PICK OF THE WEEK
Black Flag (Mute)
All Lana Del Rey really needed was some dark eyeshadow and some darker lyrics, and lo, she was reborn. To that end, Newcastle-born singer-songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton is now Du Blonde, and she’s swapped psych-folk for the sound of a load of cymbals being knocked over in a sticky-floored rock club. Black Flag’s chugging urgency is the kind of thing that makes you want to buy a bass guitar and shout: “NO, MUM, I DON’T DO ART ANY MORE, I’M A MUSICIAN.” It’s great.
Usher Feat Juicy J
I Don’t Mind (RCA)
The central crux of I Don’t Mind is that Usher is dating a stripper, but he doesn’t mind that she is a stripper because he’s just so bloody progressive. Oh, and neither does Juicy J, who occasionally growls “No!/ yeah!/ Go/ Mind!” in the background. Putting aside the fact that recording a four-minute single about how cool you are with men paying to see your girlfriend’s nipples is about the biggest “actually, I do quite mind the stripping” in history, this song is too slow to effectively undress to, thus rendering the exercise pointless.
Glow is the soundtrack to every advert where good-looking white people walk around Tokyo taking photos of all the big electronic signs with their off-brand smartphones: all twinkling noises, swimmingly angelic “ah–ah–ah!”s and a big, euphoric chorus. The moment this song was committed to master, boy-girl YouTube duos across the country woke up in a cold sweat, clutching their ukuleles to their chests, knowing they would get at least 600,000 views with a stripped-back, acoustic cover version.
Make Me Feel Better (Virgin)
Alex Adair is a 21-year-old producer who looks like Mark Wahlberg doing a gap year, so already there’s a lot not to like about him, but Make Me Feel Better is fine enough. It’s got dancers in the video and a vein-pumping-inside-your-head bass to it and is generally the kind of anodyne thing Ministry Of Sound only would include on a “chillout” annual when it realises it can’t quite fill three discs with wall-to-wall bangers. Play this at the end of a house party when you want everyone to sober up and leave.
Life In Film
Get Closer (+1)
Fans of dancing around the kitchen will enjoy Get Closer, a curious throwback to 2005, when perky guitar bands stalked the earth, doing Kaiser Chiefs howls and getting upset when you stepped on their Converse. Something about the chorus (“It’s wrong / But nothing’s wrong / You don’t really see yourself”) seems destined for one of those unbearable Glastonbury singalongs, where girls with puce sunburn sit on their boyfriends’ shoulders and point at the band when they don’t quite know the words. The kind of song Zach Braff would have an emotion to.