The Singles Jukebox
The Worst Pizza Express Blind ...



the segment editor’s just been to see The Rezillos and as such is a bit plum tuckered at present, so no verbosity this week – instead, T Raumschmiere does what he says on the tin, JoJo avoids the perils of the demon drink, David Jones wants to be throttled by his own intestines, Saint Etienne oscillate between ‘mimsy’ and ‘glorious’, and The Ordinary Boys are back. Whoo. First, though, Audioslave invite the panel to be themselves. The panel are only too happy to oblige.


Audioslave – Be Yourself
[3.00]


Joe Macare: “Be yourself” has always been tremendously unhelpful advice that is often addressed to teenagers, people who are in the process of finding an identity and might best do that by trying on different identities without worrying about whether this makes them “fake”. Speaking of teenagers, no disrespect to the real thing, but is there anything more depressing than rock music that's trapped in perpetual adolescence, with lyrics about “killing the pain” and laying white roses on people's grave. The thing about this kind of music is that the tune and the composition tends to be pretty good in itself – but contrary to a certain cliché, you don't have to respect Audioslave for that. Instead you should laugh at them for a) the terrible lyrics, b) the strained, embarassing vocals, c) the unbelievably wanky guitar solo about three minutes in.
[2]

Doug Robertson: Wow, who’d have thought that they still made music like this? And who’d have thought people would be daft enough to buy this sort of crap - well, Audioslave, obviously.
[3]

Mike Barthel: Maybe this is the point, but Audioslave's stuff serves primarily to bring out my inner guitar-geek. Is he using a tempo-matched auto-wah on that solo or is he just whanging up on the pedal every single goddamn quarter note like I did when I got my first (and only, it should be said) wah pedal back when I was 16? Does it matter? Stop giving power ballads such a bad name, kids. And stop making things I can grudgingly like, please.
[4]

John Seroff: Chris Cornell was, once upon a time, my rock'n'roll icon. Back in high school, the growling crooner personified just what I wanted to be filled with: screamy rage (and range), self-absorbed angst (and anger) and simple rock-th'-fuck-outtitude (like a mutha). Somehow, though, I seem to have grown up and Lord, how the mighty have fallen; almost fifteen years later, here's Chris hacking at the same old formula with his nuts cut off. "To be yourself is all that you can do"? What kind of affirmative drivel is this? 'Be Yourself' is as edgy as childproof scissors and just as effective; this sounds more than a little like it was recorded as the public service portion of a parole sentence. I just don't know, Chris. Hadn't we fallen on black days? Weren't we going hungry? Didn't you give me fresh dead roses? What happened? Scientology?
[3]

Tom Ewing: Sluggish, pompous, idiotic. Be yourself by all means but if it means liking Audioslave you might want to think again.
[0]


Jamiroquai – Feels Just Like It Should
[3.18]


Mike Barthel: Dear Jamiroquai: your moment of ultimate coolness came in the context of a cultsploitation MTV movie, and it was achieved by dint of no one recognizing that it was you rather than some much more credible 80s bass unit. Congratulations. The future accounting major who was really excited about you on a middle school trip to Toronto in eighth grade probably doesn't care about you anymore, and doesn't that hurt?
[3]

Paul Scott: In a rather ill advised move everyone’s least favourite hat wearing, Porsche driving, alleged coke fiend turns up the amps and attempts to rock up his trademark pedestrian pop funk. Unfortunately, it sounds rather like Kippax’s most bombastic nu baggy merchants, The Music. This clearly can not have been intentional, I mean who sets out to sound like The Music? Even The Music surely don’t set out to sound like that. Though to his credit J.K does resist the urge to shoehorn in a faux Zeppelin guitar solo.
[3]

Tom Ewing: Jay Kay has tried very hard here - delightfully modern balloon-rubbing production, itchy groove, great chorus, and then there he is gasping about the candyman and laser beams. Succeeds fabulously well at making you not believe it's Jamiroquai, to the point where you wish more than ever that it wasn't.
[7]

John Seroff: Too "meh" for video game music, too twitchy for bongtunage and too poppy for the nu-souliquarians; to misquote Axl, "Where do Jamiroquai go now?" They seem to be attempting to mix one part noise band and the other part Lenny Kravitz. This highly overstructured/produced headtrippyditty calls the old "all-good-music-was-produced-under-the-influence" chestnut into question. Jay Kay's exuberance always strikes me as legit but strangely misplaced, as if he's still trying to get signed. Still, I can't fault his energy, which bumps this up a point or two.
[5]

David Jones: Did this make anyone else think of the ‘bad poetry’ bit in Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy when somebody’s own major intestine leaps through his neck and throttles his brain to keep the sound out?
[0]


The Ordinary Boys – Boys Will Be Boys
[3.56]


Joe Macare: Oh no, not another one. If you thought what the Kaiser Chiefs were lacking was just a touch of Madness, then this is for you. If this is for you, then you have problems and issues, and I cannot help you with your issues and problems.
[2]

Jessica Popper: I liked their "How's the weather?" song but this one is not very good. So why won't it get out of my head?
[4]

Tom Ewing: Boys will be Nutty Boys, more like - admirable attempt to 'do' 2-Tone from nu-Britpop also-rans. Nobody wants to see this energetic, horn-driven sound revived more than me but while no disgrace, this falls short by simply not being catchy enough.
[5]

Luke Martin: Judging by the amount of Topman outfitted, lager drinking, piss throwing twats who whole-heartedly enjoyed this at a recent outdoor Ordinary Boys performance I had the utter misfortune to witness, it should do quite well, chart-wise. As such, it’s shite, banal and predictably boring - Oasis fans will love it.
[1]

David Jones: Last year’s Jam thieves (signed as a Nu-Metal band, forced into skinny ties to coincide with the Libs) actually have a decent grasp of ska and can knock out a reasonable tune every three or four singles. Thing is, having one of the worst ever major label indie albums under their belts already, I think I’ll join the world at large by not giving ‘em a second chance. From bedsit to stardom and back to bedsit again in matter of months. The cycle of life continues and it’s coming to you by Christmas, Kaiser Chiefs.
[4]


T Raumschmiere – Sick Like Me
[3.57]


Jessica Popper: Ouch! This song does what it says on the tin (well, the cover)...
[0]

Paul Scott: Imagine a parallel universe where, instead of messily expiring in a hail of white noise at the Brixton Academy, Atari Teenage Riot stayed together and in a mystifying attempt to court the NME’s favour shamelessly co-opted the emerging sounds of the “new rock revolution”. T Raumschmiere has clearly imagined this world, since ‘Sick Like Me’ is the closest the world has yet come to an Industrial Techno cover of ‘Last Nite’. Clearly a better idea in contemplation than execution, as this sounds like one of Chris Morris’ more baffling musical parodies.
[3]

Joe Macare: Well, this is confusing. As I understand it, T Raumschmiere didn't use to sound like this. By 'this' I mean “gormless shouty pseudo-industrial claptrap”. Unfortunately this is my first exposure to T Raumschmiere, so I have to judge this song on its own merits, or rather its lack thereof.
[1]

Mike Barthel:Blitzkrieg Pop - great name for an album. "Sick Like Me" – shitty excuse for a single. Look, der Monstertruckdriver, Alec Empire coughs and better songs than this come out, and I've heard Alec's coughs of late. There are good two-note guitar solos and bad two-note guitar solos. Guess which side this falls on?
[2]

Alex MacPherson: If there was anyone I thought could pull off trying to fuse glam, punk and electro, it was T Raumschmiere, whose career is virtually based on hinting towards it. Unfortunately, 'Sick Like Me' doesn't quite hit the spot. It's not terrible, merely terribly disappointing: there's enough nihilistic energy to hold the attention on the dancefloor, but T's ill-advised punk yowling and unimaginative corralling of RAWK into a dance context are uncomfortably reminiscent of The Prodigy. The Prodigy now.
[7]


John Legend – Ordinary People
[4.60]


Joe Macare: A piano ballad so tasteful and dignified that I could puke. Don't be fooled into thinking this is in any way better than a Jamie Cullum record.
[3]

John Seroff: Legend's debut album is an infuriating tease; after a remarkably enjoyable six-part R+B opera of "boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love-falls-in-love-with-another-girl-loses-girl- one-tries-to-get-her-back-ultimately-loses-both" (which included the excellent first single 'Used to Love U'), the rest of Get Lifted devolves into Gap-ish adult contemporary. 'Ordinary People' marks the beginning of that disc's slippery slope; this mawkish piano solo sounds like an exceedingly talented student auditioning for a college musical. Without Kanye West's complex production behind him, the clothes come off the emperor and you're face to face with the fact that the man just isn't that compelling when left alone with a piano. Here's hoping the label takes a chance on the raucous, tuba heavy, nasty jam 'Alright' as a follow up.
[4]

Alex MacPherson: On the plus side: on 'Ordinary People', John Legend sounds surprisingly akin to, of all people, Rufus Wainwright. Something in the way John Legend croons so smoothly and his voice cracks out of nowhere, even the mix of hesitancy and self-confidence in his phrasing. On the minus side: the song behind this is akin to one of Rufus Wainwright's weaker moments, when he casts aimlessly around for a hook but never seems to be totally invested in finding one.
[6]

Luke Martin: Okay, it’s a slow burner from the all-round nice guy of R’n’B - more akin to a soulful Sinatra than Kanye, but that’s not such a bad thing I suppose. Legend’s lyrics aren’t quite as notably cringe-worthy this time around either. That said, he’s still using unnecessary amounts of ellipsis which is vaguely annoying, if only because I’ve just had an AS Level English exam.
[6]

Tom Ewing: Mr. Legend's wicked plan has but one fatal flaw. This man has never, ever, for a single moment, believed that he was ordinary. That's not to say he isn't, of course. Remorselessly, conceitedly adult songwriting which sounds like the worst Pizza Express blind date of all time.
[1]


JoJo – Not That Kinda Girl
[4.89]


Mike Atkinson: Copyright question: with Jojo having nicked the "repeating the same two notes over and over again" trick from R.Kelly - even using the same intervals as the chorus of "Ignition (remix)" - is there a valid plagiarism case to answer, bearing in mind that we're only talking about two measly little notes? Or is this an all-purpose "public domain" interval - a kind of freeware R&B plug-in - which can legitimately be bandied about as liberally as the generic two-note "toasting" interval of late 1970s roots reggae? It's a moot point, but I'm leaning towards the "freeware plug-in" point of view. Which doesn't mean to say that I like hearing it plastered all over the place - but least I can try to be fair-minded about it.
[6]

John Seroff: Yes, the jailbait aspect is kind of frightening (this is a fourteen year old asking "how you get down low"); yes, the hypersexualizing of childen from puberty is a bad thing; yes, there's a craven streak throughout this flimsy, Disneyfied song. Even so, in direct opposition to Joss Stone's bluejean-soul, JoJo sounds like an undeniable rnb diva; there's a bit of Aaliyah in her voice and a bit of Left Eye in her phasing and those are two admirable sources to draw from. Here's hoping she has a maverick streak that leads to the dumping of the American Idol-isms that her handlers have adorned her with in favor of some Miss-Janet-if-you're-nasty bump'n'grind; paint-by-numbers material like this is surprisingly beneath her.
[7]

Jessica Popper: Jojo's first single was great. She should have stopped after that.
[3]

Alex MacPherson:"I don't go bar-hoppin'," claims JoJo, because "I'm not that kind of girl." No, JoJo, it is because you are STILL A CHILD. And when you reach 18, you will be changing your Little Miss Innocent tune faster than you can say 'Mary Kate Olsen's coke habit'. From the evidence of this particular tune, that day can't come quickly enough.
[5]

Doug Robertson: Despite my better instincts, I did really love ‘Leave (Get Out)’ far more than I actually wanted to, despite all the obvious problems with it, most notably the fact that she’s only 13 and should be far more concerned with making the cheerleading tryouts rather than the number one slot on the TRL chart. Thankfully her latest release is pish, as any song by a 13-y-o should be, so the natural order of things has returned once again.
[4]


Bon Garçon – Freek U
[5.55]


Alex MacPherson: Like Basement Jaxx's 'Oh My Gosh', 'Freek U' is notable almost entirely for the efforts of Ms Vula Malinga. She's a shy wallflower, thrusting lapdancer and diamanté-dripping starlet all in one, beckoning your ears along her undulating vocal line, switching up her inflection at every turn. Producers Bon Garçon clearly realise what a star they have in Vula and have decided to get swiftly out of her way, though they could have left her more than just a vague, generic Eastern 'vibe' to play with.
[7]

John Seroff: The female vocals are straight from Britney's 'Overprotected', the mumblemouthed producer's monologue is a tired Diddy retread (right down to the command of "Verse"), the repetitive Indian-influenced synth-strings scream Timbaland and the simple, driving beat is all Neptunes; when you bite other people's material this hard, it's unsurprising that the material itself is toothless. For god's sake, it's not like any of this song's influences are original; 'Freek U' is recycling recyled parts that were themselves in turn already worn to the bone. I'm hardly a pop purist; I love disposable junk rehashes more than the next guy. Problem is, when you add so very little to the stone soup, there's simply not much flava.
[5]

Paul Scott: Skittering around with a vaguely Indian flavour and a fragile beat that twists and writhes in a most beguiling manner, the track begins swamped with a subterranean and barely repressed kinetic sexual tension. But with one clunky mention of “ass shake” the atmosphere is jettisoned all too early and never really recaptured. It all rapidly descends into “Don’t want your ice of your Cristal” platitudes and a rather forced approximation of carnality that recalls the more dead eyed moments of Destiny’s Child.
[5]

Doug Robertson: Forget ‘Soldier’ and ‘Girl’, this is what Destiny’s Child should be sounding like - sassy and sexy, rather than weak and submissive. It’s easy to forget that with the likes of Mario clogging up the charts with his whiny, self-satisfied, anaemic nonsense that there is a lot of good R&B out there. If there’s any justice in the world, this will storm the charts. Unfortunately, as the continuing career of Lemar proves, there isn’t, so will no doubt end up languishing at the tail end of the top 40. What a waste.
[8]

Mike Barthel: The main talking point would be the extraordinary amount of devotion to making the bass match the kick, and fire in unison they do. Everything else sounds either like grime or whatever inspired grime, except not grimey, which would be OK if the singing was interesting. Have you listened to old Destiny's Child lately? Have you noticed how weird and good it is when they say "question"? Steal that shit, wouldya?
[3]


Saint Etienne – Side Streets
[5.73]


Mike Atkinson: I've been deliberately avoiding going anywhere near the forthcoming Saint Etienne album, as the anticipatory buzz has been so overwhelmingly positive that I don't want to spoil the treat. And if this glorious piece of work is anywhere near indicative of the quality of the rest of the album, then it really is going to be a very special treat indeed. "Return to form" doesn't even begin to describe it; this is the best Saint Etienne single since "He's On The Phone", at the very least - and maybe even since "Avenue". Yes, that good. Simply put: the world is a significantly better place with this single in it. Sorry, am I over-selling?
[10]

Alex MacPherson: Thirteen years ago, Sarah Cracknell asked us whether we believed in magic. It's clear that she still does, and is confident enough in it to saunter down deserted East London back streets at stupid o'clock to a calm bossa nova rhythm, as if the high come down from the party she's just left will be enough to see her safely to her front door. And as her song lilts and murmurs like nothing in the world could ever go wrong again, you almost believe her. Don't try this one at home, kids.
[8]

David Jones: Perhaps it’s because it’s drizzling outside in London town, perhaps it’s because I’ve spent the last few hours listening to Dälek, but I just can’t see the point of contintental lounge-pop right now. There’s nothing to latch onto here: the whole bloody thing is so frictionless it might as well not be there at all.
[2]

Paul Scott: This is the kind of mimsy faux sixties dirge that Belle and Sebastian fans have the gall to describe as “perfect pop”. Yes Sarah Cracknell’s vocals are agreeably breathy and yes it’s quite pretty. But the reductive pastiche of sixties lounge music that cushions it all is so safely within the confines of inverted commas smothers any feeling or energy that may happen to lurk beneath the surface. Desperately cloying and annoyingly smug this song would have been a dull anachronism on an Andy Williams TV special circa 1968.
[2]

Joe Macare: I feel a bit guilty for losing touch with Saint Etienne given what they once achieved (So Tough is still one of the mostly unsung classic albums of the 90s). Maybe it was when I moved to London, the actual place, that I stopped needing to listen to their records to get the fantasy. Anyway, 'Side Streets' makes me feel guiltier still. If anything it's a little slight, but it's great, sort of 'The Girl From Ipanema' with tiny little weird noises of the 21st century bubbling away in the background. I guess it's time to renew my acquaintance with the band when the new (concept!) album drops.
[8]

John Seroff: This is precisely the sort of track that DOESN'T make the UK-to-US crossover that we Yanks need more of: honeyed bossa-nova vibes and brushes, fado guitar and electronic buzzclick buoying up a dreamy voice and a doo-wop chorus. Beautiful chill-out music for two (or a solo with a pint of Haagen Dazs), 'Side Streets' is a crush, a fourth-drink buzz and a safe ride home all rolled up in one comfortable hammock. It's surely the kindest song ever written about avoiding paparazzi and stalkers; who would have imagined an anthem for paranoid loners could be so catchy?
[8]


The Raveonettes – Love In A Trashcan
[6.20]


Joe Macare: The ice cold Raveonettes return with more magpie pillaging from rock and pop's past. I don't why I buy it when they do it, when so many other bands annoy the hell out of me by being just as shamelessly retro. If I try to explain it I will use words like “charm” and “charisma” and “panache” and then some clever clogs will try to tell me that these are not musical concepts per se. Bah! I'm no music scientist but I can tell you that this song positively oozes panache, and if I was a music scientist, I could prove it with tables, equations and graphs.
[8]

David Jones: Unlike the Ordinary Boys the Raveonettes never made it big despite a similar marketing push. They are, of course, better in every way but this is one of their weakest singles. Go dig out ‘Somewhere in Texas’ or ‘Beat City’ which have that whole Jesus and Mary Chain/Phil Spector thing down pat.
[5]

Mike Barthel: I briefly thought it was the 70s, but then I realized it was 6 o'clock and time to leave work! Woohoo! And when that makes me happier than your song (I mean, I leave work every day, or almost anyway), you are not doing your job as a band.
[2]

John Seroff:'Love' is mood music for ex-gothers, a JackRabbit Slim faux-surf fix for Morphine fans that still mourn Mark Sandman. If all this sounds like faint praise, maybe it is; the hooks don't quite hook and the drums don't drive. I need one more track laid down to gel the thing together. Even as is, it's a nice jukebox pick; with a bit more work it feels as if it could've been something bigger. This leaves me very curious about the rest of the album, tho'.
[6]

Alex MacPherson: I love rock stars when they fake it so real they're beyond fake. You think being shameless copyists is an easy task? Witness the effort The Raveonettes put into polishing every Jesus And Mary Chain guitar riff so it gleams and sparkles, look at the love and devotion with which they craft their sonic paeans to a golden age of rock'n'roll which exists only in their heads. Listen to their pleading voices, yearning to be real like latter-day Pinocchios! They surpass their idols with ease: this is better art than reality could possibly be.
[8]


LCD Soundsystem – Disco Infiltrator
[6.56]


Doug Robertson: This is at least 4 minutes too long which, for a song that lasts 5 minutes, is quite a feat.
[4]

Jessica Popper: Oddly, this sounds more like Daft Punk than when they were playing in his house. In fact it sounds like a Daft Punk remix of a Junior Senior song, as that's who I thought it was when I first saw the video. If it was Junior Senior it would be their perfect new single, so I'm quite disappointed it's not cos we need more Danes in the charts (even slightly boring ones like the Raveonettes). This really is a very good song and after the disappointing dullness of Mr Soundsystem's last song, I wasn't expecting it.
[9]

Alex MacPherson: Entirely nondescript filler even by the astonishingly low standards of the LCD Soundsystem full length; if anything, the relative sparseness renders James Murphy's vocal affectations even more intolerably stale. Bored with this band now, next trend please.
[3]

Mike Atkinson: Look, I have been successfully avoiding Forming A Position on the LCD Soundsystem album for months, and I'm bloody well not about to start now, just because someone has bunged out a fresh new promotional tool. It's not the second coming, it's not the emperor's new clothes, it's just... there. If I went to Trash, or The Cock, or Horsemeat Disco, or wherever it is that the Wacky Hairdo brigade go to these days, then this would probably have picked up all sorts of accumulated resonances over the months - which is all right and proper, and just as things should be. As it is, I'm just left trying to place myself into a suitably über-hip milieu in my head, but failing to make it past the door whore. What do you do, when you can't place primarily social music into its correct context? In my case, you just say "Yeah, that LCD Soundsystem album, eh? Hmmm. Yeah. Totally." - and file it away, played three times, on the "spare room in six months time" rack.
[7]

Joe Macare: Whether or not you're one of those people who found the LCD Soundsystem album a disappointment (if so, try again, it really is a grower), I hope we can all agree that this is one of the highlights of the album: a twitchy little number that's simultaneously an obvious floor filler and something very idiosyncratic and unique. Keeping up with this record is a challenge for those of us with less than lightning-fast reflexes and less than perfect coordination, I have developed a special dance for it. It is called 'The Disco Infiltrator' – a fitting name, I hope you'll agree - and it goes like this: clap clap kick kick swivel swivel kick kick clap clap kick kick swivel swivel kick kick clap clap kick kick swivel swivel kick kick. What more proof do you need that this is the ultimate dance anthem for geeks with OCD?
[10]


M83 – Teen Angst
[6.91]


Paul Scott: There’s a common cliché that goes all reviews of shoe gazing records in the early nineties would include at least one allusion to “spiralling cathedrals of sound”. Having not really been in much of a position to take to close an interest in the inkies during this period, what with being more a lot more interested in Ghostbusters than Chapterhouse at the time, I can neither confirm nor desire the existence of this critical shorthand. M83, the logical progression of the shoe gazing aesthetic of overdriven treble laden melodies into the electronic age, at least expose why this sort of critical short hand may have been used. Confronted with music so prettily vacuous it’s hard not to fall back into floridly descriptive purple prose – there’s only so many ways in which one can say “Like My Bloody Valentine but not as good.”
[5]

John Seroff: Electro-emo? Electremo? Elect-mo? Somebody better come up with a name, quick; these French fellows look to be worthy of their own bin. M83 provide the yin to the electronic yang of Daft Punk; where DP's music is sturm, drang and sloppy sex, M83's sound is more melodic, misty and sad. Where DP and M83 do jibe is with their love for electric guitar; both bands build their tracks around strong, distortion-ridden rock skeletons. For M83, the result is a cut that throbs with energy but can't stop staring at its shoes; it may not get any indie kids to dance, but it'll likely get them kissing.
[8]

David Jones: I feel like M83 are to the noughties (cringe) what fellow gallic dream poppers Air were to the nineties. They both produced debut albums that lived right next to my hi-fi for a couple of years, fulfilling my regular craving for unusual instrumentals. Unfortunately both were followed with LPs that exchanged dense atmospherics for clattering melodrama. I love the serialist-y synth line here but the hate the kooky vocal. ‘Teen Angst’ by Placebo is infinitely better. Do Placebo have to split before we can have an early Placebo revival?
[6]

Doug Robertson: Thankfully nothing to do with the similarly titled Placebo track , this is more like a collaboration between the Pet Shop Boys and much under appreciated German electro types the Notwist, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, means that this track is really rather fantastic indeed. This should keep me going until an actual Pet Shop Boys/Notwist collaboration turns up, which, after hearing this, has now become a burning obsession of mine.
[9]

Alex MacPherson: You can sense all sorts of great ingredients in 'Teen Angst' - pretty-in-pink synths, swooning chorales and so on. But M83 aren't good enough chefs to make the most of them - there's too much added on top of them, all layered at the same pitch so that it all gets buried in a bland, beige, proggy mush. No wonder their remixes are so good.
[4]

Joe Macare: More drone rock than disco, like a less relaxed, more melodramatic Phoenix having a stab at covering an Electrelane song. It's a given that music like this always evokes having an existential moment of melancholic longing whilst gazing out of the window of a car driving through the city at night on your way from one party to another – only less whiny and annoying and Lost In Translation than that sounds. I guess that's why it's called 'Teen Angst', right? But real teen angst, while not necessarily as ugly as, say, the Audioslave record, is never this pretty either.
[9]


Ralph Myerz & The Jack Herren Band – L.i.p.s.t.i.c.k.
[7.22]


Alex MacPherson: Are all 21st century Norwegian femmes so beguiling? First Annie, then Bertine Zetlitz, now this unidentified enchantress breathing in my ear about her lipstick and my dark shades over acres of plush vibraphones and swelling synths. This is pastel and pastoral, music to escape into and luxuriate in.
[9]

Tom Ewing: I may have been a bit rose-tinted suggesting that Saint Etienne's loss of chart commitment had lessened them - this is the kind of thing they used to knock out at a shilling a time and it's more than slightly cloying.
[6]

John Seroff: Norwegian saccharine has turned the swimming pool all ginger ale; it's pleasant and bubbly enough while you're immersed, but you feel all sticky when you get out. This is derivative, mannered (L dot, I dot, P dot? Really?) and somewhat undistinguished Euro-disco with a rather nice female vocalist carrying the brunt of the weight; difficult to get excited about but nice enough to sip doctored lemonade to. Songs like these tend to make me feel as if I'm simply not being happy enough.
[6]

Doug Robertson: There may be an actual Saint Etienne single in this weeks batch, but this manages to out Saint Etienne Saint Etienne themselves. This really is gorgeous, like falling asleep on a beach to the sounds of waves lapping against the shore, before being woken up by the sounds of dolphins playing in the distance. It’s cocktails with the person you love. It’s walking hand in hand on the sand, looking up at the stars. It’s all sorts of cliché’s in fact, but despite that it’s still something very beautiful indeed.
[9]

Mike Barthel: I want something to be different about this, but I think that something is me--I want it to be later, or I want to be drunker, or I want this to be louder. But it sounds like goddamn Abba and Blondie doing a collaboration, and it's a great little song to boot. Dig those string parts! That's how you do it.
[9]


By: UK Stylus Staff
Published on: 2005-06-06
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