This week's new singles

Usher | Jakwob | Dot Rotten | Saint Etienne | Marcus Collins

Climax (RCA)

And so the zeitgeist takes an unexpected ricochet back in the direction of two men widely presumed to have vaulted the shark sometime last year: Usher, for being an old-fashioned R&B loverman lacking the self-awareness of The Weeknd or Frank Ocean; and producer Diplo, for bodypopping like a berk on a BlackBerry Torch advert. Climax is brilliant precisely because it subverts your expectations of what a collaboration between these two should sound like. Although Diplo tweaks and teases, the Climax referred to is not a whomping everybody-in-the-club chorus, but the limp conclusion to a once passionate relationship. And when Usher sings "don't wanna give in, so we both gave up" he sounds genuinely bereft. Coming across like an upscale American version of SBTRKT's Hold On, it's a masterpiece of indefinitely delayed gratification.

Electrify (Boom Ting/Mercury)

The polar opposite of the Usher/Diplo track in that it's exactly what you'd expect from a producer with the most uninspiring moniker in UK bass music (he might as well have called himself Kevstep, or Billex). The bass drops when you expect it to drop, the beat doubles when you expect it to double, and the vocals – courtesy of a Sandé-alike called Jetta – are full of hollow euphoria. And yet it's still kinda catchy, dammit.

Dot Rotten
Are You Not Entertained? (Mercury)

With a name that's part-Sex Pistol part-Albert Square gossip maven, a nod to Graham Taylor's grammar, and a breakout single built around a hook from that 90s chillout tune you instantly recognise but can't put a name to (it's Clubbed To Death by Rob Dougan, proclaims the Google oracle), Dot Rotten is obviously keen to cover all the bases. But as he's just made the best grime-pop track since Pass Out, why not?

Saint Etienne
Tonight (Universal)

After 20-odd years of trying and failing to write a bona fide pop hit yet always managing to wring poignancy from that very failure, Saint Etienne have finally coughed up a gelatinous morsel of chart-bland disco-pop that wouldn't sound out of place as a bonus track on a Sophie Ellis-Bextor best of. Um, congratulations?

Marcus Collins
Seven Nation Army (RCA)

Yes, it's a tacky Ronson-esque swing/ska version of the White Stripes' call to arms (and a direct copy of the 2009 Ben L'Oncle Soul version at that) which even Ray Quinn would have rejected. But at a time when a twinkly, bowdlerised version of Where Is My Mind? Is being used to lure grown-up grungers into buying Thomson package holidays, that's barely worth an eyebrow-raise. Should Pixie Lott ever announce her intention to team up with David Guetta for an electro-house version of PJ Harvey's 50ft Queenie, that's when we mobilise.


Sam Richards

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Usher's Good Kisser, this week's best new track

'The R&B equivalent of a pervy guy who gives an annoyingly good backrub'

Rhik Samadder

13, Jun, 2014 @12:00 PM

Article image
This week's new singles

Josh T Pearson | Blawan | The Magician Feat Jeppe | Eddie Vedder | Evanescence

David Stubbs

30, Sep, 2011 @11:06 PM

Article image
This week's new singles

Maximum Balloon Feat Theophilus London | Manic Street Preachers | Maroon 5 | Summer Camp | Mumford & Sons

Tim Jonze

10, Sep, 2010 @11:05 PM

Article image
This week's new singles

Liz Green | The Maccabees | Katie Melua | Paul Weller | Birdy

Gareth Aveyard

10, Mar, 2012 @12:05 AM

Article image
This week's new singles

Foals | Mystro | Tensnake | Bashy | Alex Gaudino

Pete Cashmore

17, Sep, 2010 @11:06 PM

Article image
This week's new singles

Toy | Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble Feat Emika | King Creosote & Jon Hopkins | Gotye Feat Kimbra | Nik Colk Void

Luke Turner

04, Feb, 2012 @12:05 AM

Article image
This week's new singles

Hooray For Earth | Olly Murs | Breathe Carolina | Tribes | Graham Coxon

Michael Cragg

30, Mar, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
This week's new singles

The Streets | Kim Ann Foxman | Barbarellas | Enrique Iglesias Feat Ludacris | Drop The Lime

Will Dean

29, Jan, 2011 @12:06 AM

Article image
This week's new singles

Carly Rae Jepsen | Marina And The Diamonds | Conor Maynard | BoB | LMFAO

Nick Levine

13, Apr, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
This week's new singles

The Like | Black Eyed Peas | Daisy Dares You | Justin Bieber | Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip

Alex Miller

28, May, 2010 @11:06 PM