What Love Is Made Of

Single Reviews (7th July 2013) – Part 1

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

Bloc Party – ‘Ratchet’
Taken from their August-released ‘The Nextwave Sessions’ ‘Ratchet’ is their best single since their golden period featuring the same love for a unique style that made ‘Hunting For Witches’ or ‘Flux’ exciting to listen to. It lacks the immediate hooks of those records but the gritty guitar work and eccentric structure and production values really make it stand out. It lacks the catchiness of some of their bigger hits and thus some of the memorability but is very listenable while it’s on. Plus the video is really trippy. (7/10)
Watch the video.

Casseurs Flowters – ‘Bloqué’
‘Blocked’ is, from trying to work out the lyrics via the random, but attention-holding video, a little tongue-in-cheek with a wide variety of references. A catchy slice of French-electro, but not in the style of Daft Punk, it doesn’t quite have enough ideas to keep you going for the whole three-plus minutes but there’s something grabbing about the relentless energy even without a full comprehension of what on earth they’re singing about. The verses, with their two-level production, feel more solid than the repetitive chorus, but it’s certainly something different. And not enough songs mention the viral sneezing panda clip. (6.5/10)
Watch the video.

Gabz – ‘Lighters (The One)’
The third place contestant from this year’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ wastes no time in releasing this single into the world. With a voice and talent that belies her young age, this feels like a more genuine pop-urban record than someone twice her age. It may be a little bit cheesy, especially with the SyCo choir backing effect later on in the record, but it’s a really listenable little ditty that feels well written and delivered and you can forgive it some of the clichés. A promising start to a career and showcasing more talent than, say, a performing dog or some shadow puppeteers. (7/10)
Watch the video.

Iggy Azalea – ‘Bounce’
The ‘Bollywood’-themed ‘Bounce’ serves as Iggy Azalea’s second single and it lacks the attitude and appeal of her debut. It may be faster-paced but relies too much on a tedious, repetitive club beat and certainly not as much fun as the Kelis track of the same name, as an example. There is a certain level of fun and pace in the track but it lacks the skeleton of a structure to hold it together into something less superficial. It’ll fit neatly into a club-set but as a stand-alone track in the light of day it’s lacking something. (4/10)
Watch the video.

Kanye West – ‘Black Skinhead’
‘Black Skinhead’ is the first cut from West’s new album and sees a far bassier Kanye than we have heard before. It’s a very simplistic track with very little musical appeal aside from a small post-chorus riff. Very experimental, and enjoyable because of it, with a fun change of direction, though very over-driven and the second chorus doesn’t quite live up to the flow of the first as he descends into an expletive-filled rant. Better than I thought it was going to be, Kanye has gone in an interesting direction, less commercial than his previous records to his credit. I have mixed feelings about the track – its attitude is contagious alongside the production decisions, even if they sound awkward, but not hooky enough for my liking, but kudos for shaking it all up. (6/10)
Listen here.

Katy B – ‘What Love Is Made Of’
Her first cut from an as-yet-untitled second album, Katy B’s ‘What Love Is Made Of’ is a gentle, simplistic affair that’s hard to dislike but equally difficult to really love. Its gentle flow compliments Katy B’s silky vocals perfectly and it’s a calming, smooth listen but it lacks any killer moment to really sell it. Stick it on, lay back and enjoy. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Lawson feat. B.O.B. – ‘Brokenhearted’
Another bolted-on single to create a deluxe album, ‘Brokenhearted’ is pretty much a perfect indie-rock ballad: singable, catchy and appealing to a cross section of people. With an instantly hook-filled chorus and an appealing boyband sound, plus a by-numbers but fun guest rap from B.O.B., it’s difficult to dislike and fans of Maroon 5 will find a similar sound permeating through this commercial hit. It’s not revolutionary, and the structure of band and rapper is very familiar, but it’s a poppy number that will win over the charts. (8/10)
Watch the video.

MØ – ‘Waste of Time’
‘Waste of Time’ is perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy with its title. It’s a song that doesn’t do anything wrong but equally fails to grab my attention. The Lady GaGa-esque production serves it well and her voice is spot-on, but there’s no moment where you really think ‘I want to hear this again’. Give it a listen a few times and its well-created keyboard riff will sink in, but don’t blame me if it is a waste of your time. (4/10)
Watch the video.

Post Author: Philip Lickley