|Singles Reviews: March 2001|
Divine Comedy - Love What You Do (Parlophone)
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 its
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.
South - Paint The Silence (Mo Wax)
Absorbing. Thats the only word to describe this from the opening bars and gambit enquiring "How can you say your life is empty?"
its 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.
Mo*ho*bish*o*pi - Playboy (V2)
than their previous effort "Dropjaw", which wasnt at
all bad either. This begins with the rather sinister statement "Im
in love with your daughter - youd 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.
Utah Saints - Lost Vagueness (Echo)
not entirely sure whether Ive mellowed since the last issue somewhat
due to my pending nuptial ties, or if its just that the singles
Ivehad 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.
Lol Hammond - Disco Dust (Ugly)
I doubt if this will chart given its lyrical content - "Have you
ever f***ed on cocaine?"Im sure you can figure out what the
asterisks are for but were a family mag so if you want to believe
its "fished" then dont let me corrupt you any
further. Its sure to be a favourite on the underground scene (which,
lets face it, is about as underground these days as St.Pancras
station). Big heavy beats aplenty on the One Mission mix - this is Lol
Hammonds first single for new label Ugly records (for which there
is a special profile in this very issue).
Sleaze Nation - Strange Love Addiction (Palm Pictures/Sputnik Distribution)
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 heres where
the rot sets in, weve got a little over 18 minutes on this CD
single, 3 tracks and all variations on a theme if you know where Im
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 dont 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 cant remember their names.
Christian Vogel -La Isla Piscola (novamute)
soundtrack to all those late-nite avant garde parties that youve
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 cant believe Im wasting my time
here, Ill cut to the chase.
Easyworld - Hundred Weight (Feirce Panda)
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 heres 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.
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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