Singles Round-Up 20.04.10

The latest singles unwrapped, reheated and digested for your enjoyment by TV dinner-chef, ANDREW TRENDELL and microwave-sceptic, AARON LEE.

Christina Aguilera – Not Myself Tonight
Released: 19/04/2010

To compete with vocal twin and pop-demi-goddess Lady Gaga, Ms Aguilera roped in some help to give her a fresh approach. Lifted from her upcoming album ‘Bionic’ featuring collaborations with Le Tigre and Ladytron, ‘Not Myself Tonight’ clearly shows that the Riot-Grrrrl influence of her new found friends has clearly rubbed off on her. A filthy and addictive undercurrent lies is carried along by a refreshingly simple disco-pop beat. Rather than her usual vocal roller-coaster approach, Aguilera delivers an understated yet effective electro-influenced performance – finally realising that less can indeed be more. She may not be herself, but she is certainly welcome back. Andrew Trendell

Cypress Hill (feat Tom Morello) – Rise Up
Released: 19/04/2010

Ah, here we are. It seems that when our Tom isn’t soulfully plucking away as The Nightwatchmen or making Joe McElderry cry, he loves helping out rap-rock legends Cypress Hill. Here we have a brilliant piece of Morello-by-numbers guitar mastery. The Rage guitarist adds a sizeable dose of funk-fuelled rock riffery to Cypress Hill’s otherwise quite dry pseudo-political rap. ‘Living in the big city, the American dream is far roaming in the streets of greed’ is about as deep as Cypress Hill get as the old school pioneers, urge you to rise up because…well just because. Without  Zach de La Rocha’s sharp articulate tongue to wrap around Morello’s fretwork, it’s left alone with a string of limply delivered hip-hop clichés. It is a bit like a RATM b-side, but with the rage turned down. Andrew Trendell

Diana Vickers – Once
Released: 19/04/2010

Did someone order ANOTHER eccentric ‘LOOK AT ME, I’M DEAD WACKY – HONEST’ indie matron? No, I didn’t think so. La Roux’s gimmick lies in that crazy fringe of hers, Florence Welch’s in her nostalgic dress sense and unfortunate yelping, but where can Diana Vickers find her niche? You may remember her irritating X-Factor attempts from the other year, as she softly wandered Simon Cowel’s stage barefoot, posing curiously with a claw and her oh-so-idiosyncratic gestures. She didn’t win. There’s something deeply unnerving about the nauseating, whispering twang of Vickers’ voice that makes my soul shudder. I will give a shiny prize to the reader that can tell me the origins of the bizarre accent she is forcing from her wheezing lungs. As she sighs ‘whateverhhehhh yewhhhh dewhhhh…’ it sounds like scratching a fork on a plate inside a cattery. It’s a shame really, because it’s actually quite a lovely song. Andrew Trendell

The Cheek – Just One Night
Released: 17/05/2010

Following their middle-of-the-road college indie song, ‘Hung Up’, The Cheek continue their campaign to win the hearts of British teens in preparation for their ‘cheeky’ debut album. The vibe here is as samey and unimaginative as their first attempt, with as much emotional range as a teaspoon. It sounds like a second-rate pop song that somehow missed its debut during the rise of Busted and Mc Fly. Rory Cottam’s sneeringly honeyed vocals threaten to unleash a new wave of teen pregnancy with this just-do-it number. Catchy but far from original. Aaron Lee

Gorillaz – Superfast Jellyfish
Released: 09/05/2010

Gorillaz are at it again with another unusual genre mix-up and have produced an intoxicating fusion of rap, bass and melody that could get you busting moves in the supermarket of all places. Opening with a kooky sample from an advert for microwavable frozen breakfast sandwiches, ‘Superfast Jellyfish’ is as quick to please as its title might suggest. De La Soul’s whimsical rap is unquenchably attractive without being overblown, and Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals juxtaposes their rhymes with his squeaky vocals. More addictive than fast food – and healthier too. Aaron Lee

The Features – The Temporary Blues
Released: 17/05/2010

When a relatively unknown band is endorsed by none other than those rockers of southern machismo, Kings of Leon, they must be doing something right to be worthy of the accolade. Hailing from Tennessee, The Features have been making music since the early 90s, but have found limited success in the US. This track was actually found on their self-released LP over a year ago, but lives to see its day in the sun as part of the albums re-release push. It’s a real down-home country song, which has delectable anthem potential. It stops short of the lyrical genius of The Killers and feels a bit of an imitator, but even if it’s not wholly original, it’s got rhythm. Maybe a nod from the bringers of ‘Sex on Fire’ will be just what this band needed? Aaron Lee