Singles Reviews: March 2001


Divine Comedy - Love What You Do (Parlophone)

Not so long ago, I read a magazine article about Neil Hannon which was headed simply "Ponce...but he writes good songs". Whilst that may have seemed a little harsh on the ex-public school crooner it’s difficult to disagree with the sentiment. "Love What You Do" is another well crafted, lyrically sound single ("Exercise your freedom / Exorcise those demons") from the gifted songsmith. Sounds strangely like Thom Yorke in places.

3/5 Tone E


South - Paint The Silence (Mo Wax)

Absorbing. That’s the only word to describe this from the opening bars and gambit enquiring "How can you say your life is empty?"

Well OK it’s not the ONLY word. Lush, uplifting, fresh and bifter-friendly are other such words. Now I have to admit to being one of the select few that thought the Stone Roses "Second Coming" was a class album, but this single is what Ian Brown and co perhaps SHOULD have sounded like upon their return to the public eye. Deserves to be a smash.

5/5 Tone E

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Mo*ho*bish*o*pi - Playboy (V2)

Miles better than their previous effort "Dropjaw", which wasn’t at all bad either. This begins with the rather sinister statement "I’m in love with your daughter - you’d better call the police" and continues with all the quirkiness of a John Waters movie. Traces of The Fall, sprinklings of B52s with a quiet undertone of Offspring before they added "The" to their name makes this a worthy addition to the thumbs up brigade.

4/5 Tone E


Utah Saints - Lost Vagueness (Echo)

I’m not entirely sure whether I’ve mellowed since the last issue somewhat due to my pending nuptial ties, or if it’s just that the singles I’vehad this month in general have been of such a high standard. Being such a fan of the more raucous ear belters the Saints are famous for it would have been easy for me to have dismissed this as an atmospheric throwaway novelty (for it features the vocal talents, albeit somewhat digitised, of Chrissie Hynde). However the track is an infectious little gerbil that writhes along your shoulders before lodging itself firmly in the upper reaches of your cranium.

3/5 Tone E


Lol Hammond - Disco Dust (Ugly)

Somehow I doubt if this will chart given its lyrical content - "Have you ever f***ed on cocaine?"I’m sure you can figure out what the asterisks are for but we’re a family mag so if you want to believe it’s "fished" then don’t let me corrupt you any further. It’s sure to be a favourite on the underground scene (which, let’s face it, is about as underground these days as St.Pancras station). Big heavy beats aplenty on the One Mission mix - this is Lol Hammond’s first single for new label Ugly records (for which there is a special profile in this very issue).

3/5 Tone E


Sleaze Nation - Strange Love Addiction (Palm Pictures/Sputnik Distribution)

Yeah, this starts off so well. Fast paced, vocals that for me cried shades of Sarah Cracknell and the 3 minutes 41 that it lasts was just enough, instantly forgettable, but what do you want, all the time? But here’s where the rot sets in, we’ve got a little over 18 minutes on this CD single, 3 tracks and all variations on a theme if you know where I’m coming from. Just too much, I was bored 30 seconds into the second and had forgotten all that had passed before me. So maybe this might stand up a little better on the radio, with the ‘radio friendly’ edit, but a single where you don’t even have to get up half way through to change sides is where it dies a death. Heard it all before and the thing is I can’t remember their names.

1.5/5 Nick James


Christian Vogel -La Isla Piscola (novamute)

The ideal soundtrack to all those late-nite avant garde parties that you’ve ever been to, or maybe not, but stay with me on this one. The guy was born in Chile, so that would explain the quirky "Maraina" lyrics I hear in the background. Maybe a sort of post ‘Kraftwerk’ thing, I imagine banks of teak clad electronics, but honestly the beats are so off beat that even the original break dancers are going to have difficulty with this one. I can’t believe I’m wasting my time here, I’ll cut to the chase.

0.5/5 Nick James


Easyworld - Hundred Weight (Feirce Panda)

Now here’s one we can get our teeth into. Released through the ‘Too Pure’ of their day, ‘Feirce Panda’ have brought us some fine slices of indie rawity in their time and here’s another. This is indie and totally different from that ‘nu-rock’ scene so in vogue today, maybe Placebo before they found money in record and publishing deals, in fact vocals are incredibily Brian Molko and all this from the band who nce went under the name ‘Beachy Head’, you tell me ‘Easyworld’ does have a certain ring of success about it.

4/5 Nick James


Mine To Give - Photek.

As soon as you see the name Robert Owens ("I'll be your friend") on vocals on a CD you know exactly what you are going to get. A deep rich vocal that takes you with it on an emotional rollercoaster. And if you then put the name David Morales alongside it on the remix, you get something that should be a massive hit (but won't be), and something that should make people lose it on the dancefloor of the countries more traditional house music establishments (which I'm sure it will). This is New York House music at its finest, and to see that it was produced at the Masters At Work Studios in N.Y. make all the more sense. But be warned, If you're expecting revolutionary production, or something that will take house music in a new direction then you should look elsewhere. If, however, you are looking for the best U.S house track of the year so far, then you could do a lot worse than this.

Beautiful. 5/5 Martyn Owen


Vegas - Agnelli & Nelson

There was a time when this would have got quite a good review. But that time was about 2-3 years ago, and music has moved on. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that Agnelli & Nelson have moved with the times. On first listening, I thought there may have been a mistake and the wrong CD had been put in the case, because this sounds so much like just another remix on "El Nino". It's not that it's a bad track, it's just that there is nothing special to it. I know that there are still people out there who will like this, and Agnelli & Nelson will no doubt be please to get another top 40 hit. But I for one will be very happy if this indicates another nail in the trance coffin.

2/5 Martyn Owen


Ananda Project - Release

To say that I was suprised when I listened to this album would be an understatement. Seeing as the man behind it is Chris Brann (Wamdue Project). The first thing you notice is that it is nothing like the tripe of "King of my castle", it is infact quite mellow, with a summery vibe (kind of like NuYorican Soul). The glorious "Cascades of Colour" is just perfect for a summers day, and if released as a single I am sure would become a downtempo summer anthem. Another track of note is "Tone Therapy" which is very Daft Punk with a very deep funky bassline, that moves you in all the right ways. Having said that, those are the two stand out tracks. The rest of the album is just cool and breezy. Something that you could just put on and fade away, in the sunshine.

This will be one of my albums of the summer.

4/5 Martyn Owen

2nd GEN - And/or (Novamute)

Stifled beats that have seen better days cloud this bleak release. Pleasure is an uncomprimising necessity of entertainers — 2nd Gen are too busy doing their thing to worry about you.

3.5/5 Stuart Wright


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