Singles & Downloads

Singles & Downloads

(Photo: Cherry Ghost)

After the sugar-rush, bubblegum-pop of ‘Girlfriend’, the dreary ballad that is Avril Lavigne’s ‘When You’re Gone’ (Columbia, 1 Star) is blandness personified. Andrea Corr’s ‘Shame On You’ (Atlantic, 1 Star) meanwhile isn’t as bad as you’d think it would be but still manages to sound like the score to a Tourism Ireland advert. Similarly uninspired is Green Day’s version of ‘Working Class Hero’ (Amnesty download, 2 Stars) but it’s for Amnesty so buy it anyway. Meanwhile Roisin Murphy’s ‘Overpowered’ (EMI, 2 Stars) is just too sleek for its own good.

Despite production from Timbaland Justin Timberlake’s ‘Lovestoned’ (Jive, 2 Stars) is yet more love-god bravado from the former Mousketeer. Marginally better, is Robin Thicke’s ‘Lost Without U’ (Interscope, 3 Stars) which aims to woo the ladies without any of JT’s lasciviousness. Probably doesn’t hurt that he looks like an Armani model either . . .

The View’s ‘Face For the Radio’ (1965, 3 Stars) (not about Robin Thicke then) proves the Dundee lot can do acoustic, while the acid-disco-madness of The Aliens’ ‘Robot Man’ (Pet Rock/EMI, 3 Stars) is sure to appeal to Beta Band mourners. The Wombats’ ‘Kill the Director’ (14th Floor, 4 Stars), however, tops both groups with its frantic, scuzzy indie rock and whip-smart lyrics.

Talking about good lyrics . . . Talib Kweli’s ‘Listen!!!’ (Blacksmith, 4 Stars) proves he might not have the fame of his peers but he’s sure got the chops and in Coldplay-but-better way is Aqualung’s ‘Cinderella’ (Epic, 4 Stars). Also worth a listen are media faves Cold War Kids’ (V2, 4 Stars) ‘Hang Me Out to Dry’ with their brooding rock and out-of-tune pianos alike.

Smashing Pumpkins (Reprise, 3 Stars) have reformed and released ‘Tarantula’. While millions of grunge kids will be stoked, the rest of us are not. Much better is the completely loopy grime of Lethal Bizzle’s ‘Bizzle Bizzle’ (V2, 4 Stars).

Narrowly missing the top spot is The Hold Steady’s ‘Chips Ahoy!’ (Vagrant, 5 Stars), a Springsteen-esque tale of drugs, love and horseracing - not necessarily in that order. But Single of the Fortnight goes to Manchester’s Cherry Ghost’s ‘People Help The People’ (Heavenly, 5 Stars). A shimmering, ethereal grower that sounds like it was recorded in a cathedral in the dimming light of a fading sunset. Genius.

(Andrew Borthwick)

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