I thought I’d be posting new music day and night this summer. I didn’t. There were interruptions, and I just wasn’t feeling how I thought I should. So what a better time to re-launch the blog than a week or so before I head to uni. This is an update on some of the music I would have been posting had I been on here.
Paloma Faith surprised me with how good her album was. Here’s an acoustic performance of “Black & Blue”, the highlight of the album for me. BJ The Chicago Kid also impressed me with “Pineapple Now-Laters”. The Kendrick Lamar assisted “His Pain II” is my favourite off the record, I highly recommend you check it out.
Elsewhere John Newman did his best Maverick Sabre impression on Rudimental’s “Feel The Love”, Little Boots got her Kylie on with “Headphones" and Aiden Grimshaw surprised us all (well, me) with “Is This Love" and "Curtain Call”. All good songs.
This could end up taking a while, so I’m gonna fire loads of tracks at you like they’re copies of Beyoncé’s “4” and you’re Keri Hilson. Beach House's “Myth”, The Vaccines' “Teenage Icon”, Tanya Lacey's “Greatness”, Robin Thicke's “All Tied Up”, M.I.A., Azealia Banks & Missy Elliott's remix of “Bad Girls”, Wynter Gordon's “Stimela”, Rusko's “Somebody To Love”, Ellie Goulding's “Hanging On" and "Anything Could Happen”, Plan B's “Lost My Way”, Bloc Party’s “Octopus" Blood Diamonds/Grimes “Phone Sex”, Crystal Castles' “Plague,”, Pusha T & Kanye West's and “New God Flow”, Kendrick Lamar's “Swimming Pools (Drank)" are all good to great tracks from impressive albums. Except for cases in which the album isn’t released yet. Or it’s not that good at all to be honest…
And since I’m being negative here are some of the disappointments of the past few months. Maroon 5's “Overexposed” saw the band become a vehicle for Adam Levine's solo career, releasing generic Max Martin made for radio tracks that are a million miles away from what made them so good in the first place. On the other hand Alexandra Burke shocked no one by releasing a generic dance album, and became hated by the whole of twitter. No one really knows why. Not even the
amazeballs good Rui De Silva remix of “Let It Go” could save her from becoming a 2nd rate Ciara. It’s was so popular that youtube had to remove it due to constant crashing. Good luck finding it now. And on another bum note, Rita Ora didn’t live up to the hype and released a forgettable debut album. Maybe it’s a grower, but some of the tracks have been floating around RocNation for 3 years now, so I somehow doubt it.
I didn’t want to put Mariah Carey in the disappointment section, so here she is, in her own little private box. “Triumphant (Get Em)" isn’t that bad at all. In fact it’s quite good. But just a little bit good. Despite a strong melody, Mariah doesn’t even sing lead on her own lead single. Plus the mixing and layered have resulted in some strange sounds and incomprehensible lyrics. Don’t even get me started on Mariah being the ring girl and Rick Ross throwing money at her like she’s a stripper in the music video.
Let’s go back to being positive though. AlunaGeorge slowly became another one of my favourite new acts, with the likes of “You Know You Like It”, “Just A Touch”, “Your Drums, Your Love" and Rustie collaboration ‘After Light”. Aluna’s smooth, high pitched tone against George’s futuristic R&B productions makes for the perfect combination. Julio Bushmore also brought the good stuff with the amazing “Au seve”.
There were also some pretty good comebacks over the past few months, with even Brandy releasing the brilliantly restrained “Wildest Dreams" as the second single off "Two Eleven", after the slightly disappointing Chris Brown collabpration "Put It Down". After some disappointing material, Keyshia Cole also came back hard with the Hip-Hop influenced “Enough Of No Love”. Despite an awful single cover, the track is easily Keyshia’s best effort since “Let It Go” and possibly one of the best R&B songs of the year. Even the gremlin sounded good on this one.
No Doubt also came back on form, with the equally good “Settle Down" & "Push and Shove”. Another one of 2001’s finest, Aaliyah, also gave us some new material in the form of the 40 produced “Enough Said”. Apart from Drake cursing in a diss towards Chris Brown (on an Aaliyah record, really?), it’s a great track with an atmospheric production that perfectly compliments Aaliyah’s vocal delivery. Her lyrics towards the end are particularly beautiful.
Speaking of beautiful, Jessie Ware's album is gorgeous. With romantic lyrics alongside 80s R&B guitar solos and eclectic choice of sounds, it is completely mesmerising. Plus Jessie has one of the nicest voices in the industry right now. Listening to the likes of “Sweet Talk" is more than enough to prove that. Delilah also released a great album, with “From The Roots Up” containing substantial lyrics wrapped in atmosphere. The studio version of “I Can Feel You” is a perfect example of that.
I don’t even know where to begin with Frank Ocean’s “channel ORANGE”. The poetry in there is just absurd. I’ll speak on that album along with Nas' “Life Is Good”, Elle Varner's “Perfectly Imperfect” and Azealia Banks' “FANTASEA” when reviewing my favourite albums of the year. “Pink Matter”, “Trust”, “Stop The Clock" and "FANTASEA” are my current favourites off the 4 records though, so give them a listen.
Little Boots // Every Night I Say a Prayer
"Every Night I Say a Prayer" is the latest single from everyone’s favourite nonchalant popstar Little Boots. After releasing "Shake" last year, the small footed singer has released this new song for Record Store Day 2012. There aren’t many record shops about anymore, so if anyone knows of any good ones in Belfast let me know.
Enough of my desperation to find a good place to buy music, let’s talk about Victoria’s new track. With a a slight house bassline, the song starts off cold and pensive, before the 90s house influences really kick in with a bouncy piano melody. Mixing the past with the sophisticated electronica of today, the singer has created a pop song which manages to be both sophisticated and restrained, yet zany with it’s big pop chorus.
With enough hooks to reel you in for another listen, “Every Night I Say a Prayer” is better than most of the material on the good, but patchy “Hands”. Hopefully this is the last of these low key releases from Ms Hesketh, and we’ll get the big Little Boots comeback
you all the odd person has been waiting for.