This week’s new single releases (28th July 2013) – Part 1

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

Amplify Dot feat. Busta Rhymes – ‘I’m Good’
Just like last week’s ‘Best Song Ever’ the title leads itself to form part of the overall review of the song. Well, I won’t disappoint you, as Amplify Dot think’s she’s good, and she has a certain right to believe so as her flow is strong and the production work pulling the verse and chorus together is very well done, but outside of the catchy, funky chorus it’s very much business as usual from the venomous lyrics down to the expletive-led heavy Rhymes verse which then leads to another change in tempo. It’s an inconsistent song that has too many average bits to counteract its highs. (5/10)
Watch the video.

Backstreet Boys – ‘In A World Like This’
Backstreet’s Back, but is it any more than alright? From their upcoming eighth album, and following the delightfully titled promo single ‘Permanent Stain’, ‘In A World Like This’ is a more mature single from the Boys / men with a driving riff that pulls the song forward. It’s a perfectly nice song, but it’s as middle of the road as that sentence suggests. Back as a five-piece again, it lacks the joy and pure enjoyment of ‘Larger Than Life’ or ‘The Call’ but it’s not entirely a waste of time, as there’s something alluring about it and its pop sensibilities, tied in with some actual guitars that work their way into you. It’s hardly a Take That comeback, but it’s a fun enough musical distraction and is certainly a grower. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Big Sean feat Lil Wayne & Jhene Aiko – ‘Beware’
A Lil Wayne track? With AutoTune? Who would have thought! With the campest ‘Ooh, I’m so mad’ ever, the lyrics are hardly Shakespeare and quite possibly the most misogynistic in quite a while. Jhene Aiko’s appearance on the record is practically pointless, snuck in at the end of a long list of badly written and laughable lyrics. With a simple, refreshing production and a neat style, it will have its fans, but the words are cheesier and stupid than you could imagine. (4/10)
Watch the video.

Bonnie McKee – ‘American Girl’
The co-writer behind a string of big recent hits, including a lot of Katy Perry big-hitters, it’s easy to hear the Perry sound. Sadly, though, like Ed Drewett from earlier in the month she seems to have given her best material away, leaving herself with the average summer song that wears its pop sensibilities on its sleeves but little else. Judged as a pure pop song it ticks those boxes with a foot tapping beat and a sunny disposition. ‘American Girl’ doesn’t disappoint but, amongst the autotune and warbling ending, there isn’t a major hook to grab onto. (6/10)
Watch the video.

Britney Spears – ‘Ooh La La’
Speaking of Bonnie McKee, she’s on co-writing duties here as well alongside another six people. But do seven writers make this ‘Smurfs 2’ song magnificent? Well, no is the answer. Spears has regressed back to her early family-friendly image but looks as awkward as anything in the video. ‘Ooh La La’ is supported by so much autotune I’m surprised it isn’t credited in the title. With the cheesiest, most tedious lyrics in a long time and a chorus that sounds like a poorer cousin of the already questionable ‘Bumble Bees’ by Aqua, but irritatingly with a strange catchiness, this is a strange career move for Spears, who has had some brilliant songs over the last few years. It sounds like I’m being over the top if I call this Spears’ worst single ever, but it probably is her worst single ever. Smurfin’ awful. (2/10)
Watch the video.

Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar – ‘Thinking About You’
The video for this new record from Calvin Harris features some full frontal nudity, presumably to give people a reason to watch as it certainly won’t be for the music, which is, like all of Harris’ recent hits, exactly like all his other songs. One day he might return to the great tunes of his first album, but until then we’re stuck with these sound-a-like hits. Marar performs her duties admirably but even her strong, but unremarkably similar, vocals can’t save it. This will be his eighth single from his ’18 Months’ album; he should have stopped at two. (1/10)
Watch the video.

Clean Bandit – ‘Dust Clears (EP)’
Supported by three remixes and a track called ‘Rihanna’, the EP title track almost recaptures the magic of their brilliant ‘Mozart’s House’, mixing together slow autotuned vocals and classical style violin. With plenty of elements to hold your interest, it doesn’t quite gel as well as their breakthrough hit but there’s something strangely alluring about the composition, especially the Portal-sounding female-led moments. With a faster pace and less focus on the male vocals it would make for a perkier, more appealing record, but for fans of something a little bit more experimental, you’ll be in your field here. It’s different and I like it. The more classical-focussed ‘Rihanna’ with its strong xylophone riff is worth downloading from the EP too, showing the band have many strings to their bows, pardon the pun.  (7/10)
Watch ‘Dust Clears’.
Watch ‘Rihanna’. 

Eliza Doolittle – ‘Big When I Was Little’
The first cut from her impending second album, you can always rely on Doolittle to compose a sunny, enjoyable pop song. Just two years younger than me, her memories of being little are in the range of mine so any child of the early 1990s will pick their favourite bits from these nostalgic lyrics. With a catchy, sunny chorus that immediately hooks you in, this is thoroughly enjoyable. It might be difficult to hear exactly what she’s singing about at times and, like Aqua’s ‘Back To The 80s’, the subject matter lends it a certain level of cheesiness, but it’s a cracking summer track. She hasn’t really changed her sound in her two years away, but that’s not a problem with material like this. (7.5/10)
Watch the video.

Elton John – ‘Home Again’
You can often rely on Elton to release a quality tune, and ‘Home Again’ is one of those. A simple, piano-led song, it very much fits into his sound like an old friend, but the lack of revolution is forgivable when you have a song like this that tugs at the heart strings well. It’s not going to win over any new fans, but, with its beautiful simplicity, it hooks you in. With a strong piano riff and some well-written and involving lyrics, it’s one of his best new songs in a while. (7/10)
Watch the video.

Juicy J feat. Wale & Trey Songz – ‘Bounce It’
This is another one of those songs that feels like a parody. With a well-trodden lyrical path you know what to expect from the words and sound within the first few seconds. Juicy J and his co-acts know what their fan base want and give it to them, even if it’s the same thing we’ve heard before. It’s listenable but the lyrics are so bad and clichéd it’s almost laughable. Bounce it? Pass on it, more like. (3/10)
Watch the video.

Post Author: Philip Lickley