Single Reviews – 29 July
The best of this weeks single releases reviewed by Philip Lickley.
A$AP Rocky – ’Goldie’
Buy: Goldie [Explicit]
In much the same way they said about the Righteous Brothers, is someone running this at the wrong speed as it sounds incredibly deep at the start but then turns into a more traditionally sounding rap song. Recently seen in the Lana Del Rey ‘National Anthem’ video A$AP Rocky is undoubtedly a talented rapper and over a simple synth base with a MGMT / Chiddy Bang style choral backing the track works, but it does seem like he was under the challenge to actually, rather than saying something meaningful in his record, throw as many swear words and explicit sexual images into three minutes as possible. It sounds good with great production and a fast-pace but it’s a regression in the genre. At least Eminem had something to say when he was cussing.
Calvin Harris feat. Example – ’We’ll Be Coming Back’
Buy: We’ll Be Coming Back
Unbelievably the fourth single from an album not yet released, ‘We’ll Be Coming Back’ is far better than some of his more recent singles thanks to its well constructed drum beat (that is until the expected electronic drum roll kicks in) but it still doesn’t escape the feeling of familiarity of his records recently which are musically increasingly similar, not helped by the included vocals of Example who increases the familiarity. It’s an enjoyable track to hear on the radio with some well made verse progression and a perky, summery feel but it doesn’t have the magic of Harris’ breakthrough work.
Disclosure feat. Ria Ritchie – ’Control’
With echoes of Kelis’ early work, ‘Control’ sees a retro return to some old style 1990s garage. Aurally it’s an experimental three-and-a-half minutes in a sound that’s not been heard for a long time. Its lack of a distinct chorus or hook is a definite disadvantage but it’s a well constructed piece and very laid-back, but lacks a little something to make it a must hear.
Karima Francis – ’Glory Days’
Buy: Glory Days
After the enjoyable ‘Wherever I Go’, ‘Glory Days’ takes her style and gives it a good kick, generating a better song. With soaring music and her strong, determined vocals and a singable, powerful chorus, this is a definite highlight of the week. Continuing her Tracy Chapman themed lyrics but producing something more dynamic and interesting, with an almost filmic orchestral section two-thirds in, this suggests Francis should be destined for good things.
Scissor Sisters – ’Baby Come Home’
Buy: Baby Come Home [Explicit]
Though there’s some confusion over when this is actually out – it’s listing now shows last week but wasn’t listed then – the one thing that isn’t confusing is how good this song is. After the dancier ‘Only The Horses’ and frankly strange ‘Shady Love’ this is the Scissor Sisters at the height of their power. With a fun, lyrically truncated opening and the best piano backing in their tracks since ‘Laura’ with a joyful, singable chorus and a powerful lead from Jake Shears, this is pop music at its best and their best single in a long time. Tinged with pop-gospel elements and some excellent multi-tracked vocals, this is a must download. Oh, and the video is brilliant.
Wiley feat. Rhymez & Ms. D – Heatwave
Kicking straight into the lyrics over a thumping orchestral backing this is a weird mix of elements but it works. With some of Wiley’s best rapping in a while, it’s mixed with a simple and repetitive chorus from Ms. D and some reggae-esque / dancehall lines from Rhymez. It’s not particularly incredibly lyrically – there are references to ice-cream men and Slush Puppies – or thematically but it has summer hit written all over it. It doesn’t stick with one style long enough to bore you and that’s probably its secret. Enjoy this heatwave as we’re not sure if we’ll get anything like that in real life.