Friday, March 30, 2012

Single Reviews 01/04/12

It’s been a while since we’ve put any singles under the microscope round these parts. Frankly, it’s pretty difficult when release dates don’t count for much anymore, and anything half decent has a battle to even chart, thanks to the Top 40 being clogged up with faceless dance and the endless torrent of Rihanna’s dead-eyed, off-pitch hogwash. Now, with that burst of negativity out of the way, maybe we can say some nice things in this week’s Single Reviews...

First to get the once-over are The Horrors, who pluck a more-than-decent offering from their Skying album in the form of Changing the Rain. It’s a laidback yet considered number, all lilting vocals and drowsy beats and ocean-like hums, a frankly unbelievable progression from their early material. Which, let’s face it, was shit. More of this, and we can even forgive them Sheena is a Parasite.

The second album era has been a kind one to Olly Murs, flicking the critics away with ease via two first-rate No. 1 singles. Sadly, the momentum hasn’t carried through to the third offering, Oh My Goodness. It’s catchy and it’s fun, sure, but it all feels rather like a bit of a non-event, the stuff of a B-side perhaps (hey, remember B-sides, kids?). If you're looking for blame, you could do worse than point fingers at the truly atrocious video.

Speaking of Olly Murs, claiming Single of the Week are his Heart Skips a Beat cohorts Rizzle Kicks, who manage to chase the addictive Mama Do The Hump with something equally impressive yet entirely different. The reticent, understated British rap of Traveller’s Chant has parallels with The Streets’ Dry Your Eyes, and is a welcome display of a UK hip-hop act that doesn’t borrow from skull-thumping Euro-cheese.

And on the subject of cheesy house beats, it’s a shame to see a singer who’s so revered as a trend-setter dangling from the bandwagon, clinging doggedly on by her fingernails. Madonna manages a worrying mix of extraneous and derivative with Girl Gone Wild, a busy electro-mess where her vocals – and, if you can believe it, personality – are smothered. Another Ray of Light this ain’t.

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