SODA STEREO - "Juego De Seduccion" - Argentine new wave/rock band, mid-80s, can't even remember WHY I downloaded this (oh yeah, cute band name), very VERY much want to be Simple Minds but "wanting to be Simple Minds" is somehow more endearing here than it might otherwise have been (good central riff too). In the pub last night Sarah was saying that the new NEWS single sounds like Iron Maiden - I wonder if we give furrin-language bands greater 'permission' to sound like other stuff, including stuff we wouldn't usually listen to (I dunno how much Sarah listens to MAIDEN but I don't actually play Sparkle-In-The-Rain era Minds very often if at all!). If so is that a patronising impulse? You can hear this song on tonight's LOLLARDS show at 7pm, resonancefm.com , just sayin like.
CHRISTOPHE WILLEM - "Double Je" - glossy French synthy pop given top marks by someone in the recent Poptimists 2007 survey, and I can see why, it's very good, lovely voice, lovely tune, will appeal equally to Bextor or Saint Etienne songs though even in a language I half-understand her voice has a lot more feeling than either of those. Lovely though somehow too "pure" for me to really love: the old curse of perfect pop I guess.
BELLE LAWRENCE - "Don't You Forget About Me" - I failed to learn about this before my end-of-year polls, but no matter. This is a standout from it - Belle Lawrence is my favourite Almighty Records diva, she inhabits her songs most while still sounding thoroughly euphoric, but rarely resorts just to bellows. More Simple Minds! Could do with still more editing - the breakdowns are a little lifeless but she gives the chorus plenty of welly. The Cover Girlz' version of U2's "With Or Without You" is the best I've heard from the record, though - a nervous vulnerability at the heart of the uplift.
PAULA DEANDA - "Easy" - another touted refugee from the Poptimists poll, and also good though I can see why it would slip by in an enjoyable haze of eight-out-of-ten-ness rather than fight to the front as a standout.
JACKIE O - "Wonderwall" - more boshin', this takes a while to get going but when it does it's revelatory, locating and exploiting all the defiance and drama in the song (which the original doesn't capture because whatever else Liam G's voice can do, it can't do bruised). Also underlines how badly the song fucks up on the chorus, lyrically. "What's a wonderwall then?" - easy gag to make but really pertinent in a song which has been building up to really saying something.