Single Reviews – 16 September
Guest contributor Philip Lickley takes us through his pick of the coming weeks single releases.
Delilah – ’Shades of Grey’
Buy: Shades Of Grey
Delilah’s fifth single from her latest album has nothing officially to do with the famous similarly titled novel but the singer’s breathy vocals and sensual lyrics would fit in well and the release is perhaps timed nicely with it. The track itself is very similar to her previous tracks but has perhaps more of a hook to grab on this time round, though it’s still a little bit too floaty and airy for my tastes. A better single than her previous ones thanks to its slow but catchy chorus, mixture of vocals and production, but it still feels like it never gets really going and the Nelly Furtado style vocal shifts don’t work as well as they could.
Emilia Mitiku – ’So Wonderful’
Buy: So Wonderful
Swedish pop singer Mitiku’s ‘So Wonderful’ is a beautifully put together ballad to summertime, sounding very much like the cousin of Corrine Bailey Rae’s ‘Put Your Records On’ though with the tempo pushed down even more. With a life-affirming, enjoyably relaxing chorus, this is great to put on to make you feel better. It might be a little formulaic with its strings and production but it ticks the boxes of its genre and stands out from it, throwing in a fun plinky-plonky guitar solo in for good measure.
Example – ’Say Nothing’
Buy: Say Nothing
Another advance single for his next album, ‘Say Nothing’ is not a track that is going to be liked by English teachers due to its un-grammatically correct title. That aside, it’s very much a business track for Example with nothing particularly outstanding about it, with the chorus not too bad but only appearing after some lengthy and stretched-out verses. He throws a speedy rap into it and there are some nicely timed woos, but neither can save it from being a mid-par Example track.
Katie Melua- ’The Walls Of The World’
Buy: The Walls Of The World
Another Melua cover of a Mike Batt song, this one isn’t as strong as the grabbing ‘Better Than A Dream’. As a laid-back album track it works well but as a standalone single it doesn’t really have the guts to stand on its own. ‘The Walls Of The World’ is perfectly listenable as a tune but it’s not her best single with verses and choruses that don’t quite flow particularly excitingly.
Kimbra – ’Two Way Street’
Buy: Two Way Street
Stepping out of Gotye’s shadow, Kimbra releases what looks to be her first UK single and, after her brilliant contribution to the number one from earlier in the year, this isn’t a particularly great follow-up. Over a repetitive jingly back tune she sings a series of verses and choruses that sound like they’re from a different song that seemed to wander from her mouth with no sense of purpose, fitting badly over the tune. Coming in at over four minutes, the track soon outstays its welcome and drags on. Sorry, Kimbra, not that impressed.
The Maccabees – ’Ayla’
The fourth single from their ‘Given To The Wild’ album boasts some perky piano playing with their usual downbeat drawl over the top and some great guitar that comes in. The chorus kicks it up a little but the drawl does become too much in the verses and it sounds like they are performing an oral examination at a dentist at time. A better single in a poor week of releases and the music pulls it through.
Pitbull feat. Shakira – ’Get It Started’
Buy: Get It Started
Shakira returns from obscurity to join up with Pitbull on this two-handed record, showing off her vocal work again. The juxtaposition between her slower-paced chorus, the typical beats and Pitbull’s generic out-of-the-tin rap works, even if the individual elements are things we’ve heard before so many times with some ridiculous rhyming from Pitbull, who takes his ‘Mr Worldwide’ thing to ridiculous lengths. Shakira’s bits are well sung and composed, but the rest is just a generic collection of elements, albeit elements that work in parts, and a four minute plus running time is a little generous for what it has in its arsenal.
The View – ’The Clock’
Buy: The Clock
Second single from their ‘Cheeky For A Reason’ album has a lot of guts behind the words and the song, and the lyrics are well worth listening to, but it’s not their strongest single and the music never becomes anything more than a listenable accompaniment to the words. It has its moments, and the building verse near the end, kicks it up a bit, and is quite a grower.
Dappy – ‘Good Intentions’
Buy: Good Intentions [Explicit]
A more emotional song from the former N-Dubz frontman that sees him dishing out a lot of vitriol over the mic. Though not a million miles away in style and intention from ‘No Regrets’, it’s still another good single from the rapper. It’s the weakest of his singles so far, lacking the magic of ‘Rockstar’, but it’s not a disappointment to hear.