NME’s Ben Hewitt reviews this week’s singles, featuring Katy Perry, The Vaccines and Friendly Fires
Katy Perry – ‘The One That Got Away’
Man alive, is Katy Perry dreary nowadays, bleating on about some high-school crush who once gave her the heave-ho. More alarmingly, her dream beau is an inked-up, Mustang-driving meathead whose recipe for romance is a quick fumble in a car. What’s that, Katy? “I was dreaming you were my Johnny Cash”? For the love of God, woman, did you not see Walk The Line? You can do better, believe me.
The Vaccines – ‘Wetsuit’
K-Pez isn’t the only one longing for the past. The Vaccines have plumped for nostalgia too: see this sepia-tinged ode to young love, like the aural equivalent of your intimate relationship snaps taken on Hipstamatic. “For goodness sake, let us be young,” croons Justin. But it’s precisely this devil-may-care attitude that’s knackered his throat. Can’t all be free booze and groupies, you know.
Seventeen Evergreen – ‘Polarity Song’
Seventeen Evergreen, on the other hand, could do with indulging in a spot of debauchery – mainly because a truly distressing night on the tiles ought to put an end to their sexless electronic noodling. Try telling us to “embrace the polarity of life and all the good and the bad we share” when you’re sobbing in the corner after warping your noggins with nasty opiates, chaps. Won’t be so sunny then, will you?
Friendly Fires – ‘Blue Cassette’
Hallelujah! After all this decidedly snoozy partying, praise the Lord for Friendly Fires, for they truly do have the whole best-night-of-your-life spiel down pat. And, by crivens, they know what doth make a killer single: a stonkingly stupendous chorus. In this case, it’s one that’s a glossy’n’gleaming Technicolor dream so lurid that, with any luck, you’ll be dribbling with euphoria before it’s scarcely taken off.
Woman’s Hour – ‘Jenni’
One would hope this is an ode to Jenni Murray, beloved stalwart of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, who’s made a living grabbing slippery politicians by the short and curlies and making them squirm. Alas, it’s hard to imagine her sternly taking Thatcher to task over this breezy lull, but that doesn’t make ‘Jenni’ any less beguiling: it’s still a soft, calypso-infused slice of escapism that errs on the right side of fluffy.
Fixers – ‘Majesties Ranch’
Previously in this very column, m’honourable colleague Luke Turner bemoaned Fixers’ transformation from psychedelic explorers to sonic eunuchs, playing record label-buffed guitar pop. Sadly, it’s been irreversible, these ‘singalong’ chants bereft of bravery or boldness. What might have been…
This article originally appeared in the December 3rd issue of NME