Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hannah's Single of Last Week (14/11/05)

Only a few precious weeks left until the general public are plagued by novelty Christmas releases (although I may have spoken too soon - check the listings!), rubbish pop, and chart shake-ups. Let's enjoy a normal week of big releases while it lasts, eh? This is a week late because I've been rather pre-occupied with other things, but I'd written a good proportion already, so it was a waste not to include it. This week's reviews will be published by the weekend - enjoy!

Single of the Week:
The White Stripes - The Denial Twist
Last week it was Jack White's mate. This week it's Jack White himself. With Meg, obviously. So Detroit does have a decent popular alternative to Eminem? Hurrah! 'The Denial Twist' isn't as instant as previous (and just as impressive) singles from 'Get Behind Me Satan' - 'Blue Orchid' and 'My Doorbell' - but after a few listens its funky piano-driven verse complete with Meg's trademark clashing cymbals seems near-perfectly constructed and it's impossible to ever imagine you didn't love it. The accompanying video, directed by Michel Gondry is suitably 'twisted' and verging on headache inducing, seeing Jack and Meg stretched and squashed to ridiculous proportions throughout. I won't say any more, because it'll spoil the surprise, but I urge you to watch it!

Special Mentions:
Girls Aloud- Biology
Both of my special mentions this week are girl bands of the pop variety, and, aside from that and the ability to serve a purpose as eye candy, that's where the similarity ends. Oh, apart from the fact that they render almost every other girl band on the planet completely uninteresting and uninspiring. Of course, in this case, the credit goes to the songwriters as Girls Aloud present one of the most bizarrely structured pieces of pop I have ever heard. Referring to Julia's review on the open blog, it does sound, at first listen, shambolic, in a similar way to 'Love Machine' but it's a grower, even if I still don't think it all fits together quite right. It seems I'm not the only blogger to have a soft spot for these babes of reality-tv-pop - they've topped a recent poll of the 'UK's Hottest 47 Acts' here. Nice.

The Pipettes - Dirty Mind
Clad in polka-dot dresses, looking and sounding like their time machine crashed in the wrong decade are The Pipettes. Not that this, in any way, is a bad thing. I asked their biggest fan, Jonny, to review them for the open blog, but refused, saying you simply have to watch the video. He's got a point, I think. Great, fun, pop music that defies 2005's girl-pop conventions, cheeky presentation, lyrics that make you smile...and it's made the top 75 - hurrah!

Other Releases:
Green Day finally unleash their massive rock opera, 'Jesus Of Suburbia', this week. It's the fifth (and hopefully the last) single from their huge album, American Idiot. I only heard it once, on the radio, months ago, but apparently it's very good.

Of course, it being Children In Need on Friday (gosh, that crept up on me fast) there's the usual charity cover version on the shelves. Past releases have come from S Club, Westlife, and even Shane Ritchie, but this year, the now-triumphant losers of pop reality TV, Liberty X, are back with a double A side - 'A Night To Remember/Everybody Dance'. Needless to say the former track is so like the original it's got me wondering whether they've even covered it at all, and it's just a re-release with their faces on the front!

Will Young, who has so far had the most success out of reality TV pop is back with the lead single from his new album. This electro-sounding creation is called 'Switch It On' and whaddya know? It isn't half bad. Not great, but not bad, either.

Avoid at ALL costs:
The Darkness - One Way Ticket
Lewis has had his say, and unlike last week I completely agree. I don't get it - the critics (albeit from Total Guitar and Q Magazine) appear to love it - bad sign. My brother appears to love it - extremely bad sign. The phrase 'it's ridiculous, but it's still great' is starting to wear on me when it applies to Justin Hawkins and co. The song is lyrically rubbish, musically cliched (a part sounds exactly like 'I Believe In A Thing Called Love') and the unsubtle coke references (especially when watching the video) are cringeworthy. Oh, and the video in general is terrible, too. Most people disliked British Whale, but at least in that case Justin started out with a half-decent song.

Major Releases: (ones I've heard in bold)
3rd Dan - Fall From Grace, Answer - Never Too Late, Athlete - Twenty Four Hours, Black Eyed Peas - My Humps, Blackbud - Heartbeat EP, Bob Marley & The Wailers - Sun Is Shining, Coldcut - Everything Is Under Control, Conway Story - Photogenic, Cream v The Hoxtons - Sunshine Of Your Love, Daniel Agust - If You Leave Me Now, The Darkness - One Way Ticket, David Bowie & Bing Crosby - Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy, Dirty Perfect - Lines, Opiates & The Demented, Enya - Amarantine, Film School - Alwaysnever, Fort Minor - Believe Me, Frank Popp Ensemble - Love Is On Our Side, Freedom Angels - Tease Me, Funeral For A Friend - History, Gemma Hayes - Happy Sad, Girls Aloud - Biology, Gledhill - Remain, Gliss - Blue Sky, Green Day - Jesus Of Suburbia, Hoboken - Beauty Queen, Jack Johnson - Sitting, Waiting, Wishing, Jaguar Wright - Free, Jay J - With Him, John Butler Trio - Zebra, Keren Ann - Chelsea Burns, Kid 606 - Done With Scene, Liberty X - A Night To Remember/Everybody Dance, The Like - What I Say And What I Mean, Louie - Trees/One Big Repeat, Love To Infinity Ft Charlotte Day - Finally, Lupen Crook - Halloween, Modern - Jane Falls Down, The Pipettes - Dirty Mind, The Rasmus - Sail Away, The Sessions - Troubled Life Of No One Else, The Sirens - Love Hurts, System Of A Down - Hypnotize, Tommy Lee - Good Times, Towers Of London - How Rude She Was, TV OD - Z List Pop Stars, Twista Ft Trey Songz - Girl Tonite, The Used - I Caught Fire, The White Stripes - The Denial Twist, Will Young - Switch It On