ALIENOID STARMONICA (EP) (THE ALIENS) - Take a few members of the Beta Band, throw in a totally bizarre opening two minutes of noise and sprinkle with a smidgen of country Americana and what do you get? The opening track of this EP. So all in all it's fun and fresh but it's hard to tell if its as good as it thinks it is.
MANCHESTER (BEAUTIFUL SOUTH) - Well there aren't very many surprises held within this one. Needless to say it's got that jaunty feel you'd expect from the Beautiful South without ever being as good as those songs you remember them doing in the past.
SAY AFTER ME (BIC RUNGA) - She's huge in her native New Zealand but then I suppose that's not exactly difficult in the overall scheme of things is it. Although have I even got the right person in mind here? Anyway...she's huge somewhere but I can't see her being huge over here. This is decent enough but like a lot of tracks this week it doesn't have the spark that distinguishes it from the pack.
SUZIE (BOY KILL BOY) - I saw them perform this on 1 Leicster Square. Which incidentally may be one of the worst programmes I've ever seen. Russell Grant (or whatever your name is), please do us all a favour and give up. Anyway the song itself is rather decent although never does quite enough to really excite me.
LUCKY GUY (CHARLOTTE COOPER) - Hmm, you get quite excited when you hear mention that this Essex teenager was "discovered" by the Beach Boys...then you realise it's by the Beach Boys that nobody remembers (although to be fair it does point out that she's "met" Brian Wilson a few times). You should also be aware that the release date for this single keeps getting put further and further back (to the extent that I'm not even sure if it's out yet, or even is due out this week). Still, its no worse than Joss Stone in pilot mode. In fact I can honestly say as these things go, it's not half bad.
YOU SAID (CHIKINKI) - Seems to me that they can't quite make their minds up whether they are indie or electronic. It's not a bad tune, but it is ever so slightly schizo.
TEENAGE LIFE (DAZ SAMPSON) - Oh. My. God. Well I suppose it IS daft enough to give us a chance at Eurovision...but this is pretty odious stuff. It's borderline, well, lets just say that any performance of this I've seen has left a queasy feeling behind me.
HIDEAWAY (DELAYS) - Seriously, are the Delay's someone's idea of a practical joke?
DO DAT DIDDLY DING DANG (THE FAT COWBOY AND DJ DOG) - The one, and indeed only, "positive" I can come up with about this abysmal excuse for a novelty record is that at least the backing singers wear cowboy hats. And you know how I love a woman in a cowboy hat.
YOU & I (GRAHAM COXON) - The law of diminishing returns again here. It's quite a good song, but nowhere near as good as the previous single. Still, I do like it.
THAT'LL BE THE DAY (GREGORY DARLING) - Wow. What can I say? This is something pretty special indeed. Pop-rock at its absolute finest. This shimmies and shines like a bright summer's day. I implore you to check it out.
BOY FROM SCHOOL (HOT CHIP) - A huge disappointment after the sheer brilliance of Over And Over. It's not bad, but it lacks the pizzaz and spark that made Over And Over one of the best singles of the year so far.
GOODNIGHT & GO (IMOGEN HEAP) - I quite liked Frou Frou in their own little way, but this is a track which polarises me. On the one hand its nowhere near as daring or "off the wall" as you might have hoped for, being as it is a fairly innofensive pop ditty (as heard on the OC no less). But there is a certain something about it that warms the cockles of my heart. So a tenative thumbs up.
PLAY IT FOR TODAY (LEGENDS) - No kidding, but the record company describes this single (along with the B-side) as "two smash hits for the gay dance floor." No really, that is the EXACT quote. So I suppose if you are gay, and like to dance, you are going to love this one...
CONTROL MYSELF (LL COOL J Ft. JENNIFER LOPEZ) - Is there a more useless musical combination than these two? I mean the song itself isn't that bad but its all so cold and calculating that you can't help hating it.
EMOTIONAL JUNKMAIL (MISS BLACK AMERICA) - Three minutes of pure "indie-punk" heaven. I cannot really reccommend this enough.
DEAD FASHION BRIGADE (EP) (NEIL LEYTON) - All I've heard is "Fires" which is a perfectly hummable, but instantly forgettable, slice of MOR rock.
I'M WITH STUPID (PET SHOP BOYS) - Well what can I say? It's merely a pleasure just to have the boys back in town. It's not their best ever, but it's still pretty damn good, and probably their best single since 1993's Can You Forgive Her. Hopefully this will see the boys back in the top 10 (although I'm not holding my breath too much on that score).
LONG DISTANCE CALL (PHOENIX) - Erm, its not too bad. Whether it's quite enough to make me stick around to see them after The Like have strutted their stuff I don't know. But it's passable.
CRY BABY CRY (SANTANA Ft. SEAN PAUL & JOSS STONE) - Santana, Sean Paul AND Joss Stone...all on ONE record? Man, it was touch and go whether I even dared to listen to this given just how much exciting talent is on there. In the end I thought I'd better risk the excitement, and boy am I glad I did. Seriously though, I can't think of anything worse than having to listen to this again.
LOST IN YOU (SHELLEY POOLE) - Yes, the same woman who used to be in Alisha's Attic. And yes, Alisha's Attic were great. If only for the whole "which one's fitter" discussion that could take over a whole dinner time. This is no "I Am, I Feel" but its still a bloody corking poppy tune, which, lets face it, is destined to go completely unnoticed. Sadly.
KEEP US TOGETHER (STARSAILOR) - Oh maybe you'd be better splitting up. I mean come on, its says something when Starsailor make Embrace look vital and thrilling.
I SHOULD GET UP (TEDDY THOMPSON) - Does this make me upset I missed TT when he supported Martha Wainwright? Well not quite, but it might make the Gee man a little upset given it's Crowded House esque feel. Listenable but not exactly unmissable.
BLACK & WHITE (THE UPPER ROOM) - They're from Brighton don't you know and that's an "in" place these days isn't it? You know the "scene". Well the one thing about a "scene" is that when a "scene" gains fame, not only do you get the good bits of the "scene" breaking through, you get the mediocre bits too. And this my friends, is medicore all the way. Try putting a modicum of spark into your next release boys.