Hello all, lots to do and very little time so no big intro today. Enjoy the vids
Kate Nash - Fri-end?
Is it me or is this song auto-tuned? Whatever the answer her vocal sounds distorted enough to hide the annoying, completely flase inflections of her normally cheese grating voice but why does it have the auditory effect of a wall to wall neighbour singing in the shower? It sounds so distant, almost like she's holding the mic away from her for fear of it biting her nose off (should have gone to Specsavers) At times this almost sounds punk. I can actually imagine Johnny Rotten spitting out the words in his usual reserved manner. That's if the lyrics were less about having awkward sex with a friend and more about nice trips to Jersey and abortion.
To Kill A King - Rays
Ok, it's been nearly 2 minutes now and what I've heard thus far is some distant voices, a few ducks and what sounds like someone making a smoothie. I know I'm obviously supposed to watch what is going on with the video rather than just, you know, listening to it: The way music is meant to be experienced by frigging default. I bet you anything, just on the soundtrack alone, the beginning visual accompaniment will not be worth watching. Let me test that.
Yup I was right, although the video overall is fairly good compared to most there is no reason why that intro lasted as long as it did. The video should have begun 2 seconds before the guy starts his out of body popping experience all over the front room.
The song? Oh yeah, sorry. Errr... the song isn't bad. The guy's got a very Neil Hannon vibe to his voice and the song sounds legitimately quirky by being a bit bonkers, rather than just singing in a funny voice or using stupid lyrical references. With such a slow, deliberate yet rich baritone vocal though, overall the song doesn't reach the excitement the fast paced guitar is working so hard to generate. So while catchy the song loses impact by having too much contrast between it's two main driving elements.
Ms Dynamite and Shy FX - Cloud 9
You know it's been so long sing I heard a Ms Dynamite-tee heeee song I've almost forgotten what she sounded like. Well after hearing this 3 times I can honestly say I still can't remember what Ms Dynamite sounded like. Hang on a minute...
Right Ms Dynamite had a very distinctive sing-rap voice with some bossy no nonsense lyrics about life on the streets with some of the background music having a similar eerie ambience comparable to Portished. Ok I remember now, which the begs the question of who was that was singing Cloud 9? Sure as hell didn't sound like Ms Dynamite to me hee heeee
I don't feel much with this song, sounds quite Basment Jaxx at times, but not one of their better ones. Frantic percussion tries to keep the song interesting but it sounds far to tinny, almost like it's being performed by a hyperactive child on a Argos My First Drum Kit after too much Sunny D. I kind of got bored after hearing it the 2nd time and only just managed to keep awake long enough to get through the third before dropping off so ironically the only thing that would wake me up would be an explosion caused by some Dynamite-tee heeeeee.
Ok I'll stop that now.
Ms Mr - Fantasy
I've met you before haven't I? Didn't I say I liked you but seemed to lack a good hook to overall well written songs? That maybe you needed to work on making the chorus more memorable to turn what it is ordinary to very memorable track? Did you listen to me? Nope, apparently not.
The vocals are nice but sound a bit constricted. Not in terms of a bad performance, more they seem like that want to break out and do something more interesting but are confined by the limits of the song. As such they sound quite empty and a bit bored. Lana Del Ray suffers from the same problem on Summertime Sadness (especially the chorus in the remix)
I'm not saying this is bad (it would be further down the list if it was, you know the format is pretty set now) but after hearing it 3 times in a row I had no desire to hear it again. Good background music that's crying out something more. This song to me is chips. Chips are good, nothing wrong with chips (even if your a hardcore veggie) but... chips and mayonnaise? Yum to the tum tum. That's what this song needs; musical mayonnaise.
Reconnected - Time Of Our Lives
Apparently they were another bunch of losers on X Factor... I don't recall them at all. *checks Wikipedia* Oops my mistake, they were on Britain's Got Talent.... in 2010. Way to make the biggest impact when you're fresh in no one's mind, guys.
The song itself isn't bad but not great. I'm calling autotune on parts of it, especially the chorus where Draco Malfoy belts out notes with the all timbre and emotion of Skynet. Also, is it me or do they all look far too young for the girls that are so obviously being paid to be there? Especially the beautifully formed bundle of redheaded hotness in the frilly swimwear and tattoo on her hip.
I may have accidently watched the video of this more than once in retrospect. On mute of course
Parov Stelar FT Marvin Gaye - Keep On Dancing'
I went on bit of a musical history lesson with this song: Got To Give It Up is a song by Marvin Gaye and his vocals were sampled for 'Keep On Dancing', yes that 'float on a cloud' falsetto belongs to the soul man himself. What's interesting is that is that if you listen to the original by Gaye, you notice some very familiar WOOOO's and a fantastically catchy bassline. Care to explain Mr #Thicke?
Yeah it turns out pretty much everything that made Blurred Lines good (which wasn't a lot) is because of how much it sampled from this Marvin Gaye song. This is probably old news to most but I honestly had no idea. Damn you Pharrell, you used to have skills man.
Anyway back to this song; I actually think Gaye's sampled voice works really well with the electro beat super smooth production. When that Nile Rogers-esque guitar part comes in it creates a very nice sound indeed. Hell, it might be Rogers himself playing it for all I know, that man has got around more the last year or so than he has the entire nineties and noughties combined.
Selena Gomez - Slow Down
Hmm that guitar riff at the beginning seems quite familiar; can't imagine where from (see Pink 'Raise Your Glass & Jessie J 'It's My Party respectively)
Did Selena Gomez get famous for singing? If so why is she singing through a laptop rather than a microphone? I really can't stand these pointless pop records and this one seems to have no purpose other than to say 'Selena Gomez has released a new single, isn't she famous!'
There's nothing to this song because it's all a big bunch of nothing and processors that created it. The production sounds as fake as Gomez's voice and if your going to name-check Mr T and then have the audacity to quote him saying 'You're ready for inspection' you better damn well put a 'fool' at the end. Fool!
James Arthur - You’re Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
Ah yes, the winner of X Factor... last year. I could be wrong but I think this is the first thing he has released since that X Factor winner induced Christmas number one, dub-step, re-hash, remix of a song of which the title completely escapes me at the moment. But now he's back with a new album and a new single, in which he is wisely following the steps of Sensei Spragg-on Sprag-off and chose not to release until the memory of him is so distant that not only is he a dot drowning deep in the horizon, he's about by dismembered by the passing propeller of the 'bad ship' HMS X Factor (season 10)
I'll be honest, the anticipation of this song was hardly setting my nipples alight
But wouldn't you just know it...
1st BEARABLE is indeed
This is song is more than BEARABLE, it's GOOD (as is my second BEARABLE too)
The only other song I know that makes we want to frantically air drum away like Animal from the Muppet's is Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden. This song had be dancing around my front room like a complete arsehole. Bravo Mr James, I doff my Burberry cap to you.
The style of this song reminds of, quite appropriately, Paul Weller's post-Jam venture The Style Council. A great mix of soul, saxophone, rock and kick-ass muthertrucking drums. Despite some pretty 'too much informational metaphor' overload in the lyrics of the chorus, this is up there with one of the best songs I've heard all year this far. It's up there with Rizzle Kicks 'Lost Generation' Daft Punk 'Get Lucky' and Will.I.AM 'Bang Bang' (or at least 70% of that song) Arthur does a great vocal too and the whole song is wonderfully visceral. You can tell it's by real musicians, as opposed to software packages.
A delightful surprise was that this week I also added another song on my rapidly growing 'best of' list, but for wonderfully different reasons....
Lorde - Royals
I've heard this song before in the background when I've had the music channel on and it's never grabbed my attention but when I sat down and properly listened to it, and then did so again with the lyrics I was amazed at what I was reading and hearing. I was reading them to make sure I wasn't imagining them sounding better than they were. I wasn't
This song is stripped down to the very marrow. There's hardly anything to it other then faint bass rumblings hand claps. It's one Flying Picket away from being acapella. There's nothing you can do but really listen to the words.
Even though this song is emphatically not a rap song seeing as Lorde's has a very nice singing voice indeed it almost feels like one. Better than that, it feels like big old FU to the superficial world that hip-hop and RnB have become a part of. I admire that a lot.
Apart from some slightly disconnected parts the lyrics of this song are very very good. Even the end part of the chorus where the words blend so much it sounds like it was taken from the 'Werewolves of London' is very cute. Then take into account that this girl is 16 years old and it becomes not only a good, but a revelation. If a 16 year old girl can create music and write such wonderfully observant and intelligently written lyrics it makes 'kidult' stars such as Cyrus and Bieber seem as inspirational and relevant to modern music as The Cheeky Girls.
I've been waiting for a song like this to come around for a very long time. A song shunning the lime-lit world of celebrity, overblinging lifestyle and going back to the basic yet pure sense of enjoying music for what it is. That's the code Lorde means. Like her friends we should try and crack it
Just like the film, what follows the 'Good' is inevitably
Showtek FT We Are Loud and Sonny Wilson - Booyah
Just the name alone is enough for me to have concerns about this song. Are hip-hop/dance performers sticking religiously to the tactic of strength in numbers? Is that what they're trying to do? Invade and conquer our ear canals in some twisted war of attrition? Haven't these guys ever heard of the phrase 'too many cooks spoil the broth?' or how about the other phrase 'Quit serving us overly spoiled broth when we asked for a goddamn steak?'
Well I've heard this song three times and can't for the life of me think who it's for. You can't dance to it, you can't listen to it properly without your ears wanting to retreat into your brain stem and you can't sing along to it because that would require a melody. As a result I'm stumped and starting to wonder if this is indeed a song at all. Whatever it is, it's still BAD
Union J - Beautiful Life
As a song this is passable at best. Something you could have on in the background to keep Freddie Kruger away and will help you ignore that some devious apparitions have possessed all the mirrors in your house to make your reflection seem chillingly off every time you take a second glance... (or it will do now, muh ha ha ha hahaaaa)
But then again if you were in that situation you'd probably just play a song you actually like.
One thing which got me riled enough to make this a BAD song of the week is the lyrics; they are pitiful. I mean that, I pity the person that wrote them so much I want to give them a hug and reassurance before I bite their fingers off. It's bad enough that they describe the dark as something that you park your backside on but then they come up with this corker
Everybody’s gone and lost their mind
It’s just the days we live in
Most of the time
Ladies and gents: That is lyric writing sitting on the fence so hard it's got splinters in it's sphincter.
What's the point in saying that? Imagine if Bon Jovi's crowd participation opus was dillydallyfied like this:
We gotta hold onnn to what we got
We possibly might make it but then possibly not
We have each other and that's all right with us
Now off to the shops
Such weak lyric writing. You want to make a point? Fine, then damn well stick with it, don't go sucking it off at the same time. You'll look a right plonker with it impaled in your fecking throat.