This weeks single releases – 4th March (part 1)
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More single reviews for you from Philip Lickley. If you would like to contribute to All-Noise, send your music news, views and reviews to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dot Rotten – ’Are You Not Entertained?’[rating:4/5] Buy Are You Not Entertained?
Though his name might conjure up images of June Brown from Eastenders starting a rap career, Dot Rotten is a talented rapper that should have been in the top five of this year’s BBC ‘Sound Of’ poll rather than in the runner-ups. Built around a well produced rap and a hook-filled chorus sung not by a guest act but Rotten himself, it is the rap equivalent of Robbie’s ‘Let Me Entertain You’ in lyrical content with the fun of one of Eminem’s more light-hearted tracks. With a speedy flow and lyrics that stay just away from cliché – and when they do, like in the spelling out of his “surname”, it still works. The only shame about the song is its three-minutes goes by too quickly.
Enter Shikari – ’Arguing With Thermometers’[rating:2/5] Buy Arguing With Thermometers [Explicit]
The musical equivalent of a Christmas selection box, ‘Arguing With Thermometers’ can’t decide what it wants to be. Is it the almost-parody-like screaming metal track that it starts as, or the great fast-paced indie-style verse that gets a thumbs up, or the poor rapping section that thrusts political messages over a schizophrenic, untimely drum beat? It’s almost as if they couldn’t decide whether it was indie, grunge or rap and thus decided to mix all the ingredients together and come up with this mess of a track where for every interesting verse and well put together synth line there’s an equal section of noise. “Back to the drawing board, boys”. Yes, I think so.
Estelle – ’Thank You’[rating:1.5/5] Buy Thank You
After a fair few years away from the spotlight, Estelle is back with this sitar-sampling ballad which is much more mature than what I’ve heard from her before. Sadly, although her voice is on top form and her new sound is a pleasant surprise, the track isn’t really anything special and doesn’t particularly go anywhere exciting, especially as it trundles along for too long. A shame.
Jakwob feat. Jetta – ’Electrify’[rating:2.5/5] Buy Electrify
The third single from the dubstep DJ, ‘Electrify’ starts in very much the same way that every song in this genre does, throwing you for what follows for the other 90% of the song, but once Jetta begins her vocals it becomes much more restrained and enjoyable with a hooky synth line and pseudo-strings, and an uptempo chorus that fights against the questionable electronic dubstep backing to try and deliver a fun tune. It doesn’t always win the battle but when it does it’s a good listen thanks to Jetta’s vocals and its heavier synth focus than you’d expect, but it’s not actually anything amazing.
Marcus Collins – ’Seven Nation Army’[rating:3/5] Buy Seven Nation Army
Now if I’d heard this without being aware of certain facts I’d praise it for its excellent interpretation of The White Stripes’ classic hit, turning it from a guitar-riff-heavy rock track into a chill-out orchestral soul-hit that is – whisper it – perhaps a little better than the original. However, what it actually is, is a poorer imitation of a lesser-known, very similar sounding but better produced, 2009 adaptation by Ben L’oncle Soul. Great song, even better cover, but a lazy cash-in of someone else’s style adaptation and one that I bet a lot of people will credit as an invention of this chap. It’s an eight out of ten for the final production but I’m knocking a few points off for the laziness of this re-recording by numbers. Download the original instead.