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Archive for May, 2013

Thicke Blurred Lines

Robin Thicke at the DNC convention on August 2...

Robin Thicke at the DNC convention on August 29, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robin Thicke feat T.I & Pharrell – Blurred Lines

What do you get if you splice Marvin Gaye‘s Got To Give It Up & Madonna’s Give It To Me, with a dash of saucy lyrics throw in a rapper (T.I) & one of the men of the moment Pharrell Williams; plus a little controversy (the unrated video) you end up with Blurred Lines which is shaping up to be Thicke’s biggest ever UK hit.

Robin Thicke is no overnight sensation, think of him as Justin Timberlake but without commercial success, apart from his 2007 hit Lost Without U, however Blurred Lines, taken from the forthcoming album of the same name is about to change this.

Blurred Lines is a record that will get any party groovin  for sure, with an infectious yelp, a Prince like falsetto and a heavy bass.  Is there an act this year that Pharrell wont gatecrash?

 

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

VereView Blurred Lines-  go on line for unrated version

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Talk About….Texas

TexasThe Conversation (Album)

Sharleen Spiteri & her gang are back with a new album with a familiar sound. Like so many artists they have gone back to what had made them successful. No fancy American executive producers Texas have largely kept the production in-house. This is the tightest and rawest they have sounded in years. Some have commented over the band aping The Pretenders, Debbie Harry & Blondie, but who were they aping? Texas delve straight to the source.

Proceedings kick off with the title track & current single, The Conversation, it is an obvious choice as a first single as it says look Texas are back. It sounds as if Texas have re-discovered the Texas sound, it’s lean & taut, Sharleen’s vocals are both  haunting and confident . The conversation sets the listener up nicely for what’s to follow.

Dry Your Eyes is one of a number of songs that sound heavily influenced by 60’s girl groups. If This Isn’t Real – sounds very much like a Phil Spector track, it brings to mind Then He Kissed Me.

Detroit City is the best of the rockier numbers this track wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Garbage album. I can see this track being a real crowd pleaser. FYI Detroit City is known by other names i.e. Motor City & Motown. Hid From The Light is another up tempo rocking number this is a song that I can imagine Deborah Harry singing.

One of the standout tracks on the album is Be True, this is Texas at their very best. One of the best Motown tracks never to have been recorded by a Motown artist;  if you catch my drft.

Maybe I – whenever a song lyric starts with maybe I , I cant help but singing didn’t love you. Maybe I sees Sharleen in reflective mode, this track could have been written for Elvis Presley.

Big World is their River Deep Mountain High & Proud Mary moment, this sees Texas in playful mode, even the lyrics have a nod and a wink to Proud Mary, “The world keeps on turning trying to find my feet…” This has potential single written all over it.

Listening to the album you cannot help but feel that Texas have been heavily influenced by girl groups of the 60’s the Shangri- Las, The Shirelles & The Crystals to name but a few.

The longest track clocks in at 3.42, these are taut compositions, Texas are not messing around with overlong, over produced numbers, its as if Texas have got rid of the fat and given us nothing but the meat. They have served up a taste of Americana in their own indomitable style and prove to us that they haven’t stopped talking yet.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

Darlin Murs

Darlin Murs.

Darlin Murs

Olly Murs – Dear Darlin Single

I was sitting a coffee shop, one that pays it taxes I hasten to add, when over their speaker system they played this retro sounding sweet song, the voice sounded familiar but I couldn’t put a name to it, so I shazamed it and to my initial surprise it came back as Olly Murs – Dear Darlin

I say initial surprise because, Olly Murs seems to release at least one song from his albums that makes me go who was that? From his first album, Olly Murs; Busy; this track was so good that a well-known high street store used the instrumental track for its commercials, on his 2nd Album, In Case You Didn’t Know; who did not succumb to Heart Skips A Beat. Now Murs releases Dear Darlin his third hit from his third album, Right Place Right Time.

Dear Darlin was co-written with the talented Ed Drewett, is a heartfelt letter to a lover, the relationship was sort but at least they tried. Music wise it apps Mowtown, while not exactly pastiche it is a nice slice of retro pop which Murs sings sweetly. With Murs the support act on Robbie Williams‘s Take The Crown tour, if Murs releases more quality pop like this he may well do so.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

VereView Dear Darlin

Who’s Been A Naughty Boy?

Naughty Boy feat Sam Smith – La La La (Single)

Naughty Boy is his stage name but his parents know him as Shahid Khan, chances are if you brought a record last year you already have at least one of his compositions in your record collection, as well as being an in demand producer and song writer Naughty Boy co-wrote and produced the bulk of Emeli Sande’s debut album Our Version Of Events. Naughty Boy has already been a credited artist on two Top 30 hits, both with Sande; Daddy and Wonder, which was the lead off single for his forthcoming album Hotel Cabana

La La La is the second ingle from Hotel Cabana and this time Naughty boy has Sam Smith covering vocal duties, and what a good job he does because his sweet vocal belies the bittersweet lyrics of someone who no longer wants to hear the words from a partner when their relationship has broken down, over an addictive garage tune with added breakbeats. However I feel the childlike nagging La La La Na Na Na refrain may become irritating after repeated plays.

VeReView Rating VVV/5
VeReView La La La

Scream More Light Please

Primal Scream – More Light (Album)

Primal Scream have certainly given their fans something to get their teeth into on More Light clocking in at just under 70 minutes; they are not afraid to switch genres from almost lounge singer to angry rockers and to psychedelic hippies.

2013 gives their dystopian view of the times, VereView their video below, it clocks in at 9.00 minutes long, however, apart from the elongated ending it keeps you interested with the nagging saxophone hook ingrained in your brain

River of pain – Bobby Gilllespie subdued vocals over a Spanish guitar groove is a thing of beauty- Boy you feel the pain when there’s nothing you can do, you carry it with you refrain is so apt in these austere times. If Bobby Gilllespie is trying to soothe the pain with his vocal delivery then it works for me

Cultercide is Primal Scream in angry mode and Primal Scream have a lot to be angry about, a take on surviving in today’s modern society. Don’t ask for mercy ask for help sings Gilllespie

Goodbye Johnny slows down the pace is slinky and almost lounge. Invisible city – has cross over appeal and more energy than most of the songs in the current top 40 – love this city such a beautiful city. Walking With the Beast has a tripped chill out feel about it.

Its Alright Its Ok, closes the album and sounds like it could have come from the Screamadelica sessions, it is uplifting and. easy on the ear, this is definitely this albums Movin On Up. It’s a pity that there are not a few more tracks like this; as it is worth purchasing the album for this song alone.

Primal Scream on More Light sound like a band energised with loads of ideas, however, More light is not easy to digest in the one sitting because just as you think you have figured it, Primal Scream throw in a curve ball and switch genres.

There is something on this album for anyone who has causally followed and those that have stayed loyal with Primal Scream. This is no Screamadelica Part 2 but More Light is the closest we have come as Bobby Gillispie sings Its Alright, Its Ok

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

VereView 2013

VereView Its Alright, Its OK

 

 

 

 

The Robots Keep On Giving

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Album)

Daft Punk have truly gone back into time to the 70’s & 80’s and have brought back Nile Rodgers & Giorgio Moroder with them along with a number of more up to the minute collaborators, but does Random Access Memories live up to all the hype?

The opening track Give Life Back To The Music Featuring Nile Rodgers, starts boldly before turning into a disco stomper, which could have easily appeared on a Chic or a Sister Sledge album

The Game Of Love – starts of slowly it sounds like it could be off any 80’s soul album before the Robots vocals kick in, later on in the album we get Beyond which has a startling opening and then gives way to a tune that sounds very much like I Keep Forgetting but with a robotic vocal.

Giorgio by Moroder feat Giorgio Moroder is Giorgio Moroder speaking about his early days in making music over a funky beat which is not dissimilar to Cerrone’s Supernature. Within feat Chilly Gonzales , slows down the pace, a beautiful ballad with a filtered vocal.

Instant Crush – featuring Julian Casablancas – initially feels like filler until it gets to the chorus when it ups the tempo, but I cannot help feel that this would be better with a straight forward vocal, that apart, this song is lovely

Lose Yourself To Dance featuring Pharrell & Nile Rodgers
Pharrell’s high pitch vocal urging you to lose yourself to dance with the robots pleading c’mon c’mon c‘mon & Nile’s funky guitar, how can one resist?

Touch feat Paul Williams Starts off slow and sounds like a song from a show and then disco kicks in, I don’t know why but I am reminded of Don’t Leave Me This Way whilst listening to this track, this track takes so many twists and turns its hard to keep up. We also get another possible Cerrone reference (If Love Is The Answer) with the Robots asking If love is the answer you must hold on.

There’s not much I can say about Get Lucky which has not already been said but here we get the full version and it sounds better than the single edit, Nile Rodger’s guitar work has never sounded better.

Random Access Memories lives up to its hype -just, it may not be a straight to the dance floor album that many may have expected after Get Lucky, however, there is enough on this album to keep the sales ticking over with each subsequent single release.

Random Access Memories may well be Daft Punk’s Thriller, has anybody noticed that the calligraphy on both albums are similar and on both albums in the top left hand corner.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5
VereView Daft Punk un boxing Random Access Memories

Re-Ignite This Light

ReVEREnd & The MakersShine A Light (Single)

Shine A Light was originally released last year, however, made no impact on the official charts, however there is now a flicker of light, as this track has been chosen as the Official anthem of the FA Cup, could it be that this time around Shine A Light makes a better showing?

Shine A Light transports you back to the early Madchester baggy era (for those of us older to remember this era) with a luscious Happy Monday shuffle, you can almost visualise Bez twisting his melons man to this. We are also given a psychedelic breakdown with the Rev lamenting about spending his gas bill money on Thunderball; and just for good measure we are given a splice of Rolling Stones (think Sympathy For The Devil).

Shine A Light is easily their best most commercial offering since Heavyweight Champion Of The World. It stands on its own merits, but no doubt the exposure this track will now receive means that the time could be right to re-ignite this light.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5
HearView Shine A Light (Audio only)

Chains For Hudson

Hudson – Chained (Single)

(David) Hudson is an artist with conviction according to his website which also informs us that he is a visionary who works to develop a musical brand with a unique sound of his own; he also has a famous big sister, so what about Hudson’s current single Chained.

Hudson’s website is right; for he is guilty of the best use of a ukulele and harmonica on a pop record in many a year. Hudson certainly has an ear for a catchy tune and knows how to use his raspy vocals to great effect like he does on the second verse. There is much to like about “Chained” I particularly like the outro to this song.

His fans are called Hudson’s Helpers, with his clean-cut “Teenage Dreams” looks I can imagine that a number of helpers would like to be “Chained” to Hudson.

VereView Star Rating VVV/5

VereView Chained

Solo Newman

John Newman -Love Me Again (Single)

You might not know the name, but if you like Dubstep and Rudimental then you will definitely know the voice. With Plan B releasing more films than music; step forward into the limelight Mr John Newman.

Newman’s debut solo single, Love Me Again is a beast of a song, with more hooks than you find on most albums these days, however, it would be simplistic to classify it as just a Soul or even a Pop record, as, Love Me Again, does not fit into anyone single category, this song ticks so many boxes:

Newman packs so much into this song that you have to hear it more than once. A confident start and possibly another No.1 for Mr John Newman.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

VereView Love Me Again

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