Sunday, 3 August 2008

So, nothing really changes

Tunes of the Week #31

I can see exactly what Hazard meant when said a couple of weeks ago that there's nothing but summer pap about. I've only been back in Blighty for a few days, and so many 'new' tunes that are being played on the radio are exactly the same as I left the country nearly 4 weeks ago!

That said, this morning I've heard the new releases from both Vampire Weekend (Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa) and the Mystery Jets (Half in love with Elizabeth) - so whilst they can't really be a TOTW today based on one listen, keep your eyes peeled for the future.

Just to show I'm not completely behind with the times though, I thought I'd mention some Proper Rock. And yes, that is the title - RadMac's Pick'n'Mix winner for the past week by The Chap. And yes, that is his actual name. With an electronic-esque opening, it does then move into, erm, proper rock. Not heavy stuff, but enjoyable. It's a real melange, but it's not an annoying hotch-potch of someone who couldn't decide what genre to work in. It's available on the 25th August.

I'm also keen to mention Little Jackie, with The World Should Revolve around me - as a previous unsung now getting airplay on national radio. It's a classic example of what I described her music as - it's the presently highly popular soulful stuff with a hip-hop back beat. Brilliant to 'get funky' too, it's out on the 25th August.

A regular prompt for TOTW is Ken Bruce's Record of the Week. Last week, it was the new single from punk-rocking devil-beating Sandi Thom, who's now up to something on a Saturday Night. It reminds me a bit of Shania-Twain esque country music, which could have been a bad thing - but it really isn't. It just makes a nice and smily, bouncy, happy summer tune. Great idea for an 'interim' youtube video too. Not been able to find a release date, but probably a couple of weeks away.

Anyway, just creeping into the awareness before I left was Bloc Party's Mercury - although it hasn't been released yet set to appear on the 11th. It's got the same electronic-stlyings as Flux, however I don't like as much as that previous single. Far too often in the song there isn't a tune, just a big bass drum and a stuck record (intentionally perhaps, but really not my cup of tea).

A similar release date applies to Meccano - see a metallic theme there - which I actually mentioned in TOTW27. I still stand by what I said back then - the song by Red Light Company reminds of something. And I can't figure out what. I think it's the vocal echo in the chorus that does it. Sadly, I don't think it's anything special, there's nothing sit up and listen about it. But, it's pleasing enough.

When I watched Noah and the Whale at Delamere, I was fairly scathing about their performance. There were only a couple of songs I liked from the set - thankfully one was Five Years Time. Again, it was just about aware of it a month ago - but now it's getting played a lot. And in France too strangely. It's out, on this side of the channel at least, tomorrow - and it's unique sound will hopefully mean it does fairly well.

Going back a long long time - Adele re-released Hometown Glory on the 21st July. Worthy of mention, mainly because it was mentioned first time round. Only problem with it - apart from my well known hatred for re-releases, is that it is exceptionally dreary. Releasing it over summer when everyone else is releasing bouncy singles for the holiday season - no thanks...

Brave comment coming up. McFly aren't that bad a band. Now, before you close this window whilst spitting and vowing never to return to this blog, hear me out. Their problem is their reputation - they're a boy band. Except, they're not. Boybands perform cheesy covers - especially ballads, and preferably with a cringe worthy keychange in the middle. Boybands are made up of a solitary one who can sing - but doesn't for fear of making the others look bad; one quiet and shy; a dancer; a writer; a sex symbol; and one for the "mum's to adore" (thanks to Mitch Benn - Boy band - for that one). In McFly, they can actually do harmony. They can actually write - themselves - decent pop songs that are memorable, and fairly enjoyable. Which is why they've described their new single One for the Radio as being about their "constant struggle for critical acceptance". Personally, I've not taken to the mid-July release that much. The opening sounds too much like Gummi bears. But, there are a lot worse songs out there, and I might yet like another from the latest album and mention it in the future.

I mentioned it before I left, and also yesterday as a big hit over in "L'hexagone". It appears it's also still pretty big over here - Coldplay's Viva la Vida. I suppose with almost a month of constant playing, it's definitely become implanted into my brain. Thing is, it really is different to the usual dreary output from Coldplay, and it's physical release only occuring on the 29th July last, it's probably got a bit extra airplay to go yet.

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