Tag Archives: Girls

October Playlist: Music Reviews

Music; it’s not all One Direction and Fine Young Cannibals. Jonathan O’Shea shares his singles of the month, and there isn’t a Zayn Malik themed barbershop quartet in sight.

Window Shades – U.S. Girls

Skilfully structured around an irresistible deep disco beat ‘magpied’ (i.e. ‘nicked’) from Gloria Ann Taylor’s cult classic ‘Love is a Hurting Thing’, ‘Window Shades’ begins with a intriguingly haunting piano refrain and builds to a heart-rending tale of love lost. Accompanied by another bewitching (and self-directed) video, following the similarly mystical ‘Woman’s Work’ promo, this genre-defying single release confirms U.S. Girls as considerable new creative force.

Somehow this track seems just a smidgen under-cooked though; slightly running out of steam mid-way through. Still, it’s another stimulating taste of the idiosyncratic delicacies to expect from Toronto-based Meg Remy’s debut album ‘Half Free’, recently released on 4AD Records.

 

Kuma KitaDeerhoof

Deerhoof

Confuse and astound your neighbours as you jangle your flesh to the frantic, demi-demented electro-wibblings of the loveably strange Deerhoof. A malfunctioning futuristic story-bot tells a twisted tale of an encounter with a brown bear amid intermittently pulsing beats. It’s massively infectious, unreasonably joyous and can be found on the Post Tangent compilation, released in aid of Syrian refugees stranded in Calais.

Not convinced? OK, the lyrics:

Once upon a time/Kumanakumanakuma/Am I safe here?/Is that is that a bear?/Let’s play dead. Play dead!/That is that is a bear. Big and brown head!/Saying Gao Gao/Showing teeth and menacing bang bang bang/Cruel nature, eat or eaten/Everyone waltz.

Resist that.

Fever Elvis Presley & Michael Buble/
Bad Blood – Ryan Adams

Ever dug up your beloved pet rabbit – let’s call him Snowy – and sinisterly waggled his mangy, mangled remains around in the pretence that the once-lovely bundle of fluffy fun is still alive? No, neither have I. But Michael Buble has. Well, effectively.

This pseudo ‘duet’ between the super-syrupy auto-tuned crooner (AKA Micky Bubbles) and the greatest hip-swinger in rock history makes a sick mockery of the King’s considerable legacy. Presumably prompted more by desperation and greed than any desire to produce something enduringly special, this is the latest of innumerable covers of Little Willie John’s 1962 standard. In fact, Elvis obviously once recorded it himself – y’know, when he was alive and all – so why not just leave it at that?

Similarly, what can alt-crooner Ryan Adams’ motivation really be for recording – and actually releasing – an entire Taylor Swift album (‘1989’), so soon after it was initially a hit for the new queen of pop? Sure, he’s made a pleasant enough job of the universally adored Tay-Tay’s ‘Bad Blood’, but what’s the point? And she’s not even dead (yet)!

Coming soon: Harry Styles jives with the decomposing corpse of Ginger Rogers, while Miley Cyrus twerks malevolently in Marlon Brando’s rotting face…in the exclusive video for Bing Crosby and Peter Andre’s new festive EP, ‘Bing & Pete’s I’m Dreaming of an Insania Christmas’.

 

Also recommended this month

 

Paydirt – Horse Party

Singularity – New Order

A Change – Participant 

Let us know your tracks of the month and win a free iPod! Golf bag! Date with a pop-star! Old phone with nude photos of ex-gf that I can’t find a charger for! Sainsbury’s carrier bag worth 5p!

Written by Jonathan O'Shea

A keen student of sport, music and life. Can generally be found educating small people, bitterly damning Aston Villa’s latest attempts at football, or writing nonsense about ephemera.

Album Review – Pharrell Williams: Girl

Pharrell Williams is set to take his place on the jury of the ‘The Voice’ in America. It caps a whirlwind 18 months for the 41 year-old singer/producer. Dom Kureen pays homage by sharing his opinion of the white-hot maestro’s latest solo album, ‘Girl.’

Pharrell Williams 2

For Pharrell Williams 2013 was something of an annus mirabilis. Collaborating with the likes of Daft Punk, Robin Thicke and Azealia Banks ensured that the former Neptunes and N.E.R.D front man rarely drifted from the spotlight.

Eight years after hitting the solo scene with the widely panned ‘In My Mind,’ the ageless star launched his follow-up LP having morphed into a bonafide A-lister during the interim, with ‘Girl’ reaching the summit of the album charts in no fewer than eleven countries.

Striding into earshot with the typically addictive strains of ‘Marilyn Monroe’, a recent single release, it’s clear from the outset that fans are in for an annoyingly catchy stroll along melody lane. The casting of Kelly Osborne for background vocals provides an unexpectedly inspired addition to the track.

The steamy silhouette spawned by ‘Gush’ leaves little to the imagination, with dirty beats and suggestive lyrics that only cease during a synthesised string-dominated bridge that temporarily alleviates the steaminess.

‘Happy’, part of the ‘Despicable Me 2′ soundtrack, has been a staple of radio waves and YouTube videos during the past couple of months, yet remains the album’s inspirative calling card, temporarily transforming Williams’ sweet counter-tenor into a decadent slice of Cee Lo Green.

Also noteworthy is the tightly hooked ‘Gust of Wind,’ a composition boosted by the unmistakable accent of French electro duo Daft Punk. Recounting a self-effacing tale of romance, this surely warrants a single release.

Amongst the easily absorbed harmonies are inevitably a couple of self-indulgent miscues.

‘Lost Queen’ is an absurdly dull love letter that rarely advances beyond glorified artist ejaculation and is little more than the gristle on the pork chop.

‘Brand New’ is a notch or two superior, although the inclusion of Justin Timberlake serves only to accentuate the shortcomings in Williams’ falsetto by placing him alongside a more sophisticated practitioner.

A-lister: Pharrell has made huge strides since N*E*R*D.
A-lister: Pharrell Williams has made huge strides since N*E*R*D.

Even with those two unnecessary additions, there’s enough variety dispersed over the eleven tracks to make ‘Girl’ a worthwhile purchase.

If you’re not a fan of this tweak of direction, there are hints of Pharrell’s former life as a Neptune in ‘Hunter’, a song which flagrantly borrows its baseline from Diana Ross and contains an almost identically laid out rap interlude to Debbie Harrie’s ‘Rapture’ confabulate.

An album most notable for threaded sexual undertones and elaborate orchestration (credit for the latter goes to master composer Hans Zimmer,) ‘Girl’ delivers a decent, if not superlative, addition to the singer’s ever expanding body of work.

  Pharrell’s bandwagon continues apace, with another worthwhile release.

 

 

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me.
I meditate and wash daily when possible.