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.

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Singles Reviews Diary 9 – 2nd April 2010

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

Singles Reviews Diary 9 – 5th April 2010:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26. The Twilight Sad: The Room
I have to agree with Spirit on this one. This is the song to listen to when you’re feeling sad and lonely and realise that you’re not the only person in the World that feels this way. The aching piano melody combine beautifully in a mournful way with James Graham’s thick yet vulnerable sounding Scottish accent on this terrific new single from their second album
Forget The Night Ahead. 5 STARS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Singles Reviews Diary 5 – 5th March 2010

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

Singles Reviews Diary 5 – 5th March 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25. Ludacris featuring Chris Angel: Mindfreak 3 STARS

26. Ludacris featuring Trey Songz: Sex Room 3.5 STARS

27. Ludacris: Sexting 2.5 STARS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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