Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
This Week's Single Reviews (09/07/12)
Florence, Nicki Minaj, The Cribs
Florence + The Machine - 'Spectrum'
Like the drunk at your office party hell-bent on showing off zany holiday snaps, Flo’s back to prove how goddamn weird’n’wacky she is. Thus, when she starts honking “say my name” over some Twilight-tinged waftiness, it’s less like she’s hankering after some saucy assignation and more like she’s bullying you into submission. “Say my name! Spread tales of my supernatural kookiness far and wide! DO IT!”
The Cribs - 'Glitters Like Gold'
It’s heartening to see that, even sans Johnny Marr, the Jarman clan have retained some more sophisticated Smithsian DNA in their blueprint. Of course, what with The Cribs being The Cribs, their brand of subtlety still boasts snarling feedback, amps being bulldozed into submission and a drunken bellow of a chorus. Which is a mighty fine thing.
Lana Del Rey - 'National Anthem'
You’re the hottest commodity in all of Popland. What’s next? Rope in Fame Academy’s David Sneddon to pen a song for you, obviously. The rest is lamentably inevitable: Lana sort-of-raps, and it’s dire. She blunders her way through ham-fisted lyrics that have all the subtlety you’d expect from a man who once rhymed “café” with “coffee”. And Sneddon laughs giddily on his way to the bank, delirious that he’s conned the record-buying public once more.
Nicki Minaj - 'Pound The Alarm'
Even when lumbered with what should be a stinker, young Onika’s still got enough bad-ass charisma to wring some brilliance out of it. In anyone else’s hands, ‘Pound The Alarm’ is naught but a trance-trodden charmless ringtone. Factor in Minaj hollering “Bottle, sip, bottle, guzzle/I’m a bad bitch, no muzzle” though, and you’ll feel like you’d flog your kidneys for a night on the razz with her.
Marina And The Diamonds - 'Power & Control'
Oh Marina. You’re better than this anaemic, sub-Lady Gaga bilge. You don’t need to sully your name with piss-weak electropop dirges; you shouldn’t be wibbling through lyrics that were seemingly lifted out of a self-help book (“Women and men we are the same/And we still play the stupid game”).
Will Young - 'I Just Want A Lover'
Forget the song and cast thine eyes upon the video, in which Will Young dances sexily with a trolley. Which means either a) he’s got a lucrative tie-in with Morrisons or b) he’s shooting for a supermarket-style update on JG Ballard’s novel Crash, which will culminate in him getting his manhood stuck in the bit where you jam your pound coin. Hope it’s the latter.
This article originally appeared in the July 7th issue of NME
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