This Weeks Singles Reviews

September 1, 2011

Jessie J- Who’s Laughing Now?

Jessie J returns on the back of sets at some of the biggest festivals including Glastonbury and V Festival with new single ‘Who’s Laughing Now?’. It follows number one single Price Tag which was a song that I initially hated only to find it creep into my guilty pleasures, but unfortunately, I can’t see that happening with ‘Who’s Laughing Now?’.

The pop style of the song is so far exaggerated it makes it revolting. The opening vocals appear to be a mix of Jessie J and a child double tracked, which is just immediately irritating. It’s like we’ve jumped back in time and are listening to Daphney and Celeste singing about people being Ugly. There is a consistent shouty tone to the vocals that will grate everyone barre Jessie J fans. There is no subtlety to this disaster whatsoever, and when put to her Britney Spears- esque school video, it makes you want to throttle the child vocals even more; I had to turn it off to avoid finding myself locked in a jail cell. Perhaps the only saving grace to this record is the subject matter of the lyrics, and even then, we can pick rather gaping holes. She writes the song with a big two fingers in mind to people that may have doubted her, previous to her propelling herself to stardom. This is arguably a commendable change to heartbreak pop, however if Jessie is really referring to herself as a 6 year old (as depicted in the video), it’s ridiculous to think that within a sea of children grasping hair brushes and Spice Girls t- shirts that she would ever suffer ridicule for her ambitions to be a musician. Moving forward in her life and she finds herself at the Brit School.  Says it all really.

‘Who’s Laughing Now’ receives a thorough thumbs down and a 2/10 from Eduardo.

Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You

With a similar lyrical subject matter, we move onto the topical headache of Ed Sheeran. Is he a refreshing force in the commercial pond? Or is he just a very well disguised hybrid Matt Cardle – Newton Fawlkner? Sorry Ed, but this reviewer gets the feeling it is the latter, despite his slightly questionable claims to be ‘not like you, that would be disastrous’.

In ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You’, Sheeran shows that he is a perfectly talented rapper, but in this single he showcases a susceptibility to getting confused as to what message it is that he is actually trying to put out there. On the one hand he seems to be preaching credibility, laying into ‘the brit school’ and claiming rather embarrassingly like a Dad putting Snow Patrol on in the car that ‘my shit’s cool.’ Then, just to tie us up in knots, he suggests he won’t stop until he is in amongst ‘Damien Rice and Red Carpets’. Yes Ed, because that’s definitely is the pinnacle of credibility… If he had toned down the self-righteousness of this record, it may well have worked. Unlike Jessie J, it certainly isn’t repulsive and has some interesting vocal styles and rhythms as well as a chorus that you’ll find stuck in your head. The final straw for me however was Sheeran discussing how he sells CDs ‘out of a rucksack’ despite the accompanying video to the song having nearly 2 million views and holding a pre-order advert underneath the video. A PR disaster! 

Despite it’s failings, it is perfectly listenable, just not quite the revolutionary song that Sheeran seems to think.


Katy B- Witches’ Brew

If reading this, you think I have a permanent vendetta against commercial music, you’d be wrong. Whilst Katy B’s ‘Witches Brew’ isn’t the greatest song I’ve heard and  probably not even the best song that she has written, it gives a different stance upon pop in line with her other work such as’ On a Mission’, which make it instantly more interesting. ‘Witches Brew’ is a real foot-tapper that straight away makes you take notice with it’s bouncy arpeggiated electronics. What is more, Katy B’s vocals are less intrusive than other similar artists and makes her music far more accessible, which is most certainly the case with ‘Witches Brew’ which boasts a sinister yet seductive quality. The slightly head-scratching aspect to this song is a middle section which seems to have been lifted from a different song. It isn’t helped by an awkward transition that will induce many furrowed brows amid the lack of fluidity. A good listen nonetheless.


Panic! At The Disco- Let’s Kill Tonight

Not usually a fan of Panic! At The Disco, I was surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying their latest single ‘Let’s Kill Tonight’, which has a very distinct halloween feel to it with synth lines lifted straight out of the Adam’s Family. It sounds a strange combination for the pop-rockers which frankly shouldn’t work but weirdly, it does. Opening with driving drums, it pulls the song along, wasting no time in inviting us into this Frankenstein creation. The longer the track goes on, the more it seems to make sense. With the atmospheric addition of orchestral lines to this single, the Las Vegas foursome have really come up with something that may well be received well by a variety of music lovers, which is more than can be said for their previous efforts such as ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’.


Taking Back Sunday- You Got Me

My slightly painful roundup of this weeks singles didn’t improve as I ended on Taking Back Sunday’s latest effort ‘You Got Me’. It is as you would predict. They’ve produced a valiant attempt at creating an anthemic song with sing along choruses, and whilst it doesn’t totally fail in doing so, it’s nothing new and doesn’t quite hit the mark. It takes over half way through the song for it to produce anything really noticeable before swiftly return to the slightly uninteresting, broken down pre-chorus and then chorus. There is nothing outstanding about this track and it’s neither anthemic, nor particularly emotional and thus leaves you feeling a little lukewarm. It could well be slipped in as an album track without anybody noticing.


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