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I begin this week's bulletin with a thought. The deluded die-hards who refuse to accept the death of Elvis back in 1977, how happy would they be to take on board the as-yet-unexplained death of his guitarist, Scotty Moore, last Tuesday (28 June)?
Touted as the follow-up to last year's Cool for the Summer - no idea why, given that she's released four tracks since - Demi Lovato this week offers Body Say, a tranquil track that would jut like a pea beneath a mattress were it not for Lovato's picturesque, pugnacious lyrics that detail her wanton horniness for her lover: to all intents and purposes, it is the antithesis to the guitar-based production of its predecessor.
Man, am I going to have some explaining to do when I am discovered to have listened to this... M.I.L.F.$, pronounced Milf Money, is Fergie's newest release, prior to which was September 2014's L.A. Love. It is an ode to feeling sexy as a mother (she gave birth to Axl in August 2013). Portentous, livid lyrics lattice a bellicose beat that traps, crackles and pops and leaves us wondering what non-mothers have done to upset her.
It annoys me no end when artists do this; releasing two records under two different aliases. Kindly have the decency to pick a stage name before putting a record out and stick to it. Imani Williams is the Imani who sung Say You Do with Sigala and DJ Fresh: for the follow-up, Fresh was fired and Blonde was brought in. Whereas Imani did most of the work on that record, on Don't Need No Money everybody contributes: Sigala's signature high-pitched special effects meld into Blonde's deep piano lines into Imani's innocuous vocals; in short, exactly three performers contribute equally. We hope the next series of Top Gear chooses to follow their example.
Hang Me Out To Dry really is a record of two halves. The sections sung either by lead singer Joseph Mount or by no-one are boring, just a ponderous, apathetic crawl that shows about as much enthusiasm as a conscientious objector on the battlefield. The sections sung by Robyn, however, fizz with the funk found towards the tail end of the disco era of the late seventies: specifically, we were reminded of 1980's Searchin' by Luther Vandross vehicle Change. If most of the rest of the record sounded like that, this could be the hit Metronomy have been waiting for since they formed back in 1999 (before, I reckon, the aforementioned Imani was born...).
Murphy is known for her quirky output, and Romantic Comedy is no exception; its synths and keys sound as though they've been poured across the record like a blend of grated cheese across a submarine roll. Nonetheless, they lap up Murphy's self-deprecating lyrics with the same urgency a glutton would greet a feast with: The result is a confused but captivating composition, in effect the bespectacled, pale, out-of-shape girl who is still none too happy to entertain for five-and-a-half minutes.
All For One came out seven weeks ago, although this week the band has released it physically on 7" and CD. At the time, it was their first single since reuniting in 2012; those who can be bothered to trek to the store will be rewarded with a classic Stone Roses-esque instrumental - hard rock guitar riffs, harmonious vocals and a chunky guitar solo - but lyrics written by someone born in 2012; once the Dumas' Musketeers nod "All for one, one for all" is out the way, "If we all join hands we’ll make a wall" smacks of an address to the Mexican people from King Trump.
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