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 7 – 19th March 2010

Okay single reviews for this week are all a little blah. Nothing amazing yet nothing awful either. Here we are, third time’s the charm.

Singles Reviews Diary 7 – 19th March 2010:

01. 12 Stone Toddler: This Suit
I actually decided to review this track because clinically obese toddlers make me LOL! I wasn’t expecting this song to be so good though. Like nothing on the radio at the moment, this fun bouncy song is like a grandson of Madness’ House Of Fun. Really enjoyable stuff.
4.5 STARS

02. 50 Cent featuring Governor: Do You Think About Me
After hassling Kelly Rowland to have his babies on terrible last single
Baby By Me, 50 redeems himself somewhat with this subdued rap track that sees him acting all vulnerable and such. With chipmunk backing vocals, this sounds like a less irritating version of Ironik’s Stay With Me. Fiddy has clearly lost it though ‘cause this is no In Da Club or my personal favourite P.I.M.P.. 2.5 STARS

03. Arctic Monkeys: My Propeller
A decent enough third single from their good but not great album
Humbug. There is a hidden power behind this downbeat track and the last minute in a half of the track sounds like classic Monkeys. 2.5 STARS

04. Audio Bullys: Only Man
Not feelin’ this one at all really. I love some of Audio Boys tracks but this is a poor choice of lead single from forthcoming album
Higher Than The Eiffel. Minimal electronica with Britpop is the best way to describe this song. 2 STARS

05. Boy George: Amazing Grace
Sadly this isn’t Boy George doing a cover of the famous hymn. Instead, this is a very ‘90s and very gay friendly dance anthem than many should embrace with open arms but it’s really not my cup of tea. Give me
Karma Chameleon anyday. 3 STARS

06. Classical Artists For Haiti: The Prayer
Yet another Haiti charity single. I’m all for the support the country’s being getting but were there this many charity events for the likes of the Tsunami, Katrina and Africa. Anyways, all of the top classical musicians such as Paul Potts, Natasha Marsh, Faryl, The Priests, Rhydian Roberts and…um…Darius gather together to bring us this rather pleasant classical track. Glad it isn’t all overblown and melodramatic and not too depressing either. It does sound like it should be soundtracking some Disney film though.
4 STARS

07. Fionn Regan: Catacombs
The Irish singer-songwriter sounds like a young Neil Young (pardon the pun!) on this retro little number. Can definitely see this one becoming a grower after a few more listens.
3 STARS

08. Florence + The Machine: Dog Days Are Over
A pointless re-release as everyone’s heard this song and its since firmly become ingrained in European culture with all the times its been heard on TV and radio. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the Gobi Desert with earplugs in, curled up in a ball, it’s likely you’ve heard this. Not to say its bad as I would consider it one of Florence + The Machine’s signature songs starting off all soft with tinkling harps before exploding in a cascade of percussion, handclaps and Florence’s celebratory, heavenly chorus. Now hurry up and release
Cosmic Love I tell you…before it’s too late! 4 STARS

09. Glee Cast: Jump
The rock snob inside of me wants to sneer at Glee covering the Van Halen classic but in fairness this song is just perfect for them. With that joyous shouty chorus and those hyperactive synths, the Glee Cast completely shine on this track. Probably one of the best songs form the series so far. It made me go off and re-download the original anyway.
4.5 STARS

10. Glee Cast: Smile
Glee produce an Americanised version of Lily Allen’s debut single and breakout hit. Hot Social Outcast Girl does a good job of making the song her own but it’s completely ruined by Tall Jock Guy’s unnecessary and constipated backing vocals.
3.5 STARS

11. Glee Cast: Smile
Another
Smile that Glee cover in this episode is the classic ballad written by Charlie Chaplin. Love this, but any version of Smile sang by a competent singer always gets me secretly teary eyed. But shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone. 4 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
12. Inna: Hot
More Eurodance trash that’s only listenable when you’re off your face in a club. Why is Inna charting so well? What is she doing that’s so different from all the latest flops by Velvet or September?!
1 STAR

13. Favourites: Cheltenham (Downtown)
II don’t know what to make of this charity single for *dun dun dun* Haiti. It basically sounds like Petula Clark’s
Downtown with the word ‘downtown’ being replaced by Cheltenham (a famous horse racing course in Ireland) sang by some unknown Irish singer Laura Cretchley and a bunch of random sporting pundits on backing vocals. So cringeworthy yet so good. Let’s make it an international hit! 4 STARS

14. Mr. Hudson featuring Kanye West: Anyone But Him
After failing to replicate the success of the infectious and sure to be pop classic
Supernova, Mr. Hudson plays it safe by teaming up with Kanye West again. Sadly this second offering from the pair doesn’t live up and should of just stayed on the album. A mid-tempo minimalist electro track that doesn’t really go anywhere. Mr. H. wails in Auto-Tune about how some girl picked Kanye over him. At least, Kanye responds to Hudson’s singing rather than blabbing on about something completely out of sync with the subject of the song like the majority of guest rappers. Kanye also uses the killer line “Once you go black, you never goes back”. 1 STAR

15. Peggy Sue: Watchmen
I’m liking this girl. She sounds like a folky Amy Winehouse on this track. Hopefully, she gets herself a major record deal soon.
3 STARS

16. Stornoway: I Saw You Blink
A really good acoustic mid-tempo from the Oxford band. As Harry has said, these guys sound very much like Mumford & Sons. Hey, maybe folky tracks like this will replace electropop as the hot new sound.
3.5 STARS

17. Tiësto featuring Nelly Furtado: Who Wants To Be Alone
Tiësto must fancy himself as the new David Guetta as he works with more and more mainstream artists lately. I know I’d listen to Tiësto over Guetta anyday. This is a great club friendly trance track featuring the versatile Nelly Furtado on singing duties. I love Furtado’s vocals on this track, it sounds like how she sang on her Spanish album
Mi Planyet this is in English. Perhaps not Tiësto’s best work ever but I think I’m gonna check out his Kaleidoscope album and can’t wait for Nelly’s album Lifestyle due out this Summer. 3.5 STARS

18. Usher featuring will.i.am.: OMG
A really poor lead single from Usher’s new album. I’m so sick of will.i.am. recycling beats from
The E.N.D. and putting them on other artists’ albums. This sounds like an E.N.D. B-side with Usher’s trademark croon drowned in deadpan Auto-Tune and a bizarre football chant running through the verses. Perhaps this will grow on me but I miss the Usher who used to deliver flawless pop/R&B songs like Yeah! and Caught Up. Luckily there are much better songs on Usher’s forthcoming Raymond Vs. Raymond but this is a poor first offer to the international market. 1.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
19. Young Artists For Haiti: Wavin’ Flag
Canada’s finest artists such as Nelly Furtado, Drake, Avril Lavigne and the mighty Justin Bieber gather together to record this surprisingly enjoyable Haitian charity single. Unlike the hot mess that was
We Are The World 25, this original song is anthemic, inspirational and globally reaching. It’s actually the best charity single I’ve heard since the original Band Aid’s Feed The World, that’s how good it is. 5 STARS

20. We Have Band: Divisive
This is a fabulous piece of synthpop, not Owl City and Lady GaGa style synthpop, a much more alternative sounding form of synthpop like Human League.
4 STARS

21. Wild Beasts: We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues
Love this one actually. Sounds very fresh and original. Although I’d imagine Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto would get on my nerves if this track were overplayed. Thankfully, this is unlikely to happen. Definitely (legally) downloading their album
Two Dancers though ’cause I’m liking what I’m hearing. 4 STARS

Phew! Finally done successfully. As usual, give me feedback and tell me what you think of this week’s singles. 😀

Singles Reviews Diary 6 – 12th March 2010

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

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

Singles Reviews Diary 6 – 12th March 2010:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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