Well hello everyone! Today is 20th February 2013 - and those of you who pay attention to the mentally disturbed will know that that can only mean one thing.
It's Brit awards night!
And in honour of the blog I did last year, where I picked on the public-voted Best British Single as a highlight of mediocrity within the music industry, I've decided to do the same again.
Now if you didn't read it last year (and why not? shame on you!) or just don't remember, the rules are simple. I attempt to listen to all of the nominees and stop each song when I can't bear it any more, and I record the results below, for your pleasure / enjoyment / criticism.
How long did I last? 1:58
Impressions: This begins, as per always with an Adele song (or at least, the few Adele songs I've ever knowingly listened to) with a repeating Piano riff. It's not bad a bad riff, a bit moody. And then it gets ruined when Adele starts to sing. Well, if singing is the right word. Personally it sounds more like she is accidentally sliding her voice over notes without actually bothering to sing any complete words. Has anyone taught her about enunciation? Or as she would call it ... cia... (because she doesn't sing the beginnings OR ends of words).
And then the chorus starts - and promptly sounds almost exactly the same as the verse, and with this dull chorus came a depressing realisation that this is all that there is. And yes, it sounds like a Bond theme - albiet an an incredibly dull one. And you know that the song is a failure when I'm sitting here getting distracted by thoughts of how good the film while simultaneously blocking out the music. And that, my friends, tells me that it is time to give up.
Rating: 5/10. It's exceptionally bland.
ALEX CLARE - TOO CLOSE
How long did I last? 0:37
Impressions: As far as I knew I'd never heard this song, so I prepared myself and pressed the play button.
Where do I start? Do I start from the overly protracted intro, where it's as if someone discovered the flange effect button on their mixing software and just let it run for what seems like an eternity? (I'm assured it was only a few seconds, but it didn't seem like that). And then for that irritating voice to kick in, and start trying to squeeze lyrics into a tune which fit as well as I would fit into a pair of dungarees designed for a teddy bear? Sorry, I can't take it anymore. Maybe it gets better? I doubt it.
COLDPLAY AND RIHANNA - PRINCESS OF
How long did I last? 2:49
Impressions: I have heard this song quite a few times. So actually, my first shock was that it qualifies for this years awards, because it seems to have been around for f*king ever. Now I know it is fashionable to bash Coldplay, and to be fair, I do bash them a lot, mostly because I dislike their earlier catalogue. But this is just average. I wouldn't throw the radio into the bath if this came on, but on the other hand I wouldn't ever seek it out (unless I wanted to listen to a song where the female singer sounds manlier than the male singer.)
It does however, utilise a lot of La-La-La-La's... which is never a positive thing for me. It's as if they were going to write more lyrics, and then forgot. And the less said about the Synth noise, the better. My other major complaint is - where is the chorus? The whole song sounds like build-up and no payoff. Yes I only listened to 2:49 of it, but surely I heard at least one chorus in that time, so why don't I remember it? (Answers on a postcard please)
DJ FRESH FEAT RITA ORA - HOT RIGHT NOW
How long did I last? 0:43
Impressions: Aaah! A robot doing backing vocals! Oh no, it's just an 80's vocal effect. In fact, there's an awful lot of vocal effects - hello autotune, how I haven't missed you. And then the 90's club drums kick in. And I'm done.
EMELI SANDE - NEXT TO ME
How long did I last? 1:47
You appear to be quite loud in the mix, or at least satisfyingly bassy. Oh and there's some oooh-oooh-ooohs. Really? This is nearly as bad as Coldplay's La-La-La's. You may notice I've not said anything about the song itself, focussing simply on the drums and some offensive non-lyrical lyrics. Well what is there to say? It's OK. Maybe I'm becoming less filled with hatred towards average music than I used to be, but it didn't particularly offend me - it was just a bit repetitive.
How long did I last? 0:53
Impressions: I bashed
and the Machine a bit in this blog last year. And this year? I'm going to do
much the same. Maybe it's a reaction to listening to it after Emeli Sande,
but the introduction does sound like it was mixed by an engineer wearing
tupperware on his head, who was overly concerned about the sound being too
loud. And then the stupid dancey bass kicks in, and I lost any interest I
thought I might possibly have had. Florence
JAMES ARTHUR - IMPOSSIBLE
How long did I last? 0:45
Impressions: Neety likes to have crap music TV on when she does things around the lounge - which is fair enough. But sadly that means that I have heard this song before, and just the mention of it's name while it was being cued up was enough to make me throw up a tiny bit in my mouth. But I shall press on... Oh hello - he's been taking lessons from the Adele school of non-enunciation!
Other than that, it is such a typical X-Factor arrangement of a song (start with strings and vocal, build up with slow drums and a bass... I didn't listen past that point, but I would imagine it brings in more instruments including the whole string section and band, maybe has a key change near the end, and then everybody listening dies of UTTER BOREDOM.) Seriously X-Factor, mix it up a bit, why not start a song with a Xylophone solo? Then bring in the Accordions and Sousaphones. Go on, I dare you.
But no, this is awful.
JESSIE J - DOMINO
How long did I last? 0:17
Impressions: Oh dear god, where do I start. A guitar riff starts the song, and bless him, the guitarist is obviously trying to make it interesting. (Apologies if I seemed sexist then, assuming the guitarist was a man, it won't happen again. Unless it does.) Then the singing begins.
If you can call it singing.
Jessie J has what some might call a unique voice, which appears to alternate between outright yelling and then warbling like a nightingale with a microphone shoved down it’s throat that has been run over by a taxi containing Johnny Vegas in the early 2000s, James Cordon and the Incredible Hulk, so that all it can emit are screams of agony.
It’s very hard for me to believe that they can teach a human being to sing like that. Well, I say a human being, I don't believe she is a real human being. Maybe a messed-up clone, that's why her name is Jessie J. Jessie A - H obviously went wrong.. And then, if that wasn’t enough the sound of a cat vomiting begins, replacing what would, in most normal songs, be a bass drum…
Please god no more.
LABRINTH FEAT EMELI SANDE - BENEATH YOUR BEAUTIFUL
How long did I last? 1:23
Impressions: Interesting. The opening string chords of this sound almost exactly like the opening of Aerosmith's "I don't wanna miss a thing". That was sneaky of Labrinth and Emeli Sande (or whoever wrote this for them) to pinch that before moving onto their actual composition. According to Neety, the lyrics for this are a bit wishy-washy (although I had trouble understanding what the hell he was saying in the first place, as he doesn't enunciate brilliantly and is a little buried by production). However, that wasn't my biggest problem with this song.
My biggest problem with this song (apart from the fact that it is the most X-Factor-y song I have heard in a long time that isn't from the X-Factor) is that they sing the following lyric.
"Won't you let, me, see beneath your beautiful, tonight."
Excuse me? Beneath your beautiful WHAT??? A Beautiful is not a thing. If you want to see beneath someone's beauty, then say THAT!! BUT YOU CANNOT SEE BENEATH A BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE A BEAUTIFUL IS NOT A THING!!! And if they're saying they'll see beneath your beautiful tonight, well.... that doesn't make any sense either. And then they sing:
“Take it off now girl, take it off now girl.”
Take what off? You cannot take off a beautiful. And then, a little later he asks her to take off a perfect. Guess what? YOU CAN'T. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT A THING.
Beautiful = NOT A THING.
*THROWS ENGLISH TEXTBOOK AT THESE PEOPLE* Do some homework.
OLLY MURS FEAT: FLO.RIDA - TROUBLEMAKER
How long did I last? THE WHOLE SONG. So in your face all you people who think I never like any popular music.
Impressions: I quite like this song. It sounds a lot like Maroon 5 (which is ironic as Maroon 5 now sound quite like generic X-Factor style pop...) it's just funky and fun. (I refer you to my earlier comment about mellowing in my old age) - Plus it has liberal use of a cowbell, which is always good fun.
SIDENOTE – If you ever want to see Neety miming a cowbell overenthusiastically, pop this song on!
It's musically interesting, and gets under your skin, which sounds about as appealing as a tapeworm I grant you, but it does get stuck in your head (in a good way). EVEN the stupid rap interlude from that Florida Man isn't that bad, although it does go on about a verse too long. It's almost as if Olly Murs (or whoever wrote/chose this for him) bothered to look at what makes listenable, poppy music rather than just what sold last week and tried quickly to attempt to replicate that.
RITA ORA FEAT TINIE TEMPAH - RIP
How long did I last? 0:23
Impressions: Well what a return to form after the surprise of the previous song being actually good. This is shit. Just saying. What is the appeal of this? Horrible cheap sounding synths, squealing vocals reciting lyrics that just seem to be utter rubbish. Depressingly, it's not the worst or even second worst thing I've had to listen to this evening, but it is joint third worst...
RIZZLE KICKS - MAMA DO THE HUMP
How long did I last? 1:25
Impressions: I thought I would hate this. And don't get me wrong, it's certainly not something I enjoy, but in comparison with some of the other things I've heard here? At least it sounds like they are having fun, and I can see how it would appeal - although the female vocal is bloody irritating.
ROBBIE WILLIAMS - CANDY
How long did I last? 2:38
Impressions: Again, due to Neety's excessive use of crap music TV, coupled with Mr Williams’ heavy rotation on said music channels, I've heard this quite a lot - and seen it's ridiculous video. Musically? It's catchy. Good use of instruments, a chorus that sticks in ones head, and it also shares one important thing with both Rizzle Kicks and Olly Murs - it feels fun - which surely is the point of Pop Music? But lyrically? I'm not suggesting pop music lyrics should be poems in their own right, but is it too much to ask for sentences that make some kind of sense? Because there are none in this song. Absolutely no coherent sentences whatsoever. They sound like they are, but they aren't.
RUDIMENTAL FEAT JOHN NUMAN - FEEL THE LOVE
How long did I last? 1:10 (Only because the organ section is about a minute long and I wanted to see where it went after that)
Impressions: Organ? At the beginning of a pop song? It might turn out to be good? Oh wait, now theres a pulsing bassline that means I can't hear ANYFUCKINGTHINGELSE with any clarity whatsoever. And Mr 80's synth is back once again - he's been making good money these last few years. And then drums kick in. And it sounds as if they stole the drum pattern from Hot Right Now (or Hot Right Now stole it from them - either way, it's a shit drum pattern.) And so, I turned it off.
STOOSHE - BLACK HEART
How long did I last? 0:31
Impressions: And when I told Neety the name of the band she delighted me with the phrase, "Oh goody, obligatory band name that sounds like a vagina!". After a good giggle, we started the song. I think this song is trying to imitate Motown, but it appears to be doing so without spending any time working out a good tune, rhythm or lyrics, and without the most important thing - a GOOD SINGER. OK, I only listened to 31 seconds of it, so maybe I'm judging on one singer and they apparently have more than one - but to be fair, if you have a bland singer, don't give her verse 1. I'm just saying...
So in conclusion – please give the award to Olly Murs, while making all the other acts gather inside a bomb shelter which has the bomb inside…