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Single Releases (16th June 2013)

My round up of the new singles available for digital download this week!

Dizzee Rascal feat. Robbie Williams – Goin’ Crazy
I’m really not sure about this song. As a big fan of Robbie I really want to enjoy it but there’s something a little artificial about the record. It has a certain catchiness to the chorus thanks to its simplicity and it’s musically interesting with the layers of synth, but Dizzee’s verses are too unintentionally comedic with lots of forced rhyming. It’s certainly a grower, becoming more fun with each listen, but the slower pace doesn’t suit the track, though it doesn’t appear to take itself too seriously. Really not sure; needs plenty of listens. (6.5/10)
Watch the video here.

Gabrielle Aplin – Home
Onto single number four and after a strong first two singles ‘Home’ continues the downward trend that ‘Panic Cord’ started, though this is a better single than that. Minimal music-wise and lyrically laid-back, it leads to a rousing choral-ending that really emphasises the song’s message. Not as grabbing as the fun ‘Please Don’t Say You Leave Me’ but a step up from her last song and the slow build to a powerful end sells the track. (6/10)
Watch the video here.

Heaven’s Basement – Fire Fire
From ‘Red Bull Records’ – yes, they do music now – comes ‘Fire Fire’, the latest from ‘Heaven’s Basement’. Fast-paced, clichéd metal rock, it’s better than their previous single even if they drown in the tick boxes of the genre, and are inspired by your seventies / eighties rock. That said, if you enjoy your rock songs with lyrics that are sung rather than screamed, you’ll enjoy this, but the verses and chorus don’t really have any must-hear stand out moments. Fun but forgettable. (5/10)
Watch the video here.

Jason Derulo – The Other Side
You know when you have YouTube open in one tab and Facebook in another and you find the inane babblings of your friends more interesting than the music. Well, I was trying to listen to the new single from Derulo and found invites to Farmville and posts from 9gag far more engaging. Perfectly serviceable as a club track but we’ve heard it all before. Numerous times. A song that will pass the time, but is self-indulgent and pretentious. What happened to your promising earlier material Jason? (3/10)
Watch the video here.

John Legend – Who Do We Think We Are
The first single from his upcoming fifth studio album, ‘Who Do We Think We Are’ is a cool, pondering song that extrudes hipness but lacks a certain punch. Soulful and smooth, it’s a great track to sit back and chill to but lacks that killer hook to lift it up and the production layers, that are interesting in themselves, blend into a difficult to enjoy mash-up. Average, with a good idea drowning in production. (4/10)
Watch the video here.

Leah McFall – I Will Survive
Refreshingly singing a cover but turning it into a completely different sound – how many artists can truly say that? – makes this a great listen. Showcasing her very powerful voice, this interpretation is not as enjoyable as the Gloria Gaynor classic and she, at times, substitutes vocal, high-pitched wailing for actual singing, but credit to her for taking a risk and putting her own stamp on a karaoke classic. Great voice and equally brilliant interpretation but sometimes too many vocal gymnastics where understatement would be preferred. (6/10)
Watch the video here.

London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years (EP)
An EP filled up with remixes on the titular track, ‘Wasting My Young Years’ is a cross between Sinead O’Connor and Florence and the Machine, and your enjoyment of the track will depend on your tolerance for those two artists. Powerfully sung and a simple piano backing adds to the power, but it’s tricky to make out the lyrics, which seem to be thought-provoking despite of this. It’s a song that will make you stop and listen, but I’m not sure it’s one that you’d search out after a few moments in its company. (6/10)
Watch the video here.

Madness – Misery
A song that was better when sung live at the earlier Television Centre event, its studio version is still a fun slice of nutty-boy pop with a catchy chorus, though it’s not the ska band’s strongest recent single. With a breakdown of saxophone and dramatic classical piano chords making up for lacking elements elsewhere, it’s a summery song for this time of year, though it fits in nicer on the album than on its own footing. (5.5/10)
Watch the video here.

Sage The Gemini – Red Nose
In my experience you don’t so much shake it like a red nose but wear it for a few minutes as part of charity then realise it pinches the end of your own nose. These thoughts aside, this rap-rnb infusion from Sage The Gemini isn’t a half bad track, just pretty unremarkable. The stuttering chorus and haunting synth backing are pretty catchy until they switch over to be irritating, and elsewhere it’s rap-by-numbers. And it’s difficult to decide whether the video is meant to be funny. (4/10)
Watch the video here.

The Middle Eight – Greenpoint
‘Greenpoint’ is a confusing song as it doesn’t seem to have one overall theme, meandering as it does from verse to verse. It takes a fair bit to get going and even when it does I’m not sure if it was worth it. Long, tedious and soon outstaying its welcome, the chorus has its moments but it’s too little to compensate for what is a pretty lacklustre song. Not my cup of tea at all, sorry, and even the better ‘Alexandra said’ moment feels like an afterthought. (2/10)
Watch the video here.

Statik Selektah featuring Sean Price and Mac Miller – 21 & Over
Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason and here’s another contender for a ‘are they serious or are they pastiching the genre?’ The 70s-style sting and DJ-spun hook are great but elsewhere the raps are fag-packet lyrics at the best. It’s only three minutes long and it feels twice that long. His music is as good as his spelling. (1/10)
Watch the video here.

Tom Odell – The Another Love (EP)
In a week of truly awful singles, this stands head and shoulders above the rest, and would do so even in a better week of releases. A beautifully sung and written ballad that, though sombre, is hauntingly brilliant. Taking the concept of a ballad and building it up through the urgency in the vocals and the instrumentation, if this doesn’t make number one, thanks to its brilliant piano work and genuine vocal elements, I’ll be very surprised. The lead song is supported by two more tracks and a live version of a fourth. (9/10)
Watch the video here.

Tunng – The Village
Tunng are an experimental folktronica band and it shows in this five-minute long soundscape. Lacking in any standout and hookable moments, it makes up for it in progressive musical pleasure. Though it starts like a DVD-player having a fit, it grows into a sit-back and enjoy call-and-response and duet summer evening hit. It’s not the poppiest song you’ve heard this week, but after some really lacklustre releases, this is a refreshing and enjoyable listen to round off this week’s releases, and one that isn’t afraid to do something a little different. (6.5/10)
Watch the video here.

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