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Archive for September, 2013

Foxes Chases Her Youth

Foxes – Youth (Single)

Foxes has been making her way as a featured on other artists hits, but that’s all about to change, as Foxes strikes out on her own, with the might of Debenhams behind her, Foxes unleashes her Youth.

Foxes would seem to imply more than one, however Foxes consists of just one fox; born Louisa Allen – will her fans be known as Little Foxes?

Foxes has lent her vocal talents to diverse acts such as Fall Out Boy (Just One More Yesterday); Zedd (Clarity); Sub Focus (Until The End) and Rudimental (Right Here). In her own right Foxes released her Echo EP in November 2012 and Beauty Queen earlier this year, however, it is with her new single Youth that Foxes is set to strike.

To categorise Youth as just pop does Foxes a disservice, however, Youth is a slice of radio friendly music of undoubtable quality which also lends itself well to be being remixed; mournful lyrics -“Don’t tell me our Youth is running out – Its only just begun” and a trance-lite backing gives way to tribal drums with Foxes vocal holding the whole thing together, musically somewhere between Kate Bush, Florence Welch and Ellie Goulding.

“They didn’t want me when I was running wild” Foxes sings on the opening lines on Youth, however, on the strength of this single everyone will be chasing after Foxes’s Youth.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

VereView Youth

 

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Boys Don’t Cry

Diana Vickers – Music To Make The Boys Cry (Album)

Diana Vickers appeared in series 5 of X Factor and has appeared on two number 1 records and saw her debut album Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree reach Number 1 in 2010. Three years on from that and on a new record label, Vickers releases her sophomore album, Music To Make The Boys Cry. The omens for this album do not look good as the lead off single Cinderella couldn’t’t make the top 40. So does Vickers have the tunes to Make The Boys Cry with euphoria or boredom?

3 years is a long time in pop, fellow X factor finalists and finalists from other shows have been more productive than Vickers; JLS & Olly Murs have both released 3 albums, One Direction will be releasing their third album soon and Ellie Goulding, who co wrote Remake Me + You on Vickers’s debut, has released 2.5 albums, no doubt with changing labels there would have been some behind the scenes wrangling going on which could have delayed the follow-up, but has the worth the wait?

Music To Make The Boys Cry, which is also the current single release, kicks off the album nicely followed by Cinderella which had the potential to be big limped into the chart at No.55, its chorus gets better with each listen maybe a remix from one of today’s hot DJ’s could have propelled this single to greater heights. After this the album dips and picks up with the track Boy In Paris. I imagine if Debbie Gibson was still making hit records they would sound like Mad At Me. Then events take a turn southwards but pick up on the closing two songs Better in French and Blame Game. Has Vickers got an infatuation with France, as after Boy in Paris we get better in French, this a very Kylieesque number and hints at what could have been. Blame Game rounds off a pretty disappointing album.

Music To Make The Boys Cry has an impressive list of credits including Miranda Cooper, Jimmy Harry and  David Gamson on song writing and production duties, however, they cobbled a batch of electro-lite tracks which are neither one thing or the other, the record label should have been more courageous and got some tougher mixes in place. I predict a Top 50 placing and then a rapid fall, which is a shame because with this collection of songs Vickers should be hitting the heights that Ellie Goulding is currently reaching. The 3 year wait between albums is in my opinion too long for an artist like Vickers. For it to be Music To Make Boys Cry, boys would have to listen to it first and I am afraid to say that few will.

VereVeiw Star Rating VV/5

VereView Music To Make Boys Cry

Avicii Takes Dance Music to New Levels

Avicii – True (Album)

Avicii aka Tim Bergling or Tim Berg or Tom Hangs releases his first full length album; True. Like many DJ’s who make albums Avicii enlists a number of collaborators on True, however, he doesn’t’t take the David Guetta or Calvin Harris route of making an album, most of the artists on True are not what you would call household names save for Nile Rodgers, Adam Lambert and possibly Aloe (I Need A Dollar) Blacc, with this in mind has Avicii made a True classic or a True Mess?

The album starts off with the worldwide hit Wake Me Up featuring Aloe Blacc, this track set up the album nicely as Wake Me Up is not a straightforward dance track but a hybrid of Soul, folk, country and EDM; an almighty mix but Avicii and Aloe Blacc succeed in making a truly original dance track.

Addicted To You featuring Mac Davis & Audra Mae is a full on big diva house number. Liar Liar starts off as a dreamy wistful Italo house number before a 60’s inspired chorus kick in with chant Liar Liar.

It seems that any dance artist worth their salt is collaborating with Nile Rodgers, Avicii does so twice on this album first on

Shame On Me – which has a driving beat similar to The Race by Yellow. Rodgers pops up again on the enjoyable Lay Me Down. Vocals on this track are handled by Adam Lambert, this is Lambert’s second hook up with Rodgers on the cruelly overlooked Shadey. Lay Me Down will no doubt hit the top of the charts when released as a single.

Avicii offers his version of Antony And The Johnsons Hope There’s Someone, featuring Linnea Henriksson;Avicii takes a mournful ode about finding someone in the afterlife and turns it into an arms raised aloft dance number.Whilst Linnea executes the vocals well. the song doesn’t quite work for me as it fails to convey the depth of emotions of the original version which is spine tingling, however, full credit must go to Avicii for bringing this song to a new audience

Avicii has made an ambitious album, he has taken dance music into a different direction, encompassing, folk, country, soul & EDM along the way. This is not your typical dance album which makes it an intriguing listen, whilst I wouldn’t’t say True was a classic, I wouldn’t’t call True a mess either but would say it is somewhere in between.

VereView Star Rating VVV/5

VereView You Make Me

80’s Electro Bones

Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe (album)

Pronounced Churches but styled as Chvrches are; Martin Doherty (Samplers, Synths & vocals); Iain Cook (Guitars, Bass, Synths & vocals) and on lead vocals & additional synths Lauren Mayberry have been releasing songs since May 2012 and building up a following with their extensive touring schedule; finally get around to releasing their debut album The Bones Of You What You Believe. Chvrches have distilled their 80’s influences ranging from Depeche Mode, Erasure, Human League, Prince, so is it an 80’s electro delight or 80’s electro disaster?

The album has been pre-ceded by the following tracks which have either been  free to download or released commercially; Lies – released May 2012; Recover – released February 2013; Gun – released July 2013 – which is their best-selling single to date reaching Number 55 on the official charts and The Mother We Share – released September 2013.

The Mother We Share opens precedings – a mid tempo piece which could be viewed as speaking out about a difficult relationship with a sibling or it could be about the struggles we all endure, with the mother we share being a metaphorical mother.

After the upbeat nature of We Sink and Gun, Chvrches follow with Tether, which is the darkest track musically so far , Lauren solemnly sings I feel incapable of seeing the end, I feel Incapable of saying its over to minimal backing and then the synths kick in taking this track in a different direction and also giving the track a more optimistic feel. A track worth persevering for its glorious ending.

Under The Tide features lead vocals from Doherty, this adds another dimension to the album and is not too dissimilar from early Human League tracks. Lungs effortlessly ventures into dub step without sounding like Chvrches are jumping onto a bandwagon, VereView’s reckons that you can expect to hear an Ellie Goulding cover of this track in the near future.

The Bones Of What You Believe appears to have overwhelming themes of control and being kept against their wishes – On Tether , Lauren Sings “In a place where we don’t have a prayer, there’s a tether that’s keeping me there.” and on By The Throat Lauren sings “- If I could catch you and cut your ties, I would leave you, every time

The Bones Of What You Believe is an encouraging debut and gives each of the members of the group space to showcase their skills. There are one or two misfires but overall there is much to commend, what could have been an 80’s parodying disaster is a genuine 80’s delight.

VereView Star Rating VVV/5

VereView The Mother We Share

The Wait Is Over

London Grammar -If You Wait (Album)

London Grammar are, multi instrumentalist Dot Major; Dan Rothman on guitar & the impressive Hannah Reid on vocals; they have been steadily gaining fans and momentum. Musically wise London Grammar are like nothing in today’s chart which makes them unique, their sound is part Faithless, part chill out/ambient with Reid’s vocals sometimes veering on folk.

A brief recap of London Grammar’s single and EP release history; their first release was the Metal & Dust EP which can be viewed as an album sampler as it included Metal & Dust, Hey Now , Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me and a Dot Major remix of Hey Now. Their second release in June was the sublime Wasting My Young Years which reached No.31. London Grammar recently achieved their biggest hit single to date with Strong reaching No.17 on the official charts.

With a trio of Strong releases – London Grammar finally get around to releasing their debut album, however do they have anything left in reserve and was it worth the wait?

Major and Rothman’s arrangements allow Reid’s vocals to take centre stage. Reid’s vocals are a cross between Florence Welch and Judie Tzuke. Reid could sing a shopping list and she would inject more emotion and expression than most of the singers currently in the charts.

What of the rest of the album, VereViews reckons that both Sights and Flickers would make a good choice for future single releases, both have a little more gusto than Strong. With their growing exposure I would not bet against Metal & Dust and Wasting my Young Years being given a re-release. Check out the Deluxe version of this album for the Disclosure collaboration Help Me Lose My Mind.

If You Wait is a strong debut which is both euphoric and haunting in equal measure. The wait was worthwhile.

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

VereView Wasting My Young Years

How Long Will You Love This?

Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You (from the film About Time).

Fresh from her Number 1 success with Burn, Ellie moves away from the dance floor and presents a heartfelt ballad with such a tender vocal and pathos which tugs at the heartstrings.

How Long Will I Love You is one of the standout tracks on Ellie Goulding’s Halcyon Days re-issue. Goulding is no stranger to a cover version, in 2010 she reached No.2 with her version of Elton John’s Your Song. This time around she dusts down a relatively unknown Waterboys track and drenches it in sentimentality which isn’t a bad thing in my book.

Goulding, who is on a hot streak commercially, could well repeat the success of her cover version of Your Song instead of having the might of John Lewis’s advertising team behind her; this track is featured in Richard Curtis new romantic comedy About Time and is the Official single for BBC1 Children In Need 2013. I expect the general public will fall in love with this track will be played at weddings for years to come!

VereView Star Rating VVVV/5

VereView How Long Will I Love You

Lost In Dance Music

Lose Yourself To Dance – Daft Punk feat Pharrell & Nile Rodgers -single

The current  holy trinity of dance music return with the second best single from Random Access Memories.  If spring/early summer was all about Get Lucky, then late summer/autumn will be all about Lose Yourself To Dance!

Those expecting Get Lucky Part 2 are in for a pleasant surprise, as this time around they have  gone for a downtempo groove with obligatory handclaps. I  can visualise clubbers doing the bustop or the bump to. Below is an excellent, Soul Train video on Youtube which highlights my point.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nile Rodgers’s guitar work is funktastic; Pharrell highlights this with a number of “Guitar” ad libs. A joyous ode to just letting loose on the dancefloor, with the robots encouraging everyone to CMon CMon CMon, with the mega sales of Random Access Memories it is unlikely that Lose Yourself To Dance will have the same impact as Get Lucky but I for one intend to get lost in this dance music!

VereView Star Rating  VVVV/5

VereView Lose Yourself To Dance

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