Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
This Week's Single Reviews (02/07/12)
Plan B, Katy Perry, Dirty Projectors
Plan B - 'Lost My Way'
It begins with a soul-infused vocal. Then comes a pitch-shifted voice, some discordant pianos, a bitter rap about “mum and dad” who “never made much of themselves” and an ominous growl that sounds prime to drop at any point. It should be contrived, but it’s just... not. At all. And as Ben Drew repeatedly spits “if you don’t believe in something, then you’ll fall for anything”, we find ourselves falling deeper.
Gossip - 'Move In The Right Direction'
The Beth Ditto that once graced NME’s cover – edgy, naked, brilliant – would have fucking hated this. From the blindingly boring tropes about “getting better one day at a time” to the kind of vapid dancefloor beats Scissor Sisters would reject for being too obvious, this is everything the Gossip shouldn’t be. Moving in the wrong... oh whatever.
Katy Perry - 'Wide Awake'
Poor Russell Brand. While it seemed odd that a man with a fondness for Oscar Wilde could pair up with a girl with a fondness for dressing up like a space age watermelon in the first place, you’ve gotta feel sorry for the guy in light of this one. “Falling from cloud nine,” she sighs. “Crashing from the high...” And thus, a million fans tweet hate Russell’s way, to help K-Pez through this hard time.
The Gaslight Anthem - '45'
TGA have the kind of hyper-passionate fans that’ll lynch you if you so much as insinuate that Brian Fallon might not actually be the second coming of Christ. So ‘45’ is very much a Gaslight Anthem song that sounds quite like other Gaslight Anthem songs, but hey, that’s fine! ’Cos, y’know, Gaslight Anthem, yeah? Yeah! (Please don’t hurt me).
Field Music - 'Who’ll Pay The Bills?'
The brothers Brewis may peddle a line in geek chic that’s just a tad too ‘library’ to ever be fashionable, but thank God for that. ‘Who’ll Pay The Bills?’ is a delightfully small-town kind of wonky that dabbles in XTC oddities, then checks itself, realises there’s no need for any of that nonsense and abruptly ends before anyone notices how weird it is.
Dirty Projectors - 'Gun Has No Trigger'
Some dude singing an inspirational ditty about “finding” the “truth” and “knowing yourself” alongside a chorus of angelic girls might not sound appealing. And fair enough. This is not New Christian Rock Express. But for a quick fix of musical salvation that won’t tell you you’re going to hell for half a Marlboro Light, Dirty Projectors’ latest will do nicely.
This article originally appeared in the June 30th issue of NME
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