Thursday, June 23, 2011

Single Reviews 26/06/11

Free with this week’s Single Reviews! Your exclusive guide to Glastonbury! And here it is: It’ll be muddy, it’ll be expensive, it’ll be full of pretentious non-music fans who couldn’t even tell you who’s headlining, and the TV and radio coverage will be ruined thanks to the conceited ramblings of Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe. We advise you leave the country, then return next week to pick and choose from the highlights. Hell, that’s our plan, anyway.

We open with Arcade Fire, who have opted to squeeze a few more coins out of their fans with a ‘deluxe’ album. Mind you, on the plus points of new track Speaking in Tongues, it’s probably a worthwhile purchase. It’s affecting, it’s engaging, and yet, it maintains a cool sharpness, even to the point that it somehow meshes wonderfully with David Byrne having what sounds like a stroke all over the end.

Single of the Week is lifted from one of 2011’s most impressive albums (overlooking the bizarre mum monologue, at least), courtesy of Glasvegas. For a band whose oeuvre is so grounded in crude realism, Shine Like Stars is a pleasing voyage away from such literal grit. While its feet are still very much planted on Glaswegian soil, the exhilarating magnitude of the chorus highlights a band more than ready for the global stage.

And we’re happy to report on the return of Melanie C this week, albeit only in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Still, she’s kind enough to give us a digital release over thisaway, ahead of fifth album The Sea. Hands-up shoutalong anthem Rock Me is boisterous but quietly controlled, designed to infiltrate your internal jukebox and steadfastly refusing to vacate. It’s a tad cheddary in terms of lyrics, perhaps, but it all adds to a welcome sense of fun, something Sporty’s fallen a tad short on for a good few albums.

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