Thou shalt always kill it – Nick Smith finds a hip hop duo that are on the money.
Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip: Get Better – Single of the Week
The irritating simplicity of the melody and the beautifully informed Scroobius sermon (far too witty and intelligent to be labelled rap – leave that to Jay-Z) will come as a welcome relief to those rightly concerned that the De La Soul ruination would do permanent damage to their refreshing down-to-earth ethos.
Los Campesinos!: Romance Is Boring
It’s what the Brett Anderson–Bernard Butler reunion might have sounded like if they weren’t grumpy middle-aged narcissists when they made it.
That’s a good thing, in case you were wondering. Old-fashioned, straightforward Britpop ain’t dead yet.
Kathryn Williams: 50 White Lines
I listened to this as I drove out of the city centre – handy really as it turns out that’s exactly what it is about! Although she’s been around a while, she can still knock out a striding sing-along on that old acoustic.
First Aid Kit: I Met Up With The King
A band named after a box of rolls of bandage, plasters and out-of-date Germolene? Not a good sign. A feeling only enhanced by the whimsical acoustic guitar and completely inconsequential female vocals. Which brings us nicely to…
Corinne Bailey Rae: I’d Do It All Again
The promo guff informs me that Corinne’s second album (which has taken her a mere four years to come up with by the way) “showcases a remarkable step forwards in the musical evolution of one of the most acclaimed artists of recent times“. Can’t wait to hear some evidence of it then ‘cos this tepid non-event sure as hell ain’t it!
Goldhawks: Where In The World
A rousing indie-rock chorus isn’t enough to bring you back for a second listen, sadly.
Codeine Velvet Club: Hollywood/I Am The Resurrection
I’m seeing John Travolta and Uma Thurman hamming it up on a theme pub dancefloor. Maybe it’s because I’m hearing Chuck Berry‘s ‘You Never Can Tell‘ permeating the verses.
But shake off such images and Jon Lawler has created a supreme Motown-style mix of sweeping strings, bold brass and the most infectious chorus – there’s hope for the Fratellis yet.
Incidentally, not sure why this landed in my pile this week – it was out at the end of December! But track it down if you can. Their mellow take on the Stone Roses classic is well worth a listen too.
Stevie Hoang: No Coming Back
Don’t be put off by the ‘On Tour With JLS‘ blurb on the cover – this is far more bland a piece of R&B even they could churn out.
Diana Vickers: Once
There is life after coming fifth in the X Factor after all, especially if you can get Cathy Dennis to pen a surefire pop hit. Now, where’s Jamie Afro these days….
Run Toto Run: Catch My Breath
Can’t be loving any track that forces me to turn the volume up to be able to make out what’s going on. Why is stuff like this mixed so quietly? As a result, a well-crafted tune has zero impact.
Mixtapes & Cellmates: Soon
To get past such woeful names for both a band and a song you need to be hearing something special. This lot can’t provide it.
Tune-Yards: Real Live Flesh
As Alan Partridge said to Geordie Michael: ‘Sorry, that was just noise!‘