17 year old Amelia Lily scared the shit out of other UK X-Factor 2011 contestants when the judges broke all the rules and allowed her back onto the show. Ultimately Little Mix and Marcus Collins both beat her and released shit music, including a cover of Seven Nation Army that made my ears bleed Stigmata style seemed like a really good idea.
A hybrid of Ladyhawke and Pink, somewhere between lady and punk, Amelia’s vocals were rule-breakingly incredible. Exciting then that her Xenomania produced (Girls Aloud, The Gossip’s latest) debut single finally has a video, which looks roughly like it cost $250 to make, including the car hire and her outfit from Dangerfield.
What do you think? Will it be a hit in the UK? Or will it playing in supermarkets by October?
It appears I’ll have to change my plans this summer. The original idea was to bathe blissfully in the ocean, attend an endless series of barbeques and laze away with mates over ice-cold beers. I know now I’ll be locking myself in a dank, dark room with nothing but an I-pod and some headphones - because I’ve discovered Annie’s sublime Songs Remind Me Of You, the feature track off her upcoming sophomore album. I feel to critique or compare this dancefloor stomper would detract from its instant amazingness, but I have to say this - From the pulsating electro intro to the New Order like rattling percussion and synths, from the 80s clip that resonates with everything from Heathers to Boy George, to the incredible echoing chorus, “On the radio, radio, radio,” this is a genuine dance anthem for a generation of people that must endure the likes of Black Eyed Peas calling themselves ‘electro-dance’. Bring on the album.
Jay-Z rarely strays off his A-Game. Recently, he’s given us the brilliantly ferocious Brooklyn We Go Hard with Santigold and D.O.A (Death of Autotune.) This time he’s teamed up with Rihanna and Kanye West (does the guy ever sleep?) for the rather mellow semi-ballad Run This Town. Jay-Z’s rapping is dexterous as usual, Rihanna also shining with her signature vocals over a memorable chorus. Amusingly, Jay-Zs guest vocal posse is endless (He is Mr. Beyonce and was the genius who signed Rihanna), but Jay-Z’s innate ability to mix clever lyrics with current beats keeps him at the top of the pack.
There are two songs of the week this week due to sheer laziness forcing me to miss last week:
Ordinarily I’m not a fan of remixes but it would be futile to deny that MSTRKRFT (God that txt talk shits me) have proven themselves as credible DJs. Having remixed everyone from Wolfmother to Usher, All Saints to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they’ve learnt to take something and make it their own – This is no exception. An electric piano rhythm, welcoming beats and John Legend’s silky voice put this in pre-drink Saturday night territory (if you can disregard the melancholy topic!)
Heartbeat is by no means standard pop, rhythmically or conceptually. It’s a slow burner, permeated with elements of soul and reggae with Neneh Cherry styled vocals. From the music box pianos that kick it off, to the aggressive percussion and repetitive ( and semi-robotic) chorus, Heartbeat works a treat. This is a song that could have easily gone into the territory of being a Christian Television Association ad but shines due to originality, remarkable vocals and genre breaking panache.
Here it is…
And here is the fucking cool remix garnering heaps of attention in the UK:
It’s very fitting that I’m late with this week’s Song of the Week as I’m even later with my choice for it. A joint venture of Diplo and Switch, Major Lazer’s Hold The Linehas been doing the rounds for a while now but it’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to construe the brilliance of it. Hold The Line is probably the least immediate single I’ve reviewed on this blog. There are so many reasons it shouldn’t work, but boy does it. It kicks of with Rawhide meets Kill Bill bluesy guitar and from there gets thrown into a blender of rippling drum beats and guitar riffs, Jamaican accents, random phone ringtones, giggling and killer lyrics, “I’ll make your jeans vibrate like a Nokia.” Better still, just as she did in Jay-Z’s Brooklyn We Go Hard, Santigold totally steals the show with her amazing guest rap. Then there’s the clip – What a stroke of genius. An appropriation of random cartoon clips and an 80s Mattel styled ad. One of the most original singles in ages.
In For The Kill was all good and well, don’t get me wrong. However, La Roux’s debut single experienced a few hiccups. Firstly, that god-awful shrill to her voice – Thankfully absent on Bulletproof. Furthermore, in true modern pop fashion it went from being fun to semi-annoying in the time it takes you to read this. Again Bulletproof avoids this predicament. Much like Keri Hilson’s recent hit Knock You Down, the song’s strength lies primarily in its simplicity, “This time baby I’ll be bulletpoof.” It’s almost anthem-like in its self-help lyricism. This is only strengthened by the last chorus, an overlapping reaffirmation of what’s already been thrown down. Toss in a deliciously Daft Punk inspired bridge, a kitschy clip and a reverent homage to the British electro scene of the 1980s and you have a bit of a classic. Bring on the album!
By now you’re probably well aware of the genius involved in Little Boots’ debut album. Single no.2 is probably the campest off the album but is also a mesmorising 80s electro pop dancefloor-filler. It’s that rarely perfect mix of Goldfrapp and Kylie – Catchy enough to get you addicted, cool enough to not warrent shame!
The clip hasn’t been made yet, so here’s a clipless song.
And here’s the live version (a solid 9/10 performance-wise)
Previous hit Don’t Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go) was a huge hit in their native UK, but Never Forget You is the real show-stopper off The Noisette’s debut album. Apart from being deliriously catchy, it has that Ting Tings meets VV Brown 1950s soda pop/rock thing in spades – A gorgeous song and a hit in waiting (at least in the UK).