Single Reviews – 21 May
This weeks singles reviewed and rated by regular contributor Philip Lickley. If you would like to contribute to All-Noise, get in touch here: [email protected].
Spector – ’Celestine’
The Killers’ sounding Spector release ‘Celestine’ and it’s the most exciting release of the week to listen to. Though coming in at just over three minutes, it crams in a guitar-pounding poppy chorus, a vocal drop, a stand-out bridge and a general feeling of fun amongst the music, sort of a rockier Kaiser Chiefs. Very enjoyable, singable and bodes well for their upcoming album.
Alt-J – ’Breezeblocks’
An unusual sounding record both from the sound of the singer’s voice and the multiple layered backing. Though it’s difficult to make out what he’s singing in parts, there’s something addictive about the record’s production and flip between stripped back sections to more choral atmospheric parts with a conclusion that mashes up a fun guitar riff and a simple, but catchy, hooky chorus. Low-key but well put together.
Mayer Hawthorne feat. Rizzle Kicks – ’The Walk’
Buy: The Walk
Andrew Cohen, known here as Mayer Hawthorne, must have a good manager as his guest appearance on the verses between Rizzle Kicks’ rapping surely makes him the feature artist not the headliner. Crediting aside, ‘The Walk’ is a jazzy, summery tune that mixes in a retro sound and instrumentation with more modern styles. Very laid back, the track doesn’t really aim to make much of an impact. If you want a song to chill out to then this is perfect but this positive is also its negative as it doesn’t really do anything in the final few minutes that it hasn’t already in the first one.
Newton Faulkner – ’Write It On Your Skin’
Buy: Write It On Your Skin
‘Write It On Your Skin’, from Faulkner’s ‘Sketches EP’, is an eccentric track with a jaunty, bouncy verse that leads into a calming bridge and then a more powerful chorus. Never remaining static for long, it’s a mix of great vocal styles and production effects that make for a fun to hear story song with multiple sides to it.
Paloma Faith – ’Picking Up The Pieces’
Buy: Picking Up The Pieces
This lead single and opening track of her upcoming second album Fall To Grace is very much a return to form for Faith and is as good as, if not better, than her previous singles. Displaying a powerful voice on a building bridge and chorus, even if the theme of the song has been done many times before the story told is involving and delivered brilliantly and the hooks of the song are apparent even on the first listen. ‘Picking Up The Pieces’ ends on a crescendo with a great mix of voices and helps it stand out as a great piece of pop. Welcome back Paloma.
Pitbull – ’Back In Time’
Buy: Back In Time
Taking ‘Love Is Strange’ from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack and adding some more modern twists on it and Pitbull’s rapping, here is the lead single from the new Men In Black III film. Once you’ve got over the disappointment that it’s not a new single from Will Smith, who released a fantastic single for both of the previous films, there’s still a lot to enjoy here with the mix of the country-styled guitar, Pitbull’s fast and varied rap and the, frankly, unusual sounding sample. Throw in a hooky break-down and a nod towards dubstep and there’s a whole lot thrown at the wall on this song. Granted, not all of it sticks and it does seem to be doing too much in one song, but it’s a decent enough movie tune, although I can’t help feeling a new track from Will Smith would have been better… (7/10)
Rumer – P.F. Sloan
Buy: P.F. Sloan
This cover of a 1970s track by Jimmy Webb about the titular singer-songwriter is not a massive departure from the original, retaining the ‘no’ hook as the centrepiece of the song, but Rumer’s sultry vocals certainly add more to the track over a simple guitar riff. Relaxing and well put together, it might not be a revolution over the original but it’s a worthy re-imainging and even manages to throw in a short guitar solo, key change and multi-layered ending before it comes to a close.
The Wanted – ’Chasing The Sun’
Buy: Chasing The Sun
Typing ‘tired club beats’ into their production computer and pressing ‘make’, ‘Chasing The Sun’ by The Wanted is the result and the co-writing credit from Example is obvious when you hear it. It’s nothing revolutionary but if you’ve enjoyed their previous singles then this fits in well. Unashamedly poppy but with the club overtones present throughout its DNA it’ll sound good on the radio but is forgettable.