This week it’s the turn of our Yorkshire lass, Beth Kirkbride, to have a little listen to the 7″s and downloads available from your record store and hand held devices next Monday. Should Benny Benassi’s new one last forever? Do fans of Frankie say No? Have we found a worthy talent show talent in The Voice’s Leah McFall? Over to you, Beth…
Benny Benassi feat Gary Go ‘Let This Last Forever’
This track sounds like you’re listening to it through a pair of headphones that are a bit temperamental; you feel like wiggling the left ear bud around a bit to add another layer to the track. With no capacity to affect the sound reaching your ears, ‘Let This Last Forever’ is a mediocre summer melody at best. It’s formulaic, it’s predictable and it’s transparent. Cheesy lyrics are a given, “No need to be scared / True love’s gonna get us there”, as is a pulsing beat that adds a tinge of fervour to the song. We can see no reason for this track to last forever in musical history, sorry Benny Benassi and Gary Go!
Bombay Bicycle Club ‘Come To’
‘Come To’ by Bombay Bicycle Club signifies the band has been influenced by a smorgasbord of other artists – electronic components in the song are evocative of bands such as M83 whilst the female backing vocals more reminiscent of Stars or Fleet Foxes. Jack Steadman’s vocal is more assured in this little parcel of sound and takes on qualities not dissimilar to The Maccabees’ frontman, Orlando Weeks. The track is sufficient, but it’s not glaringly catchy or moving. It’s wishy-washy, and a little disappointing if we’re honest. Given the band derived their name from a curry house this track is certainly lacking a little spice.
Franz Ferdinand ‘Stand On The Horizon’
It’s a refreshing change to have a track from this Glaswegian foursome that doesn’t open with a hook that’s in your head from the outset. The “oh won’t you come to me baby” line that you can guarantee you’ll be singing as you do the dishes doesn’t come until much later in the track. Instead, the song opens with Kapranos’ lamenting, “How can I tell you I was wrong?” and a stripped back melody, demonstrating the bands craftsmanship as they build to a frantic crescendo. Kapronos’ staccato vocal is punctuated with a catchy riff throughout and the respective components are tightly controlled – everything we’ve come to expect from McCarthy, Thompson, Hardy and Kapranos.
Holly Johnson ‘Follow Your Heart’
‘Follow Your Heart’ is the first single from Holly Johnson’s forthcoming album, Europa, and is a satisfying taster of what’s to come. The 54 year old, best known as the frontman of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, can surely expect yet more success with this track, which certainly makes us want to ‘Relax’ due to its chilled vibe. This song relies primarily on a pulsating beat and an assured vocal commentary to do most of the work. The backing vocal is merely an echo, evocative of a Gospel choir, rather than a vital component. If Holly Johnson was a pastor then by the end of this 3.39 minute entity you’d certainly be inclined to “follow your heart”; not least because it’s repeated an inordinate number of times throughout the track.
Leah McFall feat. Will.I.Am ‘Home’
Leah McFall’s voice is saccharine at moments but at other times a fierce battle cry; she builds to emotional crescendos throughout this track. Her vocal range is impressive, to say the least, and perfectly combines with the instrumental to create an anthem to be proud of. The runner up of The Voice has been described as ‘the next Adele’, but that’s not a credible parallel. She isn’t gentle – she’s fierce, and subsequently much better likened to anthemic singers like Kelly Clarkson. The only thing we don’t like about this track is Will.I.Am’s input – he drags Leah McFall down from the pedestal of brilliance due to his monotonous drawling style that taints this track.
Lykke Li ‘Gunshot’
Lykke Li has a distinctive vocal style that’s not too far afield from Madonna (I honestly thought I was listening to ‘Like A Prayer’ up until the chorus began). The singer is Sweden’s answer to New Zealand’s Lorde. This track manipulates time itself, dragging out words and sounds so that it feels like hours, rather than minutes, are passing. The singer pairs her outcry, “My heart cracked, really loved you bad / Gunshot, I’ll never get you back”, with a terse drum beat that does indeed sound like a gunshot. It’s cohesive, it’s catchy and it’s certainly another track that highlights the host of female talent present in the charts at the moment.