Single Reviews – 17 June
This weeks singles rated and slated by Philip Lickley….
Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa – ’Payphone’
Following the insanely catchy ‘Moves Like Jagger’ with Christina Aguilera as a bonus track on their previous album, here is the lead track from their upcoming Overexposed album. Far poppier than their earlier material and building on the success of their last single’s exposure, this is a grower with a chorus delivered in their signature falsetto-esque track that is one of the best they’ve ever done even if the opening is unlikely – who uses payphones in 2012? – and verses that kick along with the drumbeat march even if they are determined to be drowned out in the video that accompanies the release. Wiz Khalifa’s fast-paced rap that drops in nearer the end is a little clichéd but like Aguilera’s contribution adds another great element to an already enjoyable track, but the smattering of expletives through the song is perhaps them all trying to sound cooler than they actually are.
Nell Bryden – ’Buildings and Treetops’
Available as a free download on Facebook, ‘Buildings and Treetops’ is a heartfelt ballad sung powerfully over a guitar backing. Though plenty of talent has gone into the record it doesn’t particularly do much that hasn’t been done before. The lyrics are well written and delivered well, with a few hints making her sound like a female Morten Harket, but it’s nothing particularly special unfortunately.
Sam Sparro – ’I Wish I Never Met You’
Buy: I Wish I Never Met You
Four years after ‘Black And Gold’, his UK debut and one of only two tracks to chart here, comes ‘I Wish I Never Met You’ from his second album Return To Paradise. ‘It’s been way too long’ sings Sparro on this mid-paced track over a shaky drum beat but it doesn’t seem to have been long enough to come up with something that can match the instant appeal of his breakout song. By the end the chorus, sometimes clever rhyming and interesting mix of elements on the record sticks in your head but there’s something about his voice on this record that doesn’t quite sound right and though it has its moments it isn’t what I’d hope from Sparro’s return. And ‘I squeeze you out like a black-head’ is probably not 2012’s best lyric.
Stooshe – ’Black Heart’
Buy: Black Heart
Second single proper from RnB Nicki Minaj-look-a-likes Stooshe is a slower, more atmospheric and soulful, and far better track than their debut, though still with shades of that sound. Resembling retro Motown – until they slip into Mockney singing at times – this is a smooth track that proves they can sing as well as rap. It should do well in the charts, though they still can’t resist including a little bit of their talk-rap near the end which almost kills the atmosphere.