Single Reviews Diary 22 – 2nd July 2010

Again, I’ll have to apologise for my lateness with this one – the twenty-second edition of my Single Reviews Diaries. So this week is actually the week of my 19th birthday and the singles are actually rather interesting. It wasn’t hard to pick my Track Of The Week and Stinker Of The Week because not only are they the best and worst songs of the week but probably the best and worst songs of the WHOLE ENTIRE YEAR. 3 is a magic number and magic begins with the letter M so it’s also intriguing to see that two artists, both beginning with M have released three promo singles each for our listening pleasure. So yep, it’s a peculiar week. Read my reviews below and give me comments and opinions on what you think of this week’s selection.

Single Reviews Diary 22 – 2nd July 2010:

01. 3OH!3 featuring Ke$ha: My First Kiss

3OH!3 - My First Kiss
Eurrgh! These 3OH!3 losers had me guiltily singing along to
Don’t Trust Me andStarstrukk featuring Katy Perry but at least I could admit to myself despite the guys’ obvious stupidity, there were some pop smarts underneath the tripe. Not with this – the lead single from their sophomore album Streets Of Gold. Following off the back of their last Ke$ha collaboration Blah Blah Blah, My First Kiss is just completely dumb. Starting off with a shouty “My first kiss went a little like this” followed by kissing effects, the song continues in the same annoying manner with the boys shouting tunelessly over a cascade of guitars and synths. Ke$ha’s role is pointless, only providing a brief female slant to the track and to attract some additional star power. Sure, this will make all the sweaty pre-pubescents at the teenage disco go crazy but for anyone who has moved well beyond their first kiss, this is pop at its dumbest and most senseless. And clearly 3OH!3 are becoming one trick ponies – using silly sound effects in order to sell their songs seems to be their thing. Plus the blond one (not Ke$ha) comes across totally desperate for attention in the accompanying video. I’ll give it half a point extra for the oooh-oooh hook though. 1.5 STARS

02. Ash: Instinct

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


Single Letter T (we’re finally getting to the end of them) is a decent pop rock tune with a huge electro influence. It’s perfectly enjoyable radio fodder (not that it will get the airplay) but doesn’t boast any sizeable hook or anything really special. A pleasant listen with a nice long guitar solo towards the end.
3 STARS

03. Bombay Bicycle Club: Ivy And Gold

Bombay Bicycle Club - Ivy & Gold / Flaws
Quirky rockers Bombay Bicycle Club are yet another band with a single that recalls sunshine and school’s out. This has a very folky sound which is pleasant to listen to but I’m constantly reminded of Mumford & Sons. Decent but BBC probably need to broaden their sound out a bit more.
3 STARS

04. Cathy Davey: Army Of Tears


The extremely talented singer songwriter that is Cathy Davey has returned with the second single from her brilliant new album
The Nameless. Amidst marching band beats, ominous guitar and banjo and dramatic strings, Cathy manages once again to take the listener away from their own World and into her own otherworldly one with her soft, endearing vocals. Another excellent single, surely international success beckons. 4 STARS

05. Ciara featuring Ludacris: Ride

Ciara - Ride
Following an underwhelming foray into pop with her last album
Fantasy Ride, the Queen of Crunk Ciara returns to her raunchy roots from her first album with forthcoming fourth album, the aptly titled Basic Instinct. This song seems to be doing relatively well in her native US. Despite the sexual but “nothing new in this day and age” music video being banned in many territories, the song has cracked the US Top 50 and hit the Top 5 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop charts so clearly many urban fans have welcomed back the old Ciara. I enjoy urban music myself but this is a pretty poor comeback single. Ludacris shows up for his fifth CiCi collaboration but really this guy will rap on anything these days! He spends most of the time talking in the robot from Boom Boom Pow’s voice while Ciara croons in the only way she knows how…soft and breathy which sounds sexy alright but shows how limited her vocal range. With a title called Ride, this is clearly a bedroom jam but it’s a very run-of-the-mill bedroom jam rather than a hot steamy one. Maybe on Ciara and Ludacris’ sixth collaboration, they might surprise us? 2 STARS

06. Eliza Doolittle featuring Lloyd Wade: Pack Up

Eliza Doolittle - Pack Up
I think Eliza Doolittle is an awfully contrived singer – one of those ‘kooky’ singer-songwriter types who writes chirpy indie tracks, their bubbly vocals just perfect for the next Apple ad. That’s exactly what Eliza is on this single – chirpy. She even “tweets” halfway through the song. Not actually tweet as in write short messages on Twitter but actually imitates a bird. However, I can’t deny the catchy Summery draw of this track and the fact that Ms. Doolittle thinks outside the box a little by sampling an old World War I tune originally sang by George Asaf. Her friend Lloyd Wade gives a positive and raspy vocals work as a good catalyst to Doolittle’s “love it or hate it” singing voice. I think for this, Doolittle deserves a chance at the Top 20.
3.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
07. Florence + The Machine: Cosmic Love

Florence + The Machine - Cosmic Love
This track continues to give me goosebumps everytime I listen to it, even a year on from first hearing it. One could compare it to
Dog Days Are Over as it has that same Florence structure – starting off all subdued with quiet vocals and tinkling harps before exploding into a flood of heavenly vocals, tribal drumbeats and bombastic production. However, while Dog Days is a great track – it feels more like the type of song you’d dance along to at a festival. It has a real joyous celebratory feel but it never feels extraordinary – at least I don’t think so anyway. Cosmic Love has an ethereal feel to it – like it comes from another planet! Florence sounds like some otherworldly spectre as she bellows out this explosive, romantic tune with a Celtic lilt. The production matches the epic vocals and lyrics perfectly and the oooh-ooohs are beautifully haunting. When Florence hits those two high notes towards the end of song – you realise this song is nothing short of magic. This is without a doubt one of the most underappreciated mainstream releases of our time and it baffles me that it was picked as the seventh single from the album. 5 STARS

08. Foals: Miami

Foals - Miami
Following on from the brilliant
This Orient, the alternative rockers return with a song so sweaty and muscular, it matches the accompanying video to perfection. To be honest, I find this track a little lacking. Despite some funky guitar work, it’s all a bit too plodding and doesn’t pack much bite or promise. The vocals are background noise and the song should have ended 2 minutes earlier than it does. I would definitely check out there other stuff though because, unlike this, it sounds like anything but album filler. 2 STARS

09. Ham Sandwich: The Naturist


The talented band with an unfortunate name return with this soft sing-along track from their upcoming second album Natural Causes. It’s a lot softer than what we’re used to from the group with Niamh Farrel, the band’s frontwoman, packing in lots of angst and vulnerability into this acoustic track which lyrically could be compared to Robyn’s
Dancing On My Own. Irish radio needs to start playing this. 4 STARS

10. Kelis: 4th Of July (Fireworks)


I do believe I said over on the review for this song that I didn’t like this track much but I’m glad I gave it a few more listens before I reviewed it. Because
4th Of July is clearly a grower. It doesn’t have any real discernible hook but Kelis sounds like a lost ‘90s dance diva on this well produced, squelchy house track, yet another lyrical ode to her son Knight. Tying in with the American holiday, this has a misleading euphoric feel – and while it doesn’t quite reach the standards of Acapella – Kelis shows that you can jump on the dance bandwagon without sounding like everyone else out there. 4 STARS

11. Kevin Rudolf featuring Jay Sean, Lil’ Wayne and Birdman: I Made It (Cash Money Heroes)

Kevin Rudolf / Lil Wayne / Jay Sean / Birdman - I Made It (Cash Money Heroes) (Edited Version)
One hit wonder Kevin Rudolf returns with another catchy urban pop rock tune which features old cohort, the incarcerated Lil’ Wayne, pointless music video cameo staple Birdman and US flavour of the month Jay Sean. The track has an upbeat anthemic feel, no doubt helped by Sean’s smooth vocals, and is sort of likeable but is unoriginal with some clichéd and tired lyrics about artists getting to the top. Sorry guys, B.o.B. did it better.
3 STARS

12. Janelle Monáe featuring Big Boi: Tightrope

Janelle Monáe - Tightrope [feat. Big Boi]
Janelle is definitely going to be the next big global star. And well deserved…rather than posing as an oversexed avant garde artist, Monáe is a good old fashioned funky soul babe, dressed in an androgynous suit who sings at a rapid pace amongst some toe-tapping production of guitars, drumbeats and rhythmic trumpets. As much as I enjoy Big Boi for his innovative approach to hip-hop music, his appearance on this track is not worthwhile at all. That being said, Monáe is very special indeed and all eyes are on her to see what she’ll bring out next.
4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
13. JLS: The Club Is Alive

JLS - The Club Is Alive
Complete garbage. I don’t care how many hooks this track has, I don’t care how hard JLS have worked, I don’t care how club friendly this track is and I don’t care that many teenage girls will be wetting their panties over how many times JLS pout moodily into the camera or flash their abs. We have enough bland, generic and Auto-Tuned electropop in the charts at the minute – JLS use this template but add some cringeworthy and clichéd lyrics on top of that and their voices remain indistinguishable from each other due to the Auto-Tune “effect”.
”Went to the club, not looking for love”. Who goes to a club looking for love? People go the club for cheap, drunken sex.You can be the DJ, I can be the dancefloor, you can get up on me!” Excuse me while I vomit. ”Shawties all around but I’m focused on you!” Puh-lease you are not gangsta enough to throw the word shawty around – even if Justin Bieber uses it. And good luck, Aston finding a shawty shawter than you. So yup, The Club Is Alive is just a soulless cash-in record to appeal to the teenyboppers who are, no doubt, fuelling this whole generic, soulless electro craze. I know that manufactured acts have been around before but JLS make me so mad because they’re clearly squandering the talent they have for the floods of cash they’ll get in return. There’s nothing wrong with a fun dance track but The Club Is Alive just screams “GIVE ME MONEY!” and nothing more…which is really sad. 1 STAR

14. Lee Ryan: I Am Who I Am

Lee Ryan - I Am Who I Am
After the terribly generic
Secret Love which is being released officially this week, as a double A-side Blue band member Lee Ryan is releasing a ballad. Now I think of Mr. Ryan as being a less desperate male equivalent to Katie Price/Jordan but I have to say I’m surprisingly bolwed over by this heartfelt ballad. Maybe Ryan has a bit of musicality underneath his reality TV friendly body. Beautifully sang, some great lyrics and rousing yet lonely production, this is cream of the crop as far as male pop ballads go. Lee has managed to top Take That at this feat but it’s certainly opened my eyes to the fact that the guy might have talent after all. 4 STARS

15. M.I.A.: Steppin’ Up


And so the onslaught of promo singles begins. M.I.A.’S new album
/\/\/\Y/\ is out next week and alongside buzz single Born Free and the brilliant lead single XXXO we get three taster tracks from the new record. Steppin’ Up reintroduces us to the noisy and busy tracks by M.I.A.. Opening up with incredibly loud and crunchy drill noises amongst a tuneless vocal flow of “Rub-a-dub-dub”, the song isn’t for casual M.I.A. fans. However, once you get passed all the noise, you’ve actually got a gem of a chorus/hook? Basically it’s filled with nonchalant expletives but it has a futuristic paranoia about it that’s just going to fit in perfectly with the album theme and sounds like a good alternative dance track if it gets airplay in the clubs. 3.5 STARS

16. M.I.A.: Teqkilla (sorry no video…yet! Will update!)


I’ve actually just discovered that there’s a remix of this song featuring Nicki Minaj. Jeez, is there anything Nicki isn’t appearing on these days, let alone alternative artists like M.I.A.. Teqkilla is similarly as noisy as
Steppin’ Up but is definitely made for the clubs and raves. Full of loud and noisy techno effects and a trippy production, the song doesn’t have much to say apart from being incredibly infectious. A definite return to the sound of first album Arular. 4 STARS

17. M.I.A.: Tell Me Why (sorry no video…yet! Will update!)


The final promo single from
/\/\/\Y/\, this is definitely more mainstream. Starting off with a rushed intro, this Diplo produced jam quickly descends into a much calmer sound. M.I.A. sings/raps in a slower relaxed voice against a simple yet rhythmic military beat. This could be the second official single from the album. 3.5 STARS

18. MGMT: Siberian Breaks

File:Siberian breaks single.JPG
MGMT might have promised to release zero singles from their second album
Congratulations but clearly that doesn’t apply to promotional singles. Following on from first promo single Flash Delirium, Siberian Breaks is a 12 minute lesson in overindulgent, schizophrenia in music. Frontman Andrew VanWyngarden says that Siberian Breaks is like 8 songs strung together, all lyrically speaking about surfing across the Arctic Circle (as evidenced in the Congratulations cover) and he certainly isn’t wrong. While the track is actually rather great – a psychedelic homage to Beatles-esque pop, albeit with many changes in tempo and instrumentation, it would have been better if the group just split the whole track into several different songs rather than trying to be all “hipster”. Quantity is sometimes as important as quality in music. 3 STARS

19. MGMT: It’s Working

Another psychedelic track from the boys, the opening track from Congratulations is probably one of the more poppier numbers on the album, but nothing in comparison toElectric Feel or Kids. Again, I’m strongly reminded of The Beatles as this has a similar instrumentation of harpsichords, guitars and heavy drumbeats. 3.5 STARS

20. MGMT: Congratulations


This is one of the greater tracks from the album. The title track and album closer is a really laidback, sort of Summery track with watery piano chords, quiet and poetic vocals from Andrew and lightly strum guitars. Definitely the most radio-friendly track on the album.
4 STARS

21. Miike Snow: The Rabbit


The fantastic Swedes that are Miike Snow are back with this glam stomper. This is definitely one of the more commercial tracks on the album and sounds like a less manufactured Adam Lambert track with more intriguing lyrics and some better electro production. I hope radio picks this one up.
3.5 STARS

22. The Muppets: Popcorn

The Muppets - Popcorn
Yup, Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy and co. are back with their own cover of the easily recognisable instrumental
Popcorn composed by Gershon Kingsley back in 1969. Really this barely differs from the instrumental; it’s all about watching the music video for all its novelty fun. 2 STARS

23. Nathan featuring Flo Rida: Caught Me Slippin’


British R&B singer Nathan returns with a new song which has a sort of old fashioned Summer feel to it, a bit like R. Kelly’s
Ignition but not anywhere near as good. This song just doesn’t really go anywhere. Bar the certain old skool urban charm underlying, this is nearly as generic as they come. Nathan doesn’t show much of his vocal chops off, the lyrics are tired and clichéd, there are no strong hooks and the song opens with an annoying J.R. Rotem siren. It’s surprisingly Flo Rida who steals the show here with his rapping flowing perfectly with the song. But when Flo Rida’s the standout in your song with a disposable rap, I think that means it’s time to go back to the drawing board. 2 STARS

24. Peggy Sue: Yo Mama

Peggy Sue - Yo Mama
The folky Amy Winehouse returns with another single featuring folky instrumentals and Amy Winehouse-esque vocals. It’s a rousing track with some lovely use of accordions but doesn’t sound especially different or likely to blow you away. As I’ve said for previous single
Watchmen though, Peggy Sue shows lots of promise as an artist. 3 STARS

25. Primary 1: Princess

Princess
This has a part naff ‘80s sound and also little parts that have an experimental edge. I shouldn’t like this track but I do. There’s something very listenable about it. The video is also excellent and I recommend you watch.
3 STARS

26. Wiley featuring Jodie Connor and J2K: Electric Boogaloo (Find A Way)

Electric Boogaloo
Sorry Wiley, but Dizzee Rascal did it first. Yet another grimy track desperate for crossover success, Jodie Connor seems to be building a reputation for singing poppy hooks over rap tracks. I will give it a decent-ish score for having a Summery club feel, a decent hook and for being mercifully short though.
2.5 STARS

Benny Benassi shoots straight to the 22nd Century in his ‘Spaceship’

Benny Benassi Spaceship video still

Grammy Award winning Italian DJ Benny Benassi is taking the David Guetta route and releasing a brand new single featuring some well known American stars ahead of his forthcoming album, due in Autumn.

Naturally he’s roped in the currently renowned dance diva Kelis to help him do this while also getting a little assistance from Black Eyed Peas sole Fillipio member apl.de.apl. and writer-producer Jean Baptiste.

Benassi is probably best known for his inescapable 2002 hit Satisfaction and with Spaceship, he provides a similar Euro-house production although many of the naff, cheesy Euro elements have been scrapped so that the song will appeal more to an American market. This is a club track but has that slight alternative edge to it that should appeal to the Pitchfork crowd much in the same way as Kelis’ Acapella single was.

Speaking of Kelis, she’s the star of the show on this track. While Jean Baptiste repeatedly drills the words “Jump on the spaceship” into your head and apl.de.apl. (who I normally like a lot more) provides an Auto-Tuned rap verse that sounds like it came straight from The E.N.D., Kelis is here to provide her trancey, sultry vocals. I don’t appreciate the song’s main hook being “Get high”. I know the majority jumping around to this in club on Saturday night will be mostly likely under the influence without any enforcement but Kelis should not be encouraging this in music anyway.

Still, Spaceship is a great club track and it’s backed up by an even better video. Although it was filmed on a green-screen as the picture shows below, which often makes videos come across looking very cheap, it certainly doesn’t suffer these problems.

Spaceship has some stunning futuristic scenery from the colossal spaceship to the Red Planet which they land on  to the fiery meteorites which drag Kelis calmly away as she spins around in a colourful orbit. It certainly is stunning to look at as is the oriental garden at the start and the end of the video where Benassi is sitting, all Zen-like as he thinks about the concept for the video.

But of course the drug encouraging conspiracy theories come back to me and makes me believe that Benassi is in a higher state of mind and this visual is all a trippy dream. Hmmm. 😡 Spaceship is set for release soon.

P.S. Kelis looks absolutely gorgeous in the video? So much for her saying she’s tired of being pretty because it’s “boring and exhausting”.

Adam, Basshunter, B.o.B., Gorillaz, Inna, Jessie James, Justin, Kat, Katy, Kelis, MGMT, N*E*R*D*, OK Go, Plan B, Snoop and Uffie unleash an onslaught of videos for us!

After Lady GaGa released her much discussed video clip for Alejandro about two weeks or so ago, it looks like some of the other artists in today’s music industry want in on the game and the last two weeks have seen an absolute onslaught of music videos float our way. Seeing as other areas of my life are taking over my blogging (despite me really getting into it lately), I’ve not been able to keep track of them all as soon as they’ve been released. However, never fear because I’ve combined them all into one humungous post. Here are some of the most notable (and not so notable) videos being released recently.

Adam Lambert: If I Had You

After getting off to a disappointing start with his dull as dishwasher ‘proper debut’ single For Your Entertainment, Adam Lambert has been very impressive lately. Not only am I mad about his current UK/Irish single Whataya Want From Me, released this July, but I’m also really loving If I Had You, Adam’s third single in the US (fifth if you count his American Idol runner up song No Boundaries and his soundtrack song Time For Miracles).

While Whataya Want From Me is a brooding P!nk penned rocker, If I Had You is a delightful electropop stomper that is sure to keep America partying all Summer. If I Had You is hugely euphoric, positive and massive and should ensure the larger than live vocalist and artist a massive hit. The video is a simple yet effective affair. Adam and a large group of people go out and party in a forest. The video has some fantastical elements to it with colourful fairies flitting about and Glambert resembling some character from either a sci-fi, fantasy, manga or anime movie/show I’d seen recently, I just can’t put my finger on who. Watch the video below, I hope this is released on these shores soon…although it is essentially a Summer single.

Basshunter: Saturday

The male Natalie Horler, Basshunter is back with a brand new single, Saturday, which will be taken from his currently untitled third album. *groan*

Not a huge groan though. Saturday is a minor improvement on some of the Sweedish DJ’s earlier work although it still remains generic, bland and soulless. Jonas has ditched the cheesy Eurodance for some pure Americanised dance-pop, á la Cascada with Evacuate The Dancefloor. Like Cascada, Jonas has definitely cashed into the Lady GaGa sound as he and some anonymous female vocalist sing over giant club beats. At least he’s ditched the repetitive soap storyline he used for previous videos and has gone for a full out club video.

B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams: Airplanes

After scoring a #1 hit with his Bruno Mars collaboration Nothin’ On You, innovative rapper B.o.B. is back with a new single Airplanes featuring Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams.

While the track is a certified smash and possibly even a future hip-hop classic, I’m a little disappointed with the video. Despite B.o.B.’s success, its clear that the label didn’t throw a huge amount of dollars at the video and I would have liked to see some interaction between B.o.B. and Hayley. Still the flashing lights look good and with a song so epic, with a simple yet effective chorus and having already cracked the Top 20, if not Top 10 across the World, clearly a below par video is the least of B.o.B.’s worries. Plus, I’m glad Hayley’s doing this collaboration. If Paramore ever go on hiatus or split, Hayley has the looks, talent and charisma to embark on a successful pop career, like No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani.

Gorillaz: On Melancholy Hill

Virtual band the Gorillaz have pushed back the release of second single Superfast Jellyfish in favour of new second single On Melancholy Hill. Superfast Jellyfish will be released later in the year, instead.

On Melancholy Hill was originally intended to be the third single from the album and it baffles me why the positions of this and the much more sunnier Superfast Jellyfish were reversed around. I also feel that the underwater theme and the images of jellyfish floating around were originally for a Superfast Jellyfish but the song was changed at the last minute.

That said On Melancholy Hill is one of the highlights from the brilliant Plastic Beach. The video is characteristically stunning, combining 2-D and 3-D seamlessly. My personal favourite parts are where the Gorillaz finally discover Plastic Beach and the cameo from a 2-D Snoop Dogg (who appears in three videos this post).
You can watch the stunning video here.

Inna: Amazing

To inject a little Eurotrash into this post, the trashily sexy Romanian singer Inna is set to release her second UK/Irish single Amazing. As you’d expect, it’s anything but – but at least we get to see her flail around in a bikini and view some stunning Portuguese landscape in the song’s video. Plus the song is much better than her surprise #10 hit Hot which was released a while back.

Jessie James: Boys In Summer

To inject a little country flavour into this post, why not check out the new music video by American singer Jessie James. The sexy Georgian is expected to be country music’s next ‘it’ girl (watch your back, Taylor Swift) and while it’s not being released over here yet, the song is a fun track that almost acts as the country equivalent to Katy Perry’s California Gurls, capturing the sound of the Summer perfectly. The video’s a lot of fun too, showing plenty of eye candy for both men and women. The song is definitely more country than whatever Taylor Swift has put her name to. You can watch the video here.

Justin Bieber featuring Usher: Somebody To Love

Self obsessed lesbian lookalike Justin “I Don’t Know What A German Is” Bieber and his mentor Usher have teamed up for a remix to new single Somebody To Love, which is bound to give Bieber yet another hit.

This time it’s deserved though as the song is a catchy little pop stomper with a stylish video to match. Clearly puberty is getting to young Bieber as his voice could be better on this track but thanks to a little help from Usher and some great choreography, Bieber has actually impressed me for once. Now if only he didn’t come across as a narcissistic little toe-rag pretending to act wholesome, I might actually start to like him.

Kat Deluna featuring Akon: Push Push

Flopstar Kat Deluna is back with her new single Push Push which features chipmunk voiced singer/rapper Akon. The reason why I’m including Kat in my post is because Ms. Deluna is in desperate need of a hit. Deluna has worked with RedOne long before GaGa ever did and while her combination of electropop, R&B and Latin music is extremely infectious, Deluna has never scored a hit. Maybe this song and its stylish video will help…though I doubt it. Shame because this is just ideal for Summer.

Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg: California Gurls

The much anticipated video for Katy Perry’s current US #1 California Gurls has finally surfaced. Rather than go with a literal video, Perry is thinking outside the box with a Candyland board game theme meets The Wizard Of Oz.

It’s no secret that I have a hard soft spot for Katy Perry so I naturally enjoyed this fun, cute video. Katy’s ‘quirkiness’, you’re either going to love or hate, and many will complain about her blatant selling off sex in this video (appearing naked on the cloud, whipped cream gun bra etc.) but as a red-blooded male I have no complaints. My personal highlight of the video is where Katy waves at the walking gummy bears, only for it to show her the middle finger, resulting in a hilariously camp over-exaggerated expression of offence from Ms. Perry. I also think the final scene with Snoop buried in the sand alongside the California Gurls would make a great desktop wallpaper.

Kelis: 4th July (Fireworks)

Kelis is back with the second single from her Flesh Tone album – the US holiday anthem 4th Of July. The video was done on a low budget but like her previous hit Acapella, Kelis does not disappoint, giving us a visually delicious video which displays plenty of the song’s namesake fireworks and explores the four elements of air, earth, fire and water.

While I’m not loving the song or the video as much as Acapella, I’m hoping it will grow on me and become another hit for the deceptively intelligent artist. Who would have known Kelis had so much creative vision when she released Milkshake all them years ago.

MGMT: It’s Working and Congratulations

Before the release of their second LP Congratulations, New York hipster band MGMT had stated that they planned to release no singles from the album as they wanted to stand on its own as its own “collection of work”. Two months on and the band have released music videos for the third and fourth single from the album It’s Working and the title track. Neither songs are exactly mainstream or radio friendly but the videos are a lot of fun so hopefully they get some airplay on the music channels.

N*E*R*D* featuring Nelly Furtado: Hot ‘N’ Fun

Pharrell

Hip-rockers N*E*R*D* make a return to the World of music, with new single Hot ‘N’ Fun from forthcoming album Nothing. Featuring Nelly Furtado, the video was directed by Telephone director Jonas Åkerlund. You can watch the video here, seeing as its being pulled down everywhere else.

While I do enjoy the feel good groove of the song, the video is very reminiscent of Ke$ha’s Your Love Is My Drug video as well as Lady GaGa and Beyoncé driving around a desert in the Pussywagon for Telephone. The blond lady in the Indian headdress, the Californian desert and the animated sequences recall Ke$ha’s most recent single. Not to mention Nelly Furtado being copy and pasted into the music video with some amateurish special effects. This isn’t the first time Ms. Furtado has had to be copy and pasted into a video – having done so already in Timbaland’s Morning After Dark as well as clearly not filming alongside James Morrison in his Broken Strings video. Don’t even get me started on her CGI presence in Flo Rida’s Jump. Surely she isn’t that busy that she can’t show up for a video shoot alongside her co-stars every now and then.

OK Go: End Love

Quirky indie rockers OK Go are also back with another mad video for new single End Love. Depsite its low budget, OK Go have taken their usual DIY approach to making music videos with some genuinely funny shots of them running about, posing with great camera work that speeds up and slows down the video. I love when the goose joins them. I really want these guys to be successful.

Plan B: Prayin’


Following the success of the toe-tapping She Said, rapper/soul singer Plan B continues the gripping storyline from his music videos of imprisoned soul singer Strickland Banks in new single Prayin’.

With the song’s gigantic, expensive and rousing production, I think this should be another hit for the London singer who avoids rapping on this track. The videos which have been a huge draw to this era have me wondering what will happen to our down on his look protagonist next.

Snoop Dogg: Oh Sookie

True Blood mega fan Snoop Dogg is definitely not stopping Alan Ball’s rejection of a Snoop cameo on True Blood without a fight. The pervy California rapper has now released a promo single where he confesses his love – or rather lust – for telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Snoop Dogg rapping about my favourite TV show and proclaiming his lust for the show’s stars Anna Paquin and Rutina Wesley suggests we have much more in common than I thought. This video, with its Sookie Stackhouse back-up dancers, isn’t going to sway regular listeners but this is a must see for any True Blood fan.

I think Alan Ball needs to stop being so unfair and fulfill Snoop’s dream of appearing on the show. 😀 Maybe, Snoop could be killed in the True Blood world and come back as a mentally disabled vampire who helps out the Louisiana vampires á la Bubba in the Sookie Stackhouse books (read: Elvis). It would be authentic and if stars like Anna Paquin and Evan Rachel Wood can appear in the show, then why not Snoop.

Uffie featuring Pharrell: ADD (SUV)

Finally, Miami singer/rapper Uffie has teamed up with Pharrell for her first proper single ADD (SUV), the video which surfaced yesterday. The electropop song with an alternative edge is quickly becoming amazing to me but the video seems randomly put together with Uffie and Pharrell driving around the city at night with some animated sequences throwing in, probably as a tribute to her favourite star Ke$ha. 😀 Check it out below.

Phew! Told you there was lots of videos.

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.