Friday, May 29, 2009

Single Reviews 01/06/09

Welcome to this week’s Single Reviews, where we’re pleased to announce that The Sloppy Dog is officially a Susan Boyle-Free Zone. We realise mentioning her name sorta nullifies this, but hey, it’ll send our hit counter through the roof (like the last time that happened, when the term “Holly Willoughby’s tits” brought in hundreds of new visitors – presumably, they won't be searching the term “Susan Boyle” for the same purposes).

After the saccharin bloodbath of My Life Would Suck Without You, one would think Kelly Clarkson might try and pluck something half-reasonable from her catalogue to excuse it. Evidently, no such track exists, hence I Do Not Hook Up, yet another insipid, all-American female “I’m demure, me” cliché, this time performed in the style of an anaemic mutant Avril Lavigne, all ham-fisted lyrics and vocal police sirens.

What a relief, then, that we can block out such filth with our Single of the Week, a mightily grand indie-funk masterpiece courtesy of Hockey. For a band from Oregon, the flagrant entertainment factor of Learn To Lose has a distinctly British feel, though special mention must also be made of the strapping vocals and spellbindingly riotous synthwork on display. We can haz album? Kthxbai.

Another artist nodding funkwards is Solange, with another single plucked from an album that feels like it was released a good two years ago. While the unhurried, laissez-faire T.O.N.Y. isn’t one of her stronger efforts, it’s nonetheless a reminder of a unique artist who frankly should’ve turned a lot more heads. For her music, we mean, not for mouthing off at hapless Fox News presenters.

And bringing up the rear this week are Snow Patrol, with a more produced, slightly livelier update on The Planets Bend Between Us – a pleasingly more abstract offering than previous downtempo numbers, yet still unmistakeably Snow Patrol. Perhaps the piano-led album take didn’t lend itself to X Factor soundbeds as effectively? We jest. Well, partially.

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