This Week’s Singles Reviewed – 30 May 2011

Every Monday we deliver our verdict on the new single releases. Here Gavin Haynes picks through this week’s new tracks, including the latest from Wiley, Arctic Monkeys and, er, Andrea Corr…

Arctic Monkeys

Wiley – ‘Numbers In Action’ (Big Dada)
It was Wiley who first ushered the present wave of synthy pop-grime into the charts with ‘Wearing My Rolex’, then delivered its nadir with Roll Deep’s chart-topping ‘Good Times’. So good on him for atoning by making one of the best UK rap singles of recent times. His very own ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, ‘Numbers In Action’ is a song that squeezes so much mad bounce out of its tiny minimalist beat that it could potentially do what ‘Wearing My Rolex’ did and once again change the course of grime. When Chipmunk is at Number One with his own minimalist rip-off of Tinchy’s minimalist rip-off of the track with Tulisa singing a minimalist hook culled wholesale from LeAnn Rimes’ ‘How Do I Live’, we may reserve the right to hate him again, but for now at least, Wiley u da king.

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ (Domino)
Sorted. The Monkeys have finally done what they spent the whole of Humbug not quite managing – actually out-QOTSAing QOTSA. Tearing off into a reddening desert rock sunset aboard a 7000 horsepower riff, all while Alex Turner is as wry as he’s ever been. If the disconnect between primal rock power and lyrical drollery gets any more acute, the Monkeys are going to end up as basically Frank Sidebottom fronting The MC5. Do we want that? Is that as unbelievably cool as it sounds?

The Young Knives – ‘Human Again’ (PIAS)
Having listened to it five times, I still can’t work out whether ‘Human Again’ is a likeably kinetic comeback for indie pop’s kings of the Second Division, or merely the sort of thing that’s cynically designed to get hammered 90 times a day on Xfm. Part of me feels underwhelmed. Part of me thinks ‘Well what’s the part of me that’s underwhelmed been listening to recently that’s so bloody amazing anyway?’ to which the other part of me replies in turn: ‘Planningtorock and M People. Deal with it’.

Erland & The Carnival – ‘Springtime’ (Full Time Hobby)
Erland & The Carnival seem like nice enough dudes who are perfectly adept at creating interesting electronic textures, of which there are plenty here, if only really interesting in that semi-dull way that you’re supposed to enjoy because it’s sophisticated or something. That aside, why do I always have to be the Woodward & Bernstein of music journalism, aka The Only Writer Talking About The Uncanny Resemblance This Song Bears To ‘Mad World’? Really. Listen to it. The chorus is bang-to-rights the verse of ‘Mad World’ – I’d recognise it anywhere, officer. It’s a fact both amusing and tragic. Which is to say: I find it kinda funny. I find it kinda sad.

Andrea Corr – ‘Tinseltown In The Rain’ (AC Records)
No one was expecting Andrea Corr MBE to ever do anything meaningful with her remaining lifespan, but Jesus, couldn’t she at least have graduated to Best Of The Eighties Volume 2 by now? The limp studio cockblattery through which The Blue Nile’s original has been strained is definitely the end of music and I’m not even joking this time. No, the only Corr solo project I’d be interested in is a Jim Corr MBE one. Tinseltown, as Jim knows, is actually a town full of money-counterfeiting lizards, where everyone is trying to fry your brains with their tiny X-Ray machines, meaning you have to wear that tinfoil helmet that you keep for just such occasions. Jim, available at, has fantastically lurid imagination to burn: he’s the Syd Barrett of The Corrs, and should be allowed to explore his frazzled worldview via a major label recording contract immediately, unlike his sister’s weak David Gilmour-style witterings, which should be dropped, hard.