Ugh! This week, Celebrity Big Brother crowned its series loser after Aubrey O'Day "was issued with a final warning by Big Brother on Wednesday for spitting in [another contestant]'s sandwich". Disgusting woman. We did note, however, that there were three singers last week; apparently she is a fourth, and we regret the error. We hope she chooses to follow our example. Two contestants have left the house: Christopher Biggins, whose participation we complained bitterly about last week, was expelled from the house after he made a number of comments capable of causing great offence to housemates and the viewing public, and Grant Bovey, who lost the public vote.
Afrojack teams up with Ty Dolla $ign for Gone this week, and it is best summed up by one of its lyrics: "We can take our time, this is slow burn"; it is really slow. Afrojack's stiff synths, played slowly, bubble like sour milk in a Soda Stream; Ty Dolla $ign's paint-by-numbers lyrics about getting drunk, high and laid only serve to make the record more monotonous. No thank you.
In a more accessible release, Banks has released Gemini Feed, a hypnotic, euphoric hum enlivened by Banks' vocals and firm but muffled thumps of a drum. The breakdown has a nice touch; a lithe hum followed by another chorus sung slightly differently (perhaps a tone lower? I'm not an expert) and then another chorus sung the original way. Brilliant. I think this might be her first hit.
Not to be confused with a 2011 album or title track called Lost&Found [sic] by Betsy Hsu, Welsh songstress Elizabeth Humfrey (Betsy) has come out with Lost & Found. Kicking off with Japanese-style shrieks and following up with strings (courtesy of the London Metropolitan Orchestra), more drive-than-drub drums and Betsy's suspiciously Cher-like vocals, the song casually saunters along like a Zimmer frame user with an anger management problem; there's plenty of intent, but little action.
A couple of weeks ago, I noted that G-Eazy's verse on Britney Spears's Make Me… was "delivered with the enthusiasm and arrogance of a man who was insulted and can't be fired". We are delighted to report that this week he has indeed been fired and that Britney has this week released Private Show with no featured artist whatsoever; we are significantly less delighted to note that it's rubbish, just a mess of half-hearted circus sounds, desecrated vocals and a nauseating outro including a dreadful 'apple pie' double entendre. (This is why we have problems getting kids to eat their five a day.) This should never have been released.
Galantis has collaborated with Dutchmen East & Young to produce the first single from the soundtrack to the Netflix film XOXO, Make Me Feel. Or, if the song's to be believed, Make Meef Eel, because they cut the titular lyric in the wrong place when laying it down (what was the aversion to rerecording it?). There's something off-putting about the record which I can't quite put my finger on; perhaps it's the pungently slow pace, or perhaps it's the protuberant bass. Either way, I doubt this'll be troubling the charts any time soon.
Last week, M.O suggested in an interview with The Official Charts Company that given the success of Who Do You Think Of, that they might re-release some of their earlier records. Why, then, they have released Who Do You Think Of (EP) and chucked it and three new records on it - two new songs (Too Good and Man Enuff) and an acoustic version of the title track - is beyond me. The title track has one of the most irritating intros going, and repeats it before each chorus ad nauseam, although I do like the tropical licks and a vexing introduction is better than no introduction - particularly in the case of Too Good, whose lack of one only adds to the ennui - although in that case dabs of drum 'n' bass during the choruses rescue it from being an unmitigated disaster. Man Enuff attempts 90s-style "girl power", but is let down by desultory instrumentation. And as for that acoustic version, well at least it's not obscenely high-pitched like its big brother but there's got to be a more complementary guitar chord than that.
This column really does review all sorts. Norah Jones has released Carry On this week, a slow, piano-based piece with merely a pulsing drum for company much of the time, but also occasional organ stabs and Jones' silky voice. I can't see this being much of a success - there's no demand for this sort of thing - but it should be.
Ronika has released Stay Here Forever this week, and with its heavy synths, thumping drums and Ronika's raucous vocals, think of a bloke going for a walk down a humid beach with his earphones on full blast, and then think of a giant with ghetto blasters for chips on his shoulders, striding along the same place making the floor shake. To the giant, that's this record.
X Factor winner Sam Bailey has released her first ever original song this week. Though I'm not overly enamoured by its stop-start nature - there's are deep fissures between the first verse and chorus and another one halfway through the third chorus - this is a magnificent record, bolstered by Bailey's powerhouse vocals, and would make an excellent winner's single.
This week, Shaggy gives the world That Love. He told the New York radio program "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show" that he wrote the lyrics based on his experiences of missing his missus whilst in the military. Beginning with a rhythmic drum pattern and then crashing in with a percussive crash, the rest of the song consists of said drum pattern, a three-note piano sample and then daubs of assorted instruments; I hear traces of guitar, bass, church bells and organ, and the result sounds straight out of the 1970s. (His previous record sampled I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown, so it wouldn't surprise me if it was sampled, but we couldn't guess as to what from.)
EPs are like buses; you wait ages for one, and then two turn up at once. A quarter of this week's second EP, the self-titled Sinéad Harnett, has already been reviewed - we reviewed If You Let Me ft. GRADES last week, and stand by our comment that "monotonous synths, which play for what feels like an age, pool with punctuated but perfunctory drums to dress up Harnett's vocals in shades of tedium" but retract the final four words "resulting in extreme enervation". However, the second track on the EP, the Snakehips-produced Rather Be with You, is a far better record, which bubbles passionately but never furiously enough to sabotage the record. Next, Kaytranada's Say What You Mean reminds me of an obscure record - Neal Howard's Indulge - with its bloops-and-bleeps led production. Finally, Love to Lose, with production by JD Reid, contains silky synths but harder, more forceful drums; essentially a less boring If You Let Me.
Tiësto teams up with DJ Mike Williams (well, Mike Willemsen actually) for I Want You, a fantastic slice of electronic dance music; we would have liked to have called this an instrumental but sadly vocal sound effects litter the track. Tiësto would never have stood for that, so we suspect this is Williams' doing. Our only other fault is we'd like to have the whole cake rather than just a slice; it's too short, trailing off shortly after the second chorus. Otherwise not bad at all.
Tove Lo's come out with Cool Girl this week. A non-starter of an introduction eventually fades into a chorus which kicks off a slew of slow, laboured house synths and keeps them for a great deal of the rest of the record; these are hammered into place by demarcated percussion. I can't stand the horrible vocal effect put on Lo's vocals at the end of the record, though.
Our review for Calvin Harris and John Newman's Olé has, for the last four weeks, misspelt the title of the record as Ole. We're sorry about that - but not as sorry as we are to hear that the brain tumour Newman had four years ago has returned; "although the tumour … is benign, doctors have found a few cancerous cells on it", so next year he'll have it removed. I think it's fantastic to hear about a brain tumour that can be removed - one wiped out magician Paul Daniels earlier in the year.
Speaking of inconvenient lumps, The X Factor winner and It's My Goal singer Shayne Ward and his wife Sophie Austin have confirmed that "she's expecting her first child"; given that they've only been going out for four months, we estimate the delivery date to be early next year. We wish them both well.
As for the charts, many new entries this week. Four of them were records we reviewed last week: Closer by the Chainsmokers and Halsey at #33, In the Name of Love by Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha at #52, Fake It by Bastille at #83 and Kiss the Sky by Jason Derulo at #87. The fifth we reviewed in our very first issue: Don't Need No Money by Imani Williams ft. Sigala & Blonde at #71. Cold Water (Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber and MØ), Can't Stop the Feeling (Justin Timberlake), You Don't Know Love (Olly Murs), Cruel (Snakehips ft. Zayn) and Rise (Katy Perry) remain on the chart, but Britney Spears' Make Me… doesn't.
Oh, and last week we noted that ten years ago it had been ten years since the last episode of Top of the Pops. As it transpires, last Thursday's episode on BBC Four will be the last repeat until at least 25 August; not content with pillaging the BBC One schedules and vomiting the rest across BBC Two, the Olympics have bulldozed through the BBC Four schedules and strangled them through to 2am each morning. They have missed a trick; why not air the uninterrupted version as a live-stream on BBC Three? It might help promote online television to a sceptical public.