I like to think of Gigslutz singles reviews as a box of chocolates. Each track has an inventor who thought long and hard about what would go well together and put lots of effort into the creation process. Then as the greedy consumer (with no expert knowledge whatsoever) I get to come along and say, “Ooh but I don’t like coconut/EDM!” Totally fair, huh? I think so …
5 Seconds Of Summer: Amnesia
I reckon there’s a supermarket somewhere that stocks ‘Grow Your Own Boyband’ kits. It’s the only logical solution I can find as to why 5 Seconds of Summer’s ‘Amnesia’ sounds exactly like One Direction’s ‘Over Again’. Regardless, they both suck. From the “we’re so emotionally vulnerable” acoustic guitar to the falsetto vocal that sound like my younger brother warbling in the shower, this is a track that oozes cheese. And not the good kind, either: the sort of cheese that collects at the back of the refrigerator if the milk leaks! The only thing that the 5SOS boys have achieved with ‘Amnesia’ is writing a song that is entirely forgettable.
A pertinent exploration of a process that happens to us all eventually: getting older and quietly approaching ‘Oblivion’, Bastille’s single is a thought-provoking concept. I can’t help but feel this weighty subject matter is over-compensation, though. As a synth-pop group, Bastille’s songs sound pretty much the same (with a few exceptions); relying on Dan Smith’s vocal to carry the track, paired with off-beat piano chords that are presumably meant to make the listener’s heartstrings ache with how deep the band are. One of the tracks redeeming features is that at 2:42 minutes long it’s not too unbearably repetitive, landing the track in the field of “astoundingly average”.
Calvin Harris feat. John Newman: Blame
Calvin Harris’ second single from his fourth album is a decidedly average contribution to the sphere of electronic dance music. The beat is relatively unobtrusive and the melodic hook sounds like it can’t really be bothered to carry on by the end of the track. John Newman gifts his vocal to this song about refusing to accept the blame “don’t blame it on me / do blame it on the night” and credit it to him, he has a strong and assured voice. However Newman has one of those distinctive voices that becomes irritating after you’ve heard him sing the same line fifty times over, which is why ‘Blame’ gets a thumbs down from me I’m afraid.
Foster The People: Are You What You Want To Be
It’s not quite the addictive stuff of ‘Houdini’ or ‘Helena Beat’ but ‘Are You What You Want To Be?’ is still another substantial track from Foster the People. Mark Foster’s lazy, drawling vocal style reminds me of Kanye West & Estelle’s ‘American Boy’ – which would be quite funny, if the LA pop star was channelling his ‘inner Kanye’ as a proclamation of what he wants to be. It’s got the same weird and wonderful lyrics “I woke up on Champs-Élysées to the Djembe of Ghana / A fine lady from Belize said “You got the spirit of Fela”” as Vampire Weekend’s ‘Oxford Comma’ and it’s only at the chorus that Foster the People’s own brand manages to shine through.
Little Dragon: Pretty Girls
Don’t quote me on this but I’m pretty sure Little Dragon’s ‘Pretty Girls’ is a deconstruction of the ‘hipster teens’ from the very first line. As Yukimi Nagano sings “the green mermaid” is she referring to the temple of Hipsterdom, Starbucks? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but nonetheless this soothing anthem does have one pertinent message to take away about materialism: “those new lashes don’t go to waste / but it could pay your rent”. Sure, girls are entitled to ‘put their face on’ and feel good about themselves, but there are an awful lot of ridiculously pointless products out there – and it’s easy to get stuck on insignificant routines, the Swedish band tell us “Pretty girl, don’t get stuck”.
Morrissey: Kiss Me A Lot
My first thought upon listening to ‘Kiss Me A Lot’ was that for a man who has little interest in sex as evidenced in his declaration that “I can’t imagine my body ever feeling sexual excitement”, Morrissey sure sings “kiss me a lot” a helluva lot of times in this track. The repetition does lend the song an urgent tone “I don’t care when or where”, but it feels remarkably forceful, at the same time. I feel as if Morrissey has taken the song a bit too far over the boundary into ‘aggressive’ territory. “You will listen to this song, and you will like it,” he says. “But why?” is my response. “Because I’m Morrissey,” simply doesn’t cut it anymore as a retort, whereas once it might have done. Much like the rest of ‘World Peace Is None of Your Business’ this track is underwhelming, and frankly a little disappointing.