Singles Reviews: June 2001

Mark B & Blade — Ya Don’t See The Signs (Wordcdse)

Once this gem gets going, it begins to sound a little like Rage Against The Machine and, despite their names (and photograph) leading you to believe they are going to be another dodgy garage outfit, the pair deliver a ballsy riproaring slice of earbusting hip hop rock rap that doesn’t disappoint. The album version featured at track two is more akin to Eminem. Great stuff. 7/10 Tone E

Mo*Ho*Bish*O*Pi — Names (For Nameless Things) (V2)
Far more laid back than their previous three singles, and will undoubtedly draw inevitable comparisons with Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. I was a massive fan of this single’s predecessor "Playboy" and the band has kept up their tradition of quality tracks with this release. Funny though — I actually prefer the angst ridden final track "Burn The Batteries" but you can’t have everything I suppose. 7/10 Tone E

Jennifer Lopez — Play (Epic)
Quite why I’m reviewing this single three weeks after it charted I’m not sure, but Ms Lopez needs to ask herself these questions first:
  1. Why have I become Paula Abdul or Janet Jackson circa 1986?
  2. Why does my song start off like it’s a cover of Lou Bega’s "Mambo No.5"?
  3. Do I really think that spoken bit in the middle sounds good?
  4. What on earth made me date a bloke whose name was Puff?

So as you probably will gather, this is not a good single. She’s going to have to wear less clothing next time if she wants a better score. 2/10 Tone E

Errol Brown — Still Sexy (Yes U Are) (Universal)
Stop trying to kid yourself Errol. Anyway I can’t remember where it was, but I read in a recent magazine a review of this single which gave five stars. That got me thinking that this might be a little different, but in fact it’s EXACTLY what you’d expect from the seventies icon. Must have been a woman’s magazine. Er…not that I buy women’s magazines you understand. Must have been at the dentist. Yes, that’s right, it was at the dentist. Well it was a choice between that or "Know Your Placque". 3/10 Tone E

Manbreak — Dark Age (One Little Indian)

This starts off like a blend of Mansun and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but when the "big in" begins, it sounds unquestionably like a grown up version of The Wonder Stuff. The fact that the chorus could have been written by Aerosmith or the Black Crowes and the bridge by Neil Finn make it hard to believe that the band were influenced by Rage Against The Machine. That can be heard more on track two "Apathy", but Steve Swindelli still sounds exactly like Miles Hunt. Still, the Stuffies always had an ear for a good catchy pop record and it seems that Manbreak are carrying on the tradition. 3.5/5 Tone E

Muse — New Born
In total contrast to "Plug In Baby", which grew and grew on me, this leapt up and grabbed me by the throat immediately, banging my head on the coffee table and yelling "I am a great kickass single" until I had little choice but for submission. It’s quite an eerie piano intro and you’re sucked into a world where Muse drag you kicking and screaming through hedges, rivers and hoops of fire. It really is quite exhilarating — I suggest you try it some time. 8/10 Tone E

Jan Johnston — Silent Words (Perfecto)
This is a hard hitting, lyrically incr4edible assessment of the world, and is likely to end all conflict, being ultimately remembered as the most important record of the 21st century. Yes, I know that’s complete bollocks, but I had to make some crap up. After all, "dancing boy" Martyn Owen is currently away on holiday so I’m having to do the dnce singles myself. So there you go — it’s ok, but you tend to get a bit bored by the time you get to the 18th mix on the CD. 5/10 Tone E

Spek — I’m A Hippie
As most of you will be aware, Primal Scream’s "Loaded" was one of THE anthems of the "second summer of love" way back in 1990, a year that still stands out in memory of being one of the most ridiculously mental summers of all time. Of course, that same year, Dream Warriors had their first hit with "Wash Your Face In My Sink", and now Spek, of the aforementioned band, has added his own rap stylee lyrics over the top of the former band’s fine classic. Oddly enough, both "Loaded" and "Wash your face etc" peaked at number 16 in the charts. Anyway this is a good summary of how we all felt back in those carefree days. Here’s to the third summer of love. 7/10 Tone E

Proud Mary — All Good Things (Sour Mash)
If this band had been enormously popular back in the sixties or seventies, you would almost certainly be entranced by the mesmerising tunes played by the "what would be by now ageing folk rockers". The sad fact though is that it’s now 2001 and Proud Mary sound like….erm….ageing folk rockers. The songs are pleasant and pretty enough, but they do sound like they could have been written by the man who signed them to his label (a certain Mr Gallagher….who is an ageing folk rocker). I have to say though, they’d definitely be a good band to lazily bask in the sunshine to at a festival. 6/10 Tone E

Monoboy featuring Delores — The Music In You (Perfecto)
Remember those old school programmes where you had to wait for a picture of a clock and some text at the corner of a screen informing you how long you had left before it started and then it all faded? Well they used to play some music over the top of it sometimes and this single starts just like that! Then again it was a long time ago and I used to fancy both Jay Aston AND Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz at the time so I may well be talking crap there. I’ve always liked that kind of sound they have on this single that makes you feel like you’re about seven years old in the back of a car late at night with a gentle breeze blowing on you. Maybe in a tunnel….and covered in a blanket. Anyway this makes you feel like that. Drugs…who? Me? 7/10 Tone E

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