Monday, May 28, 2012

Single Reviews 27/05/12

Yikes. We’re a bit late with the ol’ Single Reviews this week, eh? Nice weather plus birthday celebrations equal slight tardiness. That’s a hint to send well-wishes, by the way. Under scrutiny this time around are a piss-weak ‘we’re-not-a-boyband’ boyband, some 90s bastions of brilliance, the return of an art-rock popstrel, and the rare sight of an X Factor winner with a record deal. So, without any further ado...

Ladyhawke starts us off this week with Sunday Drive, which somehow outclasses even My Delirium as her best offering yet. A heady fusion of cheeky piano and dizzying electro-swizz makes the perfect backdrop for a swooning, covertly-striking, melancholic chorus. The greatest thing to come out of New Zealand since... since... The Almighty Johnsons? Nice backdrops for Hollywood films? Bloody Kimbra? Actually, it’s not all that complimentary, is it?

Meet Lawson, another dreary British boyband who think a few instruments conjures up immediate credibility. Granted, they’ve got more substance than One Direction or The Wanted, but When She Was Mine is a miserable mid-tempo marshland, beyond bland and stuffed to bursting point with tired ideas. Trying to do what BBMak did better 12 years ago probably isn’t the greatest starting point for a career.

Single of the Week is proudly awarded to a band whose output never seems to falter in quality. After a good couple of decades in the proverbial biz, Saint Etienne have got their craft of sophisticated synth-pop down to a fine art, with I’ve Got Your Music the perfect example of infectious but understated house-lite indie we’ve come to love them for. Whose head to we have to put a gun to for this sort of thing to make it onto a playlist?

And finally, the foray into strident Euro-noise continues for Alexandra Burke, and it actually suits her rather well. Let It Go has a marginally more recognisable appeal than previous single Elephant, but overall it’s fairly unimaginative stuff, and has to rely pretty heavily on the personality Alexandra injects liberally into proceedings. Christ knows what dreary results we’d get if Leona Lewis had to tackle the same problem.

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