The Singles Bar: 24th September 2012
I write about films mostly. I am terrible at keeping up with that pop music they have now. The last single I bought was in 2002 and I listen almost exclusively to music performed by dead men with beards. That said, I did use to work in an office where the music channels were played around the clock, yet with the volume muted, meaning I’ve seen quite a lot of videos without ever actually hearing the people behind them. So I’ve seen Jessie J, Lady Gaga, N-Dubz, Nicki Minaj and LMFAO (R.I.P.) all poncing about in their videos, but not heard a note of their music. I could pick them out of a line up, but what they sound like, who knows? I certainly don’t. For these stated reasons, I’m the PERFECT person to review this week’s new releases!
I’m from East Anglia and so are Deaf Havana, who have penned a little song about shit seaside town Hunstanton. They paint a gloomy picture, one of wasted youth and missed opportunity, of wanting to escape the humdrum existence of life in a shit seaside town. It’s an overwrought affair and no mistake. As songs about bleak prospects in run down tourist resorts go, it’s not quite Atlantic City. Especially not with lyrics like, "Lee and me were schooled in a tourist town / With less culture than Jeremy Kyle". Cheer up lads, you’ve got a Sealife Centre. 3/10
Now, I have definitely heard of this J.Lo character. That said, I was completely taken in by her song Jenny From The Block, in which she clearly stated that she was just a humble young lady from the Bronx. How shocked I was to find out she was a multi-millionaire diva! I was totally fooled by the rocks that she got. Fool me once, shame on you, so there’s no fooling me a second time with this hideous noise. It’s loud, obnoxious sound. That’s all I really have to say for the track. Lyrically, she and Mr. Rida combine for some amazing call-and-response action such as:
Quite. A travesty on many levels, especially in the video, in which she looks like the woman from the Scottish Widows advert who has had her mouth vajazzled. 1/10
Ah, young Miss Stone, where have you been? Last I saw her, she was mugging her way through that Live 8 song with Justin Hawkins. Since that, I’ve not heard a peep, so I just assumed she’d either retired or died. On this evidence, she’s still going. Pillow Talk is an inoffensive bit of breathy soul warbling. A bit Minnie Ripperton, a bit Millie Jackson. Not much more to it than that. It’ll probably be used on an advert very soon. I’ve already forgotten what it sounds like. 6/10
I don’t know anything about Kindness. I think he likes the 1980s though. Big synths aplenty and vocal samples evoke everything from the New Power Generation to Yello. And not in a particularly good way. Sounds like that song from the nightclub scene in RoboCop, if that means anything to you people. Points for gusto though. 5/10
I’m so glad I didn’t doubt Ms. Del Rey’s artistic integrity, as this cover of old staple Blue Velvet for high street chain H&M (for whom she is also modelling the Autumn/Winter Collection) proves that she is by no means a corporate schill. It sounds exactly like Lana Del Rey covering Blue Velvet, but dressed in a brown suede seasonal jacket (£99) and tube scarf (£7.99). Flaccid. 4/10
Nelly Furtado is like a bird, i.e. she shits on cars. She also has the most nasal voice I think I’ve ever heard. A bit like she’s singing with a whole peg bag on her nose. She also pronounces "indestructible" as "indistructabowel", which makes it sound like she has a cast iron digestive system. That said, I can’t stomach this lazy nonsense, which is basically just some drums and a woman with a whole peg bag on her nose. 3/10
Now this is the real deal. When the Right Honourable Nick Clegg MP was talked into doing a hand-wringing video apology for breaking an election promise by his advisors, they must’ve known it’d be chopped up, flipped over and royally buggered. That said, I bet they didn’t expect it to be done so artfully as this. Autotune is old hat, but this one is so ruddy good it both re-invents and kills the form. It’s the Once Upon A Time In The West of Autotune videos, if you will. 8/10 - SINGLE OF THE WEEK
The presence of Ipswich’s Nik Kershaw alongside those miserable sods from Hunstanton lends this week’s Singles Bar a somewhat East Anglian feel. With only a mere 51 seconds of this song available online, it’s quite a hard single to review. Musically, those 51 seconds are rubbish. This snippet also features the lyrics, "You’re the wham / You’re the bam / You’re the thank you and the ma’am". I’ll give those 51 seconds 2/10 with both marks being for going to the same school as me.
This band should be called Any Color Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, with whom they share the same overdriven groove. As I stick my nose in and inhale the bouquet, I also detect notes of The Duke Spirit. In short, not the freshest sounding song you’ll hear this year, but also far from the worst, if you like that sort of thing. 6/10
Regrettably not a song about public polls or dressage, but an anthemic, wall of sound that starts with Adam Ant style drums before building into something quite grandiose. It’s a little bit Doves, which is no bad thing. Well done Tall Ships for being good at music! 7/10
Thanks for listening pop pickers!
So, what do you make of Joe's views? Agree, disagree, or just agree to disagree? As always, let us know using the Disqus form below.24 September, 2012 - 20:58 — Joe Gastineau