Beck ‘Heart Is A Drum’
Here he is, fresh from another car crash of the heart it’s Beck Hansen. During his many periods of gloomy introspection Beck’s come to the conclusion that the heart is like a drum. He’s right. It beats, it kicks and it snares (just not her heart). The song itself is atmospheric, folk with some nice tinkling of the ivories evoking the work of the short-lived Nick Drake. Quick, hide the meds from him, he’s only gone and rented a Herzog film! Employing metaphysical lyrics, Dr Hansen says that you must let your blood pumper guide you, that as long as it beats you’re still alive, there’s so much going on beyond the five sense realm, yeah. “See only what you feel/Keeps you turning when you’re standing still.” Soothing words of comfort seemingly inspired by the gospels according to Ol’ Mother L. Ron Hubbard. Beck, as a friend, mano-a-mano, when it comes to keeping ya girl, you’re still a ‘Loser’. I’m always here, mate.
The Kooks ‘Forgive & Forget’
With the endorsement of uber-bad taste maker Zane Lowe how can this fail? First that tattooed melt, (Not a real Professor) Green, now another (less reliant) lift from INXS’ ‘Need you tonight’. Luke’s discovered ‘da funk’ and where 2006’s ‘Ooh-la-la’ caught the ears in a more than pleasant manner, the rest of the Kooksters’ output has been all a bit meh. Featuring a chorus appropriated from Joss Stone overall I’m left with a feeling of, “I can’t forgive, Luke, because it’ll take repeated listens of the Only Fools And Horses theme tune to make me forget this.”
Pharrell ‘Come Get It Bae’ (with Smiley Virus)
Another thinly veiled misogynistic release from the “Twat In The Hat 2.0″ means Jay “Miroquai” Kay can breathe a sigh of relief and stick to driving his flash cars around his estate safe in the knowledge his moniker’s gone. For good. It appears to be heresy to point out his plagiarism, but this heretic fears no wrath. TITH 2.0 continues his assault on taste with yet more rehashed funk/soul/pop music with dubious subject matter, this time with pop’s Queen of Ebola, Ms Vyrus. But, but, I hear you cry, he wears a big hat! He sang on a film soundtrack about being happy! Scratch away and you’ll see that he veers from mimicking Jacko to sub-Stevie, less than marvellous Gaye, patchwork Prince, cut-price Curtis – he’s a one-man karaoke. An unwelcome one at that. Whereas Thicke (by name…) took the flak for last year’s omnipresent ‘Blurred Lines’, Phazzer continues with this Ballardian/Cronenbergian tale of the procuration of sex using a motorcycle as metaphor; the bike as a two-stroke phallus with Pharr’s dip-stick. Vroom vroom, vacate the room. When Prince did/does this imagery there’s humour involved, this is boring and lazy; another charmless turn from the Sad Hatter. Number One nailed.
Paolo Nutini ‘Iron Sky’
The Scottish Rod Stewart delivers this cri de coeur channelling the Brentford Mod’s turn in Python Lee Jackson (‘In A Broken Dream’). This is a slow-paced number with Stax- alike horns and ‘Iron Sky’ as a metaphor for the structure of control, fear and paranoia that exists in the everyday. He’s certainly got a bee in his bonnie bonnet about something. “Colonised nations and minds, mass confusion, spoon fed to the blind, serves now to define, our cold society.” Is it about Caledonia freedom? The Great British Bake-Off? Predictably gravelly, smoky and husky, however, it’s hard to dislike ol’ Paul the lil’ Nut though, his plea being that freedom is achievable, weez just gotta luuurrve one anuuvah more, ya hear?
Sam Smith ‘I’m Not The Only One’
Sam’s innamorato’s (or so he thought) been getting all gooey-eyed with another, all subsequent conciliatory gestures now falling flat, they’ve been rumbled, that cat’s out the bag. Speaking of which… Sam’s back with his classic catch throat gargling, the noises articulating that he’s desperate for you to know that he can’t go on, he must go on, he will go on… He’s right about one thing, he’s not the only one. Is he this year’s Plan B or is that John Newman? It’s nigh on impossible how to tell who’s the King of the Crapstrato nowadays. This is hardly Daryl Hall or Michael McDonald, those purveyors of blue-eyed soul. Blue-eyed arseholes more like. Sam, stick to brewing your ales, the Alpine is an especially good pint, otherwise you’d best resign yourself to being part of the Steve Brookstein Express this time next year, the evening slot on the P&O ferry to Calais is free. Just sayin’
The Script ‘Superheroes’
Shittin’ crikey, is it already four albums from this shower? It is. The obligatory deep and meaningful keys usher the sermon in; O’Donoghue is back doing what he’s best at. “Which is..?” you cry. No, no, no, not sitting in a swivel chair passing judgement on (yeah, I know, insane) but, over-emoting, playing at being the rock star having read Bono’s “How to be a hypocritical philanthropist with off-shore bullion and get away with it. Volume I: Having the right connections”. Apparently this is for all “the unsung heroes out in the world.” I wish he could be unsung. According to DO’D, working day and night is how a superhero learns to fly. So, nothing to do with those “super” powers then? Best tell the millions struggling to make a living, pulling shifts at any opportunity. Even the Westlife borgs would have recoiled at this; “Feck off, Louis, dat’s fockin’ shoite.” The video has Dan and the other fellas taking their inspirational wares to an impoverished Third World dirt-town. Haven’t you heard, music is the food of love, so tuck in and “turn the pain into power”. Jeez.