Friday, October 30, 2009

Single Reviews 02/11/09

Hey people – before we crack on, we’ll point out that we’re hugely flattered (aw shucks, you guys, etc) by the numerous requests for further X Factor liveblogs. However, the Sloppy Dog social calendar dictates the next one shall be on November 14th, so we shall see you then. In the meantime, you can take pleasure in the slightly-less frenetic Single Reviews...

We turn our attention first to Beyoncé (a method employed by Mathew Knowles throughout the lifespan of Destiny’s Child, funnily enough) with the no-holds-barred Broken-Hearted Girl. An out-and-out weepy in sonnet form, it’s by no means her best ballad, but it’s interesting to see a more raw, human Beyoncé rather than the usual presentation of an untouchable diva swathed in gloss.

The current fondness for 80s influences continues into pastiche territory courtesy of Julian Casablancas. In fairness, 11th Dimension mightn’t sound so trite had the entire concept not already been raped and murdered by the likes of RedOne, as beneath the synth chestnuts lurks the same inventiveness, the same talent and the same ear for melody responsible for The Strokes’ greatest moments.

Fair play, then, to JLS, who circumvent the aforementioned 80s bandwagon and stop off at the mid 90s, albeit with some iffy results. The commonplace dripfest Everybody In Love channels the lacklustre R&B we thought we’d long seen the back of, but evidently 3T, SWV and MN8 live on, with JLS not only taking the baton of silly acronyms, but of watery, irrelevant swingbeat too. After Beat Again, this is a sore disappointment.

And finally, we reach our Single of the Week, which is gifted to Pink for the standout track from her Funhouse album. We’ll overlook the hideous video which looks as though it was shot on an early cameraphone to enjoy the simple charms of I Don’t Believe You, which, much like Beyoncé earlier, sees a stripped-down, sincere version of Pink that truly accentuates a gargantuan talent.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Single Reviews 26/10/09

If you’re wondering where last week’s Single Reviews were, unfortunately there were no suitable tracks deserving of a Single of the Week title. Seriously, that’s the truth – not just a ‘we couldn’t be bollocksed’ cover-up. So we’ve chosen instead to do a mash-up this week of current new releases and a selection of next week’s offerings. Behold, an’ ting.

Thankfully, we’ve come across something just about commendable enough to scoop the aforementioned title. Single of the Week is awarded to Snow Patrol, who pre-empt their Best Of with the twinkly ballad Just Say Yes. Originally written for Nicole Shitsinger’s thankfully-doomed solo album, Snow Patrol have snatched it back, given it a reworking and done a rather impressive job. And while we never heard ol’ Chief Alleycat’s version, it’s safe to say it would’ve sucked donkey cock.

Next up, a collective of randoms going under the name Young Soul Rebels churn out a sub-Band Aid 20 adaptation of All These Things That I’ve Done, renamed I Got Soul. We know it’s for charity. We know it’s raising both money and awareness for a particularly worthy cause. But Christ on a bike, this shit is fucking abysmal. Chimpunk; Pixie Lott; N-Dubz; Egypt and her unfortunate nose... it’s like a rundown of new acts that should have failed miserably. And, ironically, poor ol’ VV Brown.

Her Supposed Royal Super-Amazingness & High Priestess of Everything Ever, otherwise known as Cheryl Tweedy (otherwise known as Cheryl Cole) releases her debut solo track, to a surprisingly warm reception. Aside from being a simple, mildly-catchy pop ditty, there’s little to say about Fight For This Love. It feels rather like Not Such An Innocent Girl 2.0, all things considered, though its success may soon dispel that.

And finally, a girl group who almost insinuate where Girls Aloud might’ve gone had they continued down the road of No Good Advice. Alas, we’ll never fully know, but Dolly Rockers’ second submission also doubles up as an apology for their rather ropey first single. Boys Will Be Boys is a lively, electro-effective, character-packed trip through a world of smudged mascara and vodka jelly shots, which shits all over the current Sugababes from a heady height.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Sloppy Dog LiveBlog: The X Factor Results

Good evening, one and all, as we embark on Part Two of our live coverage of The X Factor trainwreck. Tonight will inevitably see some major backtracking from Dannii in spite of her being totally right; Louis absent in the wake of the frankly shocking news about Stephen Gately; and Kandy Rain heading back to the ropier end of Wardour Street. Hit refresh for updates, as, according to the overdramatic voiceover guy, IT'S TIME TO FACE THE MUSIC!!! Yeah, whatevz.

And we kick off with Simon giving a tribute to Stephen Gately in the same way he'd critique a performance. Of course, it's not as if they could keep it a sombre affair when Alexandra Burke is due to get all sassy up in this bizniz. Did they mention she's back to perform, by the way?

NO!!!! A group song!!!! Inevitable horror.

I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas is the track chosen for a butchering, and by God, are they doing some butchering. The male contestants - collectively and individually - sound horrific. Meanwhile, Kandy Rain are making up for the PVC atrocities of last night by coming dressed as B*Witched. Christ, this is horrible.

Well, it wasn't as bad as some of the American Idol group singalongs, which can, on occasion, be on a par with genocide. But that was still some major suckage right there. The X Factor doesn't have a great history of group performances - last year's two stabs at Hero saw (a) two contestants stuck behind a malfunctioning door, and (b) all of three seconds as backing singers for Mariah Carey, equipped with dummy mics.

They've chosen to leave Dannii's comments out of the recap. Let's clarify - she wasn't being homophobic. She was calling out an arrogant prick, who chose to sell up his bisexuality to the scabloids, then made a mahoosive stink about doing a female song but went to lengths to change the gender references. Of course, the majority of the ITV1 audience can just about use their brain to determine the most effective way of scratching their arses. It's safe to say they won't 'get' it.

Alexandra's back! Let's count how many times she uses the word 'literally'.

It's FloRida! Again, are ITV1's core audience ready for this? He doesn't sit on a stool in a white suit singing Mandy, thus it's beyond their sparse, burbling capacity. So for our benefits, can he please segue into Low?

Killer performance, in fairness. Will they sabotage Robbie's upcoming performance to give Alexandra a head start in next week's chart battle? Here's hoping.

The fake laughing from the gathered shitehawks when the camera falls over in the Heart advert is unbearable. It's almost as annoying as that fucking Go Compare shitshower.

The phonelines have now closed, according to Dermot. How are they expecting to fill a whole hour? Oh, it seems the majority of airtime is being used to plaster over Dannii's remarks about Fucking Danyl. Christ on a bike, love, stand up for yourself. You were RIGHT! Or is this a direct response to Anton DuBeke and his racial faux pas? Next week: Flavia Cacace 'accidentally' offends the disabled community. The following week: Simon Cowell counters it by getting Olly to perform in black-and-white minstrel garb whilst tearing up a picture of the Pope.

Yep, they've sabotaged Robbie's performance. Or maybe he's just this shit. In yesterday's Single Reviews, we pondered whether he was any less arrogant after the rightful flop of Rudebox. Turns out not so much.

And we're about to learn who's through. First back is John & Edward. Fuck each and every cunt that picked up the phone for these tosspots. Lucie's through too, which: yay. Lloyd is through too - see comment for John & Edward, with perhaps a little less vitriol.

Jamie's through, as is Rikki. Woo-hoo and meh respectively. Stacey's also safe. However, any happiness we feel about this is nullified by the fact that Danyl has gotten through. See the John & Edward comment again, and MULTIPLY IT BY A MILLION.

Joe is safe, meaning all of Team Talentless are through. Next through are, thankfully, Miss Frank, leaving Olly, Rachel and Kandy Rain. HMMMM. WHO COULD IT BE?

We can't even be smug about being right. It was so unbelievably predictable we'd be seeing a Rachel/Kandy Rain bottom two, it's as guaranteed as the sun rising or Monday following Sunday or Fearne Cotton saying she 'LOVES' whichever song she just played, regardless of whether she's heard it or not. Do we think the judges will make the right choice and save Rachel, or give Louis the pity vote and keep Kandy Rain?

Oh, poor Rachel. She's barely keeping it together. It's obviously nowhere near as bad as Alexandra Burke's snivelling during Hallelujah post-win, but it's a shame given what a great job she did of Nobody Knows in Dubai last week.

Kandy Rain's farewell anthem is Christina Aguilera's Fighter. What, they couldn't go with their gut and do Dirrty?

Holy shit. THAT's why the little Asian one never gets a lead vocal.

Kandy Rain get one vote of support by default in Louis' absence. Are we SURE he'd have saved them? He dressed them like that. Cheryl and Dannii, obviously, save Rachel. And similarly predictably, Simon Cowell's erection opts for Kandy Rain.

DEADLOCK! How very dramatic. You can tell Dermot loves that bit.

And the act going home is... Kandy Rain. No shit.

Their best bits are referred to as their 'journey'. Concealed cuss or what? Much as we didn't like Kandy Rain, they were by no means the worst act in the competition. They deserved a place in next week's show way more than Lloyd, John & Edward, Danyl or Rikki. But this is The X Factor, the place where girl groups crash and burn in spectacular style, year in, year out. Next week sees Cheryl take the stage to perform her wack-as-you-like debut single, so we'll see whether solo girlbanders also turn to runny shite under the glare of the X. That said, we maintain Miss Fitz would've utterly pwned. Sadface.

And that is that. Kandy Rain go home to complete indifference from anyone, the world continues to turn, and Dermot looks ahead to next week, when not only Cheryl will be miming along to a pre-recorded 'live' vocal, but Whitney Houston will be making her first UK television appearance in 12 years. So, to warm you up, we shall bid you goodnight and leave you with this gem from 'Whitney' on MadTV...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Sloppy Dog LiveBlog: The X Factor

...And it's a no from us. Oh sorry, didn't see you there - we were dreaming of sending Danyl packing at the first audition, and therefore spared the weeks of dramatics which with any luck will come to an end tonight. Good evening, by the way, and Gawd bless your cottons for joining us tonight. Keep hitting refresh for updates.

Ah, the obligatory intro VTs showcasing the acts, fuckloads of shouty voiceovers, and the judges giving it all "I'm determined to win, screw the others" and general bravado. Meh.

Wow. New set. Looks rather nice, all things considered - it's clear to see where ITV1 are spunking their budget. That inevitably means they've cut the catering at Emmerdale. And here, all shiny and pedestal-tastic, are the judges. Cheryl's frock channels the very essence of Gala Bingo.

Oh, poor Rachel. The curse of First Act On means she'll inevitably be sat in the bottom two along with Kandy Rain. Mind you, she's chosen to sing Let Me Entertain You, so she may well deserve it. As an aside, why have they made her look like a female Grace Jones?

'Misunderestimated'? The X Factor: helping singers realise their dreams and urinating on the English language since 2004.

Dermot's reiterating that it's not easy to open the first live show, but fails to mention it's because this guarantees a spot in the bottom two. Voices With Soul! Addictiv Ladies! Brummie Kimberley! Girlband! It's X Factor suicide. Well, that and singing a song not from the Authorised Songbook of Cowell™,which is pretty much Unchained Melody, You Raise Me Up and that fucking Roberta Flack thing he always wheels out.

Bless Kandy Rain, desperate to reiterate they're not a bunch of go-go scutters. Maybe calling yourself Coco when your name is Victoria isn't the best way to go, then. Christ, they're in tears already, and they've not even performed. Meeting Robbie Williams will do that to you.

They're singing Addicted To Love! Big mistake. It's the same song they gave to Rebecca Loos, and therefore in this context translates as "Addicted To Cock". The Irish one has cat-ears made from her weave. Meanwhile, they've wisely given the one with permanently-surprised eyebrows a fringe.

Cheryl and Dannii, you nailed it. Dress like whores, be seen as whores. Of course, Simon's all defensive of the Cameltoe Collective, but Chezza stands her ground. About the first time she's warranted her National Treasure tag. Let's hope their Sing-Off Anthem tomorrow is a slightly wiser choice, namely not My Neck, My Back by Khia.

Oh good, it's Olly. That was sarcasm, by the way. He's doing a Robbie song, which is all kinds of arselicky, and he freely boasts about three hugs they shared. Dude, you're on primetime television. The fanboy schtick MUST stop.

He's doing She's The One, by the way. That would be a World Party song, not a Robbie Williams song. The vocals suck donkey cock, big time. BUT he's in a Fred Perry shirt, thus reinforcing he's a nice normal lad who loves his nan.

Louis, that is NOT 'making the song your own'. David Cook doing Hello is making the song your own. Adam Lambert reworking Tracks Of My Tears is making the song your own. Christ, even that version of Respect that Miss Frank hiccupped their way through in Lake Como was making the song your own. Speaking of Louis, has he had extensive work done since we saw him in Italy last week? He's only recognisable by his utterly retarded comments.

And so we come to Team Talentless, headed up by, ironically, their most talented member. Rikki Loney, possessor of Satan's own eyebrows, boasts a voice that's fairly impressive when singing, but fundamentally, as gay as John Inman advertising Aussiebum underwear at a Pride march when speaking. Christ knows what that sentence will do to our Google-determined advertising. He's doing Back To Black, and not very well.

Louis mentions a contestant's region! DRINK!

Dannii doing an Essex accent. Exhibit A as to why she's the best judge on this wonderful shitshower. Stacey Solomon, we salute you. Who else can talk like Roland Rat and follow it with a performance this good? Lord knows her performance of The Scientist shits all over Diana Vickers' stab at Yellow last year. *shudder*

And the bar has been raised. The new 'do is a tad ropey, mind. Stacey FTW!

And Exhibit A as to why Grace Dent should be made Queen of the World: "can you dye my hair so i look like the monster off of the dark crystal." (That's her take on Stacey in the hairdressers, via Twitter, as we realise how very random this may look to those not in the know.)

It's Miss Frank, the lone hope for Louis this year. They're doing everything they can to make themselves believe it's better to go through as a group than as soloists, otherwise known as a 'Ones From Hope Wot Aren't Phoebe'. BTW, for the benefit of the dozens of people who've found The Sloppy Dog by asking Google what nationality Graziella is, she's Filipino. And clearly, she loves her lumpia.

Who's Loving You. A world of meh.

"Powerfulness" - another blow for the English language. Not a great performance, but with any luck it'll at least get them through to next week, when Graziella can inevitably pwn the competition with another dose of awesomeness.

"You're a better singer than me," Robbie Williams tells Jamie Archer. Something he could say to all the acts, in fairness. And pretty much the entire music industry, Jennifer Lopez included. And, well, a good 98% of the population, we imagine. Jamie's giving Get It On a rather trite airing, all overproduced backing and epaulettes. Sadly, it sucks a tad.

Cheryl's talking about confidence and insecurity and what she sees in Jamie's eyes. Love, the last thing this world needs is another Judi James. Apart from perhaps another Mika.

Next up, Lloyd Daniels, a mere child whose first audition was genuinely atrocious, and yet, it's only gone downhill from there. Robbie Williams wisely tells Lloyd to avoid the high notes, whilst Brian "Vortex of Relevance" Friedman says rehearsals were a disaster. Do we think perhaps we're seeing Lloyd set up for the pity vote? *cough*Scott Bruton*cough*

Is there a reason he's grinning like a complete buffoon through Cry Me A River? Perhaps he can hear how fucking dreadful he sounds, and is struggling to keep a straight face. This shit is worse than Kandy Rain.

Louis mentions Wales. DRINK! It's like United Kingdom bingo. We just need England and Northern Ireland for a full house.

Lucie Jones is lying about loving everything Robbie has done, for NO-ONE can have loved Rudebox. Still, we can overlook that, given how ace she is. That said, she's doing a Leona Lewis song, so that's all subject to change.

Well, it's not a Leona Lewis song anyone knows, anyway. FIRST KEY CHANGE OF THE EVENING!!! Drink!!

Cheryl commends Lucie for tackling Leona - the mental image of Lucie rugby-tackling Leona to the ground, which she then describes as "amaaazing", is something to behold. Simon remarks that Leona hitting the big notes is what she's all about. Well, it's certainly not about enthralling us with her infectious personality, is it?

And as Dermot gives John & Edward a mere mention going into break, the chorus of boos already begins. This won't be pretty. *books ringside seat for the carnage*

And so it begins. John & Edward, the cockiest little shits ever to grace the X Factor stage - and unbelievably, that includes Simon Cowell - are up. Louis has likened them, in seriousness, to Boyzone. And as if to prove the point that they're the worst idea anyone in music has had since Vanilla, they're singing Rock DJ. There's just not enough irony in the world to excuse this.

Cheryl to John & Edward: "You can't sing. Fact." AWESOME. When did she become worthwhile? Louis is claiming people in Ireland can't vote, which means we just need to disable the telephone exchange in Cricklewood, and a few households in the Southport region, and we're safe.

Dermot says John & Edward deserve a round of applause for coming from Dublin. Well, I'm equal parts Kinnegad and Sligo. I must get a ticker-tape parade, then.

Joe McSomething-Or-Other, who is Cheryl's wee Geordie foster babby, is singing No Regrets in the style of a Billy Elliott auditionee. Love, if you want a kid that badly, get on Ashley and get squelchy. Don't waste a place in the finals which could've gone to Duane. Still, he's better than Lloyd, and based on tonight's performances, even better than Rikki.

Yes, Cheryl, we get that you and Joe are both from the North-East. Leave the desperation-tinged geography lesson to Louis.

Oh look. It's best first auditionee ever, bestest singer in the world, and hope of the human race, Fucking Danyl. He can't even spell his own name, and we're expected to like him? Sod off with yer bad spelling and yer bug eyes.

Dermot shouts at Simon. We've always liked Dermot.

Oh fucksticks. He's singing And I'm Telling You, which has somehow become the official anthem for this series. Christ, this guy's face gets more and more slappable by the second.

Louis tells Danyl he's overconfident and the least likeable contestant. Dannii basically calls him a big ol' faggot. Cheryl points out his cockiness. THIS IS AMAZING. Simon's pants are in such a twist they're pretty much doing 150 RPM, and Danyl himself is on the verge of tears. This, ladies and gents, is what we call 'a result'.

Recap: Rachel, being first up, is off home. Kandy Rain were syphilistastic. Jamie, Lucie and Miss Frank were disappointing. Cheryl's boys sucked balls - at least two of them, we imagine, literally. John & Edward were every inch the train wreck they deserved to be. Stacey pwned. Danyl is scum, something which three of the judges clearly agree with us on. And Simon Cowell's status as one of the richest men in the music industry is put into question yet again. Quite a first show, we think you'll agree. See you tomorrow for the results show!

Single Reviews 12/10/09

We’re most disappointed this morning. We dared Kevin Smith via the medium of Twitter to insert the term ‘finger-cuffs’ into his conversation with Kirsty Wark during his Newsnight Review appearance last night. He sadly failed to do so. Not that we necessarily expected a man with over a million followers to even see our tweet, but still. Mind you, he wore a dressing-gown – a DRESSING-GOWN – live on a BBC Two news/arts show, so it’s a win for infantile all the same. Now, Single Reviews, anyone?

Banners, streamers and a bottle of own-brand champagne are in order to celebrate the return of Lostprophets. The fusion of agreeably-dirty rock with Muse-esque galactic boldness makes It’s Not The End Of The World But I Can See It From Here the mark of an exciting direction whilst maintaining the addictive Lostprophets sound. It’s also the kind of title a writer loves if they’re being paid by the word. (Sadly, we’re not.)

In contrast, a slightly less welcome return from Robbie Williams, who we’d hoped had crawled into a shell off the back of the inevitable Rudebox shame. But lo and behold, he’s dared to show his monkey chops once again. In fairness, it seems to have knocked the arrogance out of him (well, to an extent), with Bodies a slightly more grounded affair. Let’s not get too excited though – it’s still, by and large, shit.

Being the best X Factor winner in the show’s history is probably no massive achievement for Alexandra Burke given the other options, but a lot is riding on debut single Bad Boys, featuring the rent-a-rappery of FloRida. Although lyrically it all sounds a tad Sinitta, its ohrwurm quality is hard to shake off, and it’s an impressive display of a pop star with personality – unlike another female X Factor champion who shall go unmentioned.

Finally, we’re faced with a bit of a quandary. See, we’d like to think our reviews are entirely impartial here at The Sloppy Dog (unless you’re Mika, in which case the venom is a given). But now that Ash have embarked upon their scheme to release a single every two weeks, it’s likely they’ll be scooping Single of the Week on a fortnightly basis. So, in the interests of fairness, we’ll give the title to the alluring, melody-heavy, electro-lullaby True Love 1980 for now, and do our very bestest to rule ‘em out for the next year. How we’ll fare in executing this remains to be seen.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Honking Box Preview: The X Factor

Apparently, The X Factor is on our screens at the moment. Not that you’d know, of course, with it being such a modest and unassuming non-event. With the final 12 now selected, and the live shows a-looming, it’s time to put the poor, unsuspecting muppets under the microscope. Simon’s already set the series up for a male win, giving the Boys to the supposed Midas touch of Cheryl Cole, plus giving himself an all-male Over 25s. But what does he know, eh? The definitive rundown of this year’s finalists – without any of Cowell’s delusions of perfection tainting matters – is right here...

The girls, mentored by Dannii Minogue
While everyone’s gushing about Simon and Cheryl’s categories – not least Simon and Cheryl themselves – it’s Team Minogue that carries the most potential from where we’re standing. Plus, we love an underdog, and Dannii is nothing if not that. And while we’d have loved to see Rozelle Philip in here, it’s hard to fault Dannii’s choices:

Lucie Jones
Virginal songbird hailing from the arse-end of nowhere, Lucie Jones has a strong chance of being the X Factor’s first Welsh winner. Likeable, gifted and photogenic, she’s yet to give a performance anything less than brilliant, although her apparent penchant for soppy balladry could prove to be a hurdle during Acid House Week or Cradle of Filth Week.

Rachel Adedeji
A surname Holly Willoughby has pronounced about 18 different ways on the almost-unwatchable Xtra Factor so far, and not one of them right, Rachel Adedeji could well be a dark horse in this year’s competition. Her take on Pink’s Nobody Knows in front of the Sisters of No Expression showcased a rawness and a sincerity no other finalist has yet matched.

Stacey Solomon
The endearingly daft Stacey is already polarising opinion, her Essextacular word-diarrhoea making her a firm Marmite contestant. We here at The Sloppy Dog love the contrast between the fact she talks like Roland Rat and trills like an angel with its own vocal coach – twinned with her backstory, it makes her another formidable contender within Team Minogue.

The boys, mothered by HRH Cheryl Cole
As we all know, National Treasure Cheryl Cole can do no wrong. Except select finalists, where she’s majorly bollocksed up, three for three. How Duane Lamonte evaded a spot is inconceivable, and although Abercrombie Ethan may not have been anything wildly amazing, he was by far the safest bet for a win. But instead of listening to her head, or even her heart for that matter, she’s evidently gone with her uterus, opting for a trio of adolescent ineptitude:

Joseph McElderry
Clearly only though to the live finals in a display of Geordie solidarity on Cheryl’s part, Joseph is equal parts Eoghan Quigg and Leon Jackson – both finalists, sure, but certainly not something you’d ever want to recreate. Beige to the point of complete irrelevance, it’s hard to see him lasting more than a few weeks, unless the 0191 massive disregard the lack of talent.

Lloyd Daniels
Another weak-vocalled tweenage option, Cheryl’s made a foolish choice putting both Lloyd and Joseph through, thus splitting the Nana vote. Lloyd probably carries the unenviable title of worst singer in the competition (though John & Edward aren’t far behind), which should at least provide some degree of humour once the live shows kick off.

Rikki Loney
Perhaps the most likely candidate to get Cheryl the trophy a second year running, but given his contemporaries on Team Cole are essentially singing Bash Street Kids, that’s hardly a compliment. Rikki displays a far more distinctive style than the other two, and carries a faint quality of musicianship, but will the public be able to look beyond his frankly demonic eyebrows?

The groups, misdirected by Louis Walsh
Why do they even bother with groups anymore? Seriously, what’s the point? Not only is the entire show weighted in favour of soloists, but the category is gifted to a man whose only successes are miming buffoons covering Cliff Richard. This does not bode well for the two girl groups he’s selected, although we maintain he’d have had a genuine shot had things gone differently for the tremendous Miss Fitz. Instead, we’re stuck with...

Kandy Rain
By their own admission, Kandy Rain are desperate to move away from their image of cheap, PVC-clad go-go hos. Maybe ditching the cheap, PVC go-go ho look would be a start. Although their vocals aren’t bad (their shocking first audition notwithstanding), they’re certainly no better than Girlband or Bad Lashes, who both outshone Kandy Rain in the class stakes yet lasted all of two seconds last year. A dead cert for the bottom two this coming Saturday.

Miss Frank
A slap in the face for the hundreds of legitimate girl groups shown the door, Miss Frank were cobbled together at Boot Camp from three soloists. Admittedly, it’s worked far better than it has for 2007’s ghastly trollopfest Hope, perhaps due to the significant talents of Graziella Affinita front-and-centre, even if she does look like Mutya had she eaten Siobhan and Keisha. Louis’ best shot at a win by a mile.

John & Edward
And, of course, The X Factor wouldn’t be The X Factor without its perennial comedy contestant for one judge to spew hate upon. However, Same Difference, Chico and the Macdonald Brothers have nothing on these odious little scrotes, who’ve stolen the Conway Sisters’ crown of Most Hated X Factor Finalist before the live shows have even begun. Sure, they’ll provide a talking point, but for a category already in the red, it’s a genuine waste of a place in the live shows.

The Over 25s, flaunted smugly by Simon Cowell
It’s always fun to see Simon Cowell brought down to Earth with a thud. Once again convinced he’s going to walk it, we look forward to a recreation of the expression of horror when Slimy Ashley was turfed out during Series 3. That said, he’s got two bright hopes in his category, so we shouldn’t get too excited for a rude awakening...

Danyl Johnson
Cocky, arrogant, and intensely dislikeable, Danyl’s desperation almost trumps that of Austin Drage. The ‘bisexual’ schtick is a clear attempt not to dissuade female voters, while his sense of entitlement is beyond belief – with any luck it’ll be the thing that trips him up. And if he hits his face repeatedly on the way down, well, what can ya do?

Olly Murs
Labelled as a ‘risk’ by Simon Cowell, when frankly he’s the most bankable artist in the whole category, Olly’s pitch as a sort of Nisa Today Justin Timberlake will no doubt grab the teenage girls’ votes. That said, Cowell’s oft-bizarre choices for his artists tend to result in all kinds of catastrophe, so don’t be surprised if the Olly we know now is soon twisted into a Groanin’ Ronan redux.

Jamie Archer
And finally, what might well be this year’s best shot at the final, and potential Sloppy Dog favourite, Jamie (bear in mind, it’s still TBC for now – we supported Rozelle and Miss Fitz, and look what happened to them). Jamie’s individuality in terms of both style and vocals make him a very interesting prospect indeed, and we rub our hands with glee at the thought of him telling Cowell where to stick his suggestion of You Raise Me Up.

We’ll be back this Saturday for a liveblog of the first live show. Please be aware, the above may be later amended in the event of us getting any predictions wrong and looking anything resembling stupid.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Single Reviews 05/10/09

Greetings, ladies, gentlemen and the creepy person who stumbled across our lovely site whilst Googling the term “Davina McCall labia.” Yes, you know who you are, you dirty little fucker. Sadly for you, there’s nothing that repulsive on this blog (subject to change if John & Edward get through to the X Factor live shows). In the meantime, some clean and wholesome Single Reviews...

Single of the Week is awarded to Mr Hudson, with the quietly-brilliant White Lies. It’s certainly not as immediate as Supernova, but actually benefits from this (and not least because it helps him downplay the now-cancerous Kanye connection), having far more in common with the charming, simple Englishness of the first album.

Whitney Houston makes an unremarkable return this week with the yawn-inducing taupefest of Million Dollar Bill. It’s a relief to see she’s not shoehorning herself into some 2009-by-numbers RedOne production, which would’ve most likely seen her stripped of whatever dignity she has intact. But she’s done herself no favours by heading down the hellish road of disco, the worst genre of music in the complete history of recorded sound (FACT).

The fairytale-folk quirk developed so effectively by Kings of Convenience has sadly taken a back seat (or, more accurately, is sealed in a suitcase in the boot) on the rather bland Boat Behind. While the temperate, gifted acoustica remains, there’s a distinct lack of sparkle, and frustratingly, for no discernible reason. All the components are there, but it’s... well, meh.

And finally, James Bourne, the shittiest little member of the shittiest boyband this century, has put pen to paper to come up with a new track for The Saturdays. Thankfully, it’s approximately four million times better than that crap he wrote for Eoghan Quigg, suggesting his input was minimal. Forever Is Over is a hefty-chorused McRock effort, and in fairness, isn’t too bad. But it’s putting money in James Bourne’s pocket, so BOO! HISS! and the like.
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