Virgin Music Re-reviews – Flo Rida, The Charlatans, Villagers, Frank Turner

Villagers - 'Becoming A Jackal' - album review

This week’s Re-reviews consist of a Mercury Music Prize nominee; auto-tune-infected Euro pop; an ex-hardcore proponent turned folk socialist; and the last of Britpop’s pub rock bands, The Charlatans. And without further comment, let’s continue to criticise and make smart-arsed observations…

Villagers – Ship Of Promises

Ireland’s very own Conor Oberst, Conor J. O’Brien, has struck gold with his troupe’s debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal’. Winning this year’s hottest ‘Wet Band’ award and a Mercury Music Prize nomination in the process, it appears they have won over everyone with their lachrymose lyrics and inoffensive delivery. Drowned In Sound are spewing sycophantic man juice all over the shop about it: “Yes, there’s another single from the record Becoming A Jackal, which must’ve been difficult to choose as every last song is a potential individually brilliant nugget worthy of a singular release,” before accessing the results as “slow-moving, lethargic and blissful”. The BBC Chart Blog call it a “deep hot bath of a song,” which is a rather bemusing way of looking at it. And Electric Whipcrack simply call it a “bit cheesy.” Ironically, all three are right: it’s as “slow-moving” and “lethargic” as a bedwetting drunk; about as wet as a “hot bath” filled with child’s tears; and it is simply just a “bit cheesy”, like, Radio 2 cheesy. Pong goes the award. 4/10

Flo Rida featuring David Guetta – Club Can’t Handle Me

‘Club Can’t Handle Me’ is on the soundtrack to Step Up, a film which Glasswerk National describe as a “coming-of-age feel-good dance romance”, before calling the track a “sure-fire hit”. Spy Digital find the track to be “whopping great party banger, before informing: “perhaps Guetta’s straight up funniest production since ‘I Gotta Feeling’. Of course, Flo’s lyrics are a parade of inane nonsense, as is the very conceit behind the song.” And Buzzin Pop Music also call the film a “coming-of-age feel-good dance romance”, before calling the track a “sure-fire hit”, which makes me think that neither Glasswerk National and Buzzin Pop Music have an opinion and just subserviently posted the press release pushed onto them. The song, like the film, will be “sure-fire-hit” among pre-teen girls, but those of us not in that demographic, we are left to ponder: is this really what kids are into these days? A man being auto-tuned to the point of sounding like a computerised eunuch, while another plays out the soundtrack a generic Euro disco. Really? 2/10

Frank Turner – Try This At Home

Frank Turner has become something of a DIY hero in recent years as a four-chord trick. And if his rhetoric is clear by his new single ‘Try This At Home’, he would like you to have a go at becoming a four-chord trick, too. Stereoboard state: “[‘Try This…’] is probably closer in resemblance to the punk-rock influences that he has always worn on his sleeve.” Distorted Magazine call it: ‘a raucous call to arms. Embodying the true spirit of punk rock – it is all about the DIY ethos that drives the punk scene and encourages anyone and everyone to pick up a guitar, jot down some words, and just give it go.” On the other hand, Glasswerk National take real offence to the point of the song and find: “the extent of [the song] is startlingly obnoxious, and his articulation of it is just crude.” In one minute and 53 seconds, ‘Try This At Home’ does prove a point: anyone can do it, but whether you have talent and creative drive, though, is the key. Talking of talent and creative drive: 5/10

The Charlatans – Love Is Ending

Since Oasis’ untimely death, The Charlatans have become Britain’s longest surviving pub rock band from the Nineties. Well-done chaps on your technical default and your continuing Lego Man haircuts. The Line Of Best Fit are happy with the trim: “Looks like Tim Burgess has opted for the 1990 look: bowl cut and cape. Good work Tim.” Live 4 Ever pass comment like they are trying to encourage a dying cancer patient away from the light: “It is a relief to hear the Charlatans continuing to push forward with a bit more aggression, as that’s where their strengths lie these days in what is now essentially the autumn of their career.” Popped Music state: “I’m not entirely sure I like the oooohs in the track, but it is that bit that gives it a pop feel.” Like Tim’s decade-old hair, his voice, like the band’s career, has seen better days. 4/10


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