Swim Deep, Stooshe, Britney Spears: this week's new tracks

Swim Deep | Stooshe | Britney Spears | Amplify Dot Feat Busta Rhymes | Johnny Hates Jazz


Swim Deep
King City (RCA Victor/Chess Club)

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Swim Deep's City is Birmingham, and its grey arms are wrapped around this bittersweet hometown paean. Young eyes wonder what lies beyond ("Fuck your romance, I wanna pretend/ That Jenny Lee Lindberg is my girlfriend" – a lusting reference to Warpaint's bassist), while drugs become panacea to ennui ("I need to get high to see my friends"). Yet a wistful local loyalty remains. King City swirls contentedly in its reverbed simplicity, swelling to something rather special.

My Man Music (Warner Music)

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It wouldn't be summer without a dance craze to which we can all deter potential mates in unison. Luckily, six-legged pop omni-flump Stooshe have just the ticket. A pleasingly scowl-free nugget of sunny fun it is too, rolled about in Jamaican rhythms, tooty horns and African harmonies. Yeah, it's pap pop, but you can't hate it. Hating it would be like calling a puppy a prick.

Britney Spears
Ooh La La (RCA/Jive)

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Oh dear, it's happened again hasn't it? Britney's snapped: she's cavorting with Smurfs, chirruping sub-Bieber doggerel and wheezing out timid falsetto like the glass-eyed Mickey Mouse tween she once was. Ooh La La's four-note vocal melody (as if elbowed out by accident, by an idiot, on a Fisher Price xylophone) and the spiritlessly half-inched Hollaback Girl coda all but confirm it. Damn you, fame! SHE WAS TOO YOUNG! Wait, hang on … is that … the slick whirring of Auto-Tune? An Arctic certainty in her eyes? An unnecessarily skimpy skirt? HER ACTUAL KIDS IN THE VIDEO? Timberlake be praised, she hasn't lost it at all! Britters is very much still in the room, astounding cynicism intact. Phee-yoo.

Amplify Dot Feat Busta Rhymes
I'm Good (Virgin EMI)

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It's still lovely hearing London-accented rap going toe-to-toe with its meatheaded American sibling. Here, Amplify Dot spits admirably across happy hardcore synths and disjointedly funky beats, while also coming up with a chorus that's hookier than Peter Hook's tackle box. It's only when Busta's half-arsed verse plops in that it begins to wobble, leaving you with a yearning for what could have been, like the feeling of disappointment after a bowel movement that promised so much yet yielded so little.

Johnny Hates Jazz
Man With No Name (Interaction Music)

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If you're thinking, "Who dem?" you're either not of sufficient vintage to recall the trumpet-end of the 80s' charts or you were wise enough at the time to give Johnny Hates Jazz's faux-Wham! guff-pop a wide berth. For the oblivious, envisage the sound of Jason Donovan, only more so, and with a rich dad. This new one smacks of "if Depeche Mode can still be relevant, we can!" and limps about like a mange-ridden Enrique Iglesias album track, doing everything it can to convince you that plunging your thumbs into your eyes is actually a really great idea.


Luke Holland

The GuardianTramp

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