This week's new singles

Clare Maguire | Christina Aguilera | Jay Sean Feat Nicki Minaj | Darwin Deez | The Wanted

PICK OF THE WEEK

Clare Maguire
Ain't Nobody (Breakage Remix) (Polydor)

I once worked with a lady who spelled her name Klaire ("Klaire with a K" was her mantra) and though this seemed an odd affectation for someone who worked in a call centre, you can't help thinking that a similar conceit would help distinguish Clare Maguire from the legion of identikit pop ladies we apparently should be looking out for in 2011. While she does have a big voice, it takes dubstep producer James Boyle, AKA Breakage, to make this really soar. Over ribcage-rattling drum claps and spacey synths, Boyle delays the appearance of the chorus, elongates the verses, and hints at a hands-in-the-air, tripping-off-your-tits finale that never comes.

THIS WEEK'S OTHER RELEASES

Christina Aguilera
You Lost Me (RCA)

Xtina's songs reveal a troubled mind. One minute she's rolling around with her whoo-hoo (her word) hanging out, the next it's heartfelt yearning for acceptance, truth and inner beauty. You Lost Me is the sophisticated, string-drenched ballad to Not Myself Tonight's disappointing gusset-pop, and a lot rests on its success (her new LP Bionic has sold roughly 12 copies to date). Many believe Gaga has stolen her thunder and it's tempting to interpret this rather lovely ballad's lyrics as her surrender: "I am done ... she has won, now it's no fun".

Jay Sean Feat Nicki Minaj
2012 (It Ain't The End) (Jayded)

Jay Sean is Craig David for a new decade, only without the pencil-drawn facial hair. Actually, he's like a more inept Craig David, somehow even less likely to go all week long (well, minus Sunday). Surprisingly, what he does have is a deep understanding of the Mayan calendar and doomsday prophecies. 2012 (It Ain't The End) is a turgid R&B/dance hybrid that not even a frenetic Nicki Minaj rap can save. Oh, and Mel B is in the video. Mel B!

Darwin Deez
Constellations (Lucky Number)

Like his near namesake Febreeze, Darwin Deez has a hint of musk about him and is only good as a last resort. Constellations is a nice indie jangle with some cute lines about the stars all being aligned, but it is most definitely not, as one YouTube user suggests, the equivalent to "ear sex". The notion that Darwin Deez – a man who makes Napoleon Dynamite look like a sex panther – can elicit any carnal desire, aural or otherwise, is a step too far.

The Wanted
Heart Vacancy (Geffen)

In a few years' time, one of the five Top Man-nequins that make up the Wanted will be in a Buzzcocks lineup. "Wanted Dead or Alive ... Most Wanted ... War On Wanted ... Want-Ed Milliband." But for now, we have this: a boyband ballad full of over-emotive vocal straining. The nadir is a middle eight that involves the curly-haired one intoning,"When IIIIIII talk to youuuuuuuuuuuuu, on the phhhooooonnnnneee" as if he actually hates his lover and wants her to bleed from the ears.

Contributor

Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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