Adam Lambert – For Your Entertainment
Adam Lambert has had a lot of criticism sent his way since he came second in American Idol in 2009, with American TV networks banning him from their shows following raunchy, sadomasochism-laden performances (ooooh!) According to Wikipedia, he is the first openly gay mainstream pop star to launch a career on a major label in America, and this seems to be the problem. This is…baffling, to say the least. It’s 2010!
Anyway, For Your Entertainment is Lambert’s first single after American Idol, and it’s definitely not what you’d expect from an AI alumni – there’s no Jordin Sparks-style warbling, although Lambert’s singing in the ‘breakdown’ towards the end of the song definitely attempts to give Sparks a run for her money. It’s a lot better than I thought it would be – up until now I’d only heard of Lambert because of his notorious image and the media’s obsession with his sexuality and stage shows. It sounds like a cross between Katy Perry and Sam Sparro, which is no bad thing, and which makes sense as it was produced by Dr Luke (behind I Kissed A Girl and Ke$ha’s Tik Tok.) It’s a shame that everyone only focuses on his persona when the music is this good. If it wasn’t released this week i’d have no idea!
4 Justin Biebers out of 5.
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now
Before I put this band’s name into Spotify, I thought it was going to be a ladyrapper, like Lady Sovereign or Estelle, then when I saw their album cover, I thought they were either going to be a sub-par Fleetwood Mac or a cheesy country pop band, just one Keith Urban away from Nashville. I was half right on both things – Lady Antebellum do indeed have a female vocalist and a male vocalist, who harmonise together rather beautifully, and they are a band who seem to specialise in country-tinged pop, but – shock horror, they’re not bad! They’re like a grown up Taylor Swift, if Taylor Swift got laid and stopped putting her diary entries to music, which surprisingly works rather well.
3 and a half Justin Biebers out of 5
Marina and the Diamonds – I Am Not A Robot
According to Spotify there are three artists with a song called I Am Not A Robot. I wonder if any of them are bitter about Miss Diamandis stealing their thunder. If Charlie Slick or Kevin Lux are reading this, get in touch and let us know! Anyway, Marina, you know of her right? We’re in the age of Quite Good Female Popstars, and she is one of them. Admittedly, she hasn’t had as much success as the likes of Florence and her machine, or La Roux, but she’s not far behind, and she deserves to be right up there with the best of them with songs like this, which is a re-issue (tut tut, label, she has a whole album’s worth of other brilliant songs), but hey, this time I bet it’ll be played to death on 4Music and the like. Which is no bad thing, Marina’s voice is the best thing about it, at times sounding vulnerable and wounded, at others strong and defensive. Its catchy and its lyrics are quirky and wonderful, and hopefully it’ll serve as (another) introduction to Marina and the Diamond’s unique sound.
3 Justin Biebers out of 5
(Roll Deep are letting the side down with their stupidly small single cover – I couldnt find any bigger ones. Sadface.)
Roll Deep – Good Times
I’ll admit it, when I first saw the words ‘Roll Deep’ on my list of new releases, I thought OH GOD WHY to myself, as something told me it was a ‘grime music collective’ as indeed they are, and to be honest, it’s not my favourite kind of music. However, this isn’t as bad as it sounds like it’s going to be – they’ve jumped on the Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris bandwagon, and they have quite obviously jumped on a bandwagon here as one of their previous singles, When I’m ‘Ere (ooh, ‘ere!), is completely devoid of the disco ‘beats’ and female vocals that are present here. It’s a pleasant enough song, if slightly forgettable, and this particular brand of WOO LETS GO OUT AND SPEND LOADS OF MONEY has definitely been done better. Also, the rapperman (I don’t know his name. Sadly) seems to suffer from Tinchy Strider-itius (who, coincidentally, used to be a member of Roll Deep) in that he has phases of just repeating what guest vocalist Jodie Connor sings, just as Tinchy did with Amelle on Never Leave You. GONNA HAVE A REAL GOOD NIGHT!!!
2 and a half Justin Biebers out of 5
N-Dubz – Say It’s Over
Recently N-Dubz seem to be on the receiving end of Daily Mail-style scaremongering about how the yoof are OUT OF CONTROL and going to KILL US ALL, which is quite amusing, but slightly unfair on the Camden trio, whose music isn’t as bad as is made out. Say It’s Over, is, like the rest of their music, is all about the story, and it’s their unique way of storytelling that makes this, along with the forlorn intro, which makes everything sound very sad and serious indeed. Although at one point either the one with the hat or the other one talks about deleting messages from his pager. How postmodern!
3 Justin Biebers out of 5
Timbaland ft. Justin Timberlake – Carry Out
Aww, Timbaland. He used to be so good, at the helm of some great poppy rnb songs (The Way You Are! Try Again! Wait A Minute! Say It Right!) but he either started to believe his own hype, or just ran out of ideas, as it seems whenever he releases anything these days it’s like a Timbaland parody. And don’t get me started on Justin Timberlake. SexyBack! Like I Love You! Cry Me A River! My Love! WHAT HAPPENED?!
Carry Out is actually reminiscent of My Love and its prelude, Let Me Talk To You, with its familiar bleeping bleepy bits, and drums that sound like someone’s having fun with some glass bottles. It’s all standard Timbaland/Timberlake stuff, and though it is undeniably catchy and a little bit hypnotising, its quite the snoozefest when you consider what these two have done in the past.
– 2 Justin Biebers out of 5
Justin Bieber’s verdict: “Quite a disappointing week, I’m off to cry into my fringe”