Sunday, August 10, 2008

Single Reviews 11/08/08

In light of the spectacular opening to the Olympics earlier this week, we had planned a similarly extravagant opening ceremony to mark this week’s Single Reviews. Sadly, the pyrotechnics got rained on and thus failed, the acrobats went on strike, all four Beatles were hungover, and the performing pterodactyls flew away. But it would’ve been ace, trust us.

We start things with a song that feels as though it’s been out as long as Bloc Party themselves have been around. That said, Mercury is a balls-out dance thumper with overtones of grimy punk, a million miles from the melodic soundtrackery of Two More Years, or the tiresome clumsiness of The Prayer. In fact, sounding more like a remix than a flat-out Bloc Party track, it’s a good indication of a band refusing to rest on their laurels.

Santogold is next up, with the meh-inducing Lights Out. Constant guitar mutterings lifted from a Max Martin standard provide an incompatible foundation for shrill, tedious vocals which would sound contentedly at home in a Kate Bush tribute dinner-and-concert jobby. Mildly amusing Santogold fact: the spellchecker on Microsoft Word automatically changes her name to ‘Sainthood’. Hell, it’s more entertaining than the music itself…

Shaking off any trace of Knowles nepotism and commanding her own spotlight with ease is Solange, with the entrancing magic of I Decided. Ordinarily, anything touched by the Freemasons reads like a government health warning in our eyes. However, a blast of Neptunes-produced indifference has been transformed into a bouncy, summery, Motown magnum opus, cementing Solange as an artist to keep a keen eye on.

However, Solange is just barely pipped to Single of the Week by the truly awesome Meccano, the second single from Transatlantic radio-rock genii Red Light Company. Three seconds of twinkling make way for explosive riffs and towering voices, surpassed only by the huge choruses. The strength of Meccano alone is enough to induce a frantic itchiness for the album’s release - surely the mark of a band destined for magnitude?

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