The Singles Jukebox
Impossibly Copious Amounts Of Dope And Coke

amerie. Gwen Stefani. The Arcade Fire. Yes, last week was a real high point for the Jukebox. How do we follow that up? Moby trying his hand at stadium rock, James Blunt doing all the things that Radio 2 does wrong, Geri Halliwell attempting a comeback, and the return of Him With The Curtains out of A1. So in a weird kind of way, could we really have found a better way to kick off than with:


The Noise Next Door – She Might
[2.67]


Joe Macare: I never liked Busted's ballads.
[2]

Abby McDonald: Now for the British music industry’s most convincing argument for infanticide, with a labored ode to that girl they think they’ll get to fuck because she’s “rock ‘n roll”. And oh dear, the triplets have been locked in a room with nothing but Nine Days and Edwin McCain and Shaun Mullins! This is supposed to be their ‘3 am’, but Jesus, it’s a turgid pile of faux mid-nineties American crap. No my children, you and your sniveling little ugly faces will go to the grave virgins, knowing only the joy of the circle-jerk sessions god knows you engage in.
[0]

John Seroff: Horrid, derivative and overproduced mewling evokes all the depth and emotion of cardboard. The best I can say about "She Might" is that She Won't Be Coming to the US. It's likely the worst single of a bad batch and with this week's (mostly) dross, that's saying something.
[1]

Edward Oculicz: It's as if Busted were produced by Bob Rock at his most AOR! Maximalise boy-band rock with a fantastic hook and it's really almost perfect except that god, the voice! Awful, awful, mute, mute, mute. But it's stuck in my head, but I'm imagining Avril Lavigne singing it with switched pronouns at which point it becomes fantastic again.
[6]

Jessica Popper: If there's one reason to hate Busted, this is it, since without Busted, chances are we'd never have had to endure this bunch of colour-coordinated losers. On the other hand, this song, their version of Busted's most painful single, ‘Sleeping With The Light On’, actually makes Busted seem rather good.
[0]


Geri Halliwell – Desire
[2.80]


David Jones: I can’t imagine any radio stations are going to play this, so if none of us tell you what it sounds like it might as well have never existed, eh? Seems the best policy to me…
[1]

Abby McDonald: There are the Rachel Stevenses of the sultry electro-pop world, and then there are the Kelly Osbournes. Geri crawls across the boardroom table to plant herself firmly in the latter category, complete with push-up bra and desperate writhing in an attempt to distract us from the sheer boredom of this song. Too slow, too flat, too strategically sinuous.
[3]

Jessica Popper: It's been a very exciting week for Spice fans with the strongest rumours yet of a reunion. I think this song, as well and Melanies B and C's latest efforts, prove that it's time for the girls to give up hope that their solo careers will take off again. Even if they want to carry on with these ill-advised self-funded vanity projects, they're going to need money to fund it and what better way to make money than a sold out arena tour? Come on girls, before you're too old be called girls anymore!
[5]

Edward Oculicz: Geri simply can't pull off anything heavier than disco. This sinks underneath its own weight without ever being substantial. Sounds a bit like a B-side she did 5 years ago - there's progress.
[5]

Alex Macpherson: I was discussing yesterday who, in the unlikely event that the UK won Eurovision, would compère the show when the time came for us to host it. Geri Halliwell fulfils most requirements: she's unrelentingly self-aggrandising, has a voice which booms like a foghorn and most importantly is completely orange. On the basis of this hideous attempt to restart (for the seventh? eighth? ninth time?) her solo career - oh god, doesn't the horribly misjudged wannabe-sultry pause just before the word 'desire' make you shrivel? To say nothing of the terrifying pussycat imagery - she'll be in need of gainful employment by that time, too. Unfortunately, it is apparently also a requirement of Eurovision compères that they be multilingual, so it's entirely possible that Geri would be passed over for Rebecca Loos…
[2]


Moby – Spiders
[3.00]


Abby McDonald: So the hairless one returns, with something vaguely melodious and electronic and completely nonsensical. And then, to my utter misfortune, he throws in an Embrace-esque chorus of surging nothingness, as if he intuited I was about to award a reasonable score.
[2]

Alex Macpherson: In the first verse, that distorted funk guitar sounds so tired and lame, the last resort of a desperate man whose last decent musical idea occurred sometime around the turn of the century. In the second verse, after undergoing the horror of the full-blown STADIUM RAWK chorus (I blame that cunt Bono), I'm almost glad to hear it. Almost. What makes me more glad is turning it off.
[1]

David Jones: Play colonised the mainstream with something new and different. Face it, if a cool underground act like Boom Bip or Minotaur Shock had released an LP of scratchy ol’ spirituals played over chill-out beats they’d have garnered good reviews. ‘Spiders’, however, could pass for album filler by anyone from Dido to Coldplay but for one crucial difference. Moby prides himself on being able to play hundreds of different instruments. One he hasn’t mastered, judging by this pissier than piss-poor vocal, is the human voice.
[1]

John Seroff: It's been a long time since I've intentionally listened to Moby; while I had plenty of love for the man in his 'Next is the E' days, I got burned by Play and tuned right out. 'Spiders' suggests that I wouldn't have been much pleased with his hippydippytrippy new direction; if there's anything interesting happening on this hopeful plea to the arachnichrist, I must be missing it. And when did Moby start SINGING? Just an unpleasant track all over.
[3]

Joe Macare: One of the things that reassures me about the essential goodness of the people of the world is that after a period of delusion, they finally seem to have largely realised that Moby is a useless bumbling babbler with a nice line in sanctimonious hypocritical preaching. His music has been steadily deteriorating over the past few years ,and he is now reduced to making bland soft rock ballads about the need for peace and beauty and love. But there will be no peace for Moby as long as I draw breath. Run and hide, Moby. Run and hide.
[0]


James Blunt - Beautiful
[3.11]


Jessica Popper: James Blunt is a strange creature. I bought his album in January, having heard good reviews, and although it isn't the best album I've bought this year by any stretch it's a reasonable effort. However, this is the most random song he could possibly release as a single. The chorus is mostly the same two words (the title) repeated. It's just a weird song in general, although James Blunt is quite a weird singer so perhaps it's fitting. A re-release of his first single, High, would have been a better idea. But well done to him for getting into the album chart top ten!
[6]

John Seroff: This brought me back to college days, watching classical guitar majors strum old cliches, passing brown-bagged cans and trying to woo impressionable freshmen girls with DEEP SENSITIVITY. Any man who could pass for Tracy Chapman on tape can consider DEEP SENSITIVITY a given; Blunt's got that gentle, next-door neighbor voice down pat. What's not in evidence is some balls; Blunt's military background and claims of being "fucking high" aside, this has about as much edge as spun sugar. Like Dave Matthews (who Blunt surely must consider an influence), I can see the appeal to a moody mom or a sad sorority girl, but I sure don't wanna listen.
[4]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: Oh god, oh god, that sub-David Gray anaemic whine fading to frail falsetto on the high notes, the weedy strum of guitar and sickly sway of strings, the ineffably smug lyrics, the chorus dear Christ the awful awful impotent whinge of chorus... Most smackable song of the year, hands down.
[1]

Abby McDonald: Hell. No. Another feeble ‘I’m so sensitive with my stubble and guitar and plodding lyricism’ singer-songwriter to cast doubt on the entire said singer-songwriter ouvre. In this instance, said feeble man catches a poor girl’s eye for ONE MOMENT and thus fixates upon her and his own inadequacy for the rest of his life. Of course, it’s not like the scene would have played out any differently, since if he had the balls to introduce himself to her, he wouldn’t be tentatively wafting around in this lackluster genre now, would he?
[1]

Edward Oculicz: There's actually a kind of trembling beauty in this in the chorus, but I was listening to it on a long train ride while sitting opposite this vacant-looking boy who was scrawling what looked like poetry down. He was wearing a Von Dutch T-shirt. This is probably fairly similar to what was in VD-boy's notebook.
[4]


Foo Fighters – Best Of You
[3.33]


Abby McDonald: It’s the Foos! Sounding exactly like everything else they’ve ever released! Erm, OK!
[4]

Alex Macpherson: In a normal world, Foo Fighters would receive limited media attention during a slow month, mostly laced with derision, before they implode under the weight of 'artistic differences'. Foo Fighters appear to have built an incredibly successful career, however, this being the latest tiresome instalment. All this proves is that we are the ones living in the bizarro parallel universe.
[2]

Nick Southall: Not keen on the opening (vocals first = awkward twinge of AOR in my book), but by the chorus it’s found its way in authoritative fashion. So authoritative that I’m sure I’ve heard this same tune before from Dave Grohl and his merry men, although that may simply be because his songs have a habit of merging into one another when they’re not sounding exactly like Mega City Four (ask your older, early 90s indie-punk-fan brother) on steroids. Not that this is a bad thing – Grohl’s established a style and he’s sticking to it because it works. Are Foo Fighters better than Nirvana? Probably, but this particular example isn’t.
[6]

Edward Oculicz: I'd always considered the Foo Fighters to be hit-and-miss, even when they were more melodic than impotent-angry but it's been so long since they put out a good one, I'll have to revise this opinion - this song is just awful. Oh, the angsty twitch of the guitar at the start is all very OC-soundtrack, but rather than being sung by some sweet-voiced, pretty youth, it's ugly, gruff-old Dave sounding pissed off and utterly convincing. Also, there is no hook, as Grohl has clearly lived under the misapprehension that repeating something boring makes it interesting. It doesn't - this is a pointless, lumbering mess of a song.
[0]

William B. Swygart: Dave Grohl’s voice… US rock is filled to the gunwales with people who are rubbish at screaming and need culling. Unfortunately, Dave put his towel on the sun lounger before them, so here he is again sort of going “Knyerr” and the Foos go “Knyerr” and the song goes “Knyerr” HAVE YOU BEEN ANYWHERE NICE ON HOLIDAY? “KNYERRRR.” The Foo Fighters are so infuriatingly unnecessary, but they carry on putting out these singles that go a bit crunchy here and a bit crunchy there and the lyrics are banal as fuck but here’s Dave with the “Knyerr” anyhow, 23 Radio 1 minutes past 3 o’clock gosh isn’t he SEXEH? World continues turning. I want to kick something.
[0]


Funeral For A Friend - Streetcar
[4.22]


Jessica Popper: Funeral For A Friend once played at my school. I didn't go, because they are rubbish. In fact I was really disappointed that while other people got Triple 8 and the Dum Dums visiting their schools, we got this rubbish. How unfair!
[0]

Edward Oculicz: As far as shouty Welsh things go, I find them uncharacteristically bearable.
[7]

John Seroff: Being somewhat more clever than the average is a considerable leg up in pop radio these days, and Funeral For a Friend's blend of speed metal, emo warbling, pop hooks and pseudo-goth mumbling certainly marks them as above average for their crowd. Unfortunately, being better than Good Charlotte doesn't really mark you as top-of-my-pops. If, on the other hand, you've just stolen a bottle of Boone's Farm from your older sister and you're gonna go out to the park and get TOTALLY drunk with Byron and Jennie Odermyer and then dare each other to french kiss, I see no reason why this couldn't be the song of your summer.
[5]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: What I like about Funeral For A Friend is that, as far as they can, they're making pop songs: Generation Terrorists-y rhythm scuffling, new-wave squiggly guitar line that sounds like a melodica or a computer game or something, big epic chorus with - crucially - practically no screaming. It all goes a bit to pot in the "I can't feel the same about you anymore" coda, but, until then, it's the most charming that moody teenage rock can get.
[8]

Abby McDonald: For a brief moment, it’s 2001 again and I’m dating spiky-haired skater boys, hanging around war memorials in packs, drinking vodka straight from the bottle actually listening to music like this. I left it all behind me for good reasons; namely a) Said spiky-haired skater-boys usually required me to explain what words such as ‘surreal’ meant; b) The vodka was soon replaced by impossibly copious amounts of dope and coke; c) Melodic emo is briefly enjoyable, but then the world of dull commences. Some things haven’t changed.
[3]


Faithless ft. Estelle – Why Go
[4.44]


Joe Macare: Maxi Jazz is one of the most annoying individuals in popular music today, but he's only on this at the start so far. Hey Estelle, remember rapping? It was great, wasn't it? This isn't too bad, especially by the standards of Faithless' recent material, but they'll never improve on their first album. Uh oh, Maxi Jazz is back. Shut up you gibbering hippy.
[5]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: Does anyone honestly buy Faithless records for Maxi Jazz's ponderous free-verse wittering? Bubbly bounce of a song, Estelle at her best low-key soul coo, it toddles along rather nicely, but ruined completely by the unnecessary gravitas of his meaningless chatter.
[6]

Alex Macpherson: Bemoaning the state of television two lines in isn't a promising sign - Estelle always had a not-so-latent didactic streak in her, one which she usually keeps admirably in check but which might result in a flood of pent-up self-righteousness being released when put together with stinking hippies Faithless. Luckily the horrors of the modern world get no further mention in 'Why Go?', and instead Estelle shows that she's just as effective when emotional and introspective as when she's dancing down the street - her voice cracks quite beautifully in places. Pity about the aimless, meandering, entirely uninteresting backing track, but you'd expect nothing more from bloody Faithless, they have been peddling it for nearly a decade now and it hasn't changed one iota.
[5]

Jessica Popper: If this gets into the top 10 (not unlikely with all the promotion from Faithless' no.1 album), it will be Estelle's first top 10 hit, which is quite surprising since she's been all over UK TV and radio in the past year. It will be a shame if this turns out to be her biggest hit because, as we have come to expect from Faithless, this is rubbish.
[2]

Mike Atkinson: A distressingly unsympathetic re-working of the 1999 collaboration with Boy George (scheduled for single release at the time, but withdrawn at the last moment), in which all the plaintive, affecting tenderness of the original is brutally ripped out and replaced by manky old dance beats, with phoned-in vocals carelessly plonked over the top. (Note to the otherwise unimpeachable Estelle: you really don't need to do this.) Shameful as it is to admit in polite circles, Faithless actually used to be my favourite band. Coming to terms with their inexorable artistic decline was hard enough; having them off-handedly piss all over my memories verges on the unforgivable.
[3]


Embrace – Glorious Day
[4.70]


Edward Oculicz: I like Embrace. They're comforting and familiar, sort of like getting a hug from a friend you haven't seen in a while. But do it too often and it just gets touchy-feely and weird. Isn't this the third ballad they've put out from this album? There should be laws against this. Quite lovely, though.
[7]

Abby McDonald: Perhaps this is trying to be emotive. Maybe they’re even striving for poignant. But honestly, trembling faux-falsetto verse vocals? Repetitive ‘oooooh’s? Plodding melody? I know there’s so little of substance or note to this that I shouldn’t even muster the energy to be offended, but I am. Week after week these supposed ‘anthems’ of deep and ringing emotion get thrown out into the aural ether, but for what purpose exactly? To compete for our apathy? Strive to occupy that razor-thin line down the middle of the path of mediocrity? I can’t even deign to award it a 0 mark, because that would be marking it out as exceptionally bad, whereas in fact, it’s nothing but mundane.
[2]

Alex Macpherson: There's a determined, single-minded stodginess about this melody which reminds me of stodgy Church of England hymns penned by humourless Victorian ministers for their congregations to warble tunelessly while actually thinking about the roast dinner. Listen to the plod of the beat in the chorus, the weariness with which the chord progress, the reluctance and put-upon piety and sheer distractedness of McNamara's voice: it's just like being in a cold, grey church on a Sunday morning trying not to pass out under the weight of all that soul-crushing joylessness, desperately glancing at your watch only to discover that you're barely halfway through the interminable service.
[0]

David Jones: The trick to doing a rousing gospely chorus, I’ve always felt, is to use a big gospel choir. There is nothing in the known universe less like a big gospel choir than the faltering tones of Danny McNamara, a man for whom the concept of being “in key” is as familiar as the concept of post-Husserlian phenomenology to the average house plant.
[3]

Nick Southall: This may be the fourth single from the album, it may be another piano-led ballad, it may not alter anyone’s opinion of Embrace, but it’s still a darn sight more tuneful than any of the naysayers would dare give it credit for. Plus, were you to actually get off your arse and buy a CD single for once rather than just downloading it, you’d find out that “Glorious Day” has three of the most impressive b-sides you’ll ever hear tucked away on the flipsides – the Velvets-meet-REM stateliness of “Milk and Honey” is better than the A-side, but is itself eclipsed by the Eno-esque instrumental “Red Eye Shot” and the 9-minute space-rock-goes-gospel-pop epic “Feels Like Glue”. I love a good b-side, me, and Embrace never disappoint.
[9]


Teenage Fanclub – Fallen Leaves
[5.11]


Joe Macare: I had no idea Teenage Fanclub were still going! They still sound exactly the same as they always did. I still feel much the same way about them as I always have, which is: seem like nice enough lads, one out of every ten songs they put out might make me hum along, but in general: meh. As indie guitar pop goes, 'Fallen Leaves' inoffensive enough – certainly, in a world in which Razorlight exist, Teenage Fanclub seem fairly harmless.
[6]

Edward Oculicz: I think there's a definite decline in the quality of TF's singles since (picks last TF song can sing in entirety) "Sparky's Dream" but you would have to be an expert to be able to specifically discern this without falling asleep.
[5]

Abby McDonald: Oh, the world of twee guitar almost-pop! All those breathy melodies and chiming sunshine chords, all that inoffensive meekness. Bleugh. If you want me to smile along, be jaunty! If you want me to hum, be contagious! Just stop with this ‘Oo, I’m rather happy but in a low-key, inoffensive fashion, mind if I bumble along in your background?’ business.
[4]

David Jones: Best of a decidedly bad week. The Fannies tapped into a seemingly inexhaustible vein of classic melodies well over a decade ago. This is one of them, albeit one that won’t raise any eyebrows (their lyric ‘come on over/the future is here’ suggests the polar opposite of what is, for me, just a nostalgia fest). My favourite bit would be the guitar duet at the end, which my scout camp musical training alerts me is in the form of a “round”.
[7]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: Rather lovely, hushed harmonies, shivering organ and guitar-jangled choruses - so why can't I listen to it for more than a minute before skipping tracks? I suppose it's just too nice, painfully nice, vicar-like, friendly and kind-hearted and totally unengaging.
[6]


The White Stripes – Blue Orchid
[5.80]


Jessica Popper: I keep thinking this is Do Me Bad Things when it comes on the radio, which is a bit backwards, isn't it?
[3]

Joe Macare: I feel very torn about the White Stripes. I like Meg but not Jack, White Blood Cells but not Elephant, 'Seven Nation Army' but not as much as most people seem to. This isn't quite as bad as, say, their cover of 'I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself', but neither is it one of their good singles. It's just reminiscent about all of the things I don't like about macho cock rock. Yes, yes, you like listening to the Blues and punching people, well done Jack. What do you want, a medal?
[3]

John Seroff: Following Jack's dabbling in roots country music with Loretta Lynn and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, I had assumed that the next White Stripes was going to be some sort of stripped down bluegrass jam. Not quite; instead we get some violent drum pumping, hyper-produced guitar and falsetto Robert Plant yelps in a song that seems over before it's barely even started. 'Blue Orchid' sounds like 'Fell In Love With a Girl' with rabies; aggressive and single minded and more than good enough to have me salivating for the new album.
[8]

David Jones: If there’s one thing I never expected from The Greatest Band Of The Noughties (TM) it was hair metal. In fact I initially thought this was a hoax, until the patented Meg White panhandling kicked in. Sure that’s a monster of a riff, but by abandoning the reductive bluesmanship they’ve lost what made them so distinctive in the first place. Who’d have thought the White Stripes would end up peddling Datsuns songs with added digital tomfoolery? Charmless.
[6]

Alex Macpherson: It's the rock version of 'Robot Rock'! A few inconsequential vocals - here, a Freddie Mercury pastiche which isn't as annoying as that sounds instead of the collective voices of your household appliances - but really it may as well just be that big phat dumb riff, repeated on loop because when you've got steak of that quality you don't need any garnish. Well, you might need a little: this song is actually sorely lacking in low-end, and a touch of bass wouldn't go amiss at all. I'm sure a few remixes will sort that out a treat, though.
[7]


MC Lars – Signing Emo
[6.00]


Cecily Nowell-Smith: White boy from Ivy League school. Rhythmically uninteresting comedy rap about the music business. Good emo chorus as part of joke. Whatever.
[5]

John Seroff: In an attempt to mock the music industry, MC Lars creates a studio-built band called Hearts That Hate, documents their one-hit wonder and sniffs dismissively at their quick disposal by a heartless, money-hungry label on the new single 'Signing Emo'. Here's the irony: Hearts That Hate's single 'Cry Tonight', featured prominently throughout the parody(?) track as an example of "Pro-tools, Logic; cut, copy, paste" songwriting, is by far the most compelling part of 'Signing Emo'... and may actually be the best song in this week's batch of singles! I mean it; I can't get the damn thing out of my head! As for Lars, he's got a long way to go before he can aspire to the cleverly crafted wordplay, smooth rhyme-spittin' flow and subtle social commentary of, say, a Weird Al Yankovic; Lars is ham-handed, snide and leaden- tongued throughout. But, boy, that Hearts That Hate! They're goin' places! Averaged across the two:
[7]

David Jones: Call me a humourless bastard if you want, I have a zero tolerance approach to comedy records. Get your own sketch show you twats.
[1]

Edward Oculicz: The key here is that while cynical songs about THE BIZ are usually boring - get one smaller target - it's all OK because a) this song is funny, b) the fake emo chorus is better than any real emo song ever, and c) it's basically Skee Lo as covered by Cake, isn't it?
[9]

Mike Atkinson: Maybe it's just because I'm as jaded as the hapless A&R guy in the song, but for all its studiedly hip insider references, doesn't this would-be sharp-as-a-knife satire on the follies of the US music biz follow a rather predictable, well-worn trajectory? Yes, the cycle of fashion is a fickle one. Yes, fame is transitory, and today's hot new act is tomorrow's dumper-bound anachronism. So tell us something new! And anyway, what's with the paradigm here? "Emo" is hot, but "industrial" is hotter? It's like the Noughties never happened! Roll over Casablancas, and tell Kapranos the news!
[5]


Groove Coverage - Poison
[6.33]


Abby McDonald: God no! Astoundingly unoriginal dumb-fuck trance! MAKE IT STOP! Wait a moment, I can. Perfect.
[0]

Mike Atkinson: Objectivity be damned; I have an unshakeable fondness for low-rent, camp-as-tits, dizzyingly inappropriate dance cover versions - selected at random, knocked off in an afternoon, and bearing no signs of any experimental deviation from the classic Motiv8/Almighty template. Because once you've perfected a formula, why tamper with it further? Just give us a steady diet of gleefully sacriligeous variations on the same theme, and we will chow down contentedly upon them until kingdom come. As Prince once said: there's joy in repetition.
[6]

Alex Macpherson: Oh Europe I heart you! I know nothing about Groove Coverage, whatever or whomever they may be, but I would bet money that the origins of this song lie in a hit-making factory run by a former Bond villain somewhere in the darkest corners of Belgium. I love the way all Eurotechno divas sing like they have a frog stuck in their throat, and the way they can't get beats to pound like trendy dance music, but just pump excitably like a demented cartoon rodent. Above all I love anything which reminds me of happy hardcore. Revival! Revival!
[8]

John Seroff: You'd swear you'd heard it already; 'Poison' is more disposable club filler for Now That's Techno! compilations and future editions of Dance Dance Revolution (on first listen, I found myself involuntarily stepping front, front, back, back, left, right, left, right to the beat). Even so, Groove Coverage manages to hit the right notes with more consistency than Faithless; something about a subtle vocoder and an elastic bassline speaks to my reptile brain. Pass the glow sticks and the Grey Goose, please.
[6]

Edward Oculicz: The quality of a dance cover version is always inversely proportional to the amount of respect shown to the original.
[9]


Ben Adams - Sorry
[6.44]


Alex Macpherson: Did Ex-A1 Boy really just open this song with the lyric "It's just like Apocalypse Now"?! Yes, yes he did. Apparently Mr Adams finds the emotional toll of saying sorry as hard to deal with as protracted mentalist warfare in south-east Asia: this is not going to endear you to any girls, Ben, despite your new-found buffness! Bizarrely, this tale of soul-searching and breast-beating is set to a swinging beat and a rather jaunty tune of the sort which really requires another chord change to be at all memorable - it's all a bit inoffensive and, well, apologetic, isn't it?
[4]

Jessica Popper: A1 were one of my favourite bands as a pre-teen pop obsessive, so I was excited to hear Ben's solo single, if only for nostalgia's sake. However, I have to say I'm a little disappointed. It's not a bad song at all, but it's the kind of thing that would have sounded fresh and new two years ago - now it doesn't and I just can't see it taking off.
[7]

John Seroff: Dear Britney, thanks SO MUCH for dropping the pop rock and going off to spawn a brood of little Federlings; we hardly miss your steely, robotic crooning. Just in case you didn't notice, that would be SARCASM, Britney; f'r chrissake, just listen to this Ben Adams kid they're foisting on us these days: he's oozing fake emotion and timberlactase all over the track in a manner that harkens back to less appealing songs on your debut album... your six year old debut album. Have we learned nothing? He's shamelessly weeping all over a cut that you could've turned into a hard, glistening gem. The production has potential but this little mamma's boy shows less cojones than you and the tune suffers from it. Do we have to make do? Come back! We remember 'Toxic'; all is forgiven! Sincerely, Citizens of the Known Universe.
[5]

Edward Oculicz: I didn't know Abs had a single out that sounded a bit like that Nellie McKay song where she rapped. This can't really be Ben Adams from out of A1, really. I mean, rowr, this is simply too good. Dark, moody, ominous and yet remarkable free of bloated portent.
[10]

Mike Atkinson: As debut solo efforts from former boyband members go, Ben out of A1 has made a pretty decent fist of the whole "maturing with my audience" ploy, turning in a competent piece of interestingly textured (mariachi trumpets, radio static, layered background wailings, sudden thunderblasts of percussion), agreeably sophisticated modern pop. OK, so the steadily chugging dynamic might be a shade too turn-of-the-decade Britney for fickle modern ears, and the lack of progression makes for a rather boring final minute - but there's still plenty here to suggest that, despite a dangerously long time away from the public eye, Ben might be in it for a longer haul than most.
[7]


By: UK Stylus Staff
Published on: 2005-05-31
Comments (4)
 

 
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