Freddie Matthews writes from London: We’ll get the amateurs over with first because the former X-Factor runners-up JLS have revealed details of the new single called ‘Hottest Girl In The World’. It’s the first single to feature from their next album, Evolution. Seriously, how can this honestly be the case? The only way JLS have evolved is to employ better song writers, producers and PR gurus. It’s certainly nothing to do with ‘their’ talent. It’s ironic that their new albums arrive each year, year after year just in time for an appearance on the X-Factor in front of 10 million unsuspecting viewers and Christmas. How can any sane artist actually believe this is a credible attitude? I mean did bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Jam actually give a crap when their albums were released? Get a life JLS, 6.2 out of 10.
I was happy to see that even Dr. Dre was above our British archenemy No.1, Simon Cowell in Forbes’ rundown of the world’s most powerful celebrities. To get there, Dr. Dre had to reach a value of £69.5 million for first place. It makes me sleep better at night to know that SC isn’t quite as rich as he would like us to believe.
I suppose I should really mention the new material announced by The Wanted because they’re a good old British band, despite being another overly produced boy-band. I really hope you’re not thinking that British music is a cacophony of one thing only and that’s boy-bands? Please no, we do have some amazing rock and indie bands available also. Where was I, oh yes, The Wanted have announced their return with a brand new single called, ’I Found You’, a new style and a musical change of direction. I’ve listened to it several times now and it’s just like every other mundane British chart hit. It’s starting to sound as if there’s just one music production house regurgitating dance track after dance track and that they’re taking it in turns to dominate the UK top 10 singles. It’s becoming that monotonous. (Yawn) The Wanted are newly working with dance producer Steve Mac. I almost feel sorry for him as he’s being paid to do a job and make The Wanted sound like everyone else. But why would they suddenly want this change of direction when their music did previously have some unique qualities? Yes it will be successful and sounds good on the radio but only if you’re listening to the commercial stations that all play the same old, same old, mind numbing pop-dross all day long. ‘I Found You’ scores 6.5 but despite that will probably still achieve a UK No.1 single position.
Simply Red front man Mick Hucknall has just released details of his debut solo album or so this press release says. However I was sure he’d released a solo effort before and guess what, I’m right (I could be a woman, they’re ‘always’ right after all). According to my record collection (yes I still have one) Mick Hucknall’s actual debut solo album ‘Tribute To Bobby’ was released in 2008, on the SimplyRed.com record label and achieved a UK Top 20. Why now is the PR company stating that his new album ‘American Soul’ is Hucknall’s debut solo album? I’m confused! This time, for Mick, it’s an album of covers versions from the singing greats like Etta James, Otis Reading and Nina Simone. So we can expect Mick’s own interpretations of the classics, which is all well and good if he doesn’t murder them. The classics should remain eternally classic, for as long as we want to listen to them in my opinion. That said, I’ve always admired Mick Hucknall’s amazingly sensitive and sublime vocal. I just hope he hasn’t lost any of that former magic now that he’s in his early 50s.
Big British albums to watch out for in the coming weeks include: Muse with ‘The 2nd Law’; Mumford & Sons second album ‘Babel’; The Script (OK they’re actually Irish) release #3; and don’t miss the brand new album by The XX called ‘Coexist’. It’s their follow up to the 2009 ‘XX’ indie masterpiece and is highly anticipated by fans and music insiders alike.