Gillingham, Kent, UK (By Mikey: firstname.lastname@example.org)
RECORD OF THE WEEK
Lisa Maffia - All Over An integral player in the sprawling So Solid collective, Lisa Maffia takes centre stage on this, her long-awaited solo debut single. Produced by So Solid's studio squad of JD, AC Burrell, Swiss and Dan Da Man, 'All Over' combines Lisa's distinctive vocal style with punchy pop, r'n'b and hip-hop to create an exciting and wildly individual track that hails the arrival of a brilliant UK talent. Not immediate, and sure to split opinion, this is however one of those rare singles that just gets better with each listen.
HOT SHOT RECORD
Busted - You Said No The cheeky chappies of pop are surely due a No.1 single and 'You Said No' could well do it for Busted. The champagne's been on ice for a while but surely it's time to fetch the glasses. You certainly won't begrudge them one. This pop-rocking three-piece seems to be riding the crest of a wave at the moment; and, off the back of hit singles 'What I Go To School For' and 'Year 3000', they keep the momentum rolling along with their latest, 'You Said No'.
Audioslave - Like A Stone Supergroups on paper are rarely a good idea. Egos collide, agendas are fought over and music seldom wins the day, yet Audioslave have somehow re-written those rules. But it shouldn't surprise us that rock's obsessive fraternity have embraced this Rage Against the Machine / Soundgarden hybrid so fervently when they're making music like this. The ensemble's first single 'Cochise' was everything we expected - ie. a direct cross between the above bands - yet 'Like A Stone' sees Cornell take over to deliver a brooding, shadowy tale of regret and blunders along the road.
Badly Drawn Boy - All Possibilities Lifted from the Top 10 album 'Have You Fed The Fish?' (The follow-up to 2000's Mercury Music Prize winning 'Hour Of Bewilderbeast'), 'All Possibilities' finds BDB in, yet again, very fine form indeed. From an album chock full of great songs 'All Possibilities' was always a highlight, but on this release it's aided and abetted by some superb bonus tracks. 'Where Were You' and 'Let The Sunshine' were recorded live for Radio 1's Lamacq Live, live favourite 'Walk Away Renee' (on the 7") is a rough and ready audience bootleg from his US tour in 2000
Billy Crawford - You Didn't Expect That A successful child actor and teenage pop star, 20-year-old Billy Crawford returns this week with his latest infectious pop nugget, the brilliantly catchy 'You Didn't Expect That'. A tantalising taster for the forthcoming album, this is wonderfully infectious cocktail of pop and r'n'b, that's easy going and catchy but still manages to retain a tougher urban edge.
Bluetones - Fast boy / Liquid Lips With a fifty date tour taking The Bluetones back to the kind of venues fans won't have seen them play since the early days, it's kind of fitting that the indie-rockers should return with a 'slightly' new musical direction. From their forthcoming album, this double A-side displays the stripped down, more back-to-basics approach the band have taken. Still retaining their canny knack of spinning a tune, 'Fast Boy' shall easily please the fans; whilst at the same time converting plenty more to The Bluetones' cause.
DMX - X Gonna Give It To Ya DMX returns to the hip-hop fray in all-conquering form! The title track from the new 'Cradle 2 The Grave' movie (in which X also stars alongside Jet Li), it also serves as a brilliant taster for the man's forthcoming long-player. Tough, raw and very rough around the edges, with DMX's vocal aerobics all over it, 'X Gon Give It To Ya' shows that the man can still cut it and is gonna take no prisoners.
DT8 ft. Roxanne Wilde - Destination The summer must be on the way and Ibiza season beckoning if the plethora of uplifting trance beauties coming out at the mo is anything to go by! The latest comes from relative newcomers DT8, with a little vocal assistance from Roxanne, and is already tearing up the nation's finer trance floors. Uplifting, euphoric and catchy (this'll get the dancefloor singing).
Macy Gray - When I See You She's been away from the limelight for a while, but this week hails the long-awaited return of soul diva Macy Gray. A bright soulful ray of sunshine, 'When I See You' sees Macy opening her heart on wax. The good-natured, fun-loving lyrics are layered around a light piano accompaniment that harks back to the good work on her first album ('On How Life Is'), but at the same time still manages to sound utterly contemporary.
Kid Creme - Hynotising Belgium is currently enjoying something of a musical renaissance at the moment. It's contributions to genres like electro and techno are not in doubt, but it seems that now they're making waves in the house arena, with Kid Creme (and Junior Jack) leading the way. New on Positiva, with a vocal from rising star Charlise Rookwood, this funky slab of filtered dancefloor funk also comes with a slamming new 'Fashionista' mix for 2003.
David Sneddon - Don't let Go Probably another Top 10 hit, but it won't reach that elusive number one. I like this better than his number one hit, but it lacks as it goes along. The second single from David Sneddon's long-awaited debut album, 'Seven Years, Ten Weeks', 'Don't Let Go' proves that the Fame Academy winner isn't gonna be just a flash in the pan, over the night pop sensation. Featuring an incredibly infectious piano line around a soaring chorus and some beautifully penned lyrics, it's a superb follow-up to 'Stop Living The Lie',
Triple Eight - Knock Out David, Justin, Josh, Sparx and Jamie; remember the names, because they're Triple 8, and this five-piece are already looking like worthy successors to 5ive's vacant bad boys of pop position. So forget slushy ballads and sugary pop covers, Triple 8 are all set to break the mould with their raw, edgy, energised, tough, punchy new single, the brilliant 'Knockout'.
V Birds - Virtuality Uplifting pop debut from animated girl-group the V Birds. A revised version of the theme from the popular Cartoon Network series featuring four virtual girls (Bling, D:Lin, Wow and Boom), 'Virtuality' finds the V Birds getting down and sassy with this fine, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, pop debut. Certainly not rocket science, but great fun none-the-less (not-to-mention a must if you're a fan of the show).
White Stripes - Seven Nation Army The first single from the White Stripes' latest album, 'Seven Nation Army' is a quick lesson in why this Detroit blues-rock duo remain completely untouchable at the moment. Riding a treated (no bass) guitar groove and a typically fiery Jack White vocal, it also comes with two, count 'em TWO, completely exclusive White Stripes B-sides.
And the following acts are also releasing, but probably won't penetrate the Top 40:
Aqualung - If I Fall / Live At The Scala
Asian Dub Foundation ft. Sinead O'Connor - 1000 Mirrors
Beachbuggy - Killer Bee
Paul Carrack - She Lived Down The Street
Johnny Cash - Hurt / Personal Jesus
Delays - Nearer Than Heaven
DoNots - Big Mouth
Glassjaw - Ape Dos Mil
Dana Glover - Thinking Over
J Walk - Another Lover
Magnet - The Day We Left Town EP
Meat Loaf - Couldn't Have Said It Better
Pippa - I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
Relaxed Muscle - The Heavy EP
Reno - Rock 'N' Roll
Rocket Science - Run Like A Gun
Therapy? - If It Kills Me / Rust
Venus Hum - Montana
April 28 Ronan Keating - The Long Goodbye / Love won't wait
April 28 Puretone - Stuck in a groove
April 28 Tomcraft - Loneliness
April 28 Craig David ft. Sting - Rise & Fall
April 28 Bone Thugs n' Harmony ft. Phil Collins - Home
May 5 The Androids - Do it with Madonna
May 5 The Cheeky Girls - Take your shoes off
May 12 Girls Aloud - No good advice
May 12 Boomkat - The Wreckoning
May 12 Love Inc. - Broken Bones
May 12 Lisa Scott-Lee - Lately
May 12 Sean Paul - Get Busy
May 19 t.A.T.u - Not gonna get us
May 19 Justin Timberlake - Rock with you
May 19 Stereophonics - Madame Helga
May 19 XTM ft. Annia - Fly on the wings of love
May 26 Emma Bunton - Free me
May 26 S Club - Say goodbye
May 26 Ashley Hamilton - Wimmin
June 2 Delta Goodrem - Lost without you
June 2 Melanie C - On the Horizon
June 2 Eminem - Superman
June 9 Christina Aguilera - Fighter
June 9 Dannii Minogue - Don't want to lose this feeling
June 9 Appleton - Everything Eventually