Monday, February 14, 2005

Hannah's Single of the Week (14/02/05)

While this week is a little slow on releases, do not fear! Take my advice and save your money (aside from purchasing the latest release from Aberfeldy) for some brilliant releases from Charlotte Hatherley, The Frames, Futureheads, Kaiser Chiefs and Maximo Park, all out next Monday. It's going to be tricky to decide what to pick.

Special Mentions:
Willy Mason - 'Oxygen', Embrace - 'Looking As You Are' and Biffy Clyro - Only One Word Comes To Mind'
The problem with 'Oxygen' is that it all starts off so well - there are some great ideas in there- but it just fails to go anywhere. There are some great parts to the lyric, but some sounds a little cliched, Mason's voice doesn't evolve, and so the song becomes irritating. Embrace seem to have adopted the Manic Street Preachers' approach of 'let's sing exactly the same line over and over again and hope nobody notices' until it becomes tedious. Meanwhile Biffy Clyro start with a promising guitar intro before descending into something that feels like musical slo-mo, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the video. If you like the artistes concerned, great. Otherwise, give them a miss this time.

Single of the Week:
Aberfeldy - 'Love is an Arrow' (video here)
Rough Trade is one of those labels you have to watch to discover real musical gems, especially those acts who may not necessarily make it into the mainstream. This single from Aberfeldy is one of those gems. A pretty, simple, acoustic number, with a gentle bounce to it, it manages to succeed as being something reassuringly cute, loving and tender. It's all there, from the sweet harmonies to the extremely intelligent, cute video, and an animated one at that. In a world of tacky-looking cheap CGI and thrash guitars, it really, really shines. 4/5

Avoid at maybe not all costs:
Atomic Kitten - 'Cradle 2005'
While watching the video for this latest release from the band supposedly taking a break (like Blue, however, they do not seem to want to go away) I was convinced that it was yet another track, indistinguishable from the rest of their releases since the departure of Kerry and should be left well alone. The sheer blandness of it all is almost enough to make Keane look like punk rockers. However, it's another one of these charity singles, with money going to help people a lot less fortunate than ourselves, thus forcing me to feel a little bit guilty. The solution? Buy the single, then demolish it in a creative way and send us the photo, or, alternatively, give an extra £3 to Comic Relief this year. You know it makes sense. 1/5

All Releases: (may be subject to change)
Aberfeldy - Love Is An Arrow, Angel City - Sunrise, Atomic Kitten - Cradle 2005, Biffy Clyro - Only One Word Comes To Mind, Death From Above 1979 - Blood On Our Hands, Ed Harcourt - Loneliness, Elvis Presley - Surrender, Embrace - Looking As You Are, Emiliana Torrini - Sunny Road, Felix Da Housecat - Ready To Wear, The Game Ft 50 Cent - How We Do, House Of Love - Love You Too Much, Infrasound - Deer Hunter, James Yorkston & The Athletes - Shipwreckers, Jennifer Lopez - Get Right, Kings Of Tomorrow - Thru, LL Cool J - Hush, Low - California, Miss Kitten - Happy Violentine, New Found Glory - I Don’t Wanna Know, New Rhodes - You’ve Given Me Something That I Can’t Get Back, Rachel Goswell - Coastline/Plucked [12” only], Rhesus - Art Is Dead, Six By Seven - Ocean/Clouds, Stephen Fretwell - Run, Trick Daddy - Let’s Go, Willy Mason - Oxygen

As ever, all tracks in bold are the releases I've heard this week.

What's your single of the week?