Our reviewers round up the best and worst of this week's single releases.
Sons And Daughters – Gilt Complex (Dan Rawnsley) ***
A best of Sons and Daughters should be in the soundtrack to your insanity. The guitar scratches up your spine and the bass threatens to fracture your skull. ‘Gilt Complex’ has a place in that best of, but Sons and Daughters have produced two albums of spine scratching brain beating songs. The sound is tweaked and tightened; it scratches in an oh-so-slightly more pleasurable way, but it’s more of the same. A stable rather than innovative track, but then again innovation might not have been the aim. Bonus points for the b-side ‘Killer’, which managed to break my back.
Willy Mason – Gotta Keep Walkin’ (Charlie Radcliffe) ****
It is a huge injustice that the implausibly wet James Blunt, nice chap he may be, headlines Wembley Stadium while fellow acoustic strummer Willy Mason is still making do with a support slot on KT Tunstall’s tour. New single ‘Gotta Keep Walkin’’ does not have the infectious tune of his Tunstall collaboration We Can Be Strong or the sing-along factor of breakthrough hit Oxygen, but it still manages to combine adept storytelling with a swirling melody. ‘Gotta Keep Walkin’’ is not Mason’s finest moment, but it still makes Blunt et al look incredibly pedestrian.
Keane – The Night Sky (Rees Arnott-Davies) **
I feel guilty about giving a charity single a bad review, but nowhere near as guilty as how I’d feel if I were to pretend that ‘The Night Sky’ was anything other than a droning mess of self-congratulatory pretension. The opening verse ‘One day I will be / Back in our old street / Safe from the noise that’s falling around me’ eerily captures the feeling of listening to this song. Through strained ears, every now and again I can make out some semblance of a tune, but mostly it’s just noise. But buy it anyway, for charity and stuff…
Beverley Knight – Queen Of Starting Over (Portia Patel) **
Beverly Knight is one of those artists from whom you know what you’re going to get. ‘Queen Of Starting Over’ from Knight’s latest album Music City Soul, is no different to the usual fusion of pop and soul that she has traded in over the years. There is no denying that Knight is a talented soulstress; however, this track does not really do justice to her passionate and flamboyant vocal abilities, failing to take off after a promising opening. The lyrics are repetitive and unmemorable, and the chorus is seemingly non-existent and gets lost amidst a background of southern soul-inspired horns. ‘Queen Of Starting Over’ is no ‘Piece Of My Heart’. Beverley, sorry to say, but you ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’ done better!
Photo of Sons and Daughters by Jason Evans.