Saturday, 7 June 2008


Tunes of the Week #23

If Lay your love on me had appeared at the Eurovision song contest the other week, I wouldn't have been surprised. I don't think it would have won, but it's got all the necessary characteristics: dodgy dance moves, dodgy pause leading to even dodgier key change, and does sound slightly like something famous - ie. Madonna.
Believe it or not though, it wasn't, and it is instead the latest single by Swedish group BWO. Swedish - that explains why it sounds like Eurovision then. Despite that, it is sufficiently catchy, and unlike the Eurovision entries is getting more than a bit of coverage over one week. Makes it more annoying than anything else though perhaps? I understand it's due for release on 28th July, which means there's plenty of time for it to get very disturbing.

What do you get if you take Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London (with the greatest opening line of any song) and the classic Sweet home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and mash them together?
Well, you get Kid Rock's All Summer long, set for release on 30th June and Radio 2's most recent Record of the Week. It's taking the "copycat" that I often mention and frequently despise to a whole new level. However (there's always an "however", isn't there?), if we get a British summer, it would be a perfect tune to Barbecue to. It can put a smile on your face as you want to start singing "I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand"; and alternatively loudly shout "Sweet home Alabama!" Concerning how music can do that to you...

Talking about the "copycat", I find myself (once more) in agreement with Fraser McAlpine at Chart Blog. Bryn Christopher is a very powerful singer, and clearly one of great talent. The Quest is a very good song - dark, mysterious, retro with soul. But, if you're going to copy a song, why make it quite so obvious as the person you toured with. No doubt he's heard You know I'm no good many a time, is this proof of music implanting into a subconcious?

I've mentioned that I love Warren Zevon's lyrics - best opening line on pop music according to a Radio2 poll no less. As it's not an opening line, the latest one by the Hold Steady can't beat it in that poll - but it's still a brilliant line: "Subpoenaed in Texas, Sequestered in Memphis".
I first heard the song on Roundatable (it got a respectable score); but in the past week it's been the Pick'n'Mix winner on RadMac, bringing it to my attention once more.

Sequestered in Memphis does sound dramatically like Bruce Springsteen, but if you read my main blog you'll see why those lyrics, it was an inevitable TOTW. It's available for download now.

That's it for 'new' tracks on the shortlist this week - probably expected after the monster number last week. Thankfully, there's already at least one that I'm confident will be mentioned next week - but you'll notice that there's only 1 video so far.

So, I'm left looking back to last week's huge list - what's still been playing and is worth mention. There's a few, for sure - Chick Lit (We are Scientists) and Cross your fingers (Laura Marling) for instance. But what's definitely still around and still sounds great is this:

Julian Velard is, perhaps, cut to a similar mould of Jack McManus and Adele and the others from the Brit School. Certainly Jack McManus - big piano influence here too (see TOTW15 for McManus' own piano banging). The key difference though is that Velard is a yank - coming over from a Brooklyn fame school instead. Jimmy Dean and Steve McQueen, available now for download and hard release on the 16th June, does show that the American's music does match the UK music scene (perhaps more so than his native one?), is nicely worked so it's not purely simple - but memorable enough. Certainly a talent to keep an eye on.

Finally, as this is the first TOTW of the month (although it does seem like it's been June for ages), time to pick a "Last Chance" track from May.
A wide selection of tracks, and any one of a number could have made it. Thankfully, I don't have to justify why I picked one over any other, as it's my blog - so here's Sir Ian McKellan:
Guillemots - Falling Out Of Reach

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