The xx

The xx... Not pictured: another x

The rest of this week’s singles: Timberlake, The xx, Joy Formidable and more!

Published on July 18th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

With crushing/reassuring (delete as applic.) inevitability, here are the rest of this week’s singles, all reviewed and that…

Agnetha Fältskog – “Dance Your Pain Away”

It’s ‘er out of Abba!

Aged 63, Fältskog might just have a summer dancefloor hit on her hands, and it lands just enough on the right side of fluff for that thought not to disturb.

“Let there be rumours”“Create an illusion”…what is she trying to tell us?

Maybe there’s a good story behind it. Have a google if you can be bothered.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Gabrielle Aplin – “Home”

The video begins with a girl having her car stolen, and then there’s a song that sounds like Taylor Swift if she actually had some talent.

Not enough talent to write a great song, mind, but just enough to scatter some reasonably affecting lyrics in its midst.

Basically, Gabrielle Aplin is the musical equivalent of a well-scripted rom com: some snappy dialogue, but ultimately fluff.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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Johnny Ruffo – “Untouchable”

Some actual flashes of originality to the production and even songwriting here: if Ruffo wasn’t such an identikit talent show droid then it could even be pretty decent.

Good(ish) song, shame about the target audience.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Justin Timberlake – “Take Back the Night”

Decent Michael Jackson impression, this, better than anything on Timberlake’s 20/20 album of earlier this year.

This more understated vocal style is becoming of him, finally (in our ears at least) making him one with the excellent production.

Is it still Timbaland? Whoever it is has clearly done their MJ homework.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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Laura Welsh – “Cold Front”

Great video, great trip-hoppy production/backing track…unfortunately, Welsh’s vocal lacks the dynamic sensitivity to tie it all together.

It’s on the verses that this gnaws at us; it just feels like she needs to be that wee bit softer, smokier, more sensual, less emotive. As it is, it feels like there’s a slight clash, but we’re being harsh here.

She’s technically proficient otherwise, and the song’s a good ‘un so it should be worth keeping an eye on her.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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The Joy Formidable – “Silent Treatment”

See? They can be alright when they’re not giving it the ‘excess’.

This is quite sweet, even if it does veer dangerously close to Gabrielle Aplin territory.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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The xx – “Fiction”

Apparently, The xx are fantastic live. This is just as well, because they’re boring as sin on record.

Did they invent ‘ketamine heartbreak’ as a genre or just take it overground? Either way, we can’t ever imagine going out of our way to listen to it.

Force feed bands LSD, that’s what we say.

Rocksucker says: Two Quails out of Five!

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VV Brown – “Samson”

Bible stories set to dubstep? We’ve heard worse ideas.

This is just about confusing enough to garner our approval, which to be honest probably says more about Rocksucker than it does the song.

Rocksucker says: Three Quails out of Five!

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See you next week, everybody!

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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.