by Jenny (London, UK)
RECORD OF THE WEEK
Kanye West featuring Syleena Johnson - All Falls Down: After hearing and seeing this song everywhere, I have to remind myself that this is one of the most intelligent rap songs in a while. We are all self conscious, he's just the 1st to admit it. Syleena Johnson appears on this track which is like a Hip-Hop ballad or slow jam. The song is talking about things that fall down in life. It gets you thinking about stuff if you listen to the lyrics and Syleena sounds better than she ever has adding her vocals to the chorus and riffing all over the place. One of those few songs that is catchy AND has social content.
This is rare: most conscious rappers get too serious when they think their song's content deserves attention. Syleena Johnson provides the vocals for the chorus, which is flawless, in itself. "All Falls Down" samples a song from Lauryn Hill's MTV Unplugged CD. The lyrics are absoloutely sick from start to end, and the chorus is something you wanna sing.
Kanye West is not the first hip-hop artist to make political statements within his music, and is not the best at doing so, but it's credible that he will be the man to do so with the most effect upon the mainstream market.
HOT SHOT RECORD
Linkin Park - Breaking The Habit: What is this?! It's super funky?! It's mellow?! It works! It is like a techno song, and its also one of the best on the CD and the DJ still sounds like he just hits the "sample" button but ah the hell with it.
This single is amazing, in one word. It took six years for Mike to write this song, it is FULL of emotion and Chester screams it out with all of his heart (and this man has a great voice!) Somewhat similar in ways to previous hit 'In The End,' this stand-out track from Meteora is nothing like the rest of the album: it ditches overdriven guitars for an 8-part orchestra; it swaps MC Mike's rapping for delicate piano; Overall, an 'airplay' success even before it's released, because it shows LP are prepared to diversify. Very (dare I say it?) funky!
The Bronx - False Alarm: Somehow, I stumbled across a review in FHM, comparing this group to Black Flag. Black Flag, huh? Let's see here. I've blown a lot of money buying cds based on word-of-mouth. I'm a music whore, and that won't change. Anyway, I pick this cd up, on the way to the bar and wasn't prepared. I purchased this after hearing one song on a radio station. Based on that one song, I figured I'd enjoy this but never expected it to be as great as it is. Their new album is one of the biggest adrenaline rushes I've bought in a loooong time. When I'm listening to it in the car and check my speedometer and find that I feel like I'm going a whole lot faster than I really am (very lucky). Check out this track 'False Alarm' because it makes bands like the Hives run scared! (this is extremely hard, but still very accessible...)
Christine McVie - You Are: We are so lucky that Christine is releasing this single and is not being dismissed as an old rocker. Christine can rock harder then any of the young people of today and one can only hope she'll have a hit song and will prove that she is the queen of pop/rock! 'You are' is radio - friendly song and it prepares us for the forthcomibng new album.
Obviously, the record has not come out yet, but it will be great. I would bet anything on it. Afterall, has Christine ever written a bad song? I don't think so! (As a valuable member of Fleetwood Mac for 25 years, Christine has defined herself as a classy, talanted pop-rock artist).
The Cure - The End Of The World: 12 years ago, Robert Smith composed what surely would have ranked among the greatest goodbyes in rock history. Sparked by the guitar-heavy shoegaze movement, he concluded 1992's Wish with the furious fuck-off "End", which begins, "I think I've reached that point/ Where giving up and going on/ Are both the same dead end to me/ Are both the same old song." It's now quite obvious how literal the song was: Smith checked out over a decade ago. Fans have only themselves to blame for expecting anything more than his trademarked "'Q!" after every song.
Janet Jackson - All Nite (Don't Stop)/I Want You: Like everyone else I was tired of hearing of the Superbowl issue and thought the whole thing was blown out of proportion. I said well let the music speak for itself: the newest track 'All Nite' is again written/produced by Janet's father's Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. For many music experts it is the best song on the album with no questions asked (it could be made into a great dance video like 'Rhythm Nation' or 'If').
'All Nite (Don't Stop) is a thumping up-tempo R&B dance track with an intoxicating rhythm which has every capability of setting clubs 'literally' on fire. Janet has provided us with her best R&B dance track since Janet's 'If'. This single is the second from the album and is sure to climb the charts all around the world.
Mike & The Mechanics - One Left Standing: Bit of a dance beat going on in the background on this one, but it works very well as an overall track and the sound is nice. For once I agree with the record companies choice for the first single! Some nice lyrics and good changes in tempo in places. Backing vocals work well. Actually has me believing that M&Ms could chart with this if it receives some good promotion. "Now the tide has turned, all of my tears have run dry, how come I, am the one left standing, now I'm drowning inside, all of my tears have run dry..."
Also great guitar part towards the end. Catchy, the incredible production shows clearly to everyone why Genesis were being one of best rock bands ever.
Overall I give the album a 5 out of 5! It has a great mix of tracks. It has a modern feeling to the sound, but great lyrics (on most tracks) and feeling behind the songs. You will NOT be disappointed if you buy this single AND the album. Definitely one to buy!
O-Zone - Dragostea Din Tei: The release date of this single has trasfered to this week. The success history of O-Zones, alias to Dan Balan, Radu Sarbu and Arsenie, begins 2002 in Romania (the trio is coming from Moldavia). Their debut single 'Dragostea Din Tei' is promoted as the new dance music stars of Europe (No 1 on German Singles Top-100 this week).
O-Zones first single 'Dragostea Din Tei' is the original version of the hit, which was covered by Haiducii and which is storming Charts in Italy. If you are laughing with 'Macarena' or 'Asereje' then this single will bring the smile in your face... But it is much WORST than the latin 'smilinng' songs. A song which nobody will remember it after 2 weeks - even the UK dance/pop stations don't play it! Avoid to buy it because the stupidity has its limits...
Ruslana - Wild Dances: When "Wild Dances" won Eurovision two weeks ago, it was not just a victory for Ukraine: it was a victory for the contest itself.
Ruslana is a hugely popular and well-loved singer in her homeland and I just hope that her victory in Istanbul will provide the opportunity for her to give her music a wider audience. But not with THIS song. If your a fan of Eurovision and have a secret habit of liking the winning song every year, this song is for you. Its typical Eastern-European dramatic pop (a la T.A.T.U.) only with more of a feel good factor.
Wild Dances is a song that will easily have you dressing up like 'Zena' warriror princess, jumping up and down with a spear and shouting HEY a lot. Its fun for the kids watchin' it on TV, lively and Ruslana's obvious passion for her country and her music shows through. Surely, the winning song from Eurovision 2004 has an ethnic undertone. Why did the BBC think James Fox and 'reality TV stars' had a chance with that Smokie sounding song?
Scissor Sisters - Laura: Those dismissing the self-titled Scissor Sisters as a product of New York's latest fad band are jumping to conclusions. Yes, there's a certain cabaret aspect to what they do, but that's not to dismiss them as frivolous nightclub entertainment. That's only half the story. The group's sound and style is quite original.
Main instruments include a piano, an electric and an accoustic guitar all of which make their songs sound very good. Try listening to the 'Laura' without thinking about Michael Jackson (sublime moments!). Loved the mix of insane lyrics, funky beats and definitely something different than the UK pop which is lost lately into the stupidity of reality TV singers..
Speedway - In And Out: After seeing the Scottish band Speedway on tour with Blue, and not having heard of them before then, I left the concert thinking (apart from how amazing Blue had been) that I definately wanted to hear more about Speedway. Having been described in some papers as poppy rock, and a rock band with a photogenic lead singer, their catchy tracks with noticable rocky edge left me eager to hear more. What can I say? It's been playin in my car cd player ever since I bought it. 'In and out' is a very good pop song writen with Guy Chambers - who recently co-wrote with Texas and master minded Robbie Williams' Angels.
OTHER SINGLES RELEASED THIS WEEK
4-4-2 - Come On England
A Girl Called Eddy - Somebody Hurt You
Age Of Love - Age Of Love
Amp Fiddler - Dreamin'
Beatsteaks - Hand In Hand
Bobby Womack - California Dreamin'
The Bronx - False Alarm
Candee Jay - If I Were You
Chikinki - Ether Radio
Christine McVie - You Are
Client - In It For The Money
Cornershop presents Bubbly Kaur - Topknot
The Cure - The End Of The World
Digital Diva - Heaven And Hell
The Distillers - Beat Your Heart Out
Future Kings Of Spain - EP
Hybrid - I'm Still Awake
Janet Jackson - All Nite (Don't Stop)/I Want You
Jem - It All Starts Here
Jesse Malin - Mona Lisa
Jurgen Vries featuring Andrea Britton - Take My Hand
Kanye West featuring Syleena Johnson - All Falls Down
Keyshia Cole featuring Eve - Never
Kings Of Convenience - Misread
Lacuna Coil - Swamped
Linkin Park - Breaking The Habit
Lit - Looks Like They Were Right
Magnus - Summer's Here
Mark Owen - Makin' Out
Mike & The Mechanics - One Left Standing
O-Zone - Dragostea Din Tei
Ron Van Den Beuken - Timeless (Keep On Movin')
Ruslana - Wild Dances
Scissor Sisters - Laura
Speedway - In And Out
Sugarcult - Memory
Tiga - Pleasure From The Bass
Tim Booth - Down To The Sea
Twisted X - Born In England
The Veils - The Tide That Left And Never Came Back
VS - Call U Sexy
Single Release Schedule
Agnetha Fältskog - When You Walk Into The Room
Am - Utopia
The Barbs - Bury You
The Bees - Horsemen
Bell X1 - Eve
Belle & Sebastian - Wrapped Up In Books
Britney Spears - Everytime
Candice - Hello
Client - In It For The Money
The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love
Crash Convention - Patrick O'Neil/Making Faces
Damien Dempsey - It's All Good
David Wrench - Superhorny
The Divine Comedy - Absent Friends
Fights - Fights
Five Star - System Addict 2004
Foolproof - Paper House
Freestylers - Push Up
Helicopter Girl - Angel City
Holiday Plan - Stories/Sunshine
Infrasound - Fire In The City
Javine - Best Of My Love
Jessica Simpson - With You
Lowfive - Too Much Of Nothing
Martin Solveig - I'm A Good Man
Meow Meow - Cracked
Morillo featuring Audio Bullys - Break Down The Doors
N*E*R*D - Maybe
Ordinary Boys - Talk Talk Talk
Paul Weller - The Bottle
Portobella - Covered In Punk
The Radio Dept - Why Won't You Talk About It?
Razorlight - Golden Touch
RikRok featuring Shaggy - Your Eyes
Rob Tissera & Vinylgroover - Stay
Rooney - I'm Shakin'
Sarah McLachlan - World On Fire
Shonagh Daly - All I Want
Slipknot - Duality
Swurve - Changes
Taz - Can't Contain Me
This Girl - Hallelujah
Alarm - New Home, New Life
Angel City featuring Lara McAllen - Touch Me
Beverley Knight - Come As You Are
Bic Runga - Something Good
Blink-182 - Down
Brandy featuring Kanye West - Talk About Our Love
Daniel Wylie - Maybe I've Changed
Do Me Bad Things - Song Rides
F:X - Under Pressure
Fall - Theme From Sparta FC
Girls Of FHM - Do You Think I'm Sexy?
Gisli - How About That?
Hiding Place - What If The Truth Looks Clearer Empty?
Hinda Hicks - Up, Up
I Am Kloot - Proof
Ian Van Dahl - Believe
JC Chasez - All Day Long I Dream About Sex
James Carrington - Only For You
Jay Sean featuring Rishi Rich Project - Eyes On You
Jentina - Bad Ass Strippa
Junior Jack - Stupidisco
Lemonescent - All Right Now/Bohemian Rain
Lucky Jim - You're Lovely To Me
Master Blaster - Hypnotic Tango
McFly - Obviously
Mellow - Drifting Out Of Sight
Michelle Williams - Do You Know
The Open - I Just Want To Live
Outkast - Roses
Phixx - Wild Boys
Prince - Cinnamon Girl
Sam Roberts - Don't Walk Away Eileen
Scooter - Jigga Jigga
Selfish **** - Authority Confrontation
Sheryl Crow - Light In Your Eyes
Spankox - To The Club
Rob Tissera vs Vinylgroover & The Red Hed - Stay
Twista - Overnight Celebrity
Undercover - Viva England
X Is Loaded - Thirteen Days
The Zutons - Remember Me
22-20s - Shoot Your Gun
Air - Alpha Beta Gaga
Bastian - You've Got My Love
Blue - Bubblin'
Eighties Matchbox B Line Disaster - I Could Be An Angle
Ferry Corsten - It's Time
George Michael - Flawless (Go To The City)
Girls Aloud - The Show
Hypo Psycho - Public Enemy Number One
Jason Downs - Shut Up (Let's Hook Up)
Kylie Minogue - Chocolate
Longview - In A Dream
Loose Cannons - I Like It When Ya
Morrissey - First Of The Gang To Die
Nelly Furtado - Força
Norah Jones - What Am I To You?
Ryan Adams - Wonderwall
Savana - Pretty Lady
Soda Club - Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)
TV On The Radio - Staring At The Sun
Usher - Burn
4 Strings - Turn It Round
5678s - Woo Hoo
Black Eyed Peas - Let's Get It Started
Blazin' Squad - Revolution
Busted - 3AM
Damien Rice - Cannonball
Dogs Die In Hot Cars - I Love You 'Cause I Have To
Dub Pistols featuring Horace Andy - World Gone Crazy
Elvis Presley - That's Alright
Flip & Fill featuring Karen Parry - Discoland
The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk
Kimberley Locke - Eighth World Wonder
Michelle Lawson - Beautiful Thing
Modest Mouse - Float On
Nick Stitz - Run To Paradise
The Polyphonic Spree - Hold Me Now
Seether featuring Amy Lee - Broken
Shaznay Lewis - Never Felt Like This Before
Shystie - One Wish
Will Young - Friday's Child
Ash - Starcross'd
B-Boys - Shake Da Body
Bellefire - Spin The Wheel
Cornershop - Topknot
Fifth Avenue - Spanish Eyes
FYA - Too Hot To Handle
J-Kwon - Tipsy
Jamelia - See It In A Boy's Eyes
Jody Lei - Just The Music
Mania - Looking For A Place To Go
Michelle Gayle - Don't Want It
Mull Historical Society - How 'Bout I Love You More?
Rachel Stevens - Some Girls
Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme
Snow Patrol - Spitting Games
Styles & Breeze - You're Shining
Zena featuring Beenie Man - Been Around The World
Anastacia - Sick And Tired
Badly Drawn Boy - Year Of The Rat
Franz Ferdinand - Michael
Magnolia - It's All Vain
Marly - You Never Know
Rodney P - Trouble
The Streets - Dry Your Eyes
Alex Cartana - Have You Lost Your Mind?
The Charlatans - Try Again Today
Kane - Rain Down On Me
Katie Melua - Crawling Up A Hill
ATL - Make It Up With Love
Dido - Sand In My Shoes
Innocence Mission - One For Sorrow, Two For Joy
Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved
V - Hip To Hip
Avril Lavigne - (So Much For) My Happy Ending
Deepest Blue - Shooting Star
Keane - Bedshaped
The Rasmus - Guilty
Gabrielle - Latchkey Kid
Jet - Cold Hard Bitch