Once the thrill of the cast and visuals wears off, this follow-up to Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland is a drag
This Week's Singles Reviewed - 14 February 2011
Featuring Frankie And The Heartstrings, Lady Gaga and Lykke Li
Ah, vim and gusto! How lovely to have you both so well represented within the beat group stylings of this foppish, youthful combo. How delightful that the boys have also brought along an innocent, wordless refrain, so that we can all join in with the fun. And what fun it is: ruddy of cheek and joyous to boot.
Just think how perfect a day it would be if the song didn’t dip a bit when it runs out of ideas in the latter third. That would be a day worth marking with an extra-large red star in your diary, and no mistake.
Frankie & The Heartstrings, 'Hunger' - track by track
Lady Gaga - 'Born This Way'
Lessons this important song can teach us: “OK, listen! Whoever you are, whatever you’re into, love yourself! Be true to who you are! Don’t hide the purity of your inner being! Leave all the haters behind! You are beautiful! We are beautiful! Madonna’s ‘Express Yourself’ is beautiful! I should know, I totally nicked it! Didn’t even bother to change the best bits! And I don’t even care! How’s that for honesty? HAHA! I can do BLOODY ANYTHING, and SO CAN YOU!”
Lady Gaga, 'Born This Way' - NME readers react
Lykke Li - 'I Follow Rivers'
Listen, you are clearly far too attractive a person for me to lie to, so I’ll be honest; this isn’t as good as ‘Get Some’. It’s good, it’s got a funky pulse and some swirly organ bits and some great ringing conga/bongo/cowbell noises (the bits that sound like a bucket bouncing down the stairs). Lykke is still channelling the spirit of a dead-eyed vamp on a quest, and that’s always fun. But ‘Get Some’ was empirically fantastic on every level. This, while perfectly pleasant, is not.
Lykke Li, 'Rivers' - free remix
Sea Of Bees - 'Wizbot'
Ignore the band name, ignore the song title. You’ll only end up picturing a bunch of surf-dudes sitting in a circle and high-fiving while they bash out a stupid in-joke of a song about getting wasted in a camper van. This spindly accusation is not that song; Sea of Bees – actually a lady called Jules - is not those people. If they were, they would never have brought in someone to play a mournful vibraphone, not without a LOT of giggling, anyway.
JLS ft. Tinie Tempah - 'Eyes Wide Shut'
Girls, if anyone approaches you with the following cheesy chat-up - “if I could rearrange the alphabet, it’d be U, I, JLS, BA to JFK, LAX,” just take a moment to consider the logistics before agreeing to anything. That’s a long time to be in a confined space with five pop stars, at least four of whom will try to impress you by doing flick-flacks over the stewardess’s trolley. You’ll be exhausted before the wheels even touch the ground. It might be best to say TTFN and just let them get on with it.
Mirrors – ‘Into The Heart’
A warning for all bands: dressing up in suits like toffs is a wonderful thing. It immediately puts you in a different place from, on the one hand, rough-arsed oiks like the View, and on the other, actual toffs with horny-handed ploughman waistcoats, like Mumford and Sons. But it does raise expectations, and if you fail to meet them – by releasing a song which is epic in quite a dreary way, like a widescreen 3D IMAX view of a wet Tuesday in Leamington Spa - you will look insufferably smug, and rather punchable. So, just be careful, OK?
10 tracks you have to hear this week
This week's new albums reviewed, featuring PJ Harvey, Mogwai, Bright Eyes
Other songs you can buy:
4th Street Traffic - 'Together We Stand!'
Aerials Up - 'Superglue'
Bag Raiders - 'Sunlight '
Blackout - 'Higher And Higher'
Brooke Lawrence - 'White Knight'
Caro Emerald – A Night Like This'
Christian TV - 'When She Turns 18'
Chromeo ft. Elly Jackson – Hot Mess'
Corinne Bailey Rae - 'The Love EP'
Encore - 'Wind Up'
Far East Movement feat. Ryan Tedder - 'Rocketeer'
Ghostlight - ‘Morning Lights’ / ‘Fingerprints’
Holy Coves – ‘The Droner EP’
Hazell Dean - 'They Say It's Gonna Rain 2011'
I Am Ryan - 'Stay'
Jedward - 'Lipstick'
Jessie & The ToyBoys - 'Push It'
John Legend & The Roots - 'Shine'
Lauren Pritchard - 'Stuck'
Love Parry III - 'Race For The Poison Chalice'
Lower Than Atlantis - ‘Beech Like The Tree’
Lulu & The Lampshades - 'Cold Water'
Mandisa - 'Stronger'
Maps & Atlases – ‘Living Decorations’
MEN – ‘Who Am I’
Munk – ‘Keep My Secret’
Norman Palm – ‘Sleeper’
Ola - 'All Over The World'
Elle Osbourne - 'Good Grief'
Nu:Gen - 'Sweet Harmony'
Pitbull feat. T-Pain - 'Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)'
Raph Solo - 'Rich In My Heart'
Rudedog - 'Feel The Power Of Bass'
Sara Bareilles - 'King Of Anything'
Sarvi - 'DJ's Bringing Me Back To Life'
The Secret Sisters – ‘Tennessee Me’
Steve Cradock - 'Last Days Of The Old World'
Talay Riley - 'Sergeant Smash'
Thirteen Senses – ‘The Loneliest Star’
Tina Dico - 'Love All Around'
Tony Christie - 'Now's The Time'
Yetunde - 'Mr GQ'
You Me At Six & Chiddy - 'Rescue Me'
Christmas - 'Namiot'
Craft Spells - 'After The Moment'
Dane / Bron & Koosh - 'Is That A Drunk? / Jackin' The Mann'
Eagulls - 'Council Flat Blues'
Maps & Atlases - 'Living Decorations'
The Megaphonic Thrift- 'Talks Like A Weed King'
Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells - '(If You) Keep Me In Your Heart'
Hesta Prynn - 'Turn It Gold'
Sea of Bees - 'Wizbot'
Sparkadia – ‘Mary’
Stealing Sheep - 'The Mountain Dogs'
Furlan Williams - 'When Autumn Leaves Fall'
Wolf People - 'Silbury Sands'
Model 500 - 'OFI'
VVolves - 'VVolves EP'
Cassette (yes really)
Dolfish – ‘Your Love Is Bummin’ Me Out’
Artist Unknown - 'Waveshape'
Black Rose - 'Anthem'
Chateau Flight - 'Chici Devils'
Contakt - 'Not Forgotten'
Cosmin Trg - 'Separat'
Creep - 'Days'
Martin Dawson & Glimpse inc Ewan Pearson - 'No-one Belongs Here More Than You'
Dr Dunks - 'Romanticos'
Drugg - 'Shackled EP'
Echo Lake - 'Young Silence'
Faltydl - 'Hip Love'
Harvey Presents: Locussolusi - 'Want It'
Hot Toddy ft. Danielle Moore - 'Freekend'
Josif - 'Brick Jane'
KGB - 'Ghetto Blasta 2010'
LHAS - 'Learning To Live'
Little Leaf - 'Little Leaf 2'
Littlefoot - 'Interplantary EP'
MKDiner - 'City Sound 1'
Mr Fingers - 'Washing Machine'
Naum Gabo - 'Songs From A Great City'
Newcleus - 'Jam On It'
N-Type & Cyrus - 'Dark Frequency'
Dwayne Omarr - 'Multi Funk'
Peddars - 'Hankuri'
QNS - 'QNS6'
Simoncino - 'Tales of Mistery EP'
Solomun - 'Daddy's Jam'
JD Twitch - 'Cumbia'
Wild Geese - 'The Runner'
George Clooney and Julia Roberts bounce off each other like pros in this amusing take on fat cat greed
The hooks are plentiful and the energy’s palpable, but the Bottlemen still don’t have a ‘Wonderwall’
The Pulp frontman and foremost writer of dirty ditties has surprise-released four tracks to accompany a new TV show
Will Toledo has been making melancholy slacker rock in his bedroom since 2010. He’s finally hit on the magic formula