Thursday, 21 February 2008

More February Singles Reviews

Duffy – Mercy released 25/2/08

Thanks to the likes of Winehouse and Ronson, sixties musical stylings have been making something of a comeback in the last year. Now with the huge hype surrounding this Welsh songstress and her single Mercy, the soul scene looks set for a full-scale revival. Part atavistic tosh, part pop genius, Mercy is a particle of retro-revivalist wonder that will have dance floors smouldering underfoot just as the fiery-soled dancers in her video demonstrate. If you can wade through the hyped-up comparisons to Winehouse and, even more ostentatiously, Dusty Springfield (neither of which bear more than a passing vocal resemblance to Duffy), you’ll find a rather attractive platinum-blonde star-in-the-making with a startlingly unique voice, one that overshadows comparison. It is this vocal talent that illuminates what is essentially a rather run-of-the-mill pop track about a boy beyond the reaches of the already-taken Duffy. From the cheerfully repetitive ‘yeah, yeah yeahs’ at the opening to the quaint piped-organ backing, Mercy is a snippet of seamless soul production straight out of the provincial windpipes of an impressive new vocal talent.

Boy Kill Boy – Promises released 17/3/08

Boy Kill Boy are counting down to the release of their new album, The Stars and The Sea with this, the second single to be taken from it. Sadly, the Leytonstone four-piece don’t come very close to the astronomical heights or aquatic depths they allude to in the lyrics of Promises, which is more the musical equivalent of a puddle lit up by a dodgy street lamp. It sounds like it went out of date a good five years ago, and even then, was an economy brand of a sound that only a handful of bands successfully managed to pull off – Killers, or Hot Hot Heat, for example. A relentless guitar-pop chug persists throughout, overlaid by a tedious little keyboard riff that bears a remarkable resemblance to a Nokia ringtone. The vocals are particularly unimaginative, with Chris Peck affecting a damp slur as he slews his way through lyrics of the perfect emo-whine variety. Though likely to garner a bit of radio-play on the back of Boy Kill Boy’s brief 2006 flirt with NME cool, Promises is an unpromising indication of things to come on The Stars and The Sea.

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