elcome to the weekly UK Singles Jukebox: Radio Gaga Volume Five. Last week’s winners were the Beastie Boys, who faced fierce competition from Emma Bunton. I think you’ll agree final incontrovertible proof that there can be no god and no justice.
The format is simple: we take the Champagne of UK chartbound pop singles, and let the reviewers take little dainty sips and tally up the average over a sharp lemon sorbet. Qui bascule comme les garçons de beastie? Personne.
Ruslana – Wild Dances
Edward Oculicz: Xena-like Ukrainian lass bellows and shudders all over the place with sexy results. Unapologetically frantic and kinetic, just a touch erratic and hugely erotic.
Simon Hampson: Obviously it loses something without the amazing bronze age warror/whirling dervish live performance but it's still great. It's the kind of thing that makes you proud to be European. That might sound ironic, but it's not meant to. There's a lot going for any continent that unites in appreciation of this furiously weird pagan-tribal stomp. right at the avant of the garde.
Dom Passantino: It loses something when there’s no Xena dancing to go with it, although without the show, you do realise that the intro sounds a bit like “Centrefold” by the J Geils Band as performed by much-loved interpretative dance starts Stomp.
Dave McGonigle: For about, ooh, 10 seconds, if you stick your fingers in your ears, it could almost sound like Adam Ant. But then it gets even better! Mad brass on loan from the soundtrack to a Kusturika film, more drums than a middle eastern refinery, and, down front, wee Ruslana giving it, as we used to say in Glasgow, “laldie". Sad that, according to my sources, it's about as authentically ethnic as a Chicken Tikka Masala; although, having said that, I do *love* Chicken Tikka Masala.
Mark Owen – Making Out
Edward Oculicz: Adorable mid-paced guitar pop thing, a welcome bit of optimism and warmth from the normally paranoid, downtrodden but cute one. Don't buy the lyrics though, there's no way wee Mark's beating anyone up
Simon Hampson. He still looks cute but he's got a bit greasy nowadays hasn't he? Anyway, he's still shit and he’s still got the weak whiny voice that reminds me of dying lambs. Not that i've ever heard dying lambs, mind, thankfully. He's a nice guy but this is gash.
Dom Passantino: It’s like the great Britpop cull of 2000 never happened.
Dave McGonigle: Question - what do you do when your meal ticket Take That, the biggest all-male act of the 90s, splinters into five? Do you side with the 'good' (Garry Barlow) or the 'evil' (Robbie Williams)? Just what is a boy to do? Simple. Sit on the fence and pen a few unoffensive AOR tunes that have the guitars high in the mix, just like you think your beloved Radiohead do. Sorry mate - they don't, but nice try, eh?.
Scissor Sisters - Laura
Simon Hampson: I saw them live in a club in january and really enjoyed them. I'm so, so sorry, my only excuse is that I was drunk. At least their previous singles had (gratingly) catchy choruses. This is just nothing, with that incredibly weak putterring keyboard and guitar backing. All the fashionistas who like the Scissor Sisters should take note: they are nothing more than the American version of Jamiroquai. They are not, and never will be, cool. And they look all like Big Brother contestants.
Edward Oculicz: The only worthwhile re-release of 2004? Moby’s “Honey” meets the theme to Thomas The Tank Engine with added sexy sax AND THE FUNK IN ALL ITS FORMS!.
Dom Passantino: “Run On” by Moby, that was quite a good single, wasn’t it?
Dave McGonigle:Image? 80s blah high fashion blah camp blah 'sexually androgenous' blah nice hair! blah. Music? Just blah.
The Cure – The End of the World
Edward Oculicz: They must be dangerously close to having put out more rubbish singles than good ones by now.
Simon Hampson: First Morrissey comes back and now the bloody Cure. Christ almighty, just let it go you guys, it's over! I've always hated the Cure. I can't really articulate why, it's just this deep, primal loathing. And this single doesn't really change matters. Will probably appeal to Cure fans though cuz they tend to be scary and obsessive.
Dom Passantino: Robert: the 80s revival is meant to involve the stuff from the decade that we actually liked, not your fat fucking face. Please go back to fighting Mecha-Streisand, ok? Thanks.
Dave McGonigle: I was never a big fan, but it was always good to hear The Cure on the radio in the 80s and 90s flying the flag for UK indie music, proving that there were still bands out there that had popped into existence under their own steam (as opposed to being grown in record companies underground labs). So it's rather sad that this sounds absolutely disposable; there's nothing wrong with it, but every note played and sung on it drips with lethargy; they're all phoning it in, nowadays. Shame.
Supergrass – Kiss of Life
Simon Hampson: Supergrass seem resolved to make a living on being as retrograde and unadventurous as possible. It's like they're not really a band anymore: more a period drama, or a historical re-enactment society. The youthful vigour they had has gone, and now all that's left on this single is the tired, tired sound of a band cranking out their lame 60s rock one more time. There's something crushingly dull, plodding, and workmanlike about it. People who buy this single are either already dead, or tragically confused.
Edward Oculicz: It has a passable groove, well-placed backing vocals and that said, is the most boring single they've ever released. I used to love this band and it's sad they are so average now.
Dom Passantino: “(She Moves In) Mysterious Ways” by U2, that was quite a good single, wasn’t it? Actually, no, it wasn’t.
Dave McGonigle: I wouldn't have thought it was possible to rate a Supergrass single lower than a 8, but here it is; proof, if any was needed, that we're all going to die, someday. This sounds just like a single from “a perfectly competent indie band”, and who thought we'd ever say that about Supergrass, eh? Over a riff that resembles an incompetent solving a rubix cube, Gaz trades in his cheeky grin for an ironic sneer, rhyming “don't look back” with “heart attack” admist other transgressions of decency. Leave me now! I wish to be alone with my copy of 'Caught By The Fuzz'... ahhh....sweet youth, how I have missed thee.
Peter Andre - Insania
Edward Oculicz: He didn't even write it in the jungle, people, which makes this doubly bad, as its crapness would be understandable if not forgivable if it had been written in three minutes. He got his record contract on the back of a TV talent show in the early 90s, so to everyone saying that Sam and Mark are the worst popstars to be born on TV, please shut up now.
Simon Hampson: Everybody takes the piss out of him. And, ok, this song is a bit silly, but shouldn't pop be about silliness? It shouldn't be about blank, 'postmodern' stabs at irony. Which is the general, smirking reaction to Peter Andre. No, Peter's got the right idea: be honest, sing about something you really care about, and love what you're doing. And all with that catchy 'do do duh duh do' chorus. Yeah, Peter's got the right idea.
Dom Passantino: I’m surprised this did as well as it did as well. You see, one on hand I want to go “Fair play” to Andre, he’s come back from the commercial dead and he’s got the sales figures to back it up now. The other hand wants to punch him repeatedly in the face for being a himbo record company pawn who is still releasing the same out of date swingbeat R&B crap he was peddling in the mid 90s. 29 minutes 59 seconds Pete…
Dave McGonigle: For reasons unknown Mr McGonigle declined to comment on “Insania”. I’m sure he will deny that this was because he hates Andre’s guts.
By: UK Stylus Staff
Published on: 2004-06-11