Singles & downloads - November 2009
The List is getting in touch with its feminine side this fortnight; hoping we can get through this latest selection of singles and downloads while pretending that boys don’t even exist. Ewww boys. Much fuss has been made of the fact that lots of female pop artists have broken through this year, but would it be wrong to suggest that patronising gender-based division has actually been the biggest musical vogue of ‘09?
Well, that and an uncanny ability to be taken for absolute suckers by the Emperor’s New Quiff which is La Roux? God, her music is awful, and ‘Quicksand’ (Polydor) ● – all plastic production and synthetic vocals like hairspray down the throat – is pretty far from being her best track. If only she could muster a little attitude. Like Lily Allen, who’s back with ‘Who’d Have Known’ (Regal) ●●●. And yes, who would have known that she’d cover a Take That ballad and dash it off with such tired efficiency? Not us – just like we didn’t expect Lady Gaga to turn into the autotuned Annie Lennox with ‘Bad Romance’ (Interscope) ●●.
Okay, so who’s next? How about Paramore, whose ‘Brick By Boring Brick’ (Fueled By Ramen) ●●● already outdoes everyone we’ve heard so far by offering a bit of noise and spirit, and – despite obviously being pitched at a tween emo crowd – a good deal less marketeering cynicism than La Roux and Gaga. Similarly, Noisettes’ ‘Every Now and Then’ (Mercury) ●●● is a decent enough pop song for those who were fond of Morcheeba and Beatles copyism. The heather remains defiantly unignited, though.
Err, how about Alice in Chains then? It’s a tenuous link, but what the hell. ‘Your Decision’ (EMI) ●●●, a muscular slab of middle-aged grunge, is no better than anything which preceded it. Newton Faulkner? Because girls like him, maybe? And mums who like Radio 2 will approve of ‘Over and Out’ (RCA) ●●, a mild improvement on previous form?
Nope, our female thread for the fortnight has been lost amidst a slew of objectionable averageness. Only one thing for it now – Single of the Fortnight goes to the biggest diva of the bunch. Yes, it’s Ian Brown, whose ‘Just Like You’ (Polydor) ●●●● at least swaggers rather than slouches. If only Lily had decided to disco rather than slow dance this time round.