Vere Views & Reviews; Music, Books &

Archive for April, 2013

Cheryl Fights Back!

English: Cheryl Cole wearing a Lurex dress whi...

English: Cheryl Cole wearing a Lurex dress whilst performing with Girls Aloud at Battle Abbey, Hastings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cheryl – My Story (Book)

A lot has been written about the former Mrs Cole; now just Cheryl. Here is her chance to tell her version events. Cheryl covers her early life in Newcastle up until the Girls Aloud reunion in 2012 and everything else in between. Cheryl talks candidly about the relationships with the men in her life, Ashley Cole, Derek Hough, Will.I.am & Simon Cowell.

Cheryl has fitted a lot into her first 10 years in showbiz it hasn’t been an easy ride; where both metaphysical and physical fighting plays a big part. One wonders how did this Geordie pop pariah turn it around to become a Pop Princess & according to Terry Wogan; the nations sweetheart.

The first thing Cheryl wants us to know is that she is a fighter, in her prologue Cheryl talks about her near brush with death after being struck down with Malaria. Thereon in sets the tone of the battles that Cheryl has had to fight;

  • To save a relationship with a former boyfriend who was taking heroin.
  • A toilet attendant albeit in self-defence.
  • To save her marriage to Ashley Cole after a string of allegations hit press about his alleged infidelity.
  • For her acts on the X Factor UK.
  • Simon Cowell.
  • The media & obtaining a press injunction.
  • Now Magazine regarding an alleged relationship with MC Harvey.
  • The generally held public perception that her solo career only took off because of the X Factor.

One can fully understand why Cheryl’s first single was “We Gotta Fight For This Love

I scoured the book for some juicy titbits about Girls Aloud; with 5 girls together for long periods of time surely there must have been Catfights & spotlights; what we learn is that Cheryl formed close bonds with Kimberley and Nichola and that Sarah was initially a bit distant and that Girls Aloud were nearly dropped after their first album as sales had not been as good as expected.

We also learn that in 2004 Girls Aloud hold crisis talks & determine that they need management and in Spring 2005, just before their first tour, the girls chose Hilary Shaw as their manager as Shaw had previously managed a girl group but what about Nadine I hear you say – the only disagreement that Cheryl mentions is that once Nadine was 3 hours late and her and girls completely lost it with Nadine.

The Girls Aloud reunion, after a three-year hiatus, is mentioned briefly in the book & Cheryl returns to it in the epilogue. One cannot help but think there are juicy morsels waiting to be aired!

Cheryl pulls no punches with the controversies that have surrounding her career. She talks candidly about the toilet incident; which went from being an assault to a racially aggravated assault; read her account and draw from it your own conclusions as to whether Cheryl was fitted up. Cheryl talks in amazing candour about her marriage breakdown & her attempts to make her marriage work. The irony upon irony is that whilst her marriage was in crumbles she was due to perform “Fight For This Love” on the Brits in 2010.

Cheryl talks openly about her relationships with Simon Cowell, Derek Hough & will.I.am all whom have played major roles in both her personal and professional career. The press have always liked to infer that there was something more to these relationships, here Cheryl  puts the record straight .

Cheryl-My Story is an engaging book its warm, candid, funny and heartbreakingly sad in places as well as highlighting the perils of being in the public eye. Cheryl always had the belief that she would be a performer and have a No.1 record, but you never know what price you have to pay to succeed and Cheryl has paid a heavy price, this is what I believe made her the nations sweetheart.

As this chapter closes another one opens, but you know that it won’t be easy but I suspect that there is more fight to come. As Cheryl sings “Anything that’s worth having Is sure enough worth fighting for, quittings out of the question, when its tough gotta fight some more

VereView Rating VVVV/5
VereView Fight For This Love

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Unklejam

UnkleJam For What Am I Fighting For (Single)

UnkleJam a trio of talented singers, consisting of Bobby Joel Stearns, Tyson Speede & Adonistar, who fused; Soul & R&B, Electro and the odd White Stripe sample into one delicious brew.

The band were short lived (commercially), relasing 3 singles of which “What am I fighting for” was the pick of the bunch, eventually reaching No.16 on the official charts in June 2007.

An aggressive soulful vocal upon a throbbing electro beat questioning for what am I fighting for plus a stunning video, this band had all the ingredients to be huge, unfortunately this was as good as it got for UnkleJam, however, we can VereView the video for “What Am I Fighting For”

Quin Twins Are No Fools

Tegan & Sara – I Was A Fool (Single)

To the uninitiated Tegan & Sara Quin are identical twins from Canada who have made a number sprightly indie pop albums. On their seventh album, “Hearthrob” they have enlisted the production duties of Greg Kurstin, amongst others ,who knows his way around a pop hit.

The second single following from last years “Closer“;” I Was A Fool is pop perfection, a radio led piano ballad, sweet harmonies and bittersweet lyrics about a relationship that has broken down & not being able to move on. How can any one not like a lyric like “Love like ours is never fixed“?

VereView Star Rating VVVVV/5
VereView I Was A Fool

Texas Talking

Texas The Conversation- single

Let’s talk about Texas; can it really be over 7 years since they released their last single “Sleep”? Sadly it is, however, Texas are back with a brand new single and a familiar sound.

For “The Conversation”, taken from the forthcoming album of the same name, Texas have gone back to basics in musical terms, going back to what made them such radio favourites in the 1990’s, i.e they have gone back to go forwards. To top it off, Sharleen Spiteri is rocking the androgynous look to full effect.

Texas always seemed to specialize in having a good intro into their songs and on the “The Conversation” they do not disappoint. The slide guitar sound which was prominent on “I Don’t Want A Lover” is used here to give “The Conversation” a bluesy country feel, whilst keeping it’s pop sensibilities.

“The Conversation” does not out stay its welcome, clocking in at just under 3 minutes. I expect that we will be speaking about Texas again; after the album “The Conversation” is released on May 20th 2013
VereView Star Rating VVVV/5
VereView The Conversation

Schemes Means Tears

English: Image shows Marcus Reeves

English: Image shows Marcus Reeves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marcus Reeves – Black Tears (Single)

Black Tears is the lead off single from Marcus Reeves’s forthcoming album “Quicksilver -The Masquerade Macabre.” With a title such as Black Tears, I was not expecting a happy go lucky song, but what I didn’t expect was for the song to draw me into Reeves’s narrative.

The intro, which to me is reminiscent in structure to the beginning of Madonna’s Like A Prayer, sets the scene for the remainder of the song; what follows is a bittersweet tale of twisted love; wanting and of course “Black Tears.”

Reeves paints a relationship where he is given nothing that cant be kept, so why does he want to continue the relationship?

Where other artists may have felt the need to unleash vocal acrobatics to this song, Reeves’s vocal delivery is restrained and understated and what I call other worldly, think Antony and Johnsons & Woodkid, you genuinely believe that Reeves has lived this song. Here’s hoping that those “Black Tears” turn into gold & platinum tears of record sales.

Vere View Star Rating VVVV/5
Vere View Black Tears

(Boxed) Little Boots

Little Boots Live & Boxed in conjunction with @DeezerUK
Red Gallery; London 18th April 2013

Have you heard of a silent disco, well up until tonight it was an alien concept to me. On arrival to the car park at the Red Gallery, after I navigated their Laissez-faire entry system, I was given a set of headphones. The concept is that you listen to the performance on said headphones and boogie until your hearts content. It was strange seeing an artist perform inside a box in a car park , this is what essentially Little Boots does tonight.

After success with their debut album “Hands” Little Boots, primarily Victoria Hesketh, is back with a new album, “Nocturnes” ready for release.

Little Boots served up a palatable mix of Electro, House & Disco. Although I wouldn’t consider this a full album launch, this performance was staged in conjunction with DeezerUK, the set consisted of a mixture of tracks from both “Hands” & “Nocturnes. “

Little Boots opened with “Motorway” which sounds very similar to Saint Etienne, they followed this with their current single, “Broken Record” Then comes Boots’s tour de force “Stuck On Repeat” Judging by the swaying the crowd seems to like this song as much as I do.

The new tracks played stood up well against the older material and irony of all ironies they play a track called Headphones, Hesketh protests that the song was not commissioned for this event, I can vouch for this as I have seen a video for this track last summer. All too soon the set is ended with a stirring version of “Remedy“.

Due to the crowd unleashing so many tweets, we get the reward of one more track without the aid of headphones. The track is called “Shake”

On “Every Night I Say A Prayer” Little Boots sings I have seen into the future, I want you to take me there. Well tonight in conjunction with @DeezerUK I too have seen into the future.

Set list:
Motorway
Broken Record
Stuck On Repeat
New In town
Beat Beat
Headphones (at the disco)
Every Night I Say A Prayer
Remedy
Shake (without headphones)
Vere View Star Rating VVV/5
View Every Night I Say A Prayer

Brand New SunLight?

Brand New Heavies ft N’Dea Davenport – Sunlight (single)

If I were to list all the vocalists that The Brand New Heavies (BNH) have used, I would not have enough room to write this review, all that you need to know is N’Dea Davenport is back on lead vocals.

Sunlight is the lead off single from the their forthcoming album; Forward (Due out May 6th ). Its everything you would come to expect from a BNH release with N’Dea’s silky smooth vocals over a competent acid jazz disco groove.

Whilst this song may have charted in the mid nineties (during their golden period) its hard to see this effort troubling today’s chart, not that this is a bad effort, but it is as if time has stood still for BNH. Maybe a nifty remix from a DJ de rigueur could see a new generation of fans shaking their thing to this on the dance floor.

View Sunlight

Vere View Star Rating VVV/5

Fall Out Boy To The Rescue

Fall Out Boy -Save Rock And Roll (Album)

Fall Out Boy (FOB) are back to, ahem, Save Rock & Roll! I can see this title rubbing some people up the wrong way. I would assume that if FOB are going to tour to promote this album it will be called Fall Out Boy Save Rock Tour

So how does the self proclaimed saviours of Rock and Roll new opus fare? FOB come over as an emo punk pop version of dare I say it Queen, with the grandiose intentions of their songs. Pete Wentz might be a higher profile public figure, however, the real beauty on this album is Patrick Stump’s vocals which can go from shouty & angsty to angelic choirboy and then back again.

My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, Young Volcanoes and The Phoenix (together with its dodgy rhyming couplet, I’m going t change you like a remix, then I’ll raise you like a phoenix), already show its business as usual for FOB

Should FOB want to put out something slower for their next release then Just One Yesterday fit’s the bill nicely. On Death Valley, I half expect Stump to launch into I don’t want your freedom. Miss Missing You & Where Did The Party Go have the potential to be huge hits. FOB are not immune to having guest artists on their albums and the don’t come any more diverse than Its Courtney Bitch Love, Big Sean, Foxes and Elton John.

Elton pops up on the title track, which works surprisingly well. Do Fall Out Boy Save Rock and Roll? I will leave that to you and their record sales to answer.

View The Phoenix –

Vere View Star Rating VVVV/5

Brown Recycles Jackson

Chris Brown -Fine China Video & Song

How to approach Chris Brown’s music is a conundrum, do you comment on his past misdemeanours or do you just focus on the music. In his video for “Fine China” Chris Brown makes that decision for you .

Before the music begins we hear dialogue from a girl, who turns out to be Brown’s girlfriend saying “You don’t even know him“, to which her father says he knows enough. The Girlfriend walks out on her father into the waiting arms of Brown, who just happens to roll up in his car. We all know what happened to a famous girlfriend who went on a car ride with Brown. Will fiction mirror true life?

I cant help but think that this is Browns way of flipping the bird to his detractors. Now that the elephant is out of the room we can concentrate on just the music and the video.

What Brown delivers is an homage to Michael Jackson, both vocally and visually from the opening Ow & ho and even name checks Dangerous a number of times. The dance & fighting sequences could have been lifted from a number of Jackson video’s. That said, the song is good, probably the best song that  Jackson never recorded and the video, although portentous, is highly watchable.

Did the girl remain unscathed after a car ride with Brown. Here is a clue, in this video it is better to see Chris Brown beating his opponents rather than beating his girlfriend.

VView – Chris Brown – Fine China

VereVeiw Star Rating VVV/5

Lidell Offers Funk

Jamie Lidell – Jamie Lidell

Uploading two of the most experimental tracks from the album to you tube; What A Shame & WhyYaWhy might seem risky to the uninitiated, however, Jamie Lidell has plenty in reserve, offering a retro sounding funk album but at the same time making it sound current.

After listening to this album, I had to check out Jamie Lidell’s heritage to see if he was related to Prince or Stevie Wonder, because if they had a lovechild (as implausible as it sounds) this is the album that child would make; step forward Jamie Lidell as this album evokes early Prince (think Controversy).On Blaming Something, close your eyes and you would swear that you are listening to Stevie Wonder.

You Naked is the most commercial track on the album, to see and hear an artist at the top of his craft seek out Jamie’s live performance at

If you are looking for a funk alternative to Timberlakes’s So/So Experience, you wont go far wrong by giving Jamie Lidell a try

VereView Star Rating VVV/5

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