Tracks of the week reviewed: Christine and the Queens, the Kooks and Backstreet Boys

Featuring the French funk devotee with a Jacko-esque banger, epic bants with the Kooks, and the surprisingly awesome return of a classic boyband

Christine and the Queens
Girlfriend

You can always rely on the newly monickered Chris to go the whole hog where funk is concerned. The gender-dextrous French superstar is back with a song so shimmery you can practically see disco lights and feel rollerboots under your feet while you listen to it. She tracked down G-funk hero Dâm-Funk to collaborate with, and the result is a Jacko-esque funk throwback. Is that the most number of times the word “funk” has been used in a 70-word review? Guinness World Records: call me!

Backstreet Boys
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

The Backstreet Boys’ Brian Littrell had heart surgery in 1998. It’s good to see he is still issuing health warnings to potential lovers: “Don’t go breaking my heart cos it’s the only one I got” is a bit more literal in the case of Littrell. Resolutely not a cover despite the familiar song title, blond curtains are out and verses with too many syllables and clipped falsetto are in: the result is a surprisingly amazing pop smash.

Mitski
Geyser

Songs about how great/terrible it is to be a musician aren’t usually relatable, but they’re not always written by millennial soothsayer Mitski, who treats music like a tempestuous lover. After an ominous start, Geyser crashes about while Mitski’s voice beckons the waves of sound up and up like, whaddyaknow, a geyser. Almost like she did it on purpose.

Nine Inch Nails
God Break Down the Door

Ladies and gentlemen: Trent Reznor has entered his Riddling Willy Wonka phase. This dark number sounds like what the chocolate factory magnate might have sung to a bunch of kids he wanted to hand his fortune over to, while holding them captive on a boat (still following?), while unknowingly inhaling hallucinogens. In a tunnel? A kaleidoscopic cacophony, it’s D&B via the local jazz club – and not relaxing at all.

The Kooks
No Pressure

It’s easy to make fun of the Kooks, isn’t it? Fun, too, so let’s away: shall we be generous and call this the Kooks’s Hey Jude moment? It has an end-of-the-wedding sway-along feel, with lyrics (sample: “No need to reply/ No pressure”) that could be about playing it cool with your record label in the long years between hits, rather than with a lover. Like all Kooks songs, the result is the musical equivalent of a man in a straw trilby who keeps calling you “mate”: probably fine but not something you want to spend too much time around.

Contributor

Kate Solomon

The GuardianTramp

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