Pick of the week
Robyn Who's That Girl? (Island)
Bloody hell. Somebody's clearly not having a very good month. Robyn, the Swedish popstrel who may just be the blondest person on the planet, is fed up to the gills with blokes expecting her to act a certain way. What if she doesn't want to, eh? "What if I'm not like her/I know there's no such girl/I swear I can't take the pressure!" she gasps, displaying quite un-Swedish levels of anguish. Meanwhile, the Knife essay yet another tapestry of pristine, shimmering electronic funk for Robyn to vent her woes upon, and the result is at least as ace as the Sugababes' Round Round. Robyn, have a sauna and relax; we love you just the way you are.
Cut Copy Lights & Music (Island)
When 2008 is over and everything has been tallied and recorded, we will look back fondly on it as the year in which our alternative types realised that the dancefloor is not something to be afraid of and that, in fact, dancefloors are actually rather good. Art-punky sorts Cut Copy certainly seem to have found their own little corner with this lovely, swoony piece of authentic early 80s New York white electro, which could even be early New Order if the lyrics didn't err on the side of the cheesy. As ever, though, we must remind ourselves that cheese is good. Love the cheese.
Pete And The Pirates She Doesn't Belong To Me (Stolen)
For the next five weeks, assuming time off for good behaviour, Pete And The Pirates' Pete Cattermoul and Pete Hefferan can enjoy the status of Joint Most Significant Indie Rock Pete Currently Not Residing At Her Majesty's Pleasure; which is, sadly, about the most interesting claim you can make for She Doesn't Belong To Me's resolutely colourless jangle. They come from Reading, which I can't help thinking explains a lot.
Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone)
It's easy to see why everybody bangs on about Sharon Jones and her honking, tooting Dap-Kings as if they are the very biggest bollocks of the very finest dog. For the dilettante, they represent the chance to feel like you're "into funk" without really doing the homework that true immersion in funk requires. Certainly, everything is present and correct - horns that honk, saxophones that toot, drums that scurry and slap - but it all sounds so machine-assembled. There's no OOF! and no UGH! and it is in the OOF! and UGH! that true funk lies. The musical equivalent of a faked orgasm.
Marvin Superfriends EP (Nocarbon Records)
In which Brixton's Marvin, who is definitely not Marvin The Martian any more if any Looney Tunes lawyers happen to be reading, invites his friends Jammer, Skinnyman, Akira The Don and Example to festoon their lyrical jewels, or in the case of the oafish Example, a distinct lack thereof, over the choppy, skanking Superhero. Marvin may be super primarily in his self-deprecation ("so average I'm super-normal" indeed), but he's a deceptively deft producer. And clearly very popular too. Which is nice.