Chris Brown... "I know, this puppy will make me less of a douche!"
Singles: McCartney, Plan B, Feist, Chris Brown, Charlie Simpson and some others!
Published on March 29th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Let’s listen to this week’s singles then, shall we?
All the Young – “Horizon”
No. Just no.
Rocksucker says: No, no, no, no. One Quail out of Ten!
Azealia Banks (feat. Lazy J) – “212”
She’s charismatic, profane and a wee bit bonkers; needless to say, Rocksucker thoroughly approves of Ms Banks. The jarring electro backing track won’t sit well with everyone, but she’s got the personality and eclectic nature to justify it…and furthermore “212” is responsible for this, the second greatest review of all time after Pitchfork‘s review of Jet’s Shine On album.
Rocksucker says: An intriguing prospect, but you probably shouldn’t let your kids browse the lyrics. Seven-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!
Black Veil Brides – “Ritual”
Kerrang! and Zane Lowe probably think this is all kinds of great, but Rocksucker finds it to be disappointingly mediocre. We say disappointingly as, looking at them, we presumed they’d elicit entertainingly bile-fuelled invective from us. They’re not as bad as their fancy-dress KISS schtick would have you suspect, but there is something inescapably cynical about a bunch of grown men making music so patently marketed towards young teenagers. If you go to Reading/Leeds or Download this summer, you will hear this song or something very similar emanating from all directions. If that sounds like your idea of a good time then this probably isn’t the blog for you.
Rocksucker says: A big old bowl of meh. Three Quails out of Ten!
Chris Brown – “Turn Up the Music”
So this is the chump who was smacking Rihanna about? Blimey, you’d hope he’d at least make some decent music to go some way towards compensating for being such an arse. As it is, it would seem he churns out this manner of irritant. Chris Brown has a truly horrible voice, all faux wet blanket emoting and autotuned soullessness, and he doesn’t help his already flimsy cause by writing (or having someone write him) lyrics such as “If you’re sexy and you know it / Put your hands up in the air”. Let it be said here and now: Chris Brown, you are a douche. And anyone who likes this song is a douche. That’s just how it is. You douche.
Rocksucker says: Everyone involved in the creation of this should be fired into the sun. A hitherto unprecedented Zero Quails out of Ten!
Clement Marfo & the Frontline (feat. Kano) – “Mayhem”
Decent crashing drums, decent rhyming schemes, insistent flow, catchy chorus: this has all the makings of a hit. Unfortunately, both song and video come across as something of a vanity trip, a self-aggrandising checklist of all-too-typical boasts (“I make the room shake / Like an earthquake”). Totally unnecessary, but at least it’s well done.
Rocksucker says: Five-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!
Caro Emerald – “Dr. Wanna Do”
Swinging, campy, cheeky, groovy and breezily melodic. There’s even a burst of Betty Boop harmonies and a sample of a proper, grizzled old scat that could have come from the mouth of Louis Armstrong himself. Thumbs up for this Amsterdam singer and her team of writers!
Rocksucker says: If there’s any justice in this world, this will become a bigger hit on these shores than that Chris Brown drivel. Doubtless it won’t. Nevertheless, Eight Quails out of Ten!
Feist – “The Bad in Each Other”
The video gets underway as all good videos should: with a moustachioed man burying a fox in the ground. This brooding gallop of a song is imbued with lovely powers by virtue of sassy baritone sax in its verse and swooning strings in its chorus, and while it’s not the most immediate thing you’ll hear this year it is a show of class from the former Broken Social Scene lassie. A proper song that makes you feel actual things an’ all; Chris Brown, take note.
Rocksucker says: Fine stuff indeed. Eight Quails out of Ten!
Paul McCartney – “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive”
Okay, Paul; this is perfectly enjoyable fare. Now for the negative; it sounds every bit like an elder statesmen indulging himself. No harm in that, but to paraphrasing an old saying: live by the hundreds of great songs you wrote in your youth, die by the hundreds of great songs you wrote in your youth. This is nice and all but on a scale of one to “Blackbird”, there’s no way we could justify giving this any more than…
Rocksucker says: Five Quails out of Ten!
James Morrison – “One Life”
Rocksucker says: Zzzzzzzzzzzz…uh, er, sorry: Three-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!
Plan B – “iLL Manors”
Nice brass sample, grimey breakbeats, lyrics that are well thought-out and actually have a point…Plan B’s back in rapper mode and has some serious fire in his belly, even at one point calling David Cameron a cunt. That’s worth a half-quail on its own, thus edging it into the lead as this week’s best single. Congratulations, Mr B!
Rocksucker says: Eight-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!
Polica – “Lay Your Cards Out”
Somehow, both song and video manage to be quite weird and quite dull at the same time. Well, until the drums get all busy towards the end, thus transforming an interminable groove (okay, it’s only four minutes) into a well-crafted dynamic by the end of it. Probably better when you know it’s coming. This leaves Rocksucker in the strange position of being intrigued to hear more, but half-expecting a bunch of half-cooked ‘mood’ pieces. Still, Polica wrong-footed us with this one, so fair dos.
Rocksucker says: Conceivably a grower, this. Six-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!
Silversun Pickups – “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)”
What ever happened to Silver Sun? Are they anything to do with these guys whatsoever? At least they sound a fair bit different. This is big, atmospheric and helium-voiced, like a melodically inferior Mew, but still pretty good. Another who have the potential to bore rigid if all of their songs are like this, but we like this enough to give them the benefit of the doubt until we hear more.
Rocksucker says: Seven Quails out of Ten!
Charlie Simpson – “Farmer and His Gun”
Busted/Fightstar guy, right? This actually ain’t half bad. Rocksucker apologises unreservedly to Mr Simpson for seeing his name on the list of the singles and mentally preparing ourselves to bring out the venom. Nice, wistful trot this, with a cool if cutesy video to boot.
Rocksucker says: Turns out he is actually quite talented. Six-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!
Jessie Ware – “Running”
Okay, new rule: can we not have any more songs with ‘Run’ or ‘Running’ in the title unless they’re actually about running, as in competitively, for sport? Okay, this isn’t actually too bad – we think it would sound good in a taxi late at night, for some reason – but this will teach you little about the world other than that harmonised guitar solos still sound dated.
Rocksucker says: It’s fine, we suppose. Five-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!