The world of pop singles used to be so much simpler. Stop in at Woolies on a Monday after school to see which tapes best justified their 99p price tag, then take a handful of said tapes to a chocolate-fuelled house party and harrass the host to play them repeatedly.
Need to get the party started in a hurry? Right Here by Ultimate Kaos is guaranteed to rock their socks off. Ready to impress the ladies with your backwards cap, Eclipse jeans and outrageous dance moves? Play Deuce‘s On The Bible. Time for a romantic slow dance once all the Cherry Lips, Mini Cheddars and Haribo have been scoffed? PJ & Duncan‘s Eternal Love should do the trick.
So how is one supposed to impress a roomful of potential partners now that it’s all iPad this, smartphone that and MP4 the other? Take our hand, dear reader, and we’ll have you astounding arty-types, flabbergasting followers and dumbfounding detractors in less time than it takes R Kelly to out the midget in his closet.
Maverick Sabre – I Need
We wouldn’t cross Maverick Sabre. We wouldn’t dare. Just check out the size of his melon; he could do some serious damage swinging that thing around, like a closely-cropped medicine ball. Fortunately for all concerned, he appears rather more focused on using his gargantuan bonce as a force for good.
Cue I Need: an evocative canopy of urban melancholia shot through with the shimmering rivulets of Sabre’s soulful expression. We like this a lot (we wouldn’t have bothered plundering the thesaurus if we didn’t). Besides, he’s a straight shooter, and all he really needed was a lengthy bus journey into the middle of nowhere; a thematc device that is so Autumn 2011. Very perceptive, Mr Sabre. Very.
Professor Green – Read All About It
We wouldn’t cross Professor Green. We wouldn’t dare. Just check out his neck tattoo… Wait, we’ve been here before, have we not?
Professor Green is a lot like Marmite – a by-product of beer brewing – and this new track is a lot like the angst-hop furthered by the likes of Eminem and Pink (yes, Pink) just a few seasons past: it’s not bad by any stretch, but it’s slightly too polished, slightly too preened, slightly too cynical for its own good, and rings hollow as a result. Or is it simply that our souls have finally withered and died as a result of prolonged exposure to the music business? In fairness, it could be either.
WATERS – For The One
Recently gaining unfettered access to the social club’s jukebox, we didn’t hesitate to pop in 50p to hear Right Said Fred‘s Deeply Dippy. And not ironically; we don’t go in for that kind of nonsense. We think WATERS might roll the same way, because the looks we got that night were the same slack-jawed, tongue-lolling, unblinking expressions prompted by For The One’s utterly bizarre promo.
So, yes, we won’t deny that WATERS (Van Pierszalowski, ex-Port O’Brien) floats our boat, and that we’re more than a little interested in the LP just around the corner. The unassuming blonde mop; the smart flannel shirt; the dynamic, distorted, Darwin Deez-esque grunge-pop madness. What’s not to like?
Chris Brown – She Ain’t You
The global shortage of raw pop material goes on. Miley Cyrus is rumoured to be “reinterpreting” Blue‘s All Rise as her own; James Blunt‘s latest is little more than a lazy mash-up of Chesney Hawkes‘ The One And Only and Michael Sembello‘s Maniac; Jason Derulo now simply releases old tracks with the artist’s name scribbled out and “by Jason Derulo” written in its place.
But it’s nice of Chris Brown to dedicate She Ain’t You to the memory of Michael Jackson. It is, after all, a note-for-note cover of Human Nature, right? Very classy of the good Mr Brown, and even classier of him to rethink his original idea for the title – She Ain’t You (So I Won’t Punch You In The Face Quite Yet).
No, it’s wrong to kick somebody when they’re down. Or in the passenger seat.
Grace Jones – Well Well Well Dub
Mad as a box of frogs is Grace Jones, but there are few stars we’d rather knock around with. “Just a half of bitter for us,” we’d tell her before she’d return with a magnum of sparkling rosé, two glasses and a bag of pork scratchings. Mad and thoughtful.
Snaffled from Hurricane Dub – a retelling of 2008’s Hurricane, her return-to-form LP 19 years in the making – Well Well Well has been subjected to a rich, meandering, blissful treatment. Were it that all remixes carried such panache.
Summer Camp Better Off Without You
Break ups and make ups. Really, musically, that’s all that really matters. So imagine something which sounds like a make up but is in fact a break up (and then some). Makes you sigh, smile and swoon, doesn’t it?
Better Off Without You is a wonder. Spawned from Summer Camp’s debut LP, it’s an almost perfect piece of pop-homage; hand claps and harmonies and little tinkling runs galavanting across proceedings and leaving you squealing in delight.
So it’s breezy, summery and sweet and yet, not. Lyrically, it’s a I Will Survive for the riotous generation. Except, it doesn’t really seem a question of survival. It’s more a question of ‘thank fuck that’s over, you clinging piece of crap, I can now finally get on with my life now that you’ve ceased being the anchor dragging me to the bottom of the pond that is your feeble existence’. But that’s a bit hard to get into a chorus.
To think we defended you. Here. On these pages. we stood up for you guys. We put ourselves out there, put the miniature snowman of our precious (and rapidly diminishing) credibility in the oxyacetylene torch of public opinion by suggesting that Every Tear Is A Waterfall was “pretty good”.
This is how you repay us.
Paradise is the sound of a band phoning it in. From afar. Whilst doodling. And playing Angry Birds. And reading the FT. In fact, we have it on good authority that the original working title was ‘Never mind Chris, it’ll do. Those mugs will buy any old shite’.
Cher Lloyd With Your Love
Sometime we like to imagine that Cheryl Cole is a massive fan of the Franz Kafka short story Metamorphosis. Such a fan, in fact, that for the past 15 years she has been desperately searching for an opportunity to recreate the plot in real life.
Except, rather than the rather awkward and borderline disgusting idea of a travelling salesman turning into a cockroach, she’s decided it would be cleaner, simpler and just generally better if her adaptation was centred around the concept of a young entrant in a popular TV ‘talent’ show turning into Cheryl Cole.
But then we laugh. And shake we shake our heads. Because it just seems so far fetched. Unless this series sees Louis arrest and prosecute one of the participants for an undisclosed crime.
Anyway. In unrelated news, Cher Lloyd has a new single. You can hear a bit of it by clicking down there. It sounds dreadful.