The Bees, ‘Who Cares What The Question Is?’
E: If you found yourself in a saloon where John Lennon was behind the bar pouring bourbon and playing slide guitar it’d all sound like this.
S: It also sounds exactly like Chas and Dave. On Route 66.
E: This is true. But they wouldn’t rip a solo like that! Would be nice to see some shuffling railroad blues in the chart wouldn’t it?
Jamelia, ‘No More’
E: I’m expecting a hot’n’fresh-out-the-kitchen nugget of perfect pop, here. [Plays track].
S: Oh my god.
E: Oh dear me. It’s ‘Golden Brown’ by the Stranglers.
S: And the only thing ‘Golden Brown’ ever had going for it was that it’s in 13/8 time - and they’ve dumbed it down to 3/4 time!
E: That’s quite a rarity these days though. Where’s the chorus? This is really very bad. I feel unclean.
Tiny Dancers, ‘I Will Wait For You’
E: This deserves a mention for the packaging alone.
S: Really, the packaging alone. This sounds like that creepy song that gets played at kids’ discos – ‘I am the music man, I come from down your way, and I can play!’ – and then everyone sings ‘Pia-pia-piano’ and does actions.
E: Best to think of it as a pretty poster with a free coaster.
The Noisettes, ‘Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit)’
E: Now I know we’re judging the audio experience but I have to really drive home the point that these people look great. No stylist intervention here. Shingai looks like a riotgrrl Ziggy Stardust who’s been living in a bin with Oscar the Grouch.
S: This actually succeeds in being catchy, clever and original – it’s like the holy trinity of a good single.
E: Well, the chorus does sound a lot like ‘Neat Neat Neat’ by The Damned. Still, two out of three…
Lily Allen, ‘Shame For You’ Mark Ronson, ‘Stop Me’
E: I suppose you can’t deny the production is excellent. The squelchy dub bass and that cheeky brass band excite me very much.
S: None of that quite covers up the fact she cannot sing.
E: I think they call that her idiosyncratic delivery. It’s still yawnsome. By far the weakest single off ‘Alright, Still’.
S: I don’t like the way she’s inviting the thought of ‘poking’ her. This fad for sentences instead of lyrics is so bloody irritating.
E: Last one, then. [Plays track. Wild laughter. Track finishes. Plays track again.]
E: This is AMAZING. You seem reluctant – or is that horrified?
E: Can we make this single of the week or something? Probably best to explain that this is ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’, one of my favourite Smiths songs ever, turned completely inside out into a glob of brassy, Motown brilliance with Prince on vocals.
S: It’s not really Prince is it?
E: No. But it’s still genius. Out of ten I give this fifty. Hahahaha...
Mark Ronson, ‘Stop Me’