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Reviews 13/12/2003

Single reviews released 15 December 2003

By Mikey (Gillingham, Kent, UK)

The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End) / Friday Night The Darkness are going for the Christmas Number One with the double A-side called 'Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)' and 'Friday Night', Frontman Justin's brother Dan Hawtin calls it 'a masterpiece - a true work of art that will be around for years to come'. We can only hope! The Christmas single has been recorded with Kiss, Aerosmith and Jane's Addiction collaborator Bob Ezrin on production duties. It's got a kiddies choir on it and it's got tubular bells - it's your basic full-on Christmas experience. And the chorus is world class too!

Michael Andrews ft. Gary Jules - Mad World This record was first heard on the Donnie Darko soundtrack at the beginning of the year and this release has been much awaited since then. Roland Orzabel who wrote 'Mad World' and had a hit with it in 'Tears For Fears' has already said that this version is much better then the original. The vocals by Gary Jules compliment the haunting piano riffs beautifully and proves why it is a clear favourite on the soundtrack

Atomic Kitten ft. Kool & The Gang - Ladies Night A cover of Kool and the Gang's 1979 debut hit will be a sure-fire dancefloor-filler at this year's Christmas parties. This funky disco tune, the title track of Atomic Kitten's brand new album, will already be familiar to most people, but Liz, Natasha and Jenny have given it an unmistakeably Kitten-ish twist.

Avid Merrion - Proper Crim-bo! Bo' Selecta's Avid Merrion is back with his interpretation of a Band Aid-style Christmas single. The track, 'Proper Crimbo!', will be set to the tune of 'The Little Drummer Boy', and will feature all our favourite characters including Craiiiiig David, Michael Jackson and Davina McCall as well as cameo appearances from other celebrities including Liberty X, Holly Valance, John Leslie, Denise Van Outen and more.

Basil Brush ft. India Beau - Boom! Boom! The wily fox puppet has seen his popularity rise again after making a return to TV screens. Basil Brush was created by the late Ivan Owen, who provided the original voice, and Peter Firmin for a puppet show in 1964. His first TV appearance in The Three Scampis was such a hit that five years later he was given his own TV show on BBC One. Now he's back again with a novelty record for the festive season with his double A-side release 'Boom Boom/Christmas Slide' which features guest vocals by new cast member, singer India Beau.

Blue ft Stevie Wonder & Angie Stone - Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours Blue have teamed up with Motown legend Stevie Wonder for their next single - a new version of Wonder's 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours'. Blue filmed the video for the song with Wonder and soul diva Angie Stone in Los Angeles last month. The song, which peaked at Number 15 when Stevie Wonder originally released it in the summer of 1970, is featured on Blue's third album 'Guilty'

Fast Food Rockers - I Love Christmas It's the return of the primary-coloured outfits, squeaky vocals, and irritating yet infectious lyrics. Yes, the Fast Food Rockers are about to release their next single. We last saw them earlier this year singing about multi-national corporations on the 'Fast Food Song', while 'Say Cheese (Smile Please)' was a song about spreading happiness throughout the world. Now they are back (again) with their third single 'I Love Christmas', which in the process will probably ruin yours.

G-Unit - Stunt 101 You know his name - 50 Cent. And if you've been listening, you know his crew - G Unit. G Unit is 50 Cent flanked by Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Tony Yayo. Their debut album 'Beg For Mercy' is the first release on 50's label G Unit Records. 'Stunt 101' is the first track from 'Beg For Mercy' and finds the G Unit bragging, boasting and reflecting on their hard won fame. The video features superb performances from each member plus a cameo from Brandy.

Idols - Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Tipped as the bookies favourite for the Christmas No.1, Leon, Kirsty, Michelle, Roxanne, Sam, Kim, Marc, Andy, Brian, Mark, Susanne and Chris harmonise together in a beautiful cover version of John Lennon's classic hit Happy Xmas (War Is Over). Penned by Lennon/Ono and produced by Steve Mac, the revival of John and Yoko's infamous hit is set to take the final 12 to the top of the musical ladder this Christmas.

Wyclef Jean ft Missy Elliott - Party To Damascus Wyclef Jean is a true elder statesman of Hip-Hop and in part is responsible for the new regeneration of Urban Music in the past 10 years. The new single 'Party To Damascus' is a collaboration between Missy Elliot and Wyclef, which is set to an infectious rhythm that samples the heaviest Eastern influence sampling ever. This song is a return to true form for Wyclef and has his trademark signature all over it.

Billy Mack - Christmas Is All Around Taken from the most successful British film ever Love, Actually, 'Christmas Is All Around' is the festive offering by Bill Nighy as the Keith Richards-like Billy Mack. Described in the movie as a "festering turd", this is what Christmas singles are meant to be, cheesy and camp.

Lisa Maffia - Women Of The World The first lady of So Solid returns with the electric-funk sisterhood anthem 'Women Of The World'. The track is one of the stand out and most adventurous productions on Lisa Maffia's debut album 'First Lady'. The track's warm throb coupled with the crowd-chanted chorus sets the perfect backdrop to this rally-cry for womanhood with the added bonus of featuring So Solid protégé Thug Angel.

Mew - She Came For Christmas / That Time On The Ledge Bought together by a shared love of music and cinema whilst making a short film about the destruction of nature at school, Mew are a unique band. Influenced by My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr, Mew set out to break free of the constraints of the music scene in their native Denmark and embarked on a journey that would see them create some of the most glorious, magical music of 2003. After a limited release last year, 'She Came Home for Christmas' is re-released this December. After the success of their album 'Fengers' and critical acclaim from the NME and Bang, Mew look set to become the biggest thing out of Denmark since bacon.

Sugababes - Too Lost In You Penned by award-winning US songwriter and power ballad queen Diane Warren who's notched up countless hits for the likes of Celine Dion, Toni Braxton and Leann Rimes, the second single from the Sugababes already-silver album 'Three', is heavily featured on the 'Love Actually' soundtrack and is enough to bring a tear to anyone's eye!

Justin Timberlake - I'm Lovin It Justin Timberlake is back with a single that's not actually on his album as it will appear on the re-release version of 'Justified'. You are not wrong in thinking the slogan may be the same jingle as what appears in those McDonald adverts because it is, only Justin decides it's better to sing it. However, 'I'm Lovin It' does have catchy hook supplied by Justin's good friends the Neptunes. This single is only available on download format.

Travis - The Beautiful Occupation The second single 'Beautiful Occupation' is one of the most personal tracks from the well-received '12 Memories' album by Travis. Written by lead singer Fran Healy, the track was penned as war with Iraq was becoming a real possibility and the crisis in the Middle East was escalating. 'Beautiful Occupation' addresses Fran's frustrations and concerns with the turbulent times in which we are living.

Ultrabeat - Feeling Fine Originally written by Force & Styles (and Junior), 'Pretty Green Eyes' has actually been huge on the hardcore scene for the last few years now. Now given a full release by Ultrabeat, with new vocals from Mike Di Scala (one of the three Liverpool deejays that make up Ultrabeat, the other two being Chris Henry and Ian Redman), it's starting to look like 'Pretty Green Eyes' is now set for chart domination as well. An uplifting mix of pop and trance; the euphoric sing-a-long original is also joined by further dancefloor-friendly mixes from the likes of Flip'n'Fill and CJ Stone.

Different Darkness - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Darkness
Erin Rocha - Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong
Joe Strummer - Redemption Song/Arms Aloft
Kujay Dada - Young Hearts
Nightlife - Shining Star
Turbonegro - Sell Your Body

Single Release Schedule

December 29
Alistair Griffin - Bring It On/A Lover's Prayer
CJ Stone - Don't Look Back
Craig David - You Don't Miss Your Water
DMX - Get It On The Floor
Jaydee - Plastic Dreams
Ocean Colour Scene - Golden Gate Bridge
S Club 8 - Don't Tell Me You're Sorry
Sophie Ellis Bextor - I Won't Change You
Victoria Beckham - Let Your Head Go/This Groove

January 5
Basement Jaxx featuring Lisa Kekaula - Good Luck
Boogie Pimps - Somebody To Love
Flip & Fill featuring Junior - Irish Blue
Jamie Cullum - Wind Cries Mary
Kelis - Milkshake
Kujay Da Da - Young Hearts
Matt Darey featuring Marcella Woods - Voice Of An Angel
Motorcycle - As The Rush Comes
Peaches featuring Iggy Pop - Kick It
Pop Idol Winner - TBA
REM - Animal
Scott Brown - I Would Stay
Sean Paul featuring Sasha - I'm Still In Love With You
So Solid Crew - So Grimy
Stacie Orrico - I Promise

January 12
2-Play - So Confused
Air - Cherry Blossom Girl
Amy Studt - All I Wanna Do
Amy Winehouse - Take The Box
Beyoncé - Me, Myself And I
Damien Rice - Volcano
David Kitt - Me & My Love When Doves Cry
Fight Club featuring Laurent Conrad - Spread Love
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Grandaddy - I'm On Standby/Stray Dog And The Chocolate Shake
HIM - Funeral Of Hearts
Jimmy Edgar - Access Rhythm
Liberty X - Everybody Cries
Lil' John featuring East Side Boyz - Get Low
Lowgold - Same Way
Metallica - The Unnamed Feeling EP
NG3 - Holler
Partyboys - Build Me Up Buttercup
Paul Jackson & Steve Smith - Push (Far From Here)
POD - Will You
Richard X featuring Javine - You Used To
The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster - Mister Mental
The Strokes - Reptilia
Zutons - Pressure Point

January 19
2Pac featuring Notorious BIG - Runnin' (Dying To Live)
DJ Casper - Cha Cha Slide
Easyworld - 'Til The Day (That I Die)
Finley Quaye - Something To Say
Fountains Of Wayne - Stacey's Mum
Freeland - Supernatural Thing
Jaimeson featuring Angel Blu & CK - Take Control
JC Chasez featuring Dirt McGirt - Some Girls
Junior Jack - Da Hype
Lorna - Papi Chulo... Te Traigo El Mmmm
Maroon 5 - Harder To Breathe
Minus - Angel In Disguise
Mr On vs. Jungle Brothers - Breathe Don't Stop
Offspring - Hit That
P Diddy featuring Lenny Kravitz - Show Me Your Soul
Pink - God Is A DJ
Razorlight - Stumble And Fall
Ryan Adams - So Alive
Si Begg - Buss
Tali - Blazin'
Tatjana - Santa Maria
Tender Trap - ¿Cómo Te Llamas? (Tell Me Your Name)
The Bandits - The Warning
The Delays - Long Time Coming
Tube & Berger featuring Chrissie Hynde - Straight Ahead
Zeena Gulzar - Stress In A Box

January 26
Beats For Beginners - When Robots Attack
Belle & Sebastian - I'm A Cuckoo
Blazin' Squad - Here For One
Brand Violet - Head
C & C Music Factory - Sweat
Celebrity Squares - King For A Day
Clea - Stuck In The Middle
Courtney Love - Mono
DJ Pezario vs. UB40 - Food For Thought
Eberg - Plastic Lions
Emma - I'll Be There
Five For Fighting - 100 Years
Girls Aloud - You Freak Me Out
Hundred Reasons - What You Get
Incubus - Megalomaniac
Joss Stone - Fell In Love With A Boy
LMC vs. U2 - Take Me To The Clouds Above
Lostprophets - Last Train Home
McFly - 5 Colours In Her Hair
Modey Lemon - Predator
Simple Kid - Truck On
Snow Patrol - Run
The Mars Volta - Roulette Dares
Tim Deluxe - Mundaya
Vinny Peculiar - Replica Shirt
Von Bondies - C'mon C'mon
Voodoo Child - Baby Monkey
Young Punx - Got Your Number

February 2
Alarm - 45rpm
Blueskins - Change My Mind
Calvin Richardson - I've Got To Move
Ferry Corsten - Rock Your Body Rock
Funeral For A Friend - Escape Artists Never Die
Hilary Duff - Why Not?
Holly James - Touch It
In-Grid - Tu Es Foutu
Longview - Still
Luther Vandross - Dance With My Father
Sia - Breath Me
Span - Papa
Special D - Come With Me
Summer Matthews - Little Miss Perfect
The Distillers - Hunger
Triple Eight - You And I

February 9
Alex Parks - Cry
Armin Van Buuren - Blue Fear/Burned With Desire
Despina Vandi - Gia
Dogs Die In Hot Cars - Man Bites Dog
Fatman Scoop - It Takes Two
Holly Valance - Desire
John Mayer - Bigger Than My Body
Liars - There's Always Room On The Broom
Outkast - The Way You Move
Stands - Here She Comes Again
Stereophonics - Movie Star

February 16
1000 Things - Food Chain
Busted - Who's David?
Junior Senior - Coconuts
Stellastarr - My Coco
The Stills - Lola Stars And Stripes

February 23
Airbiscuit - Lately
Eastern Lane - Saffron
Jamelia - Thank You
The Vines - Ride
Westlife - Obvious

March 1
Kylie Minogue - Red Blooded Woman
Starsailor - Four To The Floor

March 8
Delta Goodrem - Predictable
Pet Shop Boys - Flamboyant

No singles are released on 22 December, my next single reviews will be next week for the 29 December, a week early, as I am having a rest for a fortnight, so a Merry Xmas to you all.

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