Friday, February 27, 2009

Single Reviews 02/03/09

We’re fully aware it’s been a rather patchy year thus far update-wise, but sadly, after today’s Single Reviews, we’re shutting up shop once again to get us some holiday merriment. Rest assured, we’ll return with tales of newborn pop culture rarities currently gleaming brightly in the exotic mystique of... erm... America. And bear in mind, last time round, we came back singing the praises of FloRida. Yikes.

The Saturdays get us off to a decidedly average start with this year’s Comic Relief offering. While it’s certainly no Who Do You Think You Are or All About You, their update of Just Can’t Get Enough is a faithful enough take on the Depeche Mode standard, albeit laced with enough cheeky winks to simultaneously keep the kids and the dirty mac brigade happy.

Next up, a woman we have little time for even when she’s halfway bearable. However, Kelly Clarkson seems determined to up that to full-on hatred, reintroducing herself as a sell-out identipop fuck-muppet via My Life Would Suck Without You. Apparently this is monstrosity is already scaling the uppermost echelons of the midweeks, but when an artist on her fourth album sounds like a Farmfoods mimic of Miley Cyrus, there has to be something wrong. Take note, record buyers!

And sticking with a theme of bile-drenched negativity, putting herself forward as a genuinely serious nominee for Worst Cover Version EVER is Annie Lennox, whose entirely obsolete butchering of the Ash masterpiece Shining Light is bereft of soul, originality, relevance and any discernible talent. We’d have expected someone of her experience to know not to tamper with such a classic, and yet, it’s on a par with the slurry churned out by Clock in the mid-90s. Truly disgusting stuff, this.

Finally, Chris Cornell takes a well-deserved Single of the Week with the inventive Part of Me, a Timbaland jobby with bleeps and squelches in all the right places, which, somewhat miraculously, blend with a grizzled rock vocal rather nicely. Tim himself jumps on decent backing duties, a thankful progression from his usual Chewbacca noises. Meanwhile, the undiluted vitriol on display in the chorus is refreshingly frank, and also makes us feel as though we’re in good company, given the last two reviews...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Single Reviews 23/02/09

Finally, we’ve gotten around to writing something. Not only do you lucky buggers get our Brits blog, but we’ve actually managed to do some Single Reviews this week. Don’t get too excited though - it’s holiday time in a couple of weeks so there’ll be another big ol’ block of time without one measly update. Until then, enjoy...

Perhaps the most unlikely comeback this week – nay, this decade – arrives in the form of Amy Studt, last seen spectacularly failing when her label decided to mould her into a UK Avril Lavigne at the last minute. And even though five years have passed, Nice Boys isn’t too far removed from her first-stab material, all iffy Kate Bush leanings and playground chants. And yet, it’s hard not to feel she’s capable of so much better. Despite the fact we’ve never seen evidence of this.

A band who inexplicably fell short of Travis/Coldplay-level commercial crossover magnitude, Starsailor have instead become a solid, endowed, consistent band more than capable of peddling a killer tune or three. Tell Me It’s Not Over is no different, boasting up-tempo splendour and confident riffs. Sadly though, it’s not the big push they deserve, so they’ll have to suffice with being our Single of the Week.

The wealth of talent in last year’s American Idol means we’ll likely be seeing plenty of releases from the finalists. No, it’s not Carly, or Brooke, or Syesha, or Michael, or him with the dreads. It’s David Archuleta. Sorry. In fairness, Crush is a far more impressive offering than Cowell’s attempts to shape him into a one-man High School Musical would’ve suggested, a melody-heavy airwave-hogger that actually suits him rather well. But above anything else, it underlines that David Cook was, by far, the deserving winner.

And bringing this week’s reviews to a close are Plain White Ts. Initial exposure might imply that Natural Disaster is actually something resembling acceptable, carrying a heavier, energetic sound. However, the cliché soon shines through, with the clumsy lyrics following shortly behind, cementing it as forgettable middle-school non-rock. The best thing we can say about it? It’s not Hey There Delilah.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sloppy Dog Live Blog: The Brit Awards 2009

Right, bear with us in case this all goes horribly wrong - it's our first attempt at liveblogging. Mind you, given the consistently shambolic nature of the Brit Awards, it's safe to say the show itself is even more likely to go tits-up than our coverage will. But hey, welcome all the same! Keep hitting refresh if you're one of the two people joining us this evening.

With the nominations already looking pretty ropey, we're not off to a good start. The Red Carpet show, however, looked slightly more promising - Sara Cox being ace; Katy Perry looking as though she'd fallen into a skip out the back of Claire's Accessories; Kylie Minogue politely pretending to laugh at Mel Blatt's bizarre impression of Katie from the Ting Tings; and fucking Gok Wan essentially threatening to rape Kanye West. Bring on the main event!

20:02 - U2 open the show with a few strains of Rule Britannia. Or was it God Save The Queen? If they were real rock stars, they'd have torn up a picture of The Queen (or alternatively, National Treasure Cheryl Cole™) and launched into a post-hardcore version of Amhrán na bhFiann.
Good God, Bono. Grow old with dignity.

20:08 - After a largely meh opening from Kylie, James Corden and Matthew Horne, it's on with the awards. Best British Female is the first one up - Beth Rowley?! M.I.A!??! Who chooses these things? Where the jiggins is Alesha!?

20:10 - Oh, Duffy's won it. Fair enough. Bless her, she's crying before she's even reached the podium. Possibly because Adele tried to eat her.

20:14 - Ooh, it's International Female.

20:15 - SHUT THE FUCK UP!? Katy Perry??!?

20:19 - Girls Aloud are performing The Promise, heavily influenced by the Spice Girls' updated take on Too Much from the Return of the Spice Girls tour. Namely, a total rip-off. Still, Sarah and Nicola sound pretty good. Can someone turn Nadine's mic down? Her ad-libs are hideous.

20:20 - Fuck off, Fearne Cotton.

20:27 - Mathew Horne is channelling Brian Molko. How does he manage to look considerably worse than his clinically obese pal? Sticking with the theme of skinny people looking bad, it's Alex James to announce Best British Newcomer. And it's another one for Duffy! Clearly, the listeners of Radio 1 aren't that stupid after all. So why do they continue to listen to Chris Moyles?

20:31 - Coldplay have come dressed as The Wiggles. You'd think we'd be bored to tears by Viva La Vida by now, but it still sounds fan-frickin'-tastic. Surely Best British Single is a certainty? Assuming the manic Girls Aloud fans have died from chronic texter's thumb, of course.

20:35 - Fuck off, Fearne Cotton.

20:43 - I'm nostalgic for when Natalie Imbruglia was relevant. The nominees for International Group are predictably pretentious, but let's thank our lucky stars the Pussycat Dolls evaded a nod - between them and Katy Perry, the whole of Earls Court would have had crabs by the end of the night. And Kings of Leon nail the award!

20:46 - Jamies Oliver and Cullum are here to announce Best British Male. We'd have given this to Gavin Rossdale, but his omission is fair enough, given that Wanderlust sold all of four copies. Anyway, as expected, Paul Weller's won. For some reason, his acceptance VT features Adele. Hopefully, that's the last we'll see of her tonight. And as if to prove the point, here's Duffy to perform Warwick Avenue. Christ, she does look remarkably like Daniella Westbrook, doesn't she?

20:50 - Bloody Nora, this is dull. Couldn't she have done Rain On Your Parade instead?

20:51 - Fuck off, Fearne Cotton.

20:59 - A painful skit courtesy of James Corden and Joe Calzaghe precedes International Album, which is identical nominee-wise to International Group, a point proven by the fact Kings of Leon win for the second time. Oo-er, faux pas o'clock - they thank 'England'. Way to get the T In The Park crowds all moist, lads.

21:04 - It's Take That! On a flying saucer! In some sort of Joe 90 get-up! Bored now.

21:07 - WHO did Scouting For Girls have to sleep with to get a nomination for Best Live Act? WHY aren't the Spice Girls nominated? WHAT can we say about Iron Maiden that's remotely interesting? Best acceptance speech of the night, perhaps?

21:10 - Do people not realise there's not enough irony in the world to excuse the presence of The Hoff anymore? He's here to announce the Best British Group, who inexplicably, are Elbow. Coldplay look suitably miffed. Everyone else looks suitably confused. Except Ashley Cole, who looks suitably bored.

21:13 - Seriously, FUCK OFF, Fearne Cotton!

21:17 - Grrr, Caleb Followill. Why couldn't they have done Sex On Fire? Are Number Ones suddenly passé?

21:18 - Ugh, The Hoff is trying to stick it in Fearne Cotton. This is deeply, deeply unpleasant stuff.

21:24 - Kylie's finally back, for what feels like only her second link of the night. Lazy cow. Ooh, Florence & The Machine have (has?) been dipped. Is she making naughty swears? That's not big, or clever. Fucking fuckwit.

21:26 - Why does Gok Wan exist? What is he for? When will it finally be revealed that he's not a real person, but another Sacha Baron Cohen character?

21:28 - Best International Male is Kanye West! Good choice. But sadly, he's not here to collect it in person, possibly as a result of hearing Gok Wan wanted to get on him.

21:32 - It's the perennial Brits collaboration, this year courtesy of Estelle and the Ting Tings, up there with time-honoured team-ups including Dave Stewart & Shola Ama, Daniel & Natasha Bedingfield, the hideous Abba tribute performed by Steps, Billie Piper, B*Witched and Cleopatra, gatecrashed by Tina Cousins. Ooooh, this is a tad hurty on the ears. Poor Estelle.

21:35 - Best British Single is... Girls Aloud! Mind the debris from the exploding Popjustice messageboard. It's a long-deserved triumph, in all fairness, but it's a shame it wasn't for one of their better efforts. Kimberley is sweet, Sarah is hammered, Nadine is incomprehensible, Cheryl has the crowd frothing at the genitals, and Nicola doesn't get to speak. All in all, a perfectly normal day for Girls Aloud, then.

21:39 - So, it's the supposed 'big one'. Surely Coldplay have it in the bag? Oh, apparently not - Duffy makes it three in a row. Does this now mean they're one of those successful, reliable British bands that have passed the plateau of credibility beyond which the Brits do not exist? See also: Keane, Oasis, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers.

21:41 - Did you not hear us the first time, Fearne Cotton? And now you're daring to tease us with the threat of Lady GaGa?! Seriously, first person to chuck a bucket of holy water over this execrable creature gets a tenner.

21:49 - SHUT UP, Brandon Flowers. Jesus wept, this man can talk. It feels like yesterday this segment begun. Oh thank fuck, he's reeling it in. The Pet Shop Boys!

21:50 - A shot of Louis Walsh watching the Pet Shop Boys do Suburbia. Is he hoping he'll get a chance afterwards to tell them they're like a young Aretha Franklin, and that all of Newcastle ought to vote for them?

21:53 - And the medley segues into Go West - ironically, given the last comment, it'll never be a patch on the hilarious Rhydian adaptation. Oh sweet Jesus, what has Lady GaGa come as?

21:54 - Oh, is that it from her? Thank heavens for small mercies.

21:56 - And Brandon Flowers is back, thankfully singing this time.

21:58 - We spoke too soon - it's bloody Lady GaGa again. She looks like a willow pattern crockery set. Still, amusing shot of Janet Street Porter soaking in the Pet Shop goodness.

21:59 - And we are done! Didn't that just fly by? Apart from Brandon Flowers' month-long monologue, that is. Overall, this year's event turned out to be a marginally less shite offering than we had been expecting. But then, we've come to expect horrific things from the Brit Awards, so anything less than genocide is a welcome relief. Nighty-night! x
Creative Commons Licence
The Sloppy Dog by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.