Singles and Downloads

Richard Hawley

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Plaudits from Bono are to credibility what salt is to a slug, although his favourite Dublin ‘sleazy-funk’ outfit Republic of Loose’s windin’n’grindin’ stinker ‘Break!’ (Loaded Dice) (*), is actually rubbish enough without the old Il Papa-bothering one’s kiss of death. Not a good start, and Sophie Ellis Bextor isn’t improving matters; Mrs bassist-out-of-The Feeling’s retro-pop turd ‘Today The Sun’s On Us’ (**) sounds so plastic it could actually be made out of old carrier bags.

Speaking of The Feeling, the ‘new-Keane’ are already the ‘old new Keane’, because Ghosts are the ‘new The Feeling’, or the ‘new new Keane’. Whichever way you look at it, ‘Ghosts’ (Atlantic) (*) is a horribly needy slice of piano-ey soft pop. Thankfully ‘Picture Of You’ (Mercury) (***) by R&B calypso soul merchants Mr Hudson and the Library is actually not bad, resembling a clash between Mike Skinner and The Police, although not in a drug bust kind of way.

Glasgow hipsters Stinky Munchkins’ scuzzy ‘lectro-punk effort ‘Release The Lions’ (Art/Goes/Pop) (***) may simply comprise of three different records played at once, but is still blingin’. Raw, jittery killer ‘Crackerjack Docker’ (DFA) (****) by Brighton boy/girl duo Prinzhorn Dance School is similarly thrilling, albeit in a more sparse, sneering kind of way. This quarter month’s Single of The Week, however, belongs firmly to Sheffield’s swooning elder statesman of rock Richard Hawley. ‘Tonight the Streets are Ours’ (Mute) (*****) is a sweeping, strings laden corker in the grandest of traditions, and a thinly veiled stab at the ASBO to boot. Proving it is possible to be down with the kids and not come across like a complete cock – Bono take note.

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