Single Reviews – 9 September
The pick of this weeks new single releases from guest writer Philip Lickley. If you would like to contribute to All-Noise get in touch on [email protected]
Amelia Lily – ’You Bring Me Joy’
Buy: You Bring Me Joy
Another X-Factor finalist with a debut single – she came third in last year’s competition – and it’s a little bit clubbier than I expected. The beats may be a little derivative of other similar tunes but lyrically it’s stronger than your usual Ibiza fodder. It’s certainly designed for clubbing nights or for dance radio stations but its extra depth makes it better. It’s not the strongest X-Factor debut ever but it’s not a wash-out and its elements blend well together, even though the chorus oscillates between toe-tapping memorability and repetitive annoyance depending on how you’re feeling.
The Killers – ’Runaways’
The first Killers non-Christmas single release in a shocking three and a half years – following the excellent ‘Day and Age’ album – they’re back with this first cut from ‘Battle Born’. Owing a lot of lead singer Brandon Flowers’ dalliance away on a solo career – this is the sister track of “Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts” – this is a very strong comeback for the band. Though not as immediately catchy as ‘Human’ it does grow with each listen thanks to the driving train-like drum beat that makes up the bridge and the strong story-telling lyrics that throw a mixture of emotions at you. With a depth that is appreciated after a few listens, it’s a track that rewards multiple hearings until its chorus-found singability becomes apparent.
Labrinth – ’Treatment’
The track that I knew should be a single when I heard the album – far better than last release ‘Express Yourelf’ – brings up the release of now half the album as singles. That aside, this is truly a deserving single. From its throbbing riff and vocal bits that kick off the song with a building tempo, to its singable catchy chorus, this sums up the quality of Labrinth’s album. Chuck in some well layered production effects and vocal trickery, plus an atmospheric and mood-setting bridge, and you get a cracking piece of pop. I’m just surprised it’s taken this long to be released.
Mumford and Sons – ’I Will Wait’
Buy: I Will Wait
In a song that must get an award for the quickest, explosive start in a while, this lead single from their second album ‘Babel’ – but a re-recording of a previous b-side – shows very little change in their familiar style. The five minutes of the song managed to wash over me without me really hearing what the song is about, as it doesn’t have very much that grabs you. Certainly no ‘The Cave’ or ‘Little Lion Man’, it never really gets going and though it has its moments it’s the blandest song I’ve heard by them. The guitar work makes the record but it doesn’t make it enough. It’s perfectly pleasant as a piece of music but that’s a bland statement in itself. It’s a grower but not the lead cut it could and should be.
Plan B – ’Deepest Shame’
Buy: Deepest Shame
An adaption from an older 2008 track called ‘Michelle’, this is the third single from the ‘ill Manors’ film OST and Ben Drew, next week seen in the new ‘The Sweeney’ movie adding another string to his impressive bow, returns to the musical style of his previous album rather than his rapping, though he does include some rap verses in this. The shift in vocal style in the song is impressive and doesn’t sound like the same artist. It’s not as grabbing as the album’s title track but the smooth, sombre chorus and gritty story-telling vocals, work well together and becomes quite an interesting track, with a well-done piano riff, but it’s not one of his stronger pieces.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – ’Magpies On Fire / Victorian Machinery’
Buy:Magpies On Fire / Victorian Machinery
It’s time for another double-a-side release of RHCP b-sides from their most recent album. ‘Magpies On Fire’ is definite b-side material after the particularly strong pair of songs I reviewed last time. Starting off as a little Beatles-esque it’s a fun enough listen but seems to meander on with little direction for a long time. ‘Victorian Machinery’, with its name presumably coming partly from the industrial style tune with cranking gears, is again nothing particularly special but perhaps the better of the two thanks to its flowing verses and grungier chorus, and more exciting musical elements, but it’s not as exciting a package as the last one.
Tulisa ft Tyga – ’Live It Up’
Buy: Live It Up
So here is Tulisa’s second single and it’s a change in direction from ‘Young’. Though the chorus is fun in its Caribbean-style and chants, the slower-paced verses with the frankly annoying backing vocals damage the song. Tyga’s rap two-thirds in isn’t anything particularly special and has to compete with the backing vocals again. With back-of-a-cigarette-packet lyrics and no really big hook, it’s not a great follow up.