Monday, 20 December 2010

2010: Single Reviews

A collection of all of my single reviews for Spoonfed from 2010. Don't say I don't treat you, you lucky buggers.

Esben And The Witch – Marching Song
- Matador Records

A year ago if I'd said that Ebsen and The Witch had the potential to be huge, you'd have looked at me like the nutter I rightly was. Well, we live in different times my friend. If the XX can win a Mercury for their self conscious bewitched-rock then being weird is officially mainstream.

‘Marching Song ‘ is a case in point, with its bubbly, underwater sounding reverb and its ghostly build up that is the aural equivalent of waiting for a panic attack that never comes, 'Marching Song' could be the sound of E&TW going places. 4/5

Panda Bear – Count On Me- 
Domino Records

It feels like a billion years since PB started touring songs (including this one) from his forthcoming album 'Tomboy'. Count On Me is not new then, but it's still impressive.

The fact that Mr Bear (or Noah Lennox to his Mum) manages to create clappy Beach Boys harmonies all by himself, with just the help of some synths and samplers is very cool. If he's capable of this, he may even be able to turn water into wine. Probably not though. 4/5

Rihanna – Only Girl (In The World)- 
Def Jam 

Produced by Stargate, the new single from Ri-Ri has all of her trademarks – sullen sex appeal, hands in the air choruses and the words 'THIS WILL BE NUMBER 1' stamped all over it.

Clearly she's been spending a lot of time with BFF Katie Perry, whose electro pop sound has seeped in enough to bring out Rihanna's fun side, a departure from her more recent mean and moody output. Expect this to soundtrack your Saturday nights until further notice. 3/5

Diana Vickers – My Wicked Heart- 

Apparently the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are considering bringing legal action against Vickers because they reckon that the chorus to her new ditty is a little too much like 'Under The Bridge' for their liking.

For my money, DV sounds like nothing else on earth (and not in a good way) With vocals that are so unintelligible they sound as if they're being delivered through a mangle, the Chillis might not want to admit anything to do with this disaster. 1/5

Gruff Rhys – Shark Ridden Waters
-Self Release

Gruff Rhys just doesn't give a flying one. He releases an album of acoustic folk. But sings it in Welsh and Spanish. He forms an electro outfit. He gets bored. He makes friends with Gorillaz. Snooze.

Now he's released a kaleidoscopicy, loungey, acidy track that shimmers and glimmers with all the joys of pop and feels like having your hair gently stroked in a jazz club. Yawn. He's probably already moved on and is planning a concept album about Jedward. 3/5

Tame Impala – Sundown Syndrome/Remember Me- 

If these songs were in a film, they'd soundtrack the bit where the protagonist takes their first naïve hit of psychedelic drugs and subsequently comes of age, their mind finally opened to the possibilities of peace, love and tranquillity, maaan.

As the action bursts into technicolour, TI's LSD-drenched harmonies (think 'Strawberry Fields' era Beatles) would gently caress them. Then, as they sunk deeper into previously unexplored realms of their psyche, the song's Hendrix guitar would engulf them in a bubble they never wanted to leave. 5/5

Eels - Baby Loves Me-
E Works

Apparently the video, which features a tiny E in a toy town, is his way of saying "Thanks for making me feel bad by accusing me of being a terrorist in Hyde Park this June. I'll show you. I'll make your city look like a toy." Make of that what you will. And the music? Paranoid synths, rowdy guitars and a vocal that threatens to burst out and deck you one. Madness. “My baby loves me/Unlikely but true”. Need a hug? 3/5

Carpathian – Wanderlust-
Deathwish Inc.

The student protests still haven't got a theme tune, so I'm going to put this bad boy forward. The Smiths might be all 'Come on disaffected students! Join hands and sing 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now!' but what we really need are some angry Australians screaming incomprehensibly. 

'Wanderlust' makes me feel a little bit motion sick, it has thrashy guitars and it sounds like someone screaming down your ears. Which is great. Remember kids, if you're going to be kettled, keep it metal. 3/5

Train – Shake Up Christmas- 

Suffering the effects of the global recession? Don't worry, Train will cheer you up! They've got sleigh bells and ho-ho-hos and a non threatening electro pop tune that's all about spreading joy in tough economic times. Awww. 

Wait a sec...isn't this the song from the Coca Cola advert? A cynically released Christmas cash in to ensure that singer Pat Monahan has a big fat goose adorning his festive table? Ah, so I guess we're not all in this together then? Thanks for killing the spirit of Christmas guys. 0/5

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