Sunday, 1 September 2013

Top 5 Tracks of August 2013.

Although she cited a "pop emergency" for an excuse to release "Applause" earlier, we already know Gaga is an impatient popstress - let us not forget her rush releasing "Born This Way" in 2011. However, unlike that massively underwhelming comeback, "Applause" is surprisingly immediate. It suffers from all the usual immovable Gaga-isms - terrible annunciation, shameless european dance synths and a bizarre hammer house of horror vocal - but you can't argue with a chorus like this. The "A-R-T-P-O-P" hook at the end is brilliant too. "Applause" is definitely the right side of Gaga.

As successful as The Saturdays have been, they do have a tendency to release music as personality-less as their brand. Every song feels like it could be a debut single for any flash in the pan girl-group. It looks like they're trying to shake this anonymity by finding their "thing". However with new singles "Gentleman" and now "Disco Love", they seem to be settling on being the new Girls Aloud - quirky lyrics and genre-hopping. "Gentleman" was the a step too far down novelty lane, but "Disco Love" is surprisingly uplifting. And when you don't flinch at "it's Donna Summer all year long", you know they're onto something. 

It's quite a feat standing out from the hoards of soulful male singers from the US and UK - but Fincher has something special. The 17 year old blows them all out of the water in one incredible performance on "No Response". Over reverb-drenched Weeknd-esque R&B synths, Fincher hits notes with an effortless confidence and strength. Every tasteful melismatic flick and achingly tender note shimmers and captivates. And he absolutely kills the falsetto climax in the heart-stopping chorus.

Although almost identical to "I Love It", with any luck "Girlfriend" will be as big as their breakthrough hit. The key to the girl's success is their lack of glamour and ego, and this makes the simplicity and commerciality of their anthemic dancepop go from potentially tedious to charming, tongue-in-cheek and 'feel-good' in the most infectious sense. Even the track's most obvious sexually ambiguous undertones can be forgiven.

Finally released in its glorious 5 minute form, "58bpm" is a sensual slice of 80s soul heard through the future bass kaleidoscope... at 58 beats per minute. And it's the ultimate comedown anthem - perfect to soundtrack a reluctant end to the sunniest, most joyous summer in memory. The track is so daringly slow (indeed that's the main feature) that is seems suspended in mid-air, as a single warm chord lingers tentatively above a lurching beat, as Fiora's vocals seem to melt as the chorus hits. Sadly destined to be underrated, the track is nevertheless the most creative and spellbinding piece of music Tensnake has created to date.

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