Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
This Week's Singles Reviewed (17/03/12)
Blood Red Shoes, Coldplay, Summercamp
In which Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell summon the spirit of ‘Rated R’-era QOTSA to sumptuous effect, and end up with their most thrilling single yet. Transforming them into ‘The Kills it’s OK to like’ in three minutes and 30 seconds, the brilliance of ‘Cold’ is particularly surprising due to its subject matter: stepping into the shower in the morning and realising your boiler’s fucked.
Los Campesinos! - 'Songs About Your Girlfriend'
We’ll tread very lightly here, seeing as we don’t want Gareth from Los Camp to come round our house and beat us up for talking about his private life in print again. So, to put it as simply as possible, then: ‘Songs About Your Girlfriend’ is dreary, drippy shite from indie’s very own Byker Grove posse of fuckwits who should have done us all a favour and split years ago. Ahem.
Citizens! - 'Reptile'
With the sprightliest track here by some way, Citizens! seem to have stumbled across the key to writing perfect pop choruses (basically: kick in no later than the 60-second mark, repeat at least six times and, er, make it catchy as fuck). So, ‘Reptile’ is playful, boisterous, a tad demented and features what could possibly be a toddler playing the main riff on a Fisher Price keyboard (FYI, this is a good thing).
Coldplay - 'Charlie Brown'
You can’t call a song ‘Charlie Brown’ and make it worse than the Peanuts theme. I don’t care if you’re Chris Martin. I don’t care if you’re a member of your very own Coldplay gym, or if you recorded it in a church, or if your wife’s doing a recipe book especially for vegans who teach Bikram yoga to monks. If you call a song ‘Charlie Brown’ and it sounds this half-arsed you are officially Out Of The Club.
Madonna ft Nicki Minaj & MIA - 'Give Me All Your Luvin’
Like that parade of girls from the Boots adverts, Madonna, Maya and Minaj are truly a force to be reckoned with. And, at times, highly annoying. Not so on this, though – it’s Madge’s strongest comeback single since ‘Hung Up’, and has the added bonus of featuring Nicki rapping about being a Roman and a barbarian. And it’s actually based on ZZ Top’s 1983 ode-to-the-road track of a very similar name (PS it’s not).
Summer Camp - 'Losing My Mind'
Sort of half as good as ‘Ghost Train’ (which was very, very good), this is essentially what Lizzie and Jeremy must have imagined Shelagh Delaney might have sounded like if she were living in Dalston in 2012 writing Hypnagogic: The Musical.
This article originally appeared in the March 17th issue of NME
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