Friday, 2 November 2012

Single Reviews: Johnny Foreigner, Girls Aloud, and more

We've been away, but now we're back. Reviewing recent and current singles as regularly as we can. Without further ado...

Johnny Foreigner – 3 Hearts

With JoFo being a particularly prolific act, this new tune feels like it's been a long time coming, yet it has been less than a year since Vs Everything. From the forthcoming Names EP, '3 Hearts' is their first release as a four piece. I'll admit to being nervous at the news of a line-up change, but thankfully the expanded line-up suits them. The second guitar adds another element to their sound whilst allowing everything that's always been great to shine through. An exhilarating rush, it sounds pretty like the best bits of Johnny Foreigner stitched together and given to us at a time when we desperately need a helping hand through the winter.

Girls Aloud – Something New

It has been well publicised (and better received) but Girls Aloud are BACK. And although it is a little disappointing to find out that the rumoured new studio album is going to be a greatest hits package instead this is soon forgotten because new single 'Something New' is killer. With auto-tune and dance synths it does initially appear that the girls are following where they used to lead, but in stitching this song together from what appears to be fragments of others the team have effectively updated 'Biology' for the new decade. Of course, this would mean quat without a hooks, and 'Something New' has plenty. With 10 years at the top, Girls Aloud are the closest our generation has come to 'a Beatles'... but better.

Screaming Maldini – Summer Somewhere

We've always loved Screaming Maldini for their eccentricities, so it's something of a surprise to hear that them refining their sound has lead to their greatest moment yet. Progressive pop is very much the phrase of the moment with Field Music riding high, and Maldini are a great (if very different) example of this ideal. Despite the epic sound (lead by Gina's superb vocal and a piano) the group throw in sonic detours that ensure this is constantly a cut above most other bands on yr radar. Radio friendly and poptastic, it is clearly a big moment for the group.

Public Service Broadcasting – Everest

As evidenced by The War Room EP, Public Service Broadcasting are one of the most conceptually interesting acts around at the moment. Their mixture of electronics and live instruments that underpin the sampled archive footage is as gripping and intriguing as we'd care to imagine, and with new single 'Everest' they've taken yet another step up. The perfect mix of past and future, and with a grand sense of scale, the only other act to match this feel has been British Sea Power, whose Open Season-era melodies is the only other thing Public Service Broadcasting really recall here.
Expect great things from this act.

Frankie & The Heartstrings – I Still Follow You

When did Frankie & the Heartstrings turn into a boy-band? We jest, but you can't deny there's a slickness to the vocals that have hints of that about it. Less scruffy around the edges than their stunning debut album, 'I Still Follow You' is a Dexy's influenced pop tune that plays it relatively safe. One listen is all it'll take to get spinning around your head, but that's been true for the Heartstrings as long as we've been aware of them. It's not a bad return, but it's not as satisfying as 'Hunger' either. As a free download, we've no complaints.

Keep Pop Loud

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