I was in a nightclub last night and this came on and it just sounded fantastic to my slightly (very!) intoxicated ears. Cheap and sleazy (like a drunk person) – this song is designed for the nightclubs and does very well at that. Ke$ha really stands out here as her voice really fits the production of the song (her version of this track is far superior to this one) yet Taio bores me to death. We all know you’re not as bad as you say, Cruz. So yeah, this song is the ultimate classic when you’ve downed a few too many vodka and Red Bulls (I’m going to vomit) but is terrible otherwise. So I’m going to give it a safe old in between rating of…
3 STARS

22. Toni Braxton featuring Trey Songz: Yesterday
The original Queen of R&B and R&B newbie Toni Braxton and Trey Songz team up for this R&B power ballad. Generic is a word I throw about a lot but this R&B song isn’t exactly that. It’s more anonymous. A genuinely good power ballad, this could just have easily have been sang by Beyoncé and Chris Brown and no-one would have told the difference. Still decent R&B filler to make up a versatile iPod playlist.
3 STARS

23. Train: Hey Soul Sister
Having hit the Number 1 spot in the US and Australia and even making Number 2 in Ireland before its release, it baffles me that this song isn’t doing better across the pond in the UK. Because
Hey Soul Sister is the most catchiest radio friendly record to come out in a long time. Against a slightly folky backdrop, Patrick Monahan, the lead singer, uses his powerful voice to sing out this romantic and cheery ballad. Even though I find it strange that you’d metaphorically call your love interest your sister. Kind of creepy. All creepiness aside, this song is fantastic. Come on, Britain, get buying! 4.5 STARS

24. Two Door Cinema Club: Something Good Can Work
Woah! Woah! Woah! Am I listening to The Kooks or Franz Ferdinand when they were in their prime. Despite their unoriginality, Two Door Cinema Club have created a fantastic indie pop chorus here. Full of bouncy, cheery guitar riffs, a Kook-esque chorus and a melody you want to clap along to, this is another pefect tune for your Summer playlist.
4 STARS

25. Vampire Weekend: Giving Up The Gun
This has rather annoying been cancelled as a single despite good radio and music channel airplay,
Giving Up The Gun is a fantastic percussion heavy track with loads of twinkling synths and World effects towards the end. The song doesn’t have any real chorus but remains incredibly likeable and listenable probably because of the fantastic band and Ezra Koenig’s soft vocals. Check out the fantastic video which features cameos from Jake Gyllenhall, Joe Jonas and Daft Punk. 4 STARS

Phew! That took ages but I really enjoyed writing that edition of my Singles Reviews Diary. As usual, I want your thoughts on what’s good and what’s not as well as what you thought of the Singles Reviews Diary as a whole.