Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
This Week's Singles Reviewed (02/02/13)
Charli XCX, Thumpers, Swiss Lips
Charli XCX – 'You (Ha Ha Ha)'
Whoa. Charli XCX is, like, a pop star, right, but in ‘You (Ha Ha Ha)’ she says – lots of times! – the f-in’ f-word! Which means she’s edgy and dangerous and NOT FOR KIDS, like as if the Xs in her weird surname didn’t tell you that already. So let’s say this in language she will understand: Charli, Your Song Is Shit (Ha Ha Ha).
The Heartbreaks – 'Hand On Heart'
You wouldn’t hear such filth coming from The Heartbreaks. These nice boys (the sort you could take home to mum) are having a go at stringy indie (strindie?) on new single ‘Hand On Heart’, but a bit of violin won’t disguise the fact that every one of their songs sounds like a Gene B-side. And if you don’t remember Gene, they’re a band whose each and every song sounded like a Morrissey B-side. “Hand on heart, foot in mouth”, croons singer Matthew Whitehouse. “Corks in ears, bag over head,” thinks NME.
Julio Bashmore – 'Husk'
It’s generally accepted that the second best thing about Julio Bashmore (after making puns on his amazing surname) is the absolutely massive ‘Au Seve’. ‘Husk’ is not ‘Au Seve: Part Deux’, but that’s actually a good thing, as it’s a slow-burner that proves he’s no one-trick pony. Still not as much fun as saying ‘Julio Mashedmore’, ‘Julio Lashmore’ etc etc though.
Thumpers – 'Dancing’s Done'
Thumpers live up to their name with ‘Dancing’s Done’, in that the intro sounds like a load of stuff being hit with sticks. It turns into big, gushy indie via some Elbow-y vocals, then there’s a kick-arse guitar solo, then it ends up sounding like something Win Butler once hummed but forgot about.
Swiss Lips – 'Danz'
Over in Switzerland, Swiss Lips were hanging around in the studio, wondering when people would finally notice them. Then they spotted a musty old wooden box in the corner, a mysterious CCTV symbol etched into its lid. It was ye olde lost outtakes from Hard-Fi’s ‘Stars Of CCTV’, and ‘Danz’ was one of the treasures held within. Which is a long-winded way of saying that 2003 called and it wants its hot new sound back, please.
Little Mix – 'Change Your Life'
Our trawl through the worst week for singles since the one in which Bob The Builder’s ‘Can We Fix It’ was released concludes with Little Mix’s ‘Change Your Life’ – which comes out on top simply by not being quite as horrible as the others. It’s got Coldplay piano, attitoody rap-talking, a monumental chorus and lyrics that are all inspirational. “You’re untouchable!” it says, as you look in the mirror and puke.
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album