SINGLES O’WEEK: Kelly Rowland, Maverick Sabre, Philip Selway, Six D, Magnetic Man, Michael Mind
Published on July 26th, 2011 | Jonny Abrams
Singles: love ’em or hate ’em, they’re an inescapable fact of life. Here is part two of this week’s singles, filtered through Rocksucker’s all-hearing ear…
Kelly Rowland feat. Big Sean – “Lay It On Me”
As ever, Beyonce’s old mucka is positively teeming with things to say. “I wanna just kiss you now/I wanna just touch you now/I wanna just give you all my love tonight” – it’s a potent message disguised as autopilot sexual posturing, with our Kelly sending up the “Independent Women” schtick of her Destiny days to dazzlingly witty effect. Supplemented by a ‘demo’ track from a dated keyboard, what comes across initially as a sickly paean to subservience is in fact Rowland’s boldest statement to date, subverting modern R’n’B conventions by wryly regurgitating every single one in a move which must surely see her headlining Glastonbury next year.
Californian rapper Big Sean shines just as brightly, dropping lyrical bombs such as “She ain’t let go, she let go/So shorty bring it back/Call my dick curiosity ’cause it killed the cat” with all the deftness and nuance that you’d expect from someone so imaginative as to refer to himself by his first name preceded by the word ‘Big’. An envelope has been pushed, a box thought outside of, a pop landscape shaken to its core by the convergence of these two complete and utter…visionaries.
Rocksucker says: It’s like nothing we’ve ever heard before. Or, at the very least, it’s like nothing we’ve heard so far today.
Maverick Sabre – “Let Me Go”
A maverick is “an unorthodox or independent-minded person”. A sabre is sharp. Rocksucker is tempted to say that Maverick Sabre is neither but it’s not all that bad. What’s more, he sounds remarkably like Finley Quaye for a white kid from Hackney. Riding on a sample from Portishead’s “Glory Box”, which in turn sampled Isaac Hayes’ “Isaac’s Rap 2”, we are also tempted to say that “Let Me Go” reminds us of chocolate salty balls but it doesn’t merit such barbed critique. What it does merit, however, is a big, fat yawn: do we really need a song that sounds like someone else singing over a sample of a song that sampled another song?
Rocksucker says: Meh.
Philip Selway – “Running Blind”
The lead and title track of the Radiohead drummer’s new solo EP starts off sounding like your standard fingerpicked, singer/songwriter fare, before a subtly creeping rhythm section – featuring a strange sort of swiping sound on every third beat – cranks up the levels of nocturnal paranoia commonly associated with his parent band. Twinkly, distorted keyboards and an eerie musical saw complete the effect as the song transcends its vaguely predictable chord progression to build into something genuinely transfixing. There is no official video yet as far as we know so you’ll have to make do with this live version but, on this evidence, the EP is well worth checking out for fans of Wilco, Sparklehorse, Nick Drake and that sort of thing.
Rocksucker says: That’s good stuff, that is.
Six D – “Best Damn Night”
Like a street-dancing version of Steps. Sound good?
Rocksucker says: Maybe we’re getting old but losing a shoe, a hat and a phone, and then discovering that you’re locked out, doesn’t sound like a particularly great night. Takes all sorts, we suppose.
Magnetic Man feat. P. Money – “Anthemic”
“Now I got the UK behind me/And I’ve got American listeners saying I’m awesome” – oh, bog off.
Rocksucker says: Fancy a throbbing headache and a mild urge to kill?
Michael Mind feat. Sean Kingston – “Ready Or Not”
*Bangs head repeatedly against wall*
Rocksucker says: On this evidence, Earth’s transformation into an uninhabitable wasteland cannot come soon enough. What is it with guest Seans this week?
Got a bone to pick with Rocksucker? Have any of our reviews provoked you into uttering expletives such as “bosh” and “flim flam”? Have your say in the comments section below…