Single of the Week
Keren Ann – ‘My Name Is Trouble’ (EMI)
Sometimes it’s good to pack away the racket of the rock world, break out the fizzy drinks and chill out on the garden’s sun lounger. When such occasions arise Keren Ann’s lilting tones always hit the mark, and even though ‘My Name Is Trouble’ sees her in surprisingly uptempo mood, this single is no different – just pop it on the iPod, crack open a Lucozade and bask in its shimmering loveliness. Yuss! Keren has donned a spangly dress, had a bob cut and has headed off down the disco, but this is rather mellow as dance music goes – something Chic at their ‘I Want Your Love’ best would have understood. Play it on repeat because this is the absolute STUFF, I tell you.
Metronomy – ‘The Look’ (Because Music)
Survivors of New so-called Rave, Metronomy return with their best single so far. These days they make the sort of West Coast rock that “Whispering” Bob Harris would have nodded along to (and possibly nodded off to) on The Old Grey Whistle Test. What’s more they make a blooming good job of it, and if this particular single fails to sell it will be more evidence that popular music is broken. Still, by the end of the year I predict that EVERYONE will love Metronomy and will be claiming to prefer their not-much-good “early” stuff, the twerps. You know what to do: on your marks, get set, DOWNLOAD!
Britney Spears – ‘Till The World Ends’ (Jive)
That Britney’s a bit of a minx isn’t she? She’s always cavorting semi-naked in her videos with hunky dancers. She doesn’t have time for haterz, because she’s busy dancing and being a bit foxy. This latest single finds her boasting about “taking it to the next level” and being “sicker than the remix” (??) but the very BEST bit is the Italo disco style chorus that goes, and I quote, “Woah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-OH-oh”. It’s how she sings it. This is catchy and enough fun that you probably could dance to it Till The World Ends but be aware that the “heat death” of the universe is not expected for another ten thousand billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion years – so make sure you’re wearing comfy trainers, partygoers.
Deerhunter – ‘Memory Boy’
The ‘Hunter are issuing this for Record Store Day because they’re good chaps like that. True enough, almost everyone who wants this already own it on its parent album, but no-one will mind purchasing ‘Memory Boy’ again as it is the opposite of rubbish. To those unfamiliar with the song, it has an intriguing tune with echoes of country rock and you could do worse than snap up a copy. Support your local shop!
Rumer – ‘Goodbye Girl’ (Atlantic)
She may be tasteful. She may make music for greyhairs. Her music may be a sepia-tinged version of 1970s soft-pop, but only a daft old git could fail to be impressed by Rumer’s pitch perfect voice, which makes her seem right at home on Atlantic what with its Aretha/Dusty/Arif Mardin heritage. This music is as luxuriant and rich as a chocolate bubble-bath and just as pointless but so what? While Goodbye Girl is hardly the strongest track on her mega-selling Seasons Of My Soul album, it’s still very endearing. It will undoubtedly grace the schedules of Magic FM and fans of louche, meticulously arranged pop will jump for joy.
Bob Geldof – ‘Here’s To You’ (Mercury)
Many centuries ago Bob Geldof was the grumpy boots responsible for The Boomtown Rats’ 11 (count ’em!) Top 40 hits. Their songs were generally quite preposterous things about bananas and rats and Mondays being terrible but a nation bought them anyway. Soon Saving The World became a more pressing engagement than the urge to have top pop hits so Bob grew some questionable facial hair and abandoned music for a bit. Now he’s back! Back! BACK! And he’s still as grumpy as ever. His latest album is “wittily” titled How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell, as if Bob is thinking what we’re thinking; that this single could arrive with a winning lottery ticket stuck to its sleeve and it would still seem as tempting an investment as inserting a euro in a cat’s bottom and watching said moggy run off into the distance. Here’s To You sounds a little bit like something George Harrison would have knocked out as The Beatles were splitting up although obviously it’s not anywhere near as good. It could do with one of those things, what do you call them, oh yes – a tune. Bob Geldof, then: sound moral compass, ropey music. We wouldn’t want him any other way.
Chipmunk featuring Keri Hilson – ‘In The Air’ (Jive)
This single marks the 40,559th time Pachelbel’s Canon has been ransacked for the purposes of concocting a pop hit. Blood, Sweat and Tears did it. The Farm have done it. Now Chipmunk is doing it in the most formulaic way imaginable. This time Keri Hilson is the pointless “featured” guest vocalist who adds nothing, and who could have been Any Other Singer (within reason, not Tom Waits) such is the blandness of her contribution. Boooo-ring! There’s some mild-mannered metal guitar for that “I’m a bit of a renegade, me” feel. Yeesh. All of the sounds you associate with Tinchy and Taio and Tinie – all present and correct and it is becoming deeply, deeply tedious. Enough already! Let’s have a “Featured vocalist” amnesty! I’ve had it with you lot. Out you come…
Mann “featuring” 50 Cent – ‘Buzzin’ (Mercury)
Do you remember the ace 1986 hit ‘I Can’t Wait by Nu Shooz? It was rather marvellous wasn’t it? Mann and 50 Cent presumably agree because they’ve made the track the basis of this new single. One is almost tempted to assert that they are men of taste, but then they spoil it by adding a lot of appallingly cliched claptrap about how much money they possess over the top of Nu Shooz’ still bright-as-a-button tune. It doesn’t help that 50 Cent still raps like someone who has been roused from their sleep in the middle of the night by sinister men wielding torches. Buzz off, boys. Save yourself some heartache, readers – give this single the swerve and head to YouTube for the amazing original.
Dionne Bromfield “featuring” Diggy Simmons – ‘Yeah Right’ (Island)
Honestly, do we really need another anonymous-sounding soul single with “authentic” brass and an Amy Winehouse endorsement? Apparently we do, and here it is. Dionne’s a bit fed up with her bloke so she’s giving him a right ticking off for being rubbish. To heap misery on misery Diggy chips in with some unnecessary rapping and the single outstays its welcome by at least a minute. Cuh!
Mike Posner “featuring” Lil Wayne – ‘Bow Chicka Wow Wow’ (J)
Let’s not be hasty here. The title suggests insipid nonsense, but it might not be! Well alright actually this single is insipid nonsense, and a bit of a “lerve” anthem to boot, something to woo “that special person in your life” – it is in other words, readers, late “nite” humping music from hell. But the best thing about it is a daft BOING noise which crops up every now and then sounding like the very bursting of a gusset, lending the seductive mating ritual a distinctly seaside postcard feel. Oo-er, matron! It’s like Carry On Up The Bum, or something equally unsavoury. Far too amusing to be sexy and utter piffle of course but watch it zoom up the charts. And Lil Wayne, any more of this nonsense and I shall flounce, I’m warning you!
Jay Sean “featuring” Lil Wayne (again!) – ‘Hit The Lights’ (Cash Money)
Right! I’m off…byeeeeeeeee!