by Jenny (London, UK)
RECORD OF THE WEEK
Britney Spears - Everytime: This is Britney's first song she wrote, an original 'Idol' for all. 'Everytime' has shown us that Britney is still just a girl, no matter how much the press and public make her sound like whatever they want. Never has there been a Britney video so controversial than the incredible 'Everytime.' Directed by David Lachapelle, this music video is a must for everyone because of the amazing powerful message it portrays.
'Everytime' is the 3rd single to be taken from the poppy 'In The Zone' album. 'Everytime' is an emotional surprise reflecting a raw and real Britney. The song is beautifully written and despite being simple, it includes some beautiful lyrics and has a very nice piano solo at the beginning (some seem to think it is written for Justin).
The single is the video highlight of the year(?) and it just makes me wonder what Britney will do next. No joke guys, I detest Britney Spears and often wonder what she's doing in the music business (her voice is no more than average), but this song is beautiful. It's just lovely. Admittedly, anybody could have sung it, but it just so happens that it's Ms Spears, so why don't we just be mature and admit it's a good song (her best ballad since "Born to Make You Happy").
HOT SHOT RECORD
N*E*R*D - Maybe: WHAT WE HAVE HERE? WHAT HAPPENED IS THIS SOME KIND OF MISTAKE? After many years we are going to have in our hands one single which is going to be released worldwide FIRST in the UK!!!!!! Yes, the UK Official Singles chart will not seem so OLD, comparing it with other singles charts! Are the UK record labels changing their current marketing promotional system? Are we going to see other foreign artist's singles before than Germans and Australians, like the '80s where the UK Singles Chart was being the reference point for every US/Canadian artist? I hope we'll see more in the future, so to establish a new reliable Singles Chart in the Net era. Only for this reason, every chart-freak must go out buy this single!
Also 'Maybe' is a very cool track form NERD's album with that you know you've made a good investment. In Fact Lenny Kravitz is guest on "Maybe" with guestlove from The Roots. The beats and the groove behind this single is the exciting part and the track is played a lot from our radio stations.
You have ALL the necessary reasons to send this single in the highest spots of the Chart next Sunday!
The Divine Comedy - Absent Friends: Divine Comedy are back after a brief 3 year stay of absence and a revamped (and decidedly less weighty) line-up. Neil Hannon returns pushing out those baritone musings to head-spinning effect. This song goes everyone back to the old Divine Comedy era! Like an old flame, Absent Friends returns to the Comedy of old and finds, thankfully, that little has changed. The music is pop in its purest, most engaging form. The arrangements are layered, orchestrated and occasionally quirky. Of course, the one thing that sets the Comedy apart from all the others, is the lyrics. He has created the most clever and Oscar Wilde-esque Lyrics. As always his voice is a launching pleasure to listen to and this track represents an effort to catch the mere radio-listener (as opposed to the Divine Comedy freak).
'Absent Friends' is a notable exception, which almost reeks of Cassanova era exuberance. Yes, I echo the other listeners: Neil's back. And for anyone who doesn't yet know the music of The Divine Comedy, but who loves intelligent, wry and insightfully written songs with gorgeous layers of orchestral sound, then this is for you. Give it a whirl.
Javine - Best Of My Love: 'Surrender', the debut album from Javine comes 18 months after her unexpected departure from Popstars: The Rivals, the TV show that kindly gave us Girls Aloud and One True Voice. 'Best Of My Love' is a stunning homage to 70s soul with a catchy chorus, big arrangements and pop glow. It treads the line between mainstream pop, soul and R&B and Javine's got a style reminiscent of Beyonce Knowles.
Indeed, the first half dozen times I heard this I thought it was Beyonce, thanks mainly to the DJs on my local station playing the song without mentioning the artist! Thanks, guys for the wanting quiz! Anyway, it is a good song when we are talking with the 'Reality TV' trends. Not art, not a song that you are going to remember it after 3-4 days... the mind blocks when you want to say the truth but you can't write it because you are just a polite writer!
Jessica Simpson - With You: 'With You' is the first single to be taken from Jessica's new album, 'In This Skin'. It sees Jessica's first UK single release in about 3 years. 'With You' has been a massive success in the USA where it has topped the Billboard charts and made Jessica a huge star. People, who may have dismissed Jessica in the past as manufactured pop, are starting to appreciate her song-writing talent and amazing voice that come through on this new song. Everyone agrees that 'With You' should have been the first US single from 'In This Skin', and not the failed 'Sweetest Sin'.
Also the video for 'With You' shows that Jessica can laugh at herself and spoofs her MTV reality hit, 'Newlyweds'. And look out for the brilliant acoustic version of the song that appears on her UK album.
Paul Weller - The Bottle: Paul Weller releases the first single to be taken from his hotly anticipated album of cover versions on 14th June. The first taster from the album is a version of Jazz legend Gil Scott Heron's The Bottle - one of three tracks on a limited edition covers EP which features 2 exclusive tracks which will not appear on the new album.
The additional covers on the EP are Corrina Corrina which is influenced by the Taj Mahal version, while the final track is a reworking of the Lovin' Spoonful's Coconut Grove.
Weller will be playing live shows throughout June/July, listed below. Gigs from 12 June to 4 July are part of the Music In The Forest summer shows which also include shows from Bryan Ferry and the Fun Lovin' Criminals.
Sarah McLachlan - World On Fire: This is the second single which will have its worldwide release from UK market. Oh my God (like NERD's 'Maybe' track before) let's pray this is going to continue in the future! We need to have first, well-done tracks to establish a reliable chart and not a collection of 'Reality TV songs + oldest singles' like the latest 3-4 years.
On 'Afterglow', her first studio album since 1997's 'Surfacing,' McLachlan's music is as tempered as ever; at times, even the piano chords at the heart of the sound are tucked neatly beneath layer upon layer of strings and overdubbed voices. 'World On Fire' has a very secret political message and is a more poppy song than 'Stupid'. "World on Fire," is a beautiful song about ugliness. Being the only song written after her mother's passing and her daughter's birth, its subject matter is the reconciliation of innocence with chaos in our post 9/11 world. Sarah's voice soars, and the instrumentation is lush, harkening back to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy's layered textures. This is probably my favourate with amazing music, a simple piano and clever lyrics.
Many UK listeners of this track will describe Sarah as 'Canadian Dido' or even more as Miss Craig Armstrong!
Slipknot - Duality: After 2001's number-1 album 'Iowa' various members of the band took time out to pursue their personal side-projects (Corey Taylor and Jim Root's Stone Sour, Joey Jordison's Murderdolls and Shawn Crahan's To My Surprise) and became cut off from each other. This put the band in serious danger of breaking up, as has been well-documented. However, they were re-united with the help of producer Rick Rubin, and Duality is the first single from the new album, 'Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses'.
This track is a slight move away from the norm for Slipknot, but is none the worse for it. Corey sounds better than ever here, maintaining his angry vocals but adding a more melodic element to the mix. The rest is as good as ever, the heavy riffs and fast drumming/percussion are spectacular, and the whole package has a heightened sense of musical maturity that could well win over some of the band's doubters.
A true return to form for one of the biggest bands in metal today. 5 stars and I can't wait to hear this live in the summer!
OTHER SINGLES RELEASED THIS WEEK
Agnetha Faltskog - When You Walk Into The Room
The Barbs - Bury You
The Bees - Horsemen
Bell X1 - Eve
Britney Spears - Everytime
Cinerama - It's Not You, It's Me
Client - In It For The Money
The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love
Crash Convention - Patrick O'Neil/Making Faces
David Wrench - Superhorny
The Divine Comedy - Absent Friends
Fights - Fights
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
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
Single Release Schedule
Alarm - New Home, New Life
Angel City featuring Lara McAllen - Touch Me
Belle & Sebastian - Your Cover's Blown/Wrapped Up In Books
Beverley Knight - Come As You Are
Bic Runga - Something Good
Blink-182 - Down
Brandy featuring Kanye West - Talk About Our Love
Candice - Hello
Cassius Henry - The One
Daniel Wylie - Maybe I've Changed
Diverse featuring Vast Aire - Big Game
Do Me Bad Things - Song Rides
F:X - Under Pressure
Fall - Theme From Sparta FC
Girls Of FHM - Do Ya 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
James Carrington - Only For You
Jay Sean featuring The Rishi Rich Project - Eyes On You
Jentina - Bad Ass Strippa
Junior Jack - Stupidisco
Lemonescent - All Right Now
Lucky Jim - You're Lovely To Me
Master Blaster - Hypnotic Tango
McFly - Obviously
Michelle Williams - Do You Know
The Open - I Just Want To Live
Outkast - Roses
Phixx - Wild Boys
RikRok featuring Shaggy - Your Eyes
Sam Roberts - Don't Walk Away Eileen
Selfish c**t - 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
Amy Winehouse - Help Yourself
Barely Legal - The Future
Basement Jaxx - Good Luck
Bastian - You've Got My Love
Black Eyed Peas - Let's Get It Started
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
Ian Van Dahl - Believe
Jason Downs - Shut Up (Let's Hook Up)
JC Chasez - All Day Long I Dream About Sex
Kylie Minogue - Chocolate
Lockdown Project - Down In One
Longview - In A Dream
Loose Cannons - I Like It When Ya
Mellow - Drifting Out Of Sight
Naila Boss - La La La
Nelly Furtado - For?a
Norah Jones - What Am I To You?
Pete Murray - Feeler
Prince - Cinnamon Girl
Ryan Adams - Wonderwall
Savana - Pretty Lady
Scooter - Jigga Jigga
Smuji - K.O.
Soda Club - Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)
Tim Booth - Down To The Sea
TV On The Radio - Staring At The Sun
Usher - Burn
4 Strings - Turn It Round
The 5678s - Woo Hoo
Blazin' Squad - Revolution
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
Matt Goss - Fly
Michelle Lawson - Beautiful Thing
Modest Mouse - Float On
Nick Skitz vs The Choirboys - 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
Bloc Party - Little Thoughts/Tulips
Cornershop - Topknot
Ed Real & The Coalition - 20,000 Hardcore Members
Fifth Avenue - Spanish Eyes
FYA - Too Hot To Handle
Hypo Psycho - Public Enemy Number One
J-Kwon - Tipsy
Jamelia - See It In A Boy's Eyes
Kimberley Locke - Eighth World Wonder
Mania - Looking For A Place To Go
Michelle Gayle - Don't Want It
Minimal Chic - I Need The Key
Morrissey - First Of The Gang To Die
Mull Historical Society - How 'Bout I Love You More?
Rachel Stevens - Some Girls
ShapeShifters - Lola's Theme
Sigur Rss - Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do
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
Estelle - 1980
Franz Ferdinand - Michael
Lou Reed - Satellite Of Love (Dab Hands Remix)
Magnolia - It's All Vain
Marly - You Never Know
Rodney P - Trouble
The Streets - Dry Your Eyes
Alex Cartana - Lost Ur Mind?
Busted - Thunderbirds/3AM
The Charlatans - Try Again Today
Houston featuring Chingy, I-20 & Nat Dogg - I Like That
Kane - Rain Down On Me
Katie Melua - Crawling Up A Hill
Moby & Public Enemy - MKLVFKWR
Vinylgroover & The Red Hed - The Answer
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
Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue