SHAZNAY LEWIS - Never Felt Like This Before
I really liked the Appleton album, but it really could have done with a slow-burning R&B slow one. So it was with much glee that I listened to this solo debut from She From All Saints Who Wrote Never Ever
. Acoustic guitar and some vaguely Orbit-esque bleepy keyboards open, and completely fail to give indication of what's to come.
There definitely seems to be a nod to the dreamier end of the trip-hop scale in the verses, but they're sufficiently short to not send you to sleep, and she amps up the attitude and the pace in the pre-chorus before a magnificently rousing singalong chorus. It actually reminds me of Siobhan Donaghy's solo album quite a bit, in that it's a hugely accomplished, insidiously catchy but rather low-key song with hooks that are far subtler than you'd expect from someone who used to be in a girl group.
She's into you like a bad-ass tune. And she looks really great in the video as well.
JAVINE - Best Of My Love
Yes! She's back. Real Things
was actually the last CD single I bought, so this makes me very happy. Basically, Javine's schtick is that she is everything that Beyonce has been repeatedly told she is, but isn't. Aside from her fantastic voice, she can be rather subtle when she needs to be rather than Beyonce's one-speed robotic overdoing that mean when she's not good, she's a train wreck.
This is a fabulous pop song. She wonders why "the best of my love" wasn't good enough, but at no point does she resort to moaning aimlessly, or worse, attacking with bad puns - Frankee, I'm talking to you here. And the backing! Oh yes, take a back seat the bastardised lite-R&B of Real Things
, this even beats the gloriously inauthentic and danceable pop-soul pastiche of Surrender
, this is sonically great beyond all precedent. Lightly buzzing, but pulsing bass, an irresistable groove and a beat that performs that lovely chameleonic trick of seeming phat behind the glorious mess built above it, but then sounding spare and far away behind the breakdown section near the end, allowing Javine's glorious pipes to dominate proceedings entirely. Her best single yet, hopefully this will do the business for her on the charts as she's far too special to fall through the cracks.
A Million Love Songs
That would be a new MP3 blog that posts nothing but MP3s of great pop songs about love. I got invited to join, and it seemed like a good idea, so it should be fun, and a way for me to write about pop songs of yore, rather than this blog's focus on fairly new stuff. Visit it now