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Expect rage. I slipped over on the ice on Wednesday and injured my back in front of an ambulance driver who found my descent hilarious. I'm still in pain, and I'm taking it out on this week's releases.

Paradise (ANOHNI)

ANOHNI released the title track from her Paradise EP on 26th January, and it's actually a rather easy sounding record with trap drumbeats speckling synths which sound like a less harsh version of those you might get from a cheap Mega Drive role playing game like ginger; ANOHNI's niche vocals sound right at home in the controlled chaos of it all. We don't like the no-I'm-hogging-the-microphone-for-a-little-longer-thank-you ending, though.

Waiting (BETSY)

Who else would stick accordion and strings on the same track? Not to be confused with releases by Waiting For Betsy, the singer Betsy has released Waiting this week and it's the best I've heard from her, a piano-based strut with gentle accordion chiming in to the verses and strings complementing the choruses. The piano on the verses sounds similar to something else, but I can't quite put a finger on what. My complaints are two-fold; it's too short at just two verses and choruses, and with a very short introduction it feels a bit bare-bones. Rich, meaty bones however, but bones nonetheless. I suspect, and hope, that the single version is a radio edit given the short introduction and the fact that the second verse segues awkwardly into the bridge. My second complaint is harder to fix; it sounds like everyone's scrunched in tightly on a bus. It's not as bad as issue 28's Dearly Beloved by Kiesza but it's still noticeable. That said, this isn't bad, and hopefully we'll see her in the charts someday.

Run (Cascada)

Run is the first new work from Cascada after an extended hiatus, and frankly it's a bit of a disappointment. It lacks the danceability of their previous work, and frankly it feels like it was hurriedly cobbled together as some perfunctory cool-down track on one of them "Running Trax" albums. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Part One EP (Chase Atlantic)

  1. Right Here
  2. Into It
  3. Church

Chase Atlantic have released an EP called Part One, and I don't like it. Every track sounds the bleeding same. Right Here is much too slow for my liking, and the sax solo has the feel of an ambulance person trying to carve open the neck of a person with breathing difficulties in order to insert a breathing tube, while Into It is a poor man's Pillow Talk. Church is as interesting as it gets (which I never thought I'd find myself saying, given that I am an atheist), given that the chorus packs a punch; the punch misses, but at least there's movement in its arms you don't need a magnifying glass to observe. All in all, just diabolical. Absolutely bloody diabolical.

Samantha (Dave ft. J HUS)

Dave and Samantha? Wasn't that the name of the Prime Minister's predecessor and his wife? Anyway, rapper Dave has teamed up with fellow rapper J Hus for Samantha, which given that it's not exactly a fast track works surprisingly well, with the two rappers exchanging verses and showing off their prowess. The beginning and end grates, but the radio stations will probably shave it off if they play it, so I reckon this could be a hit.

Incidentally, the Rachel Zane mentioned in the lyrics is a character played by Meghan Markle in the obscure legal drama Suits whose boyfriend works as a lawyer without having either a degree or having graduated from college. Her real life boyfriend is Prince Harry, which got me thinking; if an obscure American can get into the British Royal Family, what as an obscure Brit are my odds with one of the Kardashians?

No Matter (Frances)

Mmm, minty-fresh. Frances has come out with No Matter, a lightweight track with barely a guitar for most of it with rumbling drums joining intermittently. Frances' soft vocals are perfect fit for the acoustic feel of the track, and I look forward to hearing more.

Black Tears (Imelda May ft. Jeff Beck)

Mmm, I could listen to this all day long. Imelda May has roped in Yardbirds yobbo Jeff Beck for her new single Black Tears which sees her channelling her inner Patsy Cline, with Jeff Beck's guitar playing all the record really needs. Sometimes the simpler records are the most pleasant records, and this is certainly proof. While we're on the subject of black things…

For those who found the joke about Katie Price's autistic child offensive last week, firstly thank you for sticking with us. Secondly, you may be interested in the following. An article in The Metro this week described how a troll was sacked from his job after sending 3,000 tweets to the woman mocking her son's autism, blindness, Prada-Willi syndrome, weight and colour – think about that – someone was sufficiently enraged by an innocent little boy to send 3,000 tweets to his mother. Unbelievable. I will not be retracting my one jibe because I believe that as a fellow autistic person, I believe I have comedic license to take the mickey; his other health problems are vicarious to what I said.

Love Me Better (James Blunt)

From one National Lottery "don't let it be them" irritant to another, James Blunt has released Love Me Better this week, and it's a blatant Cold Water knock-off; the guitar over the verses sounds suspiciously similar, while the drops clearly share said inspiration and you get the feeling that he chickened out of calling the track Hot Water, it's that suspect. Still, it echoing a previous, recent big hit didn't stop Déjà Vu by Post Malone entering the charts so we'll have to see.

Automaton (Jamiroquai)

The second naughties comeback this week (the first being Cascada), Jamiroquai has released Automaton, a blistering condemnation of artificial intelligence; whereas Run by Cascada slowed down just too much to be interesting, Jamiroquai's effort remains danceable, with enough funk to keep it interesting. I have a horrible feeling that the version released has been cut down from the album version, because this feels like it fades out quite early, but that's all the more incentive to anticipate the album coming out.

Music is the Answer (Joe Goddard ft. SLO)

Another record, another fade-out. I hope I never to have to say that again. Anyway, since we reviewed Joe Goddard's Lose Your Love another version has appeared on Spotify which is even longer than the radio edit and the video edit. Now I can't tell whether it was there at the time and I just missed it or whether it was added afterwards, but that version is well worth listening to. But I digress: Goddard has brought in SLO, a singer previously professionally known as Jess Mills and previously known to us as the politician's daughter (her Mum is former MP Tessa Jowell), for Music is the Answer, which we think was released 23 January 2017, a mellifluous record which takes a more progressive approach than its predecessor; there's less variety throughout the record, however, and the fade-out is too quick here as well (try ending the record rather than fading it out). Stick to the near-instrumentals, methinks.

LIE (The Knocks ft. Jerm)

That was quick. The Knocks are back again with LIE, featuring Jerm on vocals, whose smoky vocals soar on this record over The Knocks' low-strung, menacing synths which eventually build up to a mountain of a drop; there's only one of them, but it's enough on this occasion. Not bad.

Quit You (Lost Kings ft. Tinashe)

Someone's taken some advice from Britney when she featured on her Slumber Party; release lots of singles to promote your album. Well, her album came out last November, and listening to Tinashe saunter from track to track the way she does is like discovering your sister has a cushy office job but still chooses to bolt from bloke to bloke on the dubious crusade that one of them might get her pregnant so she can leech child support out of them; given that this record sounds like something out of the 1980s, it's as though she's diversified into old men and that might well work for the Jerry Halls and the Courtney Stoddens of the world, but here it comes across as disturbing. Go on tour.

Run Up (Major Lazer ft. PartyNextDoor & Nicki Minaj)

Ew, I really don't like Major Lazer's Run Up, released on 26th January 2017. The island vibes they try to conjure up somehow don't quite sound tropical, and PartyNextDoor's repetitive chorus alone is enough to make you run away from it. The only redeeming factor is Nicki Minaj's ever-reliable rapping, which makes PartyNextDoor's verses come across as the work of a four year old. Steer well clear.

I'm Better (Missy Elliott ft. Lamb)

Another naughties artist is back: Missy Elliott, and she's got her producer Lamb (Cainon Lamb) on the chorus of her new record I'm Better. Unfortunately, her attempt at a comeback falls very, very flat here partially because she doesn't sound her usual virulent self, but also because the producer insists on his chorus being on a flat instrumental, and he's a dog in a manger for doing it.

Scared to Be Lonely (Martin Garrix ft. Dua Lipa)

First things first. Readers of issue 28 will notice that Dua Lipa is now written in a different color; that's because Be the One is now in the charts at #21. We hope to review this in the coming weeks. Secondly, why, as the lyrics suggest, would you be frightened of being single? I'm 21 years old – older than both Garrix and Lipa – and I've never had a girlfriend and you don't see me throwing myself at everyone and anyone just to get out of it. Anyway, Scared to Be Lonely is Martin Garrix's new release with Dua Lipa on vocals, and like its predecessor In the Name of Love (which also features a woman of Albanian heritage), it's quite laboured, and contains little more than strings and drums; while Lipa is a better fit for this record, the record is an atrocious fit for Lipa, who suits something more upbeat, like Be the One or No Lie. That said, I never thought In the Name of Love had a hope in hell and that went top ten so let's see.

Cold Hard Truth (Nelly Furtado)

Another naughties artist! But at least this one has produced something worth listening to. Nelly Furtado's Cold Hard Truth is a pugnacious record which combines vitriolic drums with spades of sadistic synths and a fearsome, albeit at times buried, vocal. If you're going to attempt to stage a comeback, this is the right way of doing it.

Trouble (R3hab ft. VÉRITÉ)

Well, that's never happened before. Two weeks ago, we reviewed a song called Trouble by The Knocks. This week, we're reviewing a record by The Knocks and a record called Trouble. A rare occurrence indeed. Getting back into Trouble, R3hab's Trouble is a lean bit of EDM skilfully aided by VÉRITÉ's willowy vocals complement the track well, though we don't like the way the track has robbed the verses to pay the bridges and we find the track to be too short; we'd double the length of the second instrumental break and add a third verse, chorus and instrumental break. Not bad though.

Skin (Rag'n'Bone Man)

By my reckoning, this is the third track this week to have been put out on the 26th January. Has I missed a trick? Anyway, Rag'n'Bone Man's Skin is another soaring, smashing track which expertly massages Rag'n'Bone Man's soulful vocals to bring out nothing but the best of them for a magnificent piece of music. This should have no problems doing what its predecessor Human did.

Living in the City (Rhys Lewis)

Nice! Rhys Lewis' newest Living in the City is a dying breed; a record with barely a trace of electronics whatsoever, just a piano with a real drum kit intermittently from the second verse onwards, and with the sincerity of Lewis' vocals, this record is a minty breath of fresh air. I look forward to hearing more from the man.

Love is the Beast (RØMANS ft. Avelino)

Love is the Beast is a Timeless piece; by which I mean it was rejected by Kanye West like issue 10's Timeless by James Blake and Vince Staples, so the person who wrote it, RØMANS, has recorded it himself with Avelino instead. Avelino does his best to paint over the cracks of this record but ultimately the instrumental – and RØMANS' vocals – sound about as scatterbrained as a demented old woman.

Old School (Urban Cone)

Mmm. Urban Cone has come out with Old School this week. The synths at the start, while deathly hollow, are sufficiently sharp to not be boring, and the juxtaposition of low bass and funky guitars is enjoyable. However, the pairs of "I love you"s get to be like nails down a chalkboard after not too long at all. That said, overall it's not a bad record, and perhaps follow-ups will be less infuriating.

So Good (Zara Larsson ft. Ty Dolla $ign)

Nah, I'm not reviewing Zara Larsson's new record. If that bloody Weaver's Week wants to muscle in on my territory by mentioning Larsson in subsequent issues, then she's his problem now.

Only joking! I write all my own reviews, thank you very much. I enjoy ripping records that deserve being ripped to shreds to shreds and this is a record I shall enjoy ripping to shreds, since it's excruciating. It's the same guitar throughout the record, with not enough percussion to keep the track interesting. And that's before we get into Ty Dolla $ign's one-track-minded verse, which he doesn't even keep to, and ends up sounding like an overbearing father. Have some confidence, woman.

Charts

There are no entries new to this site in this week's top twelve, but we do have some things we must note. Firstly, we had to correct the review for Julia Michael's Issues, currently new at #85, after we left an accent in the named anchor in the second URL in that review. Secondly, just before we were about to publish we were asked why we don't bother giving chart summaries for the songs we review by sweeping. Simple answer; we forgot. We will fix this in time for the next issue.

    1. Shape Of You
      (Ed Sheeran)
    1. Castle On the Hill
      (Ed Sheeran)
    1. You Don't Know Me
      (Jax Jones & Raye)
    1. Touch
      (Little Mix)
    1. Human
      (Rag'n'Bone Man)
    1. Call On Me
      (Starley)
    1. Paris
      (Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren)
    1. September Song
      (JP Cooper)
    1. Rockabye
      (Clean Bandit ft. Anne-Marie & Sean Paul)
    1. I Would Like
      (Zara Larsson)
    1. No Lie
      (Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa)
    1. Say You Won't Let Go
      (James Arthur)
    1. Sexual
      (Neiked ft. Dyo)
    1. I Feel It Coming
      (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. Starboy
      (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. Bad Things
      (Machine Gun Kelly ft. Camila Cabello)
    1. I Don't Wanna Live Forever
      (Zayn & Taylor Swift)
    1. Shout Out to My Ex
      (Little Mix)
    1. Now and Later
      (Sage the Gemini)
    1. Don't Wanna Know
      (Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. 24K Magic
      (Bruno Mars)
    1. Closer
      (Chainsmokers ft. Halsey)
    1. Love Me Now
      (John Legend)
    1. By Your Side
      (Jonas Blue ft. Raye)
    1. All Night
      (Vamps ft. Matoma)
    1. The Mack
      (Nevada ft. Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap)
    1. Starving
      (Hailee Steinfeld ft. Grey & Zedd)
    1. Text From Your Ex
      (Tinie Tempah ft. Tinashe)
    1. After the Afterparty
      (Charli XCX ft. Lil Yachty)
    1. Mercy
      (Shawn Mendes)
    1. Don't Leave
      (Snakehips ft. MØ)
    1. So Good
      (Louisa Johnson)
    1. Not in Love
      (M.O ft. Kent Jones)
    1. Let Me Love You
      (DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber)
    1. The Greatest
      (Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. Can't Stop the Feeling
      (Justin Timberlake)
    1. On Hold
      (The XX)
    1. My Way
      (Calvin Harris)
    1. Cold Water
      (Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ)
    1. Love On Me
      (Galantis & Hook N Sling)
    1. Don't Let Me Down
      (Chainsmokers ft. Daya)
    1. Only One
      (Sigala & Digital Farm Animals)
    1. Should've Been Me
      (Naughty Boy ft. Kyla & Popcaan)
    1. Redbone
      (Childish Gambino)
    1. All We Know
      (Chainsmokers ft. Phoebe Ryan)
    1. In the Name of Love
      (Martin Garrix)
    1. Find Me
      (Sigma ft. Birdy)
    1. Love My Life
      (Robbie Williams)
    1. Party
      (Chris Brown ft. Gucci Mane & Usher)
    1. Issues
      (Julia Michaels)
    1. Party Monster
      (Weeknd)
    1. Ain't My Fault
      (Zara Larsson)
    1. Make Me (Cry)
      (Noah Cyrus ft. Labrinth)
    1. Still Falling For You (Ellie Goulding) • Rooting For You (London Grammar)

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