Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
This Week's Singles Reviewed (01/09/2012)
Gotye, Kindness, Scouting For Girls
Gotye - 'I Feel Better'
We’re pretty sure that when things like “BEARDED COLLIE SINGS ‘SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW’” start popping up on the internet, it’s time to a) Cash in and start a chain of French swimwear shops called ‘Somebody That I Jacques Cousteau’; or b) Record a mildly shit Motown pastiche for the follow-up. Gotye’s chosen the latter.
Alanis Morissette - 'Guardian'
Alanis will always be tied to her most high-profile period – specifically, when she was Pissed Off With Some Guy In The ’90s. Such is her fate, the bright, new-ageisms of ‘Guardian’ can never compare to such golden-age couplets of venom as “You took a long, hard look at my ass/And then played golf for a while” from 1995’s ‘See Right Through You’.
Amelia Lily - 'You Bring Me Joy'
On The X Factor, Amelia Lily’s ‘thing’ was singing in the style of someone really, really angry at something really, really mundane. And so it is on her debut single. She delivers each line with an atonal, generalised fury, like she’s reeling off the shades of Dulux white paint B&Q didn’t have.
Kindness - 'That's Alright'
Doing a sleek re-tread of the go-go classic from Trouble Funk called ‘Still Smokin’’ is one thing; adding in a chorus that sounds like it’s sung by Kid Creole’s Coconuts is quite another. Adam Bainbridge continues his run of intelligent, timelessly funky singles with another corker.
P!nk - 'Blow Me (One Last Kiss)'
A friend of mine recently sat me down and said, “You need to stop using so many exclamation marks. You’re 33!” They were probably right. And I can’t help but suggest a similar thing to P!nk, who’s 32 and still sporting a zinging “!” in her name, and therefore quite close to being the musical equivalent of the middle-aged woman in the office who wears her hair in bunches and does all her inventory in highlighter pen on Miffy stationery. This comeback song, with its vacuous call-to-arms to no-one in particular, does not help matters.
Scouting For Girls - 'Summertime In The City'
Who are Scouting For Girls? How have they not been a) Under rigorous investigation by the Child Protection Services for their name; b) Demonised for their habit of carelessly dropping their “h”s in the style of Johnny Depp “not talking proper innit”; and c) Stopped from making this ‘summer’ offering with a riff more seal-clubbingly annoying than ‘Chelsea Dagger’? Please write to your local MP if you have the answers.
This article originally appeared in the September 1st issue of NME
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