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Friday, October 29, 2004

Oh. My. God.
I can't work out if it's great pop or not, but it's certainly something, isn't it? Abrasive guitar basically squealing out of the speakers aside, it's Girls Aloud. This is easily the most challenging of the three songs that have sort of leaked:

Girls Aloud - Wake Me Up

The other two I've heard, Big Brother and Deadlines And Diets are rather less revolutionary. The former is not too far away from Stop off the debut, and as such is rather good.

The latter dates back to Moonbaby's (Miranda Cooper) short-lived solo career as it originally appears on her sampler (alongside future GA album track Here We Go, tragically not turned into a global #1 by Lene Nystrom last year), and sounds like Never Ever or perhaps Pure And Simple, but is charming enough to work on its own merits - good singalong chorus there.

I'm not quite as blown away as Popjustice, but seeing how wrong I was about Mania's Looking For A Place and how in the minority I am about Love Machine (not as good as people say) and I'll Stand By You (better than people say), don't trust me.

I can't work out what to say about Wake Me Up though. It's pretty stunning in any case.
# 11:57 PM []
Updated, because the ever wonderful Dom Passantino, the greatest angry man from Northampton via Italy, sent me a ballot.

1. ERIC PRYDZ - Call On Me
EO: 6, KG: 4, SN: 6, AP: 4, PT: 0, DR: 8, JP: 6, DP: 8, SS: 10. Adjusted score: 6

I’m sure there must have been an era when the main reason why certain singles spent longer than a month atop the British charts was genuine mass popularity, rather than general indifference of the record-buying public towards any competition -- I can’t come up with an example from this century though. And Mr Prydz certainly ain’t one. The source material is superior in every way conceivable, and seeing that lycra doesn’t tend to push my buttons (on either sex), I find precious little to get excited -- nor, it must be said, irritated -- about. It’s Stardust and Modjo all over again.
SS: This IS proper dance music.
JP: I never thought I'd be pleased that this has retained the no.1 slot but when faced with a Manic Street Preachers single anything is possible.
KG: The kind of summery dance hit that always goes down well in the UK. I find it a bit epilepsy-inducing, but it does evoke a slight feeling of fond nostalgia for similar dance hits that were enjoyable circa-1999. I said slight.
SN: Hmm. It's euphoric, certainly, and if you're going to flog an old 80s horse to death, it might as well be a catchy one. But I'm still disturbed by the way it seems to flash out of my left and right speakers so unevenly. If I listen to it any more, I'm going to suffer the aural equivalent of an epileptic fit.
PT: Faceless dance sold to us as soft porn. Yawn. I hate seeing this crap sell time and time again in this country.
DP: So when I first heard this, I was all like “hmmm”, and then I was all like “meh”, and then I was like “yuck”, and now I’m like “yay”. Not since “Ignition Remix” spent a month at #1 has a song had less right being at the top of the charts, whilst simultaneously enjoying it so much. Anyway, next week this gets knocked off by Daniel Bedingfield, so enjoy it whilst it lasts.
EO: Valerie was such a great song, never gets its dues nowadays, and now everybody is going to hate it. Excellent, more fun for me. This is still too thin.

2. MANIC STREET PREACHERS - The Love Of Richard Nixon
EO: 2, KG: 7, SN: 4, AP: 5, PT: 7, DR: 1, JP: 2, DP: 0, SS: 10. Adjusted score: 4

Did the fucking Thrills get ahold of some Interpol & Garbage records? & did they neglect to unwrap the records before throwing them into the UberPop MulchATron 9000? & who the hell are they blackmailing to get this shit at the top of the charts? I'll give them the 1 point because ... well, they were worth a damn once, weren't they?
SS: I'm a bit biased I guess, since the Manics was the first Indie band I
got into circa 1996 ... so I actually liked almost everything they did
since , but I honestly, I really do love this track.
AP: A preferable candidate for #1 (well, maybe), but as a song just meh really. I might get booted off the panel for saying it, but I’d still much rather listen to this than to Everything Must Go-era material though
EO: The worst song off Everything Must Go is better than the best off the new one. FACT!
JP: This song doesn't make me love Richard Nixon and does quite the opposite for the Manics.
SS: One of the best things of theirs in ages, the retro 80s music works perfect, although i'm not that keen of James Dean Bradfield's new vocals, but this song is really original and unique especially compared to the rest of the top 10.
EO: Last good MSP song: Black Holes For The Young, but mostly because Sophie Ellis-Bextor on it.
KG: The Nixon voice-over at the end is scarily reminiscent of the spoken interlude prior to the final chorus in Boney M’s Ra-Ra-Rasputin. And the similarities don’t end there. The Manics, like Boney M, are huge fans of all joining in on the singing. And just as Phil Spector devised wall of sound production so that pop hits would sound good on AM radio, so the Manic Street Preachers adopt similar techniques for the internet streaming generation. This song takes pride of place in my “lush night-time soundscapes” playlist, but I’ll get sick of it eventually.
SN: I was reminded a little of Cake at first. And I like Cake. I also like the dry, shuffling drums and the electronic wash that seems to envelop the whole thing. William Orbit would be proud (kind of Beautiful Stranger-ish, actually). This could have been glorious...but with those lyrics? No. Just...no.
PT: Not bad actually. Their political edge always manages to turn me away, and it's true again here. Richard Nixon what? I think there is probably some irony here that they are expected to get on the Bush-hate bandwagon but they aren't really playing ball. The chorus is fairly bland but the electro undertone to the verses is really hypnotic and Bradfield doesn't sing in his normal manner. A nice traditional/non-traditional Mancs song.

3. KELIS featuring ANDRE 3000 - Millionaire
EO: 10, KG: 8, SN: 10, AP: 7, PT: 8. DR: 6, JP: 6, DP: 4, SS: 9. Adjusted score: 9

Edward O's simple rule for scoring a Kelis single: It gets 10 unless Enrique Iglesias is also on it (Enrique singles always get zero. That rule overrides the Kelis rule because evil ruins good).
DP: I’m a genius, and one of my genius ideas would be a remake of Pride and Prejudice starring these two. Just imagine Andy MMM rising slowly from a lake whilst God’s Daughter-In-Law looks sideways on through a fan. Considering Andre 3000 has never been any good at rapping, getting him in to do a guest rap does have Special Olympics tendencies about it, though.
SS: This one should be credited as Andre 3000 feat. Kelis, he sings way more than her on this, and is it just me or does he sounds a bit like the Streets in some parts of the song? But still regardles of what the song is excllent, this is how urban music should be done (note this KHIA).
DR: Oh, to live in a country where this sort of stuff actually charts. Oh, to live in a country where Kelis can get a hit that doesn't involve her shaking her milk. Oh, to live in a country where Wanderland WAS ACTUALLY RELEASED TO A RECEPTIVE PUBLIC YOU AMERICAN EXECUTIVE HALF WITS!
KG: Generally speaking, I am a bit sick of Kelis, but she sounds lovely on this. It’s a nice, genre-defying bleep fest.
SN: For a Kelis song, it could certainly do with a bit more Kelis, couldn't it? Nevertheless, this is divine. The fairy-floss backing, the gorgeously simple melody, the cascading piano parts...I could go on, but I probably shouldn't.
PT: More Andre than Kelis but enjoyable all the same. Not the strongest song she's ever recorded, but it's high-placing makes up for all unjust number 20-odd she's had. AP: As the ancient metaphysical philosophers of the Narcotic Thrust school would have it: I like it. After the sheer off-the-wallness of “Milkshake” and the funktasticity of “Trick Me”, it does seem to lack that Special Something to make me love it however, but maybe that will shine through with repeated listening. At any rate, kudos to the lyric writers for sneaking in a rare example of faulty grammar (“we is rich”) that manages not to annoy my anal self.
JP: It just proves what a weak week this was for singles when the weakest single yet from an album that's been out all year still reaches no.3.

4. KHIA - My Neck My Back
EO: 6, KG: 7, SN: 3, AP: 1, PT: 0, DR: 7, JP: 4, DP: 2, SS: 4. Adjusted score: 4

My ears.
KG: Dirty, dirty girl! Let’s just hope that the sweaty lotharios who are still dancing to this at several notorious venues near me don’t take her advice too literally.
SS: I thought it's was alright at first, and I actually enjoyed it a little, as it's really catchy, but that was about 2! years ago! Talk about being late.
AP: This somehow completely passed me by in the original release. Wasn’t missing out on much then. Female oral sex references in pop lyrics stopped having novelty appeal ever since Consolidated’s “You Suck” anyway, as far as I’m concerned
PT: This song is like an old ragged stripper who has had all life sucked out of her over the years. Put it away love, I've just eaten.
SN: At least there's a bit of playfulness to sex songs like Milkshake. This song...leaves me cold. It's not flirtatious, it's downright ferocious, and I'm a little bit scared of what Khia will do to me if I don't live up to her expectations.
EO: Still a good song - if a little dated, but sadly is probably to blame for Christina Milan. I can't forgive this.
DR: I think I bitched about this song in an old Freaky Trigger Focus Group. (Yes, the mythical and never-published number 7 - Ed) I am a super-stooge for doing so. PS - MY PUSSY AND MY CRACK.
SS: I don't find anything overly excited in the words "pussy" or "crack"
so please, get this over with ASAP.
JP: I actually hadn't heard this song until a few months ago, but I still don't see what the fuss was about.

5. DUNCAN JAMES & KEEDIE - I Believe My Heart
EO: 0, KG: 1, SN: 5, AP: 3, PT: 0, DR: 2. JP: 1, DP: 0, SS: 0. Adjusted score: 1

Worst song this year.
JP: I'm so glad I'm not Keedie. Firstly, she's called Keedie, plus she can't sing, looks revolting and worst of all she has to sing a duet of this pile of poo with the most useless member of Blue (even beating Antony!).
KG: Well, of course this languid (read earth shatteringly, pantswettingly boring), drawn-out affair comes from a film or something. There would really be no excuse for it otherwise.
AP: Treacly extracts from Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals = big no no. Duncan from Blue = er, yes probably, but preferably with the sound on mute. Random female blonde singer with stupid name = what-ever. So what does that equate to then? You tell me. Malta did it better at the Song Contest this year anyway. (All together now: “On again, off again…”)
SN: Points for the piano in the first few seconds of the song, which reminds me of a music box (I'm a sucker for music boxes). Points off for the stuffiness of the whole affair. You're singing popera here, people, not bloody Wagner. Lighten up!
PT: Narcoleptics beware!
DP: Fun fact: all opera, with the exception of that one song from Carmen, is shit.
DR: When I get married - that's right, folks, WHEN - I am going to have Stevie Wonder's "As" playing as my bride & I and anyone else that wishes to join us gets on the dance floor and dances in celebration of our blessed union. I say this because I've been to a handful of weddings where saccharine, treacly mealy-mouthed mewling like this is shoved into the CD tray, and it's all I can do to stop myself from clotheslining the bride & groom & the DJ & anyone else that gets fucking weepy. Which is to say that I shouldn't be invited to any more weddings.
SS: As if it's not bad enough that Blue STILL haven't split up, we already need to suffer from their solo careers. This song is SHIT , yes the typically Lloyd Webber shit that is supposed to be aimed at 40+ anyway, but is having a cross over cos of Duncan. And that poor opera singer , I bet no one would take her seriously from now ... And to finish of how bad this song is, I would like to quote Ellie from the Moopy forum (www.moopy.co.uk) after seeing them perform on Top of the Pops: "I thought he was actually singing live and that's why he sounds so bad, but it seems like it was playback, and if that's his singing abbilities on record ..."

6. R KELLY - Happy People/U Saved Me
KG: 5, SN: 0, AP: 0, PT: 4, DR: 7, JP: 2, DP: 7, SS: 4

If you can't step to this, then you shouldn't be allowed to walk.
DP: Pissing Bob returns, possibly pausing to acknowledge how the game done changed whilst he was away. The sort of functional quasi-Isley run-through that R can do in his sleep, but R Kelly on 50% is worth most paedophiles on 100%.
SN: I hate R Kelly with the fire of a thousand suns, so I knew I was going to be in a severe ethical quandary if I ended up liking this. Thankfully, this is shit. Derivative shit, at that (poor man's Jackson 5, anyone?). Good to see R Kelly can keep it consistent.
AP: Well, this is just that “Step in the Name of Love” shite he tried to peddle last year under a different title, no? If I were a teacher I’d say “young R. should apply himself more”, but I really just want the bugger to retire indefinitely.
PT: I thought I might like this - from things I've seen around I thought he might've moved into gospel & soul. Unfortunately its just more of the same, the same "hotel lobby" type of rubbish.
EO: No comment. My dislike for R Kelly means I'm ill-qualified to comment on anything he does that doesn't comment itself. Like She's Got That Vibe was bloody great, was it not?
KG: Another one for the lovers in the house. Fairly standard fare from R, which makes it okay as far as down-tempo adult R’n’B goes.

EO: 6, KG: 2, AP: 2, PT: 5, DR: 8, JP: 2, SS: 0

... and then this! This disastrous ballad is a terrible and oh-so-literal account of R Kelly’s own experiences of drugs, guns, drink driving and salvation at the hands of baby Jesus that is only made weirder by the use of a synthy water-drop sound effect.
JP: This is getting depressing now.
SS: R. Kelly has turned himself from an ok artist to a really crap one in
the last few years. Really his whole output is repetitive and annoyingly shit.
EO: Worth 10 if seen with the astonishing video, but rather hard to stomach without it. Never before has a trolley been such an essential prop in a music video.
AP: Wait a minute, scratch that, cause he does provide some merriment with stuff like this. I particularly like the way the choir in the chorus sounds like some kind of respiratory problem or uncalled-for body function (am I the only one with the urge to say “bless you” after every “you SAAAVED me”?). Chuck in some lines about a supermarket and you have a choon slightly too memorable to warrant a zero or even a one. Also the first Top 10 hit to clock in over six minutes since whenever Meat Loaf last had one, perchance?
SS: Really, beyond shit.
DR: U Saved Me is all about that wet boooip. I've spent the past week listening to baseball players on my favorite team praise Him for all of His blessings, so my usual skepticism regarding the type of testifying on display here has been replaced with abiding tolerance for views that don't jive with my atheistic agnosticism. And I've come to realize that R. Kelly could sell same-sex marriage to the Bush administration, so far be it from me to piss on the man when he's working his mojo in the studio.

Adjusted score for double A-side: 5

7. DEPECHE MODE - Enjoy The Silence '04
EO: 10, KG: 9, SN: 8. AP: 9, PT: 4, DR: 8, JP: 7, DP: 5, SS: 8. Adjusted score: 9

One of those song that makes you impatient for the time in your life when you will experience the emotions it describes. Almost perfect.
SS: It's a classic, period. I don't think anyone can ruin it, really.
EO: It's the exact same song, it's just got bleepier! Hooray!
DP: Because nothing screams quality like a remixed song named after the year its released in.
DR: This remix makes me wish that I could play Halo II.
JP: Depeche Mode are a bit before my time really but this is my favourite song of theirs that I know, so a good choice for a re-release.
SN: It all seems very dark and epic, which is undone a little by the cheery bubbling noises in the backing track. Like reading Edgar Allan Poe over the top of ABBA or something. Still alright though, innit?
AP: For the record, I am currently compiling a personal Top 2222 of all-time (we all have our eccentricities), and rest assured the original of this is set for a Top 10 position. When I learnt it was to be remixed, I was quite anxious about it being ruined, and I was definitely not a happy bunny upon hearing the Mike Shinoda mix played in the Radio 1 Top 40 on Sunday, given my aversion to all things nu-metal. The Richard X rendition and the Ewan Pearson mix up on chartsingles.net however are much more like it. Not the foggiest idea why this is classified as “Hiphop” on Chartsingles though, answers on a postcard please. - 9/10 as an average for the various mixes I’ve heard so far (10+++/10 for the original of course)
DP: Basically the original over-dubbed with the noises a lift makes when it reaches each floor.
PT: Perfect opportunity here to modernize and make something special, but it wallows in it's own retro-ness. The synths should've been placed lower into the mix, give it a bit more thump and prehaps add some Neptunes-esq clicks and pops. If the remixes actually do any of this then it will have been worthwhile, but if not.....

8. DARIUS - Kinda Love
EO: 4, KG: 3. SN: 7, AP: 6, PT: 0, DR: 6, JP: 5, SS: 8. Adjusted score: 3

Ooh, now this is actually a damn sight better than any of the ever-so-contrived singles off that first album (wouldn’t go as far as calling it GOOD though). How typical then that it barely limps into the Top 10… As for the album, I first expected it to pull a Shoot From the Hip, but according to certain reports, it’s set to do even worse than that glorious LP in its SECOND week! And seeing that he is with Mercury -- yes,, the label which saw no qualms in dropping Sinéad Quinn AND Lisa Scott-Lee -- I predict that will be the end for Mr Danesh. Ah well.
EO: That's twice we've had a mention of Sinead Quinn! Time for a mass critical re-evaluation of What You Need Is, methinks. Not this though. All four points for this are for the piano, which reminds me of Madness. Otherwise this is a bit too swaggering and overconfident for my taste.
DR: This reminds me of a Walkmen song. Or a Jonathan Fire*Eater song. The piano does. In the intro. Not the squeaky-clean Maroon 5 stuff that follows. The singer could use a slap, though.
SN: Oh my god! It's a honky-tonk piano! I love the honky-tonk piano! And I love looking at Darius! I adore this song already! Frustratingly, nothing seems as good as the first verse, although the "ba ba bas" come quite close. Nothing life-changing, but still better than most of the guitar-driven pop that's out at the moment.
JP: This is quite catchy and ace considering who is singing it, but if it can't even get in the top 5 on this rubbish week then I think that says a lot about Mr Danesh's career.
DP: I was wondering why people were hanging the bunting out around my way, but now I realise they were just in a state of ecstasy because Darius is back! Dazza lets us know that he’s “walking on water” in the lyrics here, but I can’t help but think that the Nazarene carpenter’s efforts pale into insignificance of the miracle that is Darius’s awesome recording career. Let’s hope he doesn’t get crucified at any point in the near future whilst, three days later, a Roman centurion rams a spear into his side.
SS: Oh mr. Darius always knows how to provide good pop music for the ears as far as i'm concerened, I really like the melodies to his songs (yes, even if they ARE similar to old songs in cases) , and this one doesn't disapoint me at all, i'm sure in 2 months i'll probably forget about it, but at the moment it's pop music like it should be done, especially for a Popstars/Pop Idol reject!
KG: This jaunty piece of Scot-pop is a big pile of pap.

EO: 3, KG: 8, SN: 9, AP: 7, PT: 9. DR: 7, JP: 7, SS: 7. Adjusted score: 8

His third best ever single! Still absolutely dreadful. I mean, Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy? Fuck off. He's rubbish - I mean, do you people remember how horrid that Me Me Me single was?
SS: Had Robbie transformed into Gary Numan? No matter what really happaned
to him it's at least a bit different, and produces quite a nice catchy single for him, his best thing since Feel anyway.
DR: Hey! Robbie Williams likes Take Me Out! Hey Robbie! Give the Manic Street Preachers some lessons in how to pull this shtick off, would you?
SN: Lose the accent, Rob. Other than that, I have no complaints. Completely dumb, thundering, stadium-filling pop. Like what Bon Jovi would do if they used more synthesisers.
AP: Classify this in the “growers” file, will you? - 7/10 (2/10 three weeks ago)
DP: “He’s stolen my Oscars”. I’m pretty sure you didn’t get an Academy nod for Robbie The Reindeer, Williams. In fitting with him being “the British Eminem” (except that Mathers is really the American Robbie), as soon as he realised he didn’t need to try anymore, he didn’t. That skeletal “rayddeeoooohwhwhwh” howl, however, is the best thing he’s done since, well, “Robbie The Reindeer”. (NB: When Dom sent this in, he accidentally, maybe, put the artist as The Divine Comedy. Haha! Zing, Robbie!)
PT: Wondered when this would pop round as it presents an interesting conundrum for me. I like electro-pop, I dislike Robbie Williams immensely - yet I always try to look at things objectively. What if it wasn't Robbie singing it? Would I like it then? Because while the video is absolutely vulgar (Robbie's hip-grinds, ladies completely covered in tattoos so they look like oil slicks), the song is perfectly placed pop nonsense.
EO: Robbie gets critical respect from right-thinking music nerds? I'm taking my ball and going home. Who are you people!!!
JP: Still very undecided on this song, not loving or hating it, just tolerating it. Will my children be next?

10. DEEP DISH - Flashdance
EO: 8, KG: 9, SN: 3, AP: 8, PT: 0, DR: 10, JP: 9, DP: 1, SS: 7. Adjusted score: 8

Fantastic. Oblivious. Insidious.
JP: Worth a listen if only for the fabulous line, "a girl like me, are you kidding? Well I'd tell him that I'd rather die..." Now that's girl power!
AP: Rather good really. In a better world THIS would be going into its fifth week at #1.
SN: You know what I hate? Songs that sound like they're going to offer you a chorus (a cracking one at that) after a massive build-up...and then fade back into nothingness. With some sort of climax, this would have had some sort of direction and been brilliant. But with nothing of the sort, it's just frustrating. BAD and frustrating.
SS: This is certinaly a grower, the beats in this start really well, and it builds and builds, and just when you wait for it to explode it doesn't, it just stop!
PT: More faceless dance. I hate this stuff, but it never fails to shift.
DP: It’d be nice if this song started at any point.
EO: Rather decent faceless dance, though.
DR: Sloppy and confident - the woman's just doing her half-hearted goth diva thing (a little bit of Chrissie Hynde in her nonchalant sneer & moan), the beat drops out whenever, starts back up like it never went anywhere, ends when it damn well pleases. The song treats me like the woman in the song would treat the guy - reel him in, string him along, and then just turn around and walk away. Which, of course, leaves the guy stumbling after her, even if he's got no shot. And it leaves me double-clicking. (And, no, that's not a euphemism.)

Scuttlebutt from some previous respondents seemed to indicate this would be a low-scoring round. Most of those people haven't submitted this round, strangely, so it's 57 points. For now, anyway.
# 11:10 AM []

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Apparently bits of the Girls Aloud album have leaked. SOMEONE HOOK ME UP, PLEASE. Please? Oh, come on!

While not being in the UK meant I never listened to him, it's deeply sad that John Peel has died. Back in the last part of my dying indie days, I used to vaguely follow the sorts of things he playlisted (the Festive 50, etc) and search them out. I came across a few bands that I still love because of him, and the fact that he was still doing it at 65 should make him an inspiration even to those who never listened or never shared any common listening ground. If I'm still listening to great pop and enjoying it at half that age, that'll be an achievement. For him to have done it for so long and retained such enthusiasm astounded me. RIP John Peel.
# 1:29 AM []

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

THE 411 - Teardrops

See, this makes perfect sense. Having tried to give themselves a tinge of authentic Americana with an ill-advised Ghostface cameo, this is an inspired retreat.You'd recognise the sample as the same from Portishead's Sour Times. I was an unashamed trip-hop fan. Still am. The genre didn't stagnate, which is what most people say. Back at the beginning, trip-hop sounded like hip-hop, it didn't just rhyme with it. Just because vaguely similar records came that were divorced from the hop and too obsessed with the trip doesn't change things. Beth Gibbons was a seriously upset torch singer, but Geoff Barrow was a hip-hop junkie, and it always showed.

Sour Times, as a peculilarly British response to an American sound, is thus the perfect vehicle for The 411. That creepy spy-movie guitar sounds just as eerie as it did in 1994 when it soundtracked Beth Gibbons' unending misery, and the best thing is that this is The 411's first substantial song to match the sample.The cadences in the verses remind me of at least three different hip-hop singles that I can't think of, and, oddly, Miss Independent. Some spooky, but pretty backing vocals and handclaps have changed the atmosphere into one of resigned acceptance rather than despondency. There's also a bit of personality emerging in their delivery, especially in the broken-down (just the beat) middle-eight which is downright creepy - well, as creepy as pop gets. The narrator, as silly as it seems to call it that in a group, says that "To see you hurt/To see you cry/Gives my soul a natural high" and "Your teardrops came and set me free" to say that another's pain has vindicated her, but there's something not quite convincing - you don't believe it, and like all the best pop drama, it's unresolved at the end, until you repeat. I had feared it would cannibalise too much by cribbing the wah-wah theremin outro, but it fades out at 3:05 after two more choruses, not quite freezing over, not quite tailing off, but absolutely perfect. It's a surprisingly knowing, effective recontextualisation of a sample that's very dear to a lot of people's hearts, but it doesn't come off too badly when placed next to Portishead - it's sleekly modern enough to stand on its own.


LEMAR - If There's Any Justice

Of course, not all Americanization goes right. Lemar's got Cassidy in on one version of this, and it's a jarring annoyance. But the version without it sounds empty too - largely because it sounds timider and quieter - something fits in the space, but what? It's a pity, because this is almost terrific too. Lemar's easy delivery works, particularly over the minimal, pulsing bass and beat, with strings colouring only when necessary. But where there's supposed to be a big chorus, something doesn't quite get there - maybe it's because the ante is upped slightly - the strings become more prominent, Lemar raises to suit, but the magic isn't present... I can think of bits I want toughened up, moved around, excised. Half-way can be really frustrating because there really is a fantastic single in here that of course can't get out now because it's finished. Damn it.

LEMON JELLY - Stay With You

An idea that's been lavishly painted and brought to its natural conclusion, but it was an unfinished, insufficient idea at the start, which is a pity. The one line sampled over and over again, "I wanna stay with you" is used as much as it can be - there's a particularly wonderful bit where it sounds like a climax - but it cuts out dead over cutting in-and-out backing, which is gorgeous, but shouldn't first singles be more than just fully realised? Musically, this is great, but it needs another line, another set of words to take it somewhere rather than it just cycling around in a pleasant manner. Something like Nice Weather For Ducks got around this by using a longer sample and breaking up into sections which made its six minutes a continuing pleasure. This is half the length and twice as laboured because there's just not enough in the idea to justify it going even three minutes. Very pretty, very effective and completely unnecessary in the end.
# 11:49 PM []
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