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This Week’s New Single Releases – 14 July Part 2

Part two of my round up of the new singles available for digital download this week.

Dirty South and Alesso feat. Ruben Haze – ‘City of Dreams’
With a discography dating back to 2005, this is my first encounter with Dirty South’ and I’m not sure if it’s someone I’ll be wanting to encounter again. Like a lot of the house and dance tracks we’ve had recently it conforms to a very familiar sound and structure. I’m getting a little tired of emotional verse, followed by the washing-machine-sounding electronic build up then a synth chorus. Heard it dozens of times before over the last few weeks; let’s move on. (3/10)
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DJ Abdel feat. Mister You, Francisco, Big Ali – ‘Funk You 2′
Building on the familiar riff of Kool and the Gang’s ‘Get Down On It’ but matching it with French verses, an English chorus and a Fatman Scoop sound-a-like who disappears as quickly as he appears, ‘Funk You 2’ is a weird mash-up of styles that, too its credit, doesn’t just rely on the really noticeable and recognisable riff. Certainly summery enough to carry off a certain level of cheesiness, there’s something about the recipe of ingredients that holds it together, even if the French verses drag on a little. Instantly forgettable but a good track to spin at the hot summer parties. (6/10)
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Ed Drewett – ‘Undefeated’
Still most famous for his work with Professor Green but behind the scenes a key writer in some massive hits, Ed Drewett goes solo. Having co-written Olly Murs’ ‘Dear Darlin”; ‘All Time Low’ and ‘Glad You Came’ by the Wanted; plus the upcoming ‘One Direction’ song, he’s perhaps given other artists some of his better material. That’s not to say ‘Undefeated’ isn’t good; it has a quirkily catchy bridge and a pretty memorable verse over a fast-paced backing, but it doesn’t have the spark some of his other writing projects have had. A grower with each listen, this is a promising start for a clearly talented young musician. (6.5/10)
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Edwyn Collins – ‘Too Bad (That’s Sad)’
Having recovered from a serious illness several years ago, Edwyn “Orange Juice – Rip It Up” Collins is back with this new song, a definite retro-throwback to the sixties mixed in with some Northern Soul influences. With a certain Lou Reed-sound to it, this is a slick, classically produced, low-key song. It might not be the most explosive or grabbing track released in this bumper week of singles, but it certainly has heart and a really listenable sound and a neatly segued guitar solo thrust into its middle. (6.5/10)
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Gauntlet Hair – ‘Human Nature’
Self-proclaimed ‘Noise Pop’ artists, this difficult tune is taken from their second album. ‘Human Nature’ is a messy, blurred up song of distorted vocals and crashing music tracks. Sounding at times like a new DJ badly mixing up two songs, it’s sombre, distant vocals and dark sounds aren’t really my cup of tea. Not an enjoyable listen; I don’t think I’ll be adding ‘Noise Pop’ to my personal preferred list of genres. (2/10)
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Glasvegas – ‘If’
‘If’ is the second single from their third album and kudos for the band for getting William Shatner to introduce it as part of a mock-TV show. Fitting in with their familiar downbeat sound, Glasvegas have still not really avoided the dour Scottish stereotype. Like some of their other hits, the choruses and hooks prove difficult to find and grab onto. Fans of the band will be at home with the recognisable sound and style, but it’s just one that I find myself struggling to embrace, and even with a hijacking of the Talking Heads classic ‘Road To Nowhere’ and a chorus that does show some of its hand with each listen, there’s still something lacking. Perhaps they’re also embracing ‘Noise Pop’ like the last entry? (2/10)
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J Appiah – ‘I Ain’t Rich… Yet’
‘I Ain’t Rich… Yet’ is J Appiah’s international debut and, though it may have all the tropes in the title and video opening, that it’s going to be another rags-to-riches rap track, this is in fact a cut-back acoustic-guitar led Ed Sheeran-mirroring ballad. With a strong voice and an eye for a good lyric, this will please fans of the aforementioned Sheeran, but like his music can seem at times, this lacks the killer sound to really lift it off the page. With the verses tying themselves up in knots at time, and too many vocal acrobatics at the expense of a solid effort, it’s not a perfect record, but it’ll have its fans. (3/10)
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Katerine – ‘Sexy Cool’
I’m not quite sure what to say about this record. Coming across as a spoof but without the music to back it up, a lot of what he’s saying is lost in translation. The repetitive synth music drowns out the vocals, which in this case isn’t too much of a bad thing. Sexy cool? Not really. (2/10)
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K Koke feat. Bridget Kelly – ‘My Time’
Clearly inspired by Alicia Keys, songstress Bridget Kelly opens up the record and holds the piece together between some sparky raps from K Koke. It’s not the most remarkable record you’ll hear this week, lacking as it does any of its own identity. Kelly owns the song and could be a promising new figure in 2013, but elsewhere it’s very much a middle of the road track, no matter how many strings they put on it. (4/10)
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