Monday, February 13, 2006

Lewis's Single of the Week (13/02/06)

Yes, the job of educating the hoi polloi has fallen to yours truly this week, as the lovely Hannah takes a backseat temporarily. So I have the benefit of being able to sprinkle your little minds with the fairydust of worldly knowledge. If music be the food of love, play on...

Single of the Week:
The Liars - 'The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack' (Official site and video)
First things first. The Liars' titles are a curious business, infused, as they so often are, with a bizarre blend of pomposity and silliness. But get beyond the rather unwieldy appellation of this effort (a precursor for the forthcoming Drum's Not Dead album), and you'll find a rather picturesque, melodic piece of drone rock. It drifts along like a daydream in which all is right with the world; an episode of calmness, safety and intimacy, swathed with quietly elegant lyrics that promise 'if you need me / I can always be found...' We never find out where, but it's rewarding to know that it's in a place like that envisioned by this strangely compelling and beautiful song.

Also recommended:
The Magic Numbers - 'I See You, You See Me' (Official site and video)
'I See You, You See Me' is a much better offering from the Numbers this time around, in comparison to their last release, the dismal 'Love's A Game'. This is mainly due to the fact that it gives more prominence to Angela Gannon's gorgeous voice, thereby aiding its transformation from a generic white soul slowie into something a bit more, well, soulful. The lyrics veer on the wrong side of self-absorption, despite the rather nebulous definition of twin personalities, and the inescapable references to love still remain. But the sweet melody and harmonious vocals ensure that The Magic Numbers pull it off, whilst proving that they can be broody as well as they can be breezy.

Rhymefest - 'Brand New' (Official site - includes video)
Che Smith, aka Rhymefest, is a long-time friend of hip-hop impresario Kanye West - he co-wrote West's 2004 hit 'Jesus Walks', and has roped him in here on his debut single, by means of a collaboration. As you'd expect, there are bitches, niggaz and muthafuckers aplenty, all set against a cornucopia of tumbling loops and beats. West and 'Fest's dual works well, and occasionally throws up some lyrical gems ('Excuse me - I'm whacktose intolerant') that are most definitely bling, as the ghetto hordes have it. Ultimately, this is a solid, if fairly unspectacular debut effort. It's not as good as the stuff that West's putting out at the moment, but it serves its purpose.

Don't bother:
Goldfrapp - 'Ride A White Horse' (Official site and video)
Goldfrapp continue to ride their one-trick pony (see what I did there?) into the murky depths of the knacker's yard. You know what this means - more spasmodic electro-synth riffs that sound like they've been pilfered from 'Spirit In The Sky', and more breathy vocals from Our Alison. I fear that one day she might get too breathy and expire completely. They're hardly the picture of originality, Goldfrapp, and I'm convinced that their popularity is solely built on the lurid fantasies of drippy indie types with repressed Oedipus complexes. They're your usual Alison-worshippers. Without them, the Goldfrapp aesthetic would be seen for what it really is: sterile and boring.

Nickelback - 'Far Away' (Official site and video)
According to the video, this song is all about the perils of being in love with a fireman, which is surely an impressively original choice of subject material. Sadly, it's all downhill from there - this is Nickelback through and through; Chad Kroeger's bucket-of-gravel voice rupturing a hard rock ballad that's complete with acoustic guitar twangery and ostentatious drumbeats. It's all highly radio-friendly and highly unadventurous. Indeed, the whole thing is so slowburning, there's no need for the fireman. Just stamp it out.

All releases:
Aphrodite Ft Beverley Knight - Sometimes [12” only], Beulah - Stay, Boy Kill Boy - Back Again, Boyfriends – I Love You, Cherubs - Paper Cut Moon, Dilated Peoples - Back Again, DJ Friction – Play The Game [12” Only], Eighteenth Day Of May – Cold Early Morning [7” Only], Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel, Emmanuel - Flirtin’, Envelopes - Freejazz, Fallout Trust - Washout, Four Day Hombre - First Word Is The Hardest, Four Story - Hand On My Heart/Tracks Of My Tears, Fresh BC - Immortal / Living Daylights: Volume 2, Friday Hill - One More Night Alone, Goldfrapp - Ride A White Horse, Harrisons - Blue Note, Hush - If You Go Breaking My Heart, Humanzi - Long Time Coming, Joff Winks Band - Share My Blues, Joseph Arthur - Devil’s Broom, Levy - On The Dancefloor, The Liars - The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack, Liz McClarnon - Woman In Love, The Magic Numbers - I See You, You See Me, Marcos Hernandez - If You Were Mine, Marshals - Make Her Cry, Mazarin - Another One Goes By, Neal Casal - You Don’t See My Crying, Nickelback - Far Away, Oceanlab - Sirens Of The Sea, OK Go - A Million Ways, Pistolas - Listen Listen, Pretty Ricky - Your Body, Reel People - In The Sun, Regina Spektor - Us, Research - Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same, Rhymefest - Brand New, Robin S - Show Me Love [12” only], Saucy Monky - I Touch Myself, Scary Kids Scaring Kids - Only Medicine [7” only], Sine Star Project - Strange Girl, Sparks - Perfume, Stevie Wonder - From The Bottom Of My Heart, Tool - Parabola [DVD only], Tool - Schism [DVD only], Tru Menace feat. Lee Henry - Y Did You Leave?, Wills & The Willing - It's Easy.