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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ash - 'War With Me' (single review)

Atomic Heart Records
28/03/09

7/10

Thus far the third radio single from Ash's phenomenal A-Z Series, 'War With Me' represents the letter M and the halfway point. It also marks the release of a compilation featuring the entirety of the series up until here, along with a handful of bonus tracks. To be honest, the best way of advertising the series to the CD buying public this probably isn't, for although it's a strong track it lacks the punch of either 'Neon' or 'Dionysian Urge', which represent letters I and L respectively.

Nonetheless, 'War With Me' is still a fine single and as a ballad is radio friendly in a way that precedes the current onslaught of young urban stars and auto-tune. Primarily carried on the piano it keeps steady pace and could be criticised for staying too close to the middle of the road. Still, it keeps with the Ash tradition of soundtracking the gazing up at the stars with a chorus lodged in the head and a longing in the heart.

At risk of repeating ourselves here, it must be stated that Ash are a phenomenal band, and even though 'War With Me' doesn't showcase them at their best it's still a cracking little pop song. In releasing singles the band have managed to showcase many facets of themselves in a way that an album format has quiet clearly restricted, and as each single so far has had it's own distinct flavour it can easily be argued that in going back to the simplicity of the single track Ash have harnessed the power of popular music. It's high praise but one that the band has well and truly earned.

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