24 April 2009

TRACKS>>>24.04.09>>>Dizzee Rascal, Green Day, Jarvis Cocker, Magistrates, Frankmusik

Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers (featuring Armand Van Helman)
Straight from the uber-success of the Calvin Harris collaboration "Dance Wiv Me", Dizzee has served up another bona-fide chart hit. If this isn't everywhere within a few weeks of it's release then I'll eat my hat. It's difficult to even figure out which genre to pigeonhole "Bonkers" into. Switching between straight-up pop, cheesy dance, hip-hop and even rock with a heavy bassline and the main guitar riff owing more to Kerrang! than Channel U, "Bonkers" is exactly what it says on the tin. Essentially just one big chorus (with a gradually annoying middle eighth, consisting of a generic dance hook), it won't please any hardcore rap/hip-hop/"urban"/"grime"/"whatever the kids are calling it these days" fans, but Dizzee can look forward to another Number One.

Green Day - Know Your Enemy
What do you expect from this, the first new material from the post-American Idiot Green Day? Face melting solos? Orchestral arrangements? Stacks upon stacks of synths? Well if you're deluded enough to want any of them from Green Day, then you'll be disappointed. "KYE" is what Billie Joe & co have become most talented at; simple, catchy stadium punk anthems. Okay, it is the most repetitive chorus since "Ruby" (take a wild guess how it goes) but that doesn't take away from it being a good ol' rock song. Not one of GD's best, but certainly whets the appetite for their forthcoming three-part "21st Century Breakdown" concept album

Jarvis Cocker - Angela
Ah Jarvis, what ever happened? Lead singer of Pulp, probably one of, if not the best band to come out of Britpop, Jarvis has assumed a sort of elder statesman role since the band went on hiatus in 2002; moving to Paris, generally being viewed as a king of all that is indie. His first solo album was pretty darn good, not exactly hitting the heights of Pulp's best but getting there. But in comparison "Angela" (the first single from second album "Further Complications") is, well, a bit crap really. The production leaves the song too flat to have any sense of verve or urgency, until a rather generic solo. Jarvis' usual witty musings are all but missing from the lyrics, which consist mainly of the highly annoying repitition of "Angela! Oh Angelaaa!". It's just quite puzzling to as to how the creator of "Common People" has churned out this.

Magistrates - Heartbreak
One quarter of the NME Radar Tour lineup (as well as Heartbreak, The Chapman Family and La Roux), Magistrates could be this year's answer to Friendly Fires. They've been described as Klaxons-meets-James Brown, and that combination is too far off the mark. "Heartbreak" has all the ingredients to see the Essex boys thrown into the limelight. A keyboard riff that anyone can whistle, a good chunk of 80's sheen, galloping drums, a simple-yet-funky bass line and there you have it; the underground pop hit of the year, in my humble opinion; music for the mind, hips and feet. If Magistrates aren't massive by next year's festivals, then I'll find another hat to eat.

Frankmusik - Better Off As Two
I really wanted to like Frankmusik. I mean really wanted to. The name is pretty cool, he looked cool the first time I saw him and the chorus of previous single "Three Little Words" was stuck in my head for at least two weeks. But now he just represents the ultimate in crap corporate pop in 2009. Evidence, you say? Well the endless slew of adverts advertising his singles for download and ordering through your phone, signing up for MySpace sponsored gigs, having awful hair and appalling fashion taste. Okay, the last two are less to do with crap corporate pop and more to do with being stuck in 2006/7 but there's still a valid point. In releasing "Better Off As Two", Frankmusik seems content to churn out sub-sub-sub Friendly Fires dance-pop and sing like his tongue is way too big for his mouth whilst collecting "Ones To Watch" plaudits. It's just plain wrong. This is not what pop should sound like in 2009 with the amount of truly interesting artists around such as Little Boots, Jamie T and Late Of The Pier. *end rant*

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