This week’s single releases – 7 April
This week’s round-up of single reviews from Phil Lickley includes new tracks from Madness, Chris Brown, Angel and Michael Buble. What new singles are you downloading this week?
Angel – ‘The World’
Buy: The World
Angel’s fourth single ‘The World’ is a familiar sounding track with lyrics and club beats that aren’t particularly inspiring. That said, it’s not a bad example of the genre, just not that remarkable. Driven initially by a hand-clap beat it has a fun enough chorus that soon sticks in your head. It struggles at times when it appears to overlay two tracks post-chorus that don’t quite match, but it’s an enjoyable enough song though a little over-produced for my tastes and would shine more if his appealing voice wasn’t drowned in drum crashes and too loud riffs, with the last thirty seconds proving that’s a better sound.
Bonnie Tyler – ‘Believe In Me’
Buy: Believe In Me
This year’s UK Eurovision entry drags another classic singer out of retirement. Last year it was Humperdinck, this year Tyler. ‘Believe In Me’ is a slow ballad but it ticks all the boxes of a Eurovision track: sweeping swings and a simple but rousing chorus that’s quickly memorable and singable. With twinges of country it’s a smooth, calming track though not as immediately grabbing as last year’s entry. Is it a good track? Yes. Is it the best thing you’ve heard in a while? No. Is it a Eurovision winner? No, it’s too slow. But it’s a grower and though Tyler doesn’t showcase her vocal power from her original hits, her voice is still strong and carries our 2013 submission.
Chris Brown – ‘Fine China’
Buy: Fine China
The first single from his upcoming sixth album ‘X’ ‘Fine China’ sees Brown channelling Michael Jackson with his vocal shouts and yelps. Sadly he doesn’t have the same songwriters so ‘Fine China’ struggles to really find focus as a song. I admire the soul angle he has gone for and the chorus blends nicely in with the rest, even if there’s an unfortunate sound-a-like for when he sings the title, but he sounds like an average Jackson impersonator. It’s far better than his recent singles thanks to its nod to the artists who have come before him but it doesn’t really have an identity of its own and lacks any new ideas as the song progresses, but it’s a smooth, soulful listen and a welcome change of direction.
Leddra Chapman – ‘All About You’
Buy: All About You
Not the McFly song of the same name, ‘All About You’ is the lead single from Chapman’s second album ‘The Crowds and Cocktails’. A mid-tempo indie pop song that balances Chapman’s sweet voice with a well-matched violin and perky backing, it sounds like the best song Kelly Clarkson has never recorded. A nice, sunny verse moves into a short but catchy chorus. A nice slice of summery pop that will have you tapping your foot and singing along.
Madness – ‘How Can I Tell You’
Buy: How Can I Tell You
Though the album it’s taken from lacks the overall power of ‘The Liberty of Norton Folgate’, ‘Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da’ has spawned some cracking singles, of which this is the third. A slow verse makes way for a ska-enthused uptempo chorus that sticks in your mind. It’s a straight-forwardly recorded song but the instrumentation and style shows Madness at another peak in their powers. A funky track to enjoy as the days get sunnier and warmer.
Michael Bublé – ‘It’s A Beautiful Day’
Buy: It’s A Beautiful Day
Bublé is back with this brilliant, uptempo break-up track with shades of ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’. Immediately loveable and catchy, with his voice complimented perfectly by the positive, joyful music. It might be similar to some of his past hits with a sound that’s copied over in style, but he’s crafted his sound into a new, powerful song. Catchy and a great listen with some funny and observational lyrics.
Nina Nesbitt – ‘Stay Out EP’
Buy: Stay Out EP
With shades of Amy MacDonald, ‘Stay Out’ is an acoustic-led indie-pop tune with some quick-footed lyrics, quirky vocal calls and a simple, memorable chorus. With a well observed opening – and also closing – gambit that is mirrored through the song with some spot-on observations of culture, it’s presented in a joyful way with a very good balance of wordplay and musical talent. Completing the EP, ‘Just Before Goodbye’ is a slower number that’s not as appealing as the title track but Nesbitt’s lyrics still shine and the chorus builds to something better; ‘No Interest’ is a more strongly produced number that flows well and mixes day-to-day lyrics about buying chips and going clubbing with something more exciting musically; and ‘Statues’ is a piano-led, slower and sadder tune, rounding off a very strong EP.