Jude Rogers' new releases review

MIA: Jimmy | Ed Harcourt: You Put A Spell On Me | The Coral: Jacqueline | Paul McCartney: Ever Present Past | Sugababes: About You Now | Samanda (The Twins): Barbie Girl

Pick of the week


Jimmy (XL)

Genre-gobbling lady genius or pretentious empress with no clothes? So goes this vitally important debate. Well, it does in about five Hoxton pubs anyway. For the rest of the world, it's apparent that MIA's got rather a lot of clothes. In rather impressive colour schemes, too, if the video's anything to go by. Anyway, this highlight from her recent

Kala album solders a Bollywood sample to the sound of a psychotic girl group with a fancy for late-70s Magic Fly electronics. It screams pure disco cheese but somehow ends up sounding like some huge international pop hit beamed in from outer Venus. Oh, and the Shangri-Las-style blubbing at the end is really quite marvellous.

Ed Harcourt

You Put A Spell On Me (Heavenly)

Poor old chubby-cheeked Ed Harcourt. The tousle-haired Sussex wuss with a voice as warm and boozy as a heady hot toddy has been writing songs like this for centuries - big, boomy tearjerkers that would get your mum sobbing into her soup if Radio 2 would bloody play it. This ballad is as soft as a bag of chips, and as lovely as a cup of tea after a walk in the rain. Do your worst, Wogan!

The Coral

Jacqueline (Deltasonic)

The Coral were perky scouse japesters once. Now they're all grown up and making songs that sound like they're trying out to be the new theme tune to Heartbeat. You might think this a cop out - a gag there, Nick Berry! - but this lightly-rolling jangle is as comforting as a bowl of hot custard and a blanket over the knees.

Paul McCartney

Ever Present Past (HearMusic)

Why does Macca's recent music make we want to wail "Daaaaaad!" in a voice teeming with embarrassment? This song about Paul's past should be touching and poignant, especially as it's sung with the same brightness as he had in the 1960s. But when jaunty lines like "I've got too much on my plate" bounce out of the speakers, I want to kick our boy's lentils in the bin and rub Spam into his cheeks.


About You Now (Universal/Island)

Bring back Mutya! Sugababes' slide into making non-threatening MOR for New Look changing rooms continues apace with this cute little number about a nice lad they've let go, set to a tune that digs its airbrushed fingernails deep into your grey stuff before you can say "arrrgh". All very pleasant, but as free of event as a no score draw.

Samanda (The Twins)

Barbie Girl (Sony/BMG)

Oh. My. God. This makes Aqua's 1997 original sound like a masterpiece of irony. "Samanda" wouldn't know irony if it sat down in front of it and farted in its rougey, wall-eyed faces. From the opening brainless giggles to the sort of nasty metallic beats that normally emanate from a vomit-splattered Benidorm bar, this is the sound of feminism wailing in the seventh circle of hell. Women, start the uprising!


Jude Rogers

The GuardianTramp

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