Friday, August 26, 2011

Single Reviews 28/08/11

Welcome to the Single Reviews, where this week we’ve got the proverbial streamers and party poppers out in celebration of Mutya Buena’s partial triumph over the ghastly Splendabots. Granted, she’s not yet in the position to ban them from releasing their bilge under the good name of the Sugababes, but surely world domination isn’t far off. Other things we’d quite like Mutya to take control of: Louis Walsh’s job on The X Factor; music commissioning at the BBC; the Coalition; the so-called disaffected youth; and the British weather.

First under scrutiny is Barbadian band – yes, a proper band wot have instruments, NME! – Cover Drive, who unveil themselves to the good folk of Britain with debut single Lick Ya Down. Where Rihanna’s occasional foray back to her roots generally amounts to flashing her cameltoe in some battyriders whilst miming to some heinous cod-reggae, Lick Ya Down has a feeling of authenticity, whilst successfully looping in an inviting pop melody and a forceful rock energy to the mix. As new bands go, they’re an interesting prospect.

Single of the Week goes to a man who, not content with making one of the best songs of 2010, is looking to match the feat this year with Cry Baby. Granted, it’s been knocking around the ol’ Creative Zen for a good while now, but Cee-Lo Green bears a unique aptitude for an immediate, captivating and uplifting anthem, with Cry Baby no exception. Brass-heavy with a Sixties twist, and delightfully heartless in tone, if this isn’t butchered for Big Band Week on this year’s X Factor, it’ll be a crying shame. Or a blessed relief.

Ed Sheeran’s initial promise as potentially the most exciting artist this decade has waned slightly with his reworking of You Need Me I Don’t Need You, turned from an acoustic, attitude-packed, rapalong strumfest into a frenetic, cocky anti-climax, garnished with broken rhythms and peculiar beatboxing. But the wit, the charm and the capability exclusive to Sheeran are still very much present, and even if he has morphed into some sort of Official Bebo Mascot, this is still testament to an almighty talent.

And finally, a woman whose singles pattern thus far has been shaky – namely a ratio of two good to one dreadful – balances things out with another stinker. It’s fair that Jessie J felt the need to address the things she addresses on Who’s Laughing Now, but it’s executed with an intoxicating jumble of clumsily literal lyrics, iffy rapping, irritating runs and, scarily, what appears to be an overt Blazin’ Squad influence.

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