Track Reviews

Track Reviews: 14-20 February 2011

Write to us about tracks. Gwan, make tracks now:

This is not a singles column. For those of you who have arrived here after a sweaty one-handed trawl ofthe Internet, the phrase ‘singles column’ has probably been slightlymisleading. And immensely disappointing.

So we’ll tell you now. You aren’t going to reach the end of this pagewith any hot’n’horny phone numbers looking for no-strings attached sex inyour area.

To be honest, it isn’t really about singles, in a pop-picking, Top 40rundown sense of the word. It’s more of a tracks column. Hell, we’ve even named it as such.

But welcome, anyway, to the inauguralweekly musicOMH roundup of that which is bad, that which is good, and thatwhich is Gaga in the world of tracks that are out there to hear, buy and forget about.

Lady Gaga – Born This Way

Oh Gaga. With your clothes of meat and your naked bondage pictures. Andyour lesbian bisexual twosome threesome Britney Spears Lindsay Lohan freenude movie. Literally no one here is randomly inserting words in the hope ofattracting a largely (misdirected) audience.

Whether you think it’s art, or whether you think it’s just an extremelyclever attempt to remain firmly nailed in the spotlight, it’s working.

It certainly caused an entire world to wait and see what exactly Gaga didnext. And what she seems to have done next is cover Madonna‘s ExpressYourself. In a sauna. In Vauxhall.

Born This Way is throbbing. Pumping. A tiny, little, wee bit camp.

Musically it’s still batshit crazy, but to find Gaga resortingto this kind of self-help support-group happy-in-your-own-skin, we’re-all-special sermonising isa bit more banal then you’d hope from someone who can eattheir own hat with mustard.

Watch it for yourself

JLS feat Tinie Tempah – Eyes Wide Shut

There hasn’t been a collaboration as devastating as this since Andy Grayand Richard Keys last put the world to rights: JLS, Britain’s great hope inthe pop stakes, combine forces with Tinie Tempah, Britain’s great hope inthe, er, pop stakes.

Did they smash it? Uh, no.

Despite the promising title, though, the temporary quintet neglect theiropportunity to infiltrate the massive masked orgy of an underground cult.Instead, they keep their trousers on and embark on cynical dance-syntheuphoria that sounds more like a half-hearted cover of Calvin Harris‘I’m Not Alone than anything else. Simon Cowell must be spinning in his highwaistband… all the way to the bank! (In your face, establishedcultural norm.)

Watch it here

The Strokes – Under Cover Of Darkness

By the time you read this, the opportunity to have any sort of physicalattachment to The Strokes’ aptly entitled Under Cover Of Darkness will havebeen and gone. In fact, in might not even have been: their official websitesoon wilted under the invasive poking and clicking of millions of know-alls,each smarmy sod fist-bumping over its achingly trendy 48-houravailability.

It is with good reason, however, that The Strokes’ website lackeys – whoalso wear winkle pickers, one imagines – will have their work cut out: UnderCover Of Darkness is the sound of Casablancas, Valensi, Hammond, Fraitureand Moretti casting their collective noggins back to 2001 and successfullyreviving that oh-so-essential effervescence of their debut.

It sounds a bit like Last Nite. A bit like Sometimes. And a bit like HardTo Explain. Quite a lot like The Strokes, really. Reassuringly like TheStrokes. Roll on Angles, as painful as that may sound.

Rihanna – S&M

Or not. Or Come On, if the mere sight of the 19th and 13th letters of thealphabet in such close proximity cause you to react with such vitriolicapoplexy that you have no choice but to vent your righteous fury in as louda fashion as possible, thus drawing more attention to it and causing morepeople to actually have a look.

Thus completely invalidating your initial complaint, tearing a hole inreality and causing your entire existence to become null and void due to theinsane self-defeating paradox you’ve created.

It’s bizarre. The world seems to be getting both more and less liberalat the same time. If you’re not spending your weekend indulging inanimal sacrifice with your fourteen wives and three mistress, then you’rereading the Daily Mail.

Still. The song? It’s rubbish. I like RiRi, but the sad fact is S&M sounds a lot like a normalRihanna track that’s been handcuffed to a post, trussed up like a chicken and stripped of all ofits dignity. Apt.

Watch it

Lykke Li – I Follow Rivers

It’s almost as if being Scandinavian ensures coolness (Jan Molby’sinexplicable accent being the exception that proves the rule). Lykke Licertainly follows suit, as any well-attuned ear may well have inferred sinceI Follow Rivers started doing the rounds.

It’s effortlessly epic, and while Lykke Li shares tones with Duffyand the emotional punch of Robyn, it may be that her KateBush-esque musicality sees her jam her fingers into the mainstream piein a mostly Florence Welch sort of way.

Plus, the sparse, monochromic video probably won’t hurt her cause, beingstyled, as it is, like a three-minute Let The Right One In… minus thevampires. And the blood. And the buildings… and the horror.

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