Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hannah's Single of the Week (09/01/06)

Since the integration of mp3 download sales into the singles charts just under a year ago, nothing particularly spectacular has happened. The longevity of certain singles may have increased, but that's about it. Until now. As Christmas came, music lovers all over the UK unwrapped their iPods and searched for tracks to load on, it was inevitable that the biggest hits of the last 12 months would come to dominate the charts once again. So, while having multiple entries from Kelly Clarkson, Kaiser Chiefs and several others in the top 75 isn't necessarily a bad thing, part of me wants a bit of movement, a bit of change and some new music.

So, is there anything exciting on offer this week? Sadly, the answer has to be 'not really'. Or, alternatively, 'there is, but managing to hear it in the first place in a task in itself'. There are several acts so indie I haven't even heard of them, let alone heard them, and then a few more coming to the end of their promotional campaign for their current album so the singles haven't been given as much of a push. Those acts aside, heere's what has made it to my eardrums:

Jose Gonzalez - 'Heartbeats' (official site and the Sony Bravia ad)
Gentle, soothing, acoustic...and probably set to be huge. The general public should lap this up, especially considering it's the soundtrack to that Sony Bravia advert. Y'know, the one with the bouncy balls. It's just one of those songs that has 'lovely' written all over it. Those who adore anything remotely delicate and dreamy will no doubt adore this.

The Kooks - 'If You Don't Love Me' (official site - includes video)
The TOTP website has The Kooks down as the new Supergrass. I'm not quite so sure. They're missing that 'something' that makes me love anything and everything Gaz and the boys churn out. That said, I can see where they're coming from - those punctuated chord stabs, two-part harmonies, lively stage presence, the amount of hair...and you know what? I do like this song!

Mark Owen - 'Hail Mary' (official site and video clip)
'From the Albert Hall to the Uni Ball - how the mighty fall', 'what was once before again may be' and 'everything will come around' - it would seem when Mark Owen wrote one of my favourite pop singles of last year ('Believe In The Boogie') he knew something we didn't. With Take That reforming for a tour and once again re-establishing themselves in the world of music (the release listings hint at a single being on the way) it'll be interesting to see just how well this single performs. Now, I've only heard a clip, but it's similar fare to 'Believe In The Boogie' - bouncy, major-chord pop. The only drawback, as ever, is Mark's voice. He's just not a natural singer. Part of me wonders if he'd be better doing a Gary Barlow and writing for other artists. His songs are good enough, after all.

Richard Ashcroft - 'Break The Night With Colour' (official site - includes video)
After his triumphant Live8 performance, he's back. Lewis has slammed the single. Me? I don't think that badly of it, just the man himself. If the music truly lived up to the ego, then yes, it's worth praise. However, I fail to find anything exciting, moving, new or special about it.

Texas - 'Sleep' (official site - includes video)
The involvement of Peter Kay undoubtedly makes a good video, but it can't do that much for the song itself, surely? I've never been the biggest fan of Texas - they've been going since the tail-end of the eighties and while many of their singles are memorable, the only one I can recall ever liking was the commercial failure (and, if I remember rightly, Guy Chambers collaboration) 'I'll See It Through'. That said, 'Sleep' certainly has more of a hook than its predecessor, 'Getaway' and that fact that it's a duet adds an extra dimension to the song. Nothing that impressive, though.

New releases:
Al Haca - Mindgames/Day Break [7” only], Coldcut - Man In A Garage, Crimea - Lottery Winners On Acid, Discharge Ft MG15 - Split [7” only], Hoboken - Beauty Queen, House Headz - Stella, Jose Gonzales - Heartbeats, The Kooks - If You Don’t Love Me, Mark Owen - Hail Mary, Mylo - Muscle Cars, Queens Of The Stone Age - Burn The Witch, Rammstein - Rosenrot, Red Carpet - Alright, Richard Ashcroft - Break The Night With Colour, Shy FX Ft T Power - Everyday [12” only], Soul Central - Need You Now Stunt - Raindrops, Sunblock - I’ll Be Ready, Texas - Sleep, Thievery Corporation - Time We Lost Our Way [7” only], Trinity - Like The Sun, Wolfmother - Minds Eye [7” only]