Single Reviews – 7 May
Philip Lickley provides his views on this week’s big single releases. If you want to contribute to All-Noise, get in touch on [email protected]
Ben Howard – ’Only Love’
Buy Only Love
‘Only Love’ by Ben Howard is a long, rambling song that is the dictionary definition of a song that never gets going. Though relaxing, stripped back and sung well it’s just a little, well, boring and lacks any oomph. If you are wanting to sit back and chill out with a blissful backing tune then this is for you – but otherwise it’s just missing any killer hook to really grab you in.
Darren Hayes – ’Stupid Mistake’
Buy Stupid Mistake
The former Savage Garden frontman is back with this fourth cut from his latest album. Though not the best song on the album, it’s a fun slice of the brand of emotional pop that Hayes specialises in. With a memorable chorus over a string and piano backing that is given space to breath, it’s not one of his standout songs like ‘Black Out The Sun’ but it will please his fans and will find a good spot on radio playlists and as part of a mix-tape. Definitely a grower and fun to listen to, with a skilled break down, but middle of the ground from Hayes.
Engelbert Humperdinck – ’Love Will Set you Free’
Buy Love Will Set You Free
And so we come to our Eurovision entry for the year, randomly dragging Humperdinck out of career obscurity, to bring us this slow ballad. UK entries tend to be much more uptempo than this, or the trademark power ballad is whipped out, so it’s refreshing to have something a little different. This slow ballad over a simple guitar ticks the Eurovision boxes with key changes and a distinct hook. It certainly improves with each listen but its melancholy nature takes a bit of getting used to. A good enough entry but not as fun as our previous submissions and it sounds like a low-key number in a low-key musical and, even if we could win against political voting, I don’t think this is the song to take us to the top.
Far East Movement ft Justin Bieber – ’Live My Life’
Buy Live My Life (2 Tracks)
Perhaps seeking a little credibility, though not sure if F.E.M. is the key to that, Justin Bieber appears on this record singing the simple chorus and doesn’t sound quite like he’s happy to be doing so or at least being autotuned. In between his, admittedly catchy chorus, is some clichéd club beats and textbook rapping from the rest of the Far East crew. It’s a harmless enough track but the lyrics were probably literally written on the back of a beer mat. Sounds like a poor copy of every track in this genre but fun enough while it lasts.
Gossip – ’Perfect World’
Buy Perfect World
Gossip are back with the first cut off their new album ‘A Joyful Noise’, and for those only familiar with their debut single this will be a surprise sound. A much more mature record it perhaps doesn’t have the commercial hook of ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ but is no less good. Beth Ditto’s lead vocals are great to listen to and fit in with the atmospheric backing perfectly and the vocal tricks fit really well. Building from quieter verses to more bombastic choruses the elements work together to create a song that mixes up their old sound with those of contemporaries such as Adele. Great to hear Gossip back especially with top returning material like this.
JD McPherson feat. Jimmy Sutton and Alex Hall – ’North Side Gal’
Buy North Side Gal
Available to download for free, this retro-fifties sounding record is one of those songs you can hear and not realise it’s actually a modern release. With elements of Chubby Checkers’ ‘Let’s Twist Again’, the clear and crisp sound and classic sound work together well and the mix of drum, bass and saxophone make for an enjoyable three minutes. It might not really do anything incredible over its running time but if you like your retro sounds you’ll love this.
Kasabian – ’Man Of Simple Pleasures’
Buy Man Of Simple Pleasures
The fourth cut from their Velociraptor! album and the best of the singles I’ve heard in my opinion. From the very opening notes that sound very Arctic Monkeys mixed with Gorillaz, the song grabs your attention and the repeating riff underneath the lyrics is the best they’ve done in a while. Musically accomplished I’m not entirely sure what makes this better than their recent hits but it is certainly and well worth a listen. Plus the video is very clever.
Paul Freeman – ’Tightrope’
Buy Tightrope (UK Remix)
A re-release of an EP two years later, ‘Tightrope’ is an indie hit with pop undertones with positive, uplifting set of lyrics. The rock may be a little over-powering at times but the soaring vocals and production make this sound great and even two years down the line it is worth listening to. It’s not particular revolutionary in the indie rock genre, sounding like a perkier Jamie Hartman, but it’s a welcome addition to it.
Rita Ora ft Tinie Tempah- ’R.I.P’
Finished being ‘Hot Right Not’ with DJ Fresh, Rita Ora teams up with the excellent Tinie Tempah who contributes a short but welcome rap at the opening of this song. After this it’s pretty much over to Rita who brings us a club-friendly song with some neat production trickery. Originally written for Rihanna, Rita Ora does a top job of the record, sounding like Rihanna but putting her own spin on it, delivering a catchy chorus even if the segmented verses sound a bit unusual. Though it does seemingly borrow the similar pacing of the title from 3OH!3s similarly titled tune, it’s an inspiring debut even if perhaps the individual sections of the song don’t quite gel together as well as they could do.