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I'm feeling quite full of myself this week.

Ciao Adios (Anne-Marie)

Anne-Marie's new single is Ciao Adios (Ciao being bye in Italian and Adios being bye in French and Spanish), and it's a very pleasant listen, with the ringing guitar providing a gorgeous backdrop for the dancehall rhythms and Anne-Marie's squeaky scolding being the perfect opportunity to show what she's capable of when she's not singing in a warzone like Rockabye.

I Love You (Axwell /\ Ingrosso ft. Kid Ink)

I can't remember the last time I heard anything this disjointed. Axwell Ingrosso's I Love You is a sandwich of uplifting choruses with enough strings to feel at home in a Royal household, but mumpy, synthesised beats over Kid Ink's verses which feel shoehorned in. It might have been worth integrating the strings into a drop at the end of each verse or something, but at the moment I don't like it.

Energy (Avelino ft. Stormzy ft. Skepta)

I reviewed a record from Stormzy last week, a record from Avelino the week before that, a record from Skepta fifteen weeks before that. Someone needs to keep up. Frankly, it's a bit hypocritical commanding the listener "don't show up to my show if you've got no energy" when the two featured artists Stormzy and Skepta bring far more of the stuff to the record than Avelino does.

Can't Steal the Music (Aura)

Be warned: this is not the same Aura who released Concrete Jungle back in issue 16 . That, if memory serves me correctly, was an Antiguan Ibiza native; this is a Dane. And not all that Great a Dane, if her new single Can't Steal the Music is anything to go by; think the slimy guitar riff from Nico & Vinz's Am I Wrong slowed down with the ringing, shrill female vocals found in spades on Eurovision and less interesting drums, and you're not far off. There is a second version on Spotify – a "JQ Version", which is some sort of acoustic version which manages to be even less interesting, which is saying something.

Temperamental Love (Bridgit Mendler ft. Devontée)

Bridgit Mendler has another new release out, she seems to insist upon putting an obscure rapper no-one's heard of on each and every one of her singles. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; her voice doesn't exactly suit this beat but does find a slot separating Devontée's verses. That said, Mendler has gone from having a really thick beat on Atlantis ( issue 9 ) to having an almost non-existent one here, plus it feels a bit top heavy because there's so little meat to the track. Overall, I'll give this one a miss.

Heart Starts Beating (Coasts)

Heart Starts Beating is Coasts' new record, and it's a rather nice juxtaposition of energetic pop rock riffs and slightly languid vocals. We find the false ending before the third verse highly irritating, and for the next couple of minutes you just want the record to go away, but with a bit of trimming this could do well.

Skyline (FKJ)

Holy hell this is annoying. Skyline by FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) attempts jazz stylings with keyboard solos, but falls flat because it's just so bloody lethargic. The perfunctory bit at the end with the female vocals is excruciating. They might tolerate this sort of thing in France, but over here we have critics for that sort of thing.

Controller (Hercules & Love Affair ft. Faris Badwan)

Whoa! We made a complete mess when we wrote the header for ANOHNI two weeks ago. Not only did we miscode the header for the word "ANOHNI" such that it didn't appear, but now it comes to our attention that she sung on Hercules & Love Affair's Blind as well. Oops. Their new single features Faris Badwan from the Horrors, and it's of the same ilk as a track you might find on the BBC4 Top of the Pops repeats; groovy, moving synthesisers, and biting lyrics. More please.

Cloud 9 (Jamiroquai)

Oh that's nice, I moan in issue 31 that I want to hear something longer from Jamiroquai, and here they've released a record almost a full minute shorter called Cloud 9. But they have at least gone at full speed. *pumps fist* Now I personally find the complete lack of a bridge from the choruses leaves me breathless, but there is still an irrestible funk about the track which you would have to go some not to be able to dance to. Again, let's see if there's an album version.

Chained to the Rhythm (Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley)

It's political correctness gone mad! In my day, you could freely discuss being a Slave to the Rhythm – indeed, Grace Jones used to back in the eighties. Nowadays, we're so frightened to cause offense that we must discuss being Chained to the Rhythm indeed. It's a sad, sad situation. But I digress. Katy Perry's Chained to the Rhythm this week – which I fear will be a form of torture Trump'll use to punish Clinton voters – and gotten Skip Marley, grandson of Bob, to rap on the third verse. (Who in their right mind names their kid after a type of bin?) Now I like the broad-sounding bassline on this record. Marley is an odd choice for this record, though manages not to sound out of place; I must say I don't like the ending much, when it ends you feel like you've just woken up from a 40-minute record rather than a 4-minute record though I'm not too sure that'd be any reason to complain. I look forward to seeing what this does on the charts.

Boyfriend (Marika Hackman)

One unknown artist who hasn't got the benefit of the leg up of a feature is Marika Hackman, who this week has released Boyfriend, a puerile piece indeed with no pretensions; it sounds like a bunch of people with recalcitrant teenage angst who just happen to know how to make listenable music. I enjoyed that.

In Your Arms (NERVO)

Nervo have come out with In Your Arms this week, and it's all over the shop. I wouldn't say it's disjointed, because none of it attempts to join up with any of the rest of it; the song clips together like lots of loose layers, and it's messy. We listen to these records, so you don't have to.

Don't Kill My Vibe (Sigrid)

Sigrid's new single (and, on Spotify at least, her début single) is Don't Kill My Vibe. I believe this is the first time I've reviewed a début release since Vittoria Hilz's Lost in Time back in issue 2 … Well, her juvenile vocal certainly suits the style of the track; it's a pretensious diatribe with instrumentation to match. I fear this will become one of them records which rises to the top of the charts slowly and insidiously like Neiked's Sexual.

Let's Work It Out (Texas)

Oooh, yes! Texas released Let's Work It Out on the 9th, and it's exactly funky enough that it makes you want to dance without feeling obliged to; I do however find that there's no variety in the track, so it gets a bit samey after a while.

Feel Alive (Vistas)

Tch! In my day, when you Googled "Vistas music" it would ask you if you meant "Vista music" and bring up results like Aaron Goldberg's OAM's Blues and I Guess You're Right by The Posies. These Vistas are Jock rockers, and have released Feel Alive, a nasty, lecherous piece of music with sweaty guitars and, owing to the polyphonous vocals, the gregarity of a gang rape. We listen to these records, so you don't have to.

I Better Love You (Will Heard)

Mm. Will Heard has released I Better Love You this week, and it's quite a funky track; the early electronic feel to the track would fit right into the early eighties, and we were specifically reminded of Cccan't You See by Vicious Pink. That's not the problem with this record. The problem is Heard's voice has quite the rasp to it, and here it sounds distinctly out of place. A shame really.

Rock Bottom (Zak Abel ft. (Wretch 32)

Grrr! Why is it that Wretch 32 only ever wastes his finest verses on non-album tracks ( such as his Fire in the Booth verse ) or complete non-starters of records (this), where you have to wade through almost three minutes of mud before you get to anything decent? Zak Abel's Rock Bottom, with Wretch 32, is an insufferable array of languid guitar strums and pulseless drums which neither artist can resuscitate. Not a hope in hell.

Other notes

Rick Astley's on Countdown if anyone's interested.


There is nothing new to this site in this week's top sixteen, however Train's Play That Song is advancing fast and is currently at #25. We expect to review that next week.

    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. Paris
      (Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren)
    1. Call On Me
    1. Big For Your Boots
    1. I Don't Wanna Live Forever
      (Zayn & Taylor Swift)
    1. Be the One
      (Dua Lipa)
    1. September Song
      (JP Cooper)
    1. Rockabye
      (Clean Bandit ft. Anne-Marie & Sean Paul)
    1. No Lie
      (Sean Paul ft. Dua Lipa)
    1. Scared to Be Lonely
      (Martin Garrix ft. Dua Lipa)
    1. Sexual
      (Neiked ft. Dyo)
    1. Say You Won't Let Go
      (James Arthur)
    1. Now and Later
      (Sage the Gemini)
    1. I Would Like
      (Zara Larsson)
    1. I Feel It Coming
      (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. Run Up
      (Major Lazer ft. PartyNextDoor & Nicki Minaj)
    1. Bad Things
      (Machine Gun Kelly ft. Camila Cabello)
    1. Starboy
      (Weeknd ft. Daft Punk)
    1. Text From Your Ex
      (Tinie Tempah ft. Tinashe)
    1. Don't Wanna Know
      (Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. Closer
      (Chainsmokers ft. Halsey)
    1. Don't Leave
      (Snakehips ft. MØ)
    1. Shout Out to My Ex
      (Little Mix)
    1. All Night
      (Vamps ft. Matoma)
    1. 24K Magic
      (Bruno Mars)
    1. Love Me Now
      (John Legend)
    1. By Your Side
      (Jonas Blue ft. Raye)
    1. Starving
      (Hailee Steinfeld ft. Grey & Zedd)
    1. The Mack
      (Nevada ft. Mark Morrison & Fetty Wap)
    1. Believer
      (Imagine Dragons)
    1. After the Afterparty
      (Charli XCX ft. Lil Yachty)
    1. Can't Stop the Feeling
      (Justin Timberlake)
    1. Skin
      (Rag'n'Bone Man)
    1. Beauty and the Beast
      (Ariana Grande & John Legend)
    1. Issues
      (Julia Michaels)
    1. Love On Me
      (Galantis & Hook N Sling)
    1. Mercy
      (Shawn Mendes)
    1. Cold Water
      (Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber & MØ)
    1. Let Me Love You
      (DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber)
    1. The Greatest
      (Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar)
    1. So Good
      (Louisa Johnson)
    1. Not in Love
      (M.O ft. Kent Jones)
    1. Samantha
      (Dave ft. J Hus)
    1. My Way
      (Calvin Harris)
    1. Falling
    1. Big Picture
      (London Grammar)
    1. Should've Been Me
      (Naughty Boy ft. Kyla & Popcaan)
    1. Only One
      (Sigala & Digital Farm Animals)
    1. So Good
      (Zara Larsson ft. Ty Dolla $ign)
    1. Don't Let Me Down
      (Chainsmokers ft. Daya)
    1. Talking To You
      (Izzy Bizu)
    1. In the Name of Love
      (Martin Garrix)
    1. Million Reasons
      (Lady Gaga)
    1. Find Me
      (Sigma ft. Birdy)
    1. I Got You
      (Bebe Rexha)
    1. Redbone
      (Childish Gambino)
    1. On Hold (The XX) • All We Know (Chainsmokers ft. Phoebe Ryan) • Love Me Better (James Blunt) • Party (Chris Brown ft. Gucci Mane & Usher) • Love My Life (Robbie Williams)

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