SINGLES O’WEEK: Cat’s Eyes, InnerPartySystem, JLS, Katy Perry, Joshua Radin
Published on July 25th, 2011 | Jonny Abrams
Singles! Get yer singles! Fiveferrapaaahhhnd! Here is part one of this week’s singles, filtered through Rocksucker’s wholly inconsequential gaze…
Coming across as a healthy compromise between sixties girl group sophistication and Bond theme melodrama, “Over You” is as succinct an indicator as you’ll get of what to expect from the eponymous album, a collaborative effort between The Horrors front man Faris Badwan and Italian-Canadian opera singer/multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira.
The hitherto unlikely career course of the former and cross-pollinated talents of the latter have converged in quite spectacular fashion, with Zeffira making for a killer chanteuse on this femme fatale of a track, “ba ba ba” vocables and breathy delivery intact as strings soar like prime Morricone (as produced by Phil Spector, if you can imagine such a thing).
As musical pastiche goes, this is as satisfying as it gets.
Rocksucker says: A mini-epic. Gold star!
InnerPartySystem – “Not Getting Any Better”
Although we hesitate to use the word ‘cliché’ on this one, too many of the components at play here just feel all-too-familiar.
It doesn’t quite result in the breeding of contempt – heck, the squelchy, insistent electronics fall just on the right side of the hypnotic/tedious divide – but it’s hard to shake the feeling that this eight-minute journey could have been special had it deployed vocals with some kind of originality about them, rather than the making-up-the-numbers drone which scuffs the first half of the track.
The subsequent odyssey shows signs of LCD Soundsystem-style promise but, for now, there’s not quite enough substance to counteract the faintly irksome fact that they pilfered their name from George Orwell’s 1984.
Rocksucker says: Not a bad thing to have around. Pat on the back!
JLS feat. Dev – “She Makes Me Wanna”
As soon as the one who looks a bit like Rio Ferdinand fixes the lens’ gaze and warbles “yeeeaaaah heeeaaah heh”, you know you’re in for something truly special. Indeed, the lads are on imperious form on this party pop monster, which is sure to be a massive hit with mini cabs, obnoxious children on buses and girls who end up holding their shoes after nights out round the country.
“Direct me to the floor,” sing our heroes, presumably not inviting you to punch them to the ground, “and turn it up some more / I’m-a get it on on on on!” – it is this kind of brazen sending-up of modern pop culture that has always made JLS so compelling, a bit like a sort of Radiohead that’s fun to like.
Juxtaposed with a tasteful ‘beach party’ video/masturbatory aid, “She Makes Me Wanna” handsomely repays repeated listens; indeed, headphones are advised in order to get the full JLS experience, so layered and nuanced is Andrew Listermann’s production.
The incredibly well thought-out refrain of “London to Jamaica / L.A. to Africa” never fails to raise a smile and, once a scantily-clad Dev adds an existential lilt to proceedings (“We’re flying over buildings / Sitting under palm trees / Drinking bubble gum drinks / We’re counting all our monies”), the deal is resoundingly sealed.
Pull your socks up, pop world: the bar has been raised quite significantly.
Rocksucker says: Without a shred of hyperbole, this is undoubtedly the greatest single of all time.
Katy Perry – “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”
A bit like a Lily Allen for even younger girls, “Last Friday Night” sees Russell Brand’s missus rising to the challenge presented to her by Rebecca Black and matching her blow-for-blow in the ‘song about how cool Friday is’ stakes. Set to a video which ‘hilariously’ portrays her as the kind of hapless nerd she no doubt steers clear of in her day-to-day life, this instant classic has racked up over fifty-seven million views on YouTube, proving that culture in our country has not quite gone to the dogs as many would have you believe.
After the Lennon-esque surrealism of “Pink flamingos in the pool / I smell like a minibar / DJ’s passed out in the yard / Barbie’s on the barbeque”, Perry majestically flaunts the more subversive elements of her lyrics by treating her legions of child followers to the sordid details of a night which apparently involved all of the following hazards: a black-out, dancing on tables, too many shots, maxing out credit cards, getting kicked out of a bar, streaking in the park, skinny dipping and, to crown it all, a ménage a trois. A killer song for a killer lifestyle.
Rocksucker says: Katy, and everyone she knows, should be very, very proud of this.
Joshua Radin – “I Missed You”
Things you should know about Joshua Radin: he looks unnervingly like Stephen Mangan, he calls the road his home, he’s travelled a million miles but you’re the only thing that makes him smile, he missed you so (because, the first time he met her, he started feeling better…and, through some meteorological miracle or other, she turns his winter into spring). Oh, and his career took off after his music was used in Scrubs: if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know then, well, try watching Scrubs.
Rocksucker says: Sounds like J.D. and Elliott broke up again. D’oh!
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