Thursday, 23 June 2011

Blood, I Can Hear The Sirens Coming

It looks like Jason Derülo is going to be Number One this Sunday with his lamazing 'Don't Wanna Go Home'. On first inspection you might think that 'Don't Wanna Go Home' is comprised merely of one part 'Show Me Love', one part 'Banana Boat Song' and one part In The Club/On The Floor-type banality. But you would be wrong. There is a fourth aspect, and that is the siren that comes in at around the 2 minutes and 55 seconds mark. It is a very important addition to the song, not least because there is little else to it, but also because - and this a universally accepted fact - the use of sirens in pop music is never not a Good Thing, often improving the standard of a track two, three or even tenfold, in this case the latter. In fact it's testament to the general amazingness of sirens that Derülo won't be the first to harness their power to top the charts.

3 Other Numbers Ones That Make Good Use Of Sirens

The Sweet - Blockbuster

"Does anyone know the way? There's got to be a way: to block Buster!"
Possibly the best use of a siren in pop to date. Number One for five weeks in early 1973 and described by Tom Ewing as "(possibly) the first rave track". Used to be on the end credits of The Grimleys. Very good indeed.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes

"The air attack warning sounds like. This is the sound" 
APOCALYPSE-MAZING (The siren is better on the 'Annihilation Mix', but that isn't as good)

Oxide & Neutrino - Bound 4 Da Reload

"When I say you say we say they say make some noise" 
When future generations look back on the past ten years or so, there will be important questions asked. "Was Bound 4 Da Reload really Number One?" "Yes", grandparents will answer. "Why?" The answer of course is that it features the Casualty theme tune and samples from Lock, Stock..., thus making it both ridiculous and brilliant.

Well done sirens.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

'Into The Clouds' by The Sound of Arrows

It's a cliché but it's true: songs like this don't come along very often. To give you an idea of just how good 'Into The Clouds' is it would be best to say that it is easily one of the best records of the 21st century and that that statement comes without any kind of hyperbole. It is ethereal, transcendental and probably the nearest you'll hear to a perfect song this side of 'I Feel Love'.

The Sound of Arrows are Swedes Oskar Gullstrand and Stefan Storm. Journalists might say they make 'dreamy synthpop'; the duo themselves prefer to call it 'widescreen pop' - an incredibly accurate description, epitomised by 'Into The Clouds'. It has what my Mum would call 'a big sound', and she wouldn't be wrong. From the very start you are lifted away by swooping synths that, for me at least, genuinely feel like they are pulsating through your body. In my minds eye I picture being carried away, in between the clouds on some massive imaginary pink flamingo. It sounds completely insane, or as if I'm on some kind of hallucinogenic drug, but it's true. Within the first few seconds you are transported to another world, The Sound of Arrows' world presumably, and it's brilliant.

Vocalist Storm breathily asserts that "We could leave this place and fly far away; let's escape this town, the streets and the cars and the crowds; and into the clouds", and you believe him. This is only about 45 seconds in and you are already riding on the crest of his wave. He continues "And nothing can stop us, nothing forever; nothing can stop us, if we stick together". He could be singing to a partner or a close friend, but by this point it might as well be to you.

Further in, he tells you that "It's far away; forever ever, stay the same; no never never", somehow managing to take the song up a notch further from its already wonderful bleepy, shimmery position and you are with him all the way, "Straight to the sky, then into the clouds". Contrary to the opinion of Messrs Ron and Russell Mael, this is the Number One song in Heaven. If ever there was a song that came from a higher plain, this is it.

Ultimately though the song ends, and you are left with the crashing realisation that you haven't escaped the town, the streets or the crowds, and that the unbridled joy and optimism of the past 3 minutes and 38 seconds was only a state of mind. For just one song it does something quite special and incredibly, incredibly rare in that whenever you listen to it you enter a state of slight euphoria. The problem is that although the intense rush of happiness and hopefulness you've just experienced was amazing, it was ephemeral - and now it's gone. And that just makes you want to listen again.

Watch the video perfectly realise the record below

Friday, 10 June 2011

Real Music Roundup

From the frontlines of Real Music:

Moby is being a twat again. It might seem like he's trying to create publicity for his new album, but seeing as it's going to sell on integrity alone anyway he doesn't need to, does he?

Fearne Cotton.

Christina Aguilera is still banging on about 'The Voice' to anyone who'll listen:
"It takes you back to a place of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and real music, where it was all about authentizzzzzz....."

Michael Eavis is taking umbrage with the booking of The Wombles for Glastonbury. Orinoco and co are due to play the Avalon Stage, along with the far more Worthy'n'acoustic Newton Faulkner and KT Tunstall. I know which of the three I'd most like to see.

Fearne Cotton.

This quite disagreeable quadrumvirate now have pride of place on the Wall of Shame. Well done everybody.

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Poetry of An Analysis

Don't Stop The Party by William Adams age 35 and a half, 2010

This is the original - no it's not
This has no identical - yes it does
You can't hack my digital - yes you can
Future Aboriginal - how does that work?
Get up off my genitals - pardon?
I stay on that pinnacle - of lazy derivative electro?
Kill you with my lyricals - they're about as sharp as a spoon made of yoghurt
Call me verbal criminal - criminal lyrics? No comment
Send you to that clinical - that doesn't even mean anything
Subscribe you some chemicals - odd wording - I hope you mean prescription ones Will
Audio and visual, can't see me invisible - so not very visual then. But we can hear you? Shame
I'm old school like biblical - 7/10
Futuristic next level - it's the sound of the future... in 1982
Never on that typical - because Will's *such* a groundbreaker!
Will I stop I'll never know - please do

Glad we've cleared that up.