Saint Etienne Saint Etienne… Return of the Crack (Img: Elaine Constantine)

Singles: Saint Etienne, Weller, Gallagher, Maccabees, Wainwright, M.I.A. and several others!

Published on March 16th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

Singles! We got singles! Getcha singles!

Adam Lambert – “Better Than I Know Myself”

Who is this total chump? Is he sickeningly popular? I bet he is. Anyway, this is typically wishy washy, commercial-to-the-nth-degree claptrap courtesy of someone who’s quite good looking and capable of warbly emoting, and therefore qualifies for pop star status in the minds of the cynically exploitative and the irredeemably gullible. Utterly, utterly depressing; the fact that this exists, that is, not the whiny, identikit tale told in the predictably laughable lyrics.

Rocksucker says: Please do not darken our doors again, Adam. One Quail out of Ten!

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Alexandra Burke (feat. Erick Morillo) – “Elephant”

No amount of scantily-clad writhing in the video can save this jarring, autotune-ridden gibberish. “There’s an elephant standing in the room,” sings Burke, presumably not referring to her distinct lack of musical talent. Is she going out with Jermain Defoe, then? If so, that’s of considerably more interest than this vomitous nightclub toss-off.

Rocksucker says: Better than Lambert. Just. One-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!

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Erasure – “Fill Us With Fire”

This really wasn’t necessary.

Rocksucker says: At least it’s better than Burke’s. Two Quails out of Ten!

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Fixers – “Iron Deer Dream”

Grotesque video – including, at various points, a beard of maggots and a foot covered in Cornflakes – but a pleasingly odd and melodic take on the frequently anodyne musical form that is modern electro-pop. Still sounds a bit too calculated, but this Oxford five-piece have a sound that’s all their own, and an intriguing one at that.

Rocksucker says: Finally, a decent song. Seven Quails out of Ten!

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Jay-Z & Kanye West – Niggas in Paris

As much of a bellend as he may be, Kanye West is a genuine talent, and he proves to be infinitessimally more entertaining than his illustrious, frankly rather bored-sounding counterpart. Mind you, if you had Beyonce waiting at home, not to mention a hip-hop legacy that’s already set in stone, you probably wouldn’t be all that fussed about pushing yourself artistically either. This is okay, but “that shit cray” better not catch on, as it probably already has.

Rocksucker says: Can’t blame Kanye for teaming up with the power man, but we prefer him flying solo. Six-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!

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The Maccabees – “Feel to Follow”

Nice floaty vibe (reflected by the creepy, levitation-based video) that breaks into a gorgeous, sweetly chiming trot; builds consummately, until it’s all a bit of a rush. Not ‘game-changing’ or whatever such dubious terminology could be applied, but delightfully haunting nonetheless.

Rocksucker says: Textbook stuff, in a good way. Eight Quails out of Ten!

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M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”

“Live fast, die young / Bad girls do it well”; M.I.A. is in typically commanding form on this jittery, slyly cinematic treat. Rocksucker was already a little bit in love with M.I.A. and this just seals the deal. “If I go to bed, baby / Can I take you?”; well, since you asked so nicely…

Rocksucker says: Still an original and compelling talent. Seven-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten! + One Bonus Quail for being super cool = Eight-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!

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Miike Snow – “Paddling Out”

Hey, this is pretty good, sassily housey piano stabs, call-and-response chorus and all that, funny/weird video. Hoorah for Sweden, again!

Rocksucker says: If there’s any justice left in the world, this will fill more dancefloors than that Alexandra Burke song. Seven-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Dream On”

…the chorus of which features a nifty cello bounce reminiscent of – surprise surprise “All You Need is Love”. Typical Noel fare insomuch as it’s enjoyable without being especially interesting (regardless of whether or not the man himself deems that to be overanalytical), “Dream On” would have been a standout on any of the last three Oasis albums without feeling particularly necessary. Liable to be stuck in your head after the first listen, but still so inescapably Noel. Here’s hoping his Future Sounds of London collaboration doesn’t end up sounding like this.

Rocksucker says: Likeable, for all its lack of surprises. Seven Quails out of Ten!

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Paul Weller – “That Dangerous Age”

Swaggering beat, luxurious brass, beaming melody, just the right amount of croon; this might just be Mr Weller’s finest single since “Written in the Stars”. Bodes very well indeed for the imminent release of his Sonik Kicks album. Is this the first ever Weller write-up not to refer to him as The Modfather? Ah nuts, we just did.

Click here to read Rocksucker’s interview with Weller’s guitarist Steve Cradock.

Rocksucker says: Just in time for summer. Eight-and-a-Half Quails out of Ten!

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Rufus Wainwright – “Out of the Game”

Rufus himself describes his forthcoming new album as at once “the most pop album I’ve ever made” and “the best work of my career”; and sure enough, this title track is utterly infectious and of an almost ridiculously sunny disposition. There’s a gospel choir on the chorus and everything. Oh and dig that loungey-in-a-good-way guitar solo, for you might not hear a loungier-in-a-good-way guitar solo all year.

Rocksucker says: Easy-going and totally in control. Eight Quails out of Ten!

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Saint Etienne – “Tonight”

A smooth return from Sarah Cracknell and co., “Tonight” provides a nocturnal follow-up on (or indeed prelude to) their glorious 2005 song “Sun in My Morning”, possibly hinting at the direction taken on forthcoming album Words and Music by Saint Etienne, out 21st May. What’s more, The Two Bears have chipped in this rather berserk remix…

Rocksucker says: A welcome comeback, albeit a relatively subdued one; perhaps its place in the album running order shall shed more light. Seven Quails out of Ten.

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.