Single Reviews – 2 September
Find out what’s been tickling Philip Lickley’s ear drums this week and download the pick of the week’s single releases….
Cheryl – ’Under The Sun’
Buy: Under The Sun
Sounding like her vocals have been pushed through the same tool that makes the Dalek’s sound like they do on Doctor Who during the chorus, ‘Under The Sun’ is a slower track than you’d expect from Cheryl, but it certainly captures the summer feel with some fun production choices like the chanting in parts and the simple but bouncy drum section. The chorus is catchy and almost up there with her bigger hits and hooks you in, though the vocal effects do start to grate. Also, like a nod to that famous Two Ronnies comedy song where the second repeat bit says something rude the song includes the tongue-in-cheek line of ‘go down on me’ as the line is repeated. Quite.
Emin – ’Walk Through Walls’
Buy: Walk Through Walls
After the enjoyable ‘Baby Get Higher’, Emin is back with another listenable single. ‘Walk Through Walls’ is nothing revolutionary but it’s driving drum beat, use of backing vocals to add a more epic-feel to the sound and its perky, life-affirming sound and lyrics make this a great listen. With a powerful break-down and come back thrown in, you’ve probably heard a million and one songs like this, but I’m not going to complain about this million and second.
Ne-Yo – ’Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)’
Buy: Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)
After some pretty good songs from Ne-Yo we now get one that mixes in his typical sound with some stereotypical club beats and synths. If you’re a Ne-Yo fan or fancy enjoying a 2012-style club track then you’ll love this, but for everyone else it’s just more of the same. The chorus, with its drum-clapping, does grow quickly, but Ne-Yo is let down by the clichéd music and can do better.
Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen – ’Good Time’
Buy: Good Time
I suppose it was inevitable that two of the biggest forces in bubblegum pop would get together. With the music sounding less like Owl City than usual, an act that finds it difficult to make each song sound different, the inclusion of Carly Rae Jepsen adds a new level and they make a fun, listenable partnership. You might hate the whole idea of this song and collaboration but you won’t be able to stop it sticking in your head thanks to its catchy chorus, clapping, call and response break-down section and memorable synth riffs. Oh, and a children’s choir effect at the end for good measure. Designed to make you sing and remember it, this is a classic piece of bubblegum pop.
Pink – ’Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’
Buy: Blow Me (One Last Kiss) (Explicit Version)
The lead single from Pink’s upcoming sixth album, the Carry-on titled ‘Blow Me (One Last Kiss)’, takes its lead from Kelly Clarkson, in particular ‘Stronger’, and takes this mould and pops it up a little. It’ll take a few listens to really settle in with you but it’s hooks will soon become apparent thanks to its use of rhyming and key changing, even if her overuse of the word ‘shit’, though fitting in with her image, does undermine what is otherwise a well-constructed and written songs, though it never does live up to the powerful synth riff that opens the record but it’s multiple hooks almost reach back up there.
Ronan Keating – ’Fires’
The first single from his ninth album ‘Fires’ is quite a shift in style for Keating and sounds more like a track I’d expect from Morten Harket. The repetitive chorus perhaps doesn’t live up to the powerful, emotive verses, but the layering of vocals and the orchestral backing really kick the track up a level. With a powerful opening and piano line, it’s perhaps not a classic in his discography but it’s a strong return even if does run out of steam by the end.
The Script feat. Will.I.Am – ’Hall Of Fame’
Buy: Hall of Fame
The band led by that guy from The Voice collaborates with the other chap from The Voice to create a straight-forward but memorable ballad even if it does sound too similar to the Lonely Island’s comical song ‘Space Olympics’. More uptempo than The Script’s previous songs, Will.I.Am’s contribution is perhaps not as pronounced as in his other partnerships and most of the work is done by The Script, and it does get a little preachy at times amongst its inspirational lines, but it’s a great return by the band with a motivating falsetto chorus and some clever use of rhyming.
The Vaccines – ’Teenage Icon’
Buy: Teenage Icon
‘Teenage Icon’ is not quite up there with ‘Norgaard’ or ‘If You Wanna’ but it’s not a bad follow-up. The vocals on the verses aren’t particularly great to listen to and it sounds like Oasis on a bad day dragging out the vocals as if recovering from a big night the night before. Musically it’s up there, though, and the chorus belies the poorer verses. I think it’ll be a grower though based on its bouncy chorus.
Van Morrison – ’Open The Door (To Your Heart)’
Buy: Open The Door (To Your Heart)
A smooth, laid back jazzy track built up as the track progresses, it sounds like Elvis Costello mixed with Randy Newman and is very cool and calm in its delivery. Switch on and sit back and drink it in as it’s a pleasant band-delivered jazz tune with Morrison’s distinctive and silky vocals on top. It’s not a big departure from similar sounding songs but it’s definitely worth a listen.