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August 30, 2007

Now That, I Do Like…

Filed under: music, reviews, authors, Topics, Dr T. — drt @ 1:08 pm

Once again Phoenix Phil has selected some prime cuts for me to chew on. Where’s me Gaviscon? That reminds me, I must write to Gaviscon and pitch my advert where I rewrite the Jimmy Webb song ‘Galveston’ as an indigestion jingle…

Kate Nash - Foundations
You know the bit in Alan Partridge where he says to the hotel receptionist “Don’t sing! It sounds baaad!” and the joke is, is that she has a very pretty voice. Well, that Partridge quote went through my head whilst I watched this promo video, except it was no joke. Now, I have a certain fondness for the Estuary Accent, seeing as I grew up in Saaf East Inglund, (innit). But it doesn’t make for a good singing voice. Give me the received pronunciation of Black Box Recorder’s Sarah Nixey any day. Mmmmm.

Not only does the voice grate, but she can’t pull a Bob Dylan and write decent lyrics to distract us from her Vicky Pollard vocal stylings. For example: “Every time we fight I know it’s not right [m’kay?], bla bla [lost interest], I know I should forget but I can’t. [m’kay?]” And that’s the chorus (such as it is). Not exactly deep or revelatory stuff. No wonder men run a mile when girls want to talk about feelings - since it is basically an interrogation about a subject discussed at a meeting you were never invited to.

And the video? I can only conclude that the director hated the song as much as me, and made the video as literal as possible, so that viewers can mute the sound and still get the gist. In the song she sings about sucking lemons and so in the video she’s… “SUCKING LEMONS”. In the song she sings about fighting, and so in the video she’s… “WEARING BOXING GLOVES BECAUSE BOXING IS FIGHTING AND FIGHTING’S BAD [m’kay?]”

I think the only good thing I can say about her is that unlike most other would-be celebrities, she looks “achievable”.

Jack Penate - Torn On The Platform
Is this guy trying to be James Blunt? No, he’s changed his mind and now he wants to be in Madness. Oh, no, wait, he’s just got really into The Libertines. A glorious melting pot of styles, this is not.

He’s ‘Torn On The Platform’, but I don’t know why. Due to the half-arsed rhyme in the title, he tries to make up for it later in the song by rhyming… THE SAME WORD. “Lies lies lies” “Down down down”. Well wouldn’t you know?! “Lies” rhymes with “lies”. Wow. Someone buy this man some quality hip hop, and maybe some Dr Seuss books just in case. I look forward to his second album called “The Cat In The Flat” or some such.

The video is almost clever, with Mr Penate being a little cut out theatre man, but it keeps cutting back to the tubby lazybones’ basement band practice. “Hey guys, let’s combine Dido, UB40, and Arctic Monkeys!”

Interpol - The Heinrich Maneuver
Finally, a band I’ve heard of. Shame the song sucks. Bad Interpol. Go and stand in the corner and write a chorus for next time.

The video seems like it’s going to be a little bit conceptual, seeing as the camera just pulls back to reveal more of the scene…
Ooh, she looks nice.
Is that Sting on the phone? No.
Why is that waiter guy running?
Nope, she’s not as fit as I was expecting.
Waiter guy’s still running, he’s shouting I think.
That girl’s crossing the road, bet she gets run over.
Yep. The end.

All I want to know is how did the waiter in the background know the girl was going to get run over? He appeared to be warning the girl well before she stepped in front of that bus…

Finally, if you’re going to do a pun as a song title, it’s best to either (a) make it a proper pun with a meaning, or (b) have the meaning in the song. Neither of which are present here. The song might as well have been called ‘Droidian Slip’ or ‘Town’s Syndrome’.

Now, I DO “like”…
Operator Please - Just A Song About Ping Pong
I like this because it is a small mercy that this track clocks in at about two and a half minutes. And also because some kids might mistakenly download ‘Ping Pong’ by Stereolab instead, which is great.

From what I can tell, this is not a song actually about ping pong, rather, ‘ping pong’ is in the title and they sing the line “This is just a song about ping pong”. Well, it’s marginally better than ‘This is a song about sing song’ I guess.

At first I thought this was a novelty single. Maybe the band had read ‘The Manual’ but the skipped (the best) chapters about ‘The Golden Rules’. “Maybe they’re ‘The Indie Aqua’” I thought to myself… But judging by the video they’re quite young, and from the general ineptitude of pretty much every single musical aspect of the song, I can only conclude that it’s some school project that’s caught the zeitgeist.

It’s the sort of thing that the club kids will obviously lap up, what with its stupid hook, and the slow down - stop -start - GO! bit at the end. But remember, it wasn’t so long ago that we all thought ‘Danger! High Voltage’ was the bees knees, and who listens to it now?

1 Comment »

  1. I almost saw Operator Please play when I was in London (I had a ticket to some show they were playing support at), but the couple of songs of theirs I downloaded made me ill and I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house. I hoped that it was just one of those freak things where something takes off overseas but no-one’s ever heard of it back home (like those blissful few years where the only Australians who had heard of Steve Irwin were the ones who went to America and made the mistake of talking to Americans), but then I got back and their school-project music was everywhere. Not a fan.

    PS I do still really enjoy Danger! High Voltage! (but I no longer listen to it 6 or 7 times a day, so you do have a point)

    Comment by nooshie — October 25, 2007 @ 9:55 am

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