0th Week: New Season

Hello dear reader(s). Single reviews are back, which is rather depressing after allowing myself to get all excited about exclusively excellent music just before Christmas. But now it’s 0th week and raining, and once more we shall don our mitts and scavenge for titbits on the midden of the music industry. After that, I’ve got a new feature to buck you back up.

White Lies – To Lose My Life *

Those teasers! White Lies are treating us to a sweet little puzzle here. Are they going for Depeche Mode? Echo and the Bunnymen? It’s very confusing in the verse as to exactly which ’80s indie grouches they’re really ripping off. Then the chorus comes in and clears everything up with a cheeky grin – it was just The Killers all along, as usual! Oh, the scamps, what will they think of next?! (Actually, there are undertones of Stellastarr* here too, except that band would never have turned out so plodding and stunted a tune)

Girls Aloud – The Loving Kind ***

Like the song above, this is indebted to the ’80s. Most things are, and most – unemployment in the north-east, yuppie consumerism, White Lies – are very bad indeed. However, this steals a large slice of fun from the Pet Shop Boys, throws in some generic and undemanding beats, and infuses it all with a warm, bubbly sort of feeling that saves it from mediocrity. Not as innovative as some of their singles, but a damn sight better than moping indie luddites.

Kid Cudi – Day ‘N’ Nite ***

A potential R&B/rap star with an irreverent sense of humour, meaning he doesn’t take himself so ridiculously seriously? This is strange and welcome news indeed. He needs to work out that, if he’s going with the big chorus thing, he needs an actual tune, or at least a hook that uses multiple notes. But all the same, however atonal this is, the beat’s good and there’s a fresh sort of pulse going on underneath. Promising.

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Little Boots – Stuck On Repeat ****

For some reason, this is still iTunes’ free single of the week, so for god’s sake go and download it if you haven’t already. Not her best effort, and you hardly need telling she wrote it for Kylie – it sounds almost exactly like ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.’ But then that was a great pop song, and so’s this. It sounds rather sassier in the studio than in this pyjama-acoustic clip, mind…and maybe her success will get people listening to Imogen Heap again. That’d be nice.

Something Old, Something New

This is my new plan: I find a semi-obscure classic record for a knock-down price and point you in its direction, then point out something more up to the hour alongside it. Up to the minute is a little too hip for me…

Vera Lynn, The Best of Vera Lynn – Laugh if you will, but this WWII sweetheart sang some of the greatest easy-listening songs ever penned: intelligent, romantic, by turns strident, kitsch or sultry. OK, there’s some embarrassing stuff on here, but 25 songs for 88p is something like a good deal. Classic standards like ‘Over The Rainbow’ compete with those she made her own, from ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to the supreme ‘White Cliffs Of Dover’.

Empire Of The Sun, Walking On A Dream – how’s this for cutting edge; it’s not out for over a month. But judging by the title track, this could be 2009’s Oracular Spectacular. If you want something already available, then you won’t find a better deal than last month’s Welcome To Mali by Afropop legends, Amadou et Mariam, going for £3 on Amazon’s mp3 store.

And that’s my good deed done for the day…