Friday, November 25, 2005

Hannah's Single of the Week (21/11/05)

Single of the Week:
The Decemberists - 16 Military Wives (official site)
I think something a little eccentric is necessary, this week. Yep. Let's have a little eccentricity to combat the dulling tedium of the majority of this week's releases, and let it come in the form of The Decemberists. This instantly enjoyable little number is a witty tongue-in-cheek statement about America, celebrity culture and the war in Iraq, amongst other things. Quite unlike many of their Bush-bashing contemporaries, The Decemberists have treated their subject matter in an almost amusing way, resulting in a piece of music you can enjoy even if you don't care too much about the politics. There's a jaunty offbeat rhythm, a singalong melody, plenty of brass and it's better than all the stuff below put together. It's a sad thing that it won't even break into the top 75.

Worth a mention:
Stereophonics - Rewind (official site includes video)
Dear Stereophonics,
You rocked it live when I saw you earlier this year, played a great set and I had a really good time, but for every 'Dakota' there is unfortunately a 'Rewind'. I take back what I said earlier in the year. 'Superman' and 'Devil' are growers, but they're still not up to the standard of the first single from your current album. For every earth-shaking, amazing, rocker of a track that you release, there are at least two that plod along and don't really do an awful lot. The video is clever, concluding and reflecting on the story told by the previous three, and the song definitely has that 'reflective' feel to it. It's pleasant. It's verging on sweet. But it's no 'Dakota' and I definitely feel like it's all been done before.

Goldie Lookin' Chain - R'n'B (official site)
The moment came just over 10 months ago. In a packed stadium with an audience that was approximately 75% Welsh (we were in Cardiff, after all) the GLC stormed the stage with an entrance that received more enthusiasm than most of the earlier billed acts put together. At the time, I couldn't comprehended exactly why it seemed the entire crowd was shouting and bouncing along to a gang of bizarrely named, overweight, chavvish types rapping in Welsh accents. But hell - it was fun. Since then, I've not really taken GLC particularly seriously, and simply took the opportunity to laugh at the odd gem of a line in their songs. The thing is, 'R'n'B' doesn't carry the same humour as their earlier efforts, and as a listen it comes across as cliched, cheesy and boring. That's probably the ironic intention, but this song isn't up to scratch.

Gorillaz - 'Dirty Harry' (official site includes video)
There is a peculiar musical phenomenon known as the 'Gorillaz-threshold'. Well, in my head there is, anyway. Let's face it - the idea of Gorillaz is a result of pure genius, the songwriting, production and artistic talent behind the 'band' are some of the best around, and they have definitely been one of the most innovative acts of the decade so far. However, with their second album 'Demon Days' this indie/hip-hop/pop (what are they?!) group have had each and every single endure a fate worse than death (possibly.) - being ridiculously overplayed, whether on radio or TV. 'Dare' was unavoidable on the lead-up to its release and for some time afterwards, 'Feel Good Inc' stuck around for several months and 'Dirty Harry', complete with a similar repetitive nature has exhausted its appeal by being used as the soundtrack for the latest Radio 1 ad campaign. It's not a bad song, but it's reached the 'Gorillaz-threshold' far more quickly than the singles before it and now has a tendency to get on my nerves.

Singles out (ones I've heard in bold):
50 Cent - Window Shopper, Akira The Don - Clones, Alkaline Trio - Mercy Me, Anastacia - Pieces Of A Dream, Andrew Thompson - There Must Be Some Kind Of Misunderstanding, Antony & The Johnsons - You Are My Sister, Automatic - Recover, Biz - Stand By You, Bob Marley & The Wailers - Slogans, Buck 65 - Kennedy Killed The Hat, Calla - It Dawned On Me, The Dead 60s - Ghostfaced Killer, The Decemberists - 16 Military Wives, Deep Dish - Sacramento, Devendra Banhart - Heard Somebody Say, Field Music - If Only The Moon Were Up, Foo Fighters - Resolve, Freefaller - She’s My Everything/Basket Case, Goldie Lookin’ Chain - R’n’B, Gorillaz - Dirty Harry, Hot Puppies - Terry/Love In Practice (Not In Theory), I Am Kloot - Maybe I Should, John Peel Tribute - Ever Fallen In Love?, Korn - Twisted Transistor, Lady Sovereign Ft Basement Jaxx - Hoodie, Linus Loves - Victoria’s Principle EP, Mara Carlyle - Baby Bloodheart, Marvin Gaye - The Lord’s Prayer, Michael Buble - Home/Song For You, Mint Royale - Effect On Me, Paul McCartney - Jenny Wren, Playgroup - Front To Back, Reel People - Rain, Schwab - DJs In A Row, Shitdisco - Discoblood, Silver Sun - Immediate, Snow White - EP, Space Brothers - Everywhere I Go [12” only], Stereophonics - Rewind, System Of A Down - Hypnotize [7” only], Tom Novy - Your Body, Tricky Nixon - Kick

What's your single of the week?