"Ain't another woman that can take your spot"
I was going to prattle on at length about a few things tonight but with time constraints and suchforth, I am limiting myself to this week's single reviews. What gets a rave and what gets a rant? You'll have to keep reading to find out...
Finally, one of the finest pop songs of this and any other year gets a proper release and that shock of the new that many of us experienced upon first listen has not diminished any in the intervening months. Sure the lyrics are sappier than a boatload of Hallmark cards, but if ever a song lived for its arrangement, it's this. The insistent, ravey synths are still the hook you'll find your enjoyment of the song hanging on, but with every listen, Timbaland's airy, booming drum programming gets better and better. And that "hee-hee-hee-hee-hee" effect that sounded so annoying first time around even starts to sound integral the more you listen. And that female, new-agey vocalese that hangs around in the chorus adds a whole new spooky layer. Oh, fuck it! The whole thing's just absolutely fucking perfect. Even the lyrics. Forget what I said about them being sappy, they suit the futureshock backing so adroitly that it'd be churlish to pick at their simplicity. Plus, T.I.'s machismo-heavy verse superbly balances them out. I have friends who'll hate me for this, but in Justin Timberlake, we truly have an all-new king of pop. 'My Love' is already a classic in my eyes.
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Cold And Wet (Domino)
A rather by-the-numbers porchlight blues ballad from Will Oldham. Bonnie "Prince" Billy going through the motions still has its charms though. Oldham does his usual homespun/creepy thing, the schtick he has now got down to a fine art, but you can't help but feel ever so slightly cheated in the process.
The Charlatans - You're So Pretty We're So Pretty (Version '06) (Island)
"Well I've been to Hastings and I've been to Brighton, I've been to Eastbourne too/So what, so what/And I've been here, I've been there, I've been every-fucking-where/So what, so what/So what, so what, you boring little cunt/Well I've fucked the queen/I've fucked Bach/I've even sucked an old man's cock/So what, so what/And I've fucked a sheep/I've fucked a goat/I rammed my cock right down its throat/So what, so what/So what, so what, you boring little fuck/Well, who cares, who cares what you do/And who cares, who cares about you, you, you, you, you!/And I've drunk that/I've drunk this/I've spewed up on a pint of piss/So what, so what... You get the point.
The Flaming Lips - It Overtakes Me (Warners)
Loping psychedelia is the order of the day here, but isn't that always on the menu with The Lips? Never mind, especially when it's this good. Coyne and co. have their haters but fuck them. At least they're still making interesting music this far into their career, even if their best is behind them.
The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy! (Vagrant)
One of the prime cuts from Boys And Girls In America gets a limited 7" release on these shores. Highly encouraging signs. Maybe we'll even get some touring action. Anyway, Craig Finn spins a story of a girl overdoing things down at the racetrack in that way he does so well, while the band rock up a storm in the background. Ace!
Home Video - Penguin (Defend Music)
The original is sweet, downbeat electro-pop a la Junior Boys, only not as good, but this release is all about the remix. And boy, what a remix! Tim Goldsworthy, going under the moniker The Loving Hand turns in a slyly addictive, crystalline, deep house-skewing re-rub that lends weight to the notion that he is the one behind The DFA's more interesting, leftfield remix work. Glacial brilliance and one of the best remixes of the year.
Little Man Tate - Man, I Hate Your Band (V2)
Don't like yours much either, mate.
Michoacan - She's Sent (Heaven) (Tiny Sticks)
Slippery, space-age punk-funk is the direction that Michoacan is heading in here. Seems to be a popular direction these days, but Michoacan does it with such elan and a mastery that belies his experience that it's easy to see that this guy is going to go places. Fabrizio Mammarella and The Emperor Machine add to the fun(k) on the flip.
Oasis - Stop The Clocks EP (Big Brother)
Timely cash-in from one of the most irrelevant bands on the planet. To coincide with the release of their greatest hits compilation, they've stuck out this EP that contains, wait for it, 'Acquiesce', 'The Masterplan', a live version of 'Some Might Say' and a demo of 'Cigarettes & Alcohol'. Sure, 'Acquiesce' is one of the best songs they've ever recorded and further kudos is gained by sticking to tunes from when they were in their snotty pomp, but don't they have enough money already? Don't give them anymore, please.
Peaches - Boys Wanna Be Her (XL)
Tired, unsexy, unthreatening, glam shite from the erstwhile Merril Nisker. She really should have just called it a day after 'Lovertits', as she's pretty much wrote the same song since. Nice Flaming Lips remix though.
Snow Patrol feat. Martha Wainwright - Set The Fire To The Third Bar (Polydor)
The lanky, Irish, indie-boy tosspot and Rufus' sister try to out-mawk each other on one of the most deathly dull singles I've ever heard. Forced emotion and pound signs fuel this dirge and, to think, I'll never get those four minutes back. Don't waste precious time on this, go out and drown kittens instead.
Stereotyp feat. Edu K & Joyce Muniz - Jece Valadao (Man Recordings/Funk Mundial)
Barnstorming baile funk, with rave sirens all over the place. The sound of the best carnival/house party/riot you've ever attended. Hot fire! The b-side, 'Uepa' is excellent too.
I was going to say something about the new Robbie Williams single actually being quite decent (until he opens his fucking mouth, that is), but I'm choosing to ignore it.
Back tomorrow, kids!