This Week's Single Reviews (04/06/12)
Gotye, Hot Chip, Jessie WareMore on Various Artists
Jessie Ware -'110%'
Anyone who heard Jessie Ware’s previous single ‘Running’ and was ready to write her off/chalk her up as Sade for the generation that missed her the first time might be surprised by this. J-Wa – as no-one is currently calling her – employs an overproduced yet understated vocal style for much of ‘110%’, and it serves the song well. Can the fact that it never quite gets going be seen as a positive? 110%.
Hot Chip - 'Night and Day'
Hot Chip have done more for the steel drum than anyone since Sebastian The Crab from The Little Mermaid. They can’t resist a bit of it. While not as immediate as ‘One Life Stand’ or ‘Ready For The Floor’, this is still some pretty compelling ‘Fear Of Music’-era Talking Heads-influenced electropop. A particular highlight is the spoken-word breakdown in which Alexis Taylor asks, “Do I look like a rapper?” No, you look like a physics teacher who’s lied about his age to go on an 18-30 holiday. But hasn’t that always been the point?
Aiden Grimshaw - 'Is This Love?'
The nature of reality TV is such that the nation’s memory span for its stars lasts about two weeks after eviction. So, 18 months after The X Factor 7, Aiden Grimshaw has finally released his debut single – just when the public wanted it most. The song deals with pop’s biggest question, and while it’s not terrible it’s underpinned with the unmistakable creak of someone desperately wanting to be taken seriously.
Marcus Collins - 'Mercy'
Another X Factor finalist is also on the single trail. ‘Mercy’ would make a valiant boot-camp performance but, in the “real” world of pop music, to use the parlance of the show, this won’t be “going through to the judges’ houses”.
Perfume Genius - 'Dark Parts'
Mike Hadreas has written a song about his mum with a piano part that seems perfectly suited to an advert for mobile phones. Bish, bash, bosh – Mum gets a new car. Smart thinking, Hadreas. I’m being cynical. This is a lovely song if you can get over the fact that he calls his mum “baby”.
Gotye - 'Eyes Wide Open'
A Peter Gabriel impersonation + a Peter Gabriel ‘Sledge Hammer’ rip-off video + a bunch of humourless Canadians stood around a guitar = pop success? It’s quite a niche equation, but is it a replicable formula or the musical equivalent of George’s Marvellous Medicine? Unless there’s a gang of Swiss sat around an oboe ready to pop a cover of this on YouTube I’m afraid Gotye may soon be another act your dad excitedly asks if you’ve heard of at the next family dinner.
This article originally appeared in the June 2nd issue of NME
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