This weeks single reviews were submitted by Philip Lickley. To contribute to All-Noise, send your music news, views and reviews to [email protected]
Single Reviews – 26th March
All American Rejects – ’Beekeeper’s Daughter’
Buy Beekeeper’s Daughter
With a nod towards Weezer’s ‘Beverley Hills’ and the general style of Panic! At The Disco, with enough bee-metaphors to keep Stephen Fry’s apiarist happy, ‘Beekeeper’s Daughter’ is a fun slice of up-tempo indie rock with catchy trumpet riffs and na-na-nas thrown in for good measure, alongside a quick guitar solo. The lyrics and song structure may be jam-packed with clichés but it’s a radio-friendly enjoyable tune that doesn’t rock the boat.
Charlie Simpson – ’Farmer And His Gun’
Buy Farmer & His Gun
Having left behind both Busted and Fightstar, here is Charlie Simpsons’ fourth solo single. I’d be surprised that when you hear this track you would immediately equate it with Simpson. His voice is more mature, gravelly and emotive, far more layers than his bubble-gum pop then screamy-rock past would suggest. Pleasantly stripped back with a perfectly matched acoustic guitar, piano, drum and harmonica this is a beautiful song to hear and a real surprise from this artist.
Chris Brown – ’Turn Up The Music’
Buy Turn Up The Music
Taken from his upcoming fifth album ‘Turn Up The Music’ is exactly the sort of song you’d expect from Chris Brown. Full of club tunes, a catchy chorus and multi-layered vocals, the bridge is better than the actual full chorus and contains a potentially misjudged lyric line that immediately makes you think of LMFAO’s cult second single. It’s not the most original track and no big departure for Brown, and in fact it’s not quite up there with his better hits, but it’ll go down well in the clubs, fitting pretty well in with what’s currently played.
Clement Marfo & the Frontline feat. Kano – ’Mayhem’
Buy Mayhem (feat. Kano)
Within the first few notes it sounds like it’s going to be another by-numbers dubstep track but, actually, with some speedy, addictive rapping from Kano and some simple but building guitar work in it, it defies expectation. With a great build up to the chorus, which itself sticks in your head, it at times borrows some concepts from The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Galvanise’ but uses these to make it a little more memorable. I’m not entirely sure about the breakdown in it as the track loses momentum, but I can see this being a big grower thanks to its plethora of vocal and instrumental hooks.
James Morrison – ’One Life’
Buy One Life
The fourth single from his most recent album, ‘One Life’ is receiving more airplay than his previous singles thanks to more of a return to form. Though the chorus gets its kick from its repetition, this downbeat ballad wallows in a gloomy sound but with a positive build and chorus, emphasised by Morrison’s silky vocals and the nicely orchestrated backing. It’s not his biggest track but it’s a soothing listen and a pleasant enough addition to his discography and the lyrics are deep and beg to be listened to and understood.
Jason Mraz – ’I Won’t Give Up’
Buy I Won’t Give Up
Following James Morrison here is another slow song that asks you to pay close attention to the lyrics. Soft, slow and mournful, with a sense of familiarity coming from its Damien Rice-esque sound, it is a beautiful track that sounds like a modern classic ballad even if at times it wanders into boyband-ballad territory and delays the chorus’ re-appearance for too long. Throw in some choral backing and you have a smooth, touching ballad.
Lostprophets – ’Bring ‘Em Down’
Buy Bring ’em Down
Starting with the fastest guitar playing I’ve heard in a while and a beat that sounds like the drummer is having a breakdown and wants to punish his drum, it’s a well-produced track that mixes in their expected sound with something a little bit different. If you’re a fan of Lostprophets then it’s not a huge departure and the track doesn’t really stand out and stick, but it’s good enough while it lasts.
Plan B – ’Ill Manors’
Buy ill Manors [Explicit]
Plan B returns more to his roots with this cut from his third “soundtrack” album to a film of the same name. With some fantastic lyrics and observations delivered at break-neck speed throughout its verses, this is even after my first listen my favourite Plan B track. The chorus doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the verses but it’s a song that manages to be a great listen, well-written and full of great lines and observations about last year’s London riots. It even manages to throw in a classical sample just to make it even more of a bag of tricks.