Fil Bo Riva – L’impossible: This new track from Fil Bo Riva is a smooth ballad that uses autotuned vocals before bursting into an emotional crescendo and coming back down again. Very nice indeed. 82%
Teenage Fanclub – Everything is Falling Apart: The first single from veteran indie band Teenage Fanclub since Gerard left the band is very decent, but doesn’t really compare to their material from their last full album ‘Here’ in my opinion. 70%
Kero Kero Bonito – The Open Road this new cut from KKB is immediately more upbeat and positive, being a track literally about the open road on a trip. It sounds like a leftover from their recent ‘Time n Place’ album, but that project was so good that I really do not care. 90%
Weezer – High As A Kite: Another great track from Weezer’s upcoming ‘Black Album’, ‘High As A Kite’ being a Beatle-esque off-kilter rock ballad that goes through a few different phases. Rivers still manages to sound exactly the same as he did when Weezer first started out which deserves phrase in itself. 85%
Jay Som – Simple: A lovely new track from Jay Som here, released as part of the Adult Swi singles series. ‘Simple’ lives up to it’s name, but it’s still an effective track too, with Melina’s vocals being charming as ever. 78%
Foals – On The Luna: On the second track to come from their upcoming 2019 album (part 1 anyway) we see a very dance-able Foals; the lads sound a lot more upbeat compared to their previous single ‘Exits’. I can imagine this one really going off in a live situation but it’s nothing new really for Foals. Still good though. 75%
Zedd & Katy Perry – 365: This is instantly catchy and will more than likely become a massive hit, especially with Zedd’s great, clean dance-pop production and Katy’s now iconic voice. It’s nothing too new or inventive but it’s nice enough. 65%
Cardi B & Bruno Mars – Please Me: There’s only so far Bruno can ride this wave of 80’s/90’s inspired retro-funk before it gets boring, and Cardi’s verses here sound like someone doing a bad impression of her. Uninspired and bland. 25%
The 1975 are currently on their sold out UK Arena tour, their biggest to date, and I got to catch their show on Saturday 19th of January. It was very good.
After great support sets from Dirty Hit alumni No Rome and Pale Waves, The 1975 took to the stage to a ridiculously loud, and excited o2 Arena that was packed to the brim. As soon as that big screen lit up the crowd were relentlessly noisy through till the last song. Kicking things off with a double helping from their latest album ‘Give Yourself A Try’ and ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ were received as if they were greatest hits.
Each song had it’s own amazing set of visuals, with the stage morphing and transforming; at one point Matty entered the screen and it became a phone, and a treadmill was in use for a few of the songs alongside massive floating cube screens and some really great backing dancers who added an extra level of spectacle to the show.
The visuals were stunning at times, making the show seem even larger in spectacle than it already was. Opening act No Rome returned for the stage for his recent track that featured The 1975 and even that had got a full visual treatment, dancers and all.
The 1975 played a varied selection of tracks from their 3 albums and a few from their earlier EPs, even being brave enough to play the ambient ‘How To Draw/Petrichor’ from their latest.
This was a massive show, with amazing visuals and it’s inspiring to see a relatively new band shoot up to this level of production without losing their personality.
Ariana Grande – 7 Rings: Borrowing the melody from ‘My Favourite Things’ from the Sound of Music while also using a trap-infused beat and riffing off Travis Scott’s smash hit and meme ‘Sicko Mode’ and putting it all into a coherent banger is very impressive. 80%
Rozi Plain – Symmetrical: A calming but in no way boring folky new single from Rozi here. It’s just really, really pleasant but the occasional synths and extra harmonies make it a good, developing cut. 90%
Guest Singer – New Experience: A groovy, synthy track from Guest Singer here with rings of Mystery Jets and British Sea Power. Showing real potential on his first single proper. 75%
Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying: A decent new pop single from Sigrid here with a nice positive message & a catchy chorus. She’s like Jess Glynne but actually good. 70%
Little Simz ft. Cleo Sol – Selfish: Little Simz continues the great run of singles she has been releasing in the build up to her upcoming album ‘Grey Area’ with ‘Selfish’, a smooth, funky cut with a great bassline and a great feature from Cleo. 92%
Loyle Carner ft. Rebel Kleff & Kiko Bun – You Don’t Know: More great stuff from Loyle; any time he teams up with Rebel on a song you know it’s going to be a cut with great chemistry and solid bars, and this is no different. 90%
The Japanese House – Maybe You’re The Reason: Another great track from Amber here, with the shimmery production and catchy chorus making this one of her poppiest tracks yet, but also one of her strongest. Very excited for her upcoming debut now. 90%
The Killers – Land Of The Free: Brandon and co have one of the best songs they have released in years here, openly tackling racism, gun control and the prison problems in the U.S with a Springsteen-esque ballad. 90%
Product placement with heart takes centre stage in this Disney sequel.
The original Wreck-It Ralph was a heartfelt tribute to the world of gaming with really vibrant worlds bursting with colour and lovable characters, both new and those well known from the past. The sequel goes digital, losing some of that character in the process but still managing to get it right most of the time.
In this movie, Ralph and Vanellope have to travel to the internet in order to get a new steering wheel for Vanellope’s game in the arcade, Sugar Rush. The new characters that the duo encounter in the world wide web are well fleshed out and very likeable, especially the sleek racer ‘Shank’ voiced by Gal Gadot, and head of BuzzzTube, ‘Yesss’ who is voiced by Taraji P Henson, who both really add to the movie and avoid stereotypes that easily could have been forced upon their characters.
There are a LOT of real life internet sites and apps in this movie. Upon first glance it may seem like pure product placement and advertising, with a barrage of well known names and apps hitting you when you are first shown the internet. However, they are all handled with humour and the use of these real sites such as eBay really do make it seem as if they are in the internet, and there are a lot of visual jokes and puns to be made too.
The much talked about section in the trailer where Vanellope encounters all of the Disney princesses does live up to the hype, and is a great moment in the movie.
Overall, Ralph Breaks The Internet is a fun, nice looking movie with lovable characters and some genuine messages about friendship even if it doesn’t have the heart or the excitement of the original.
In Slaughterhouse Rulez, the private boarding school attended by ‘rough Yorkshire lad’ Donald Wallace, has been taken over by frackers, whose digging inadvertently cause a lot of trouble. The Headmaster, played by Michael Sheen leads a crew of military-esque prefects that will go to extreme lengths to follow his lead.
It’s a fun movie for the most part if not being really predictable and unoriginal in parts. When introducing the different houses within the school, they did the stereotypical Mean Girls esque pan around the room to show them all, but never reaching that level of humour.
There are a few great, funny scenes in the film, with the ensemble cast all working well together especially in the tenser moments with all of the kids putting in believable performances with Asa Butterfield being patricularly great alongside Pegg, Frost and Sheen all being on their usual great form. At some points the humour just doesn’t work and there are a few long stretches where the movie can’t decide what tone it wants to have and it just comes across a bit messy.
Slaughterhouse Rulez is enjoyable despite its flaws and still manages to be charming and funny in spots despite never quite living up to its cast.
Dodie – If I’m Being Honest: A low key, pleasant sounding new single from Dodie, but the brutally honest lyrics and gradually developing (rather lovely) strings and drum beat give the song a soothing, but slightly uneasy feel One of her best songs to date. 85%
Sunflower Bean – Come For Me: Poppier than most tracks off their last album, ‘Come For Me’ is an upbeat, groovy glam rock esque track that weirdly reminds me of I’m Your Man by Wham. 78%
Carly Rae Jepsen – Party For One: This new single from CRJ is unfortunately bland and unforgettable, with the passion and enthusiasm of her recent material seemingly absent on this repetitive cut. 30%
No Fixed Identity – 123 Come Play With Me: An interesting track from No Fixed Identity, with an off kilter beat and loads of different little moments and instruments popping up; reminiscent of M.I.A and Little Simz. 70%
Clean Bandit ft Marina and the Diamonds & Luis Fonsi – Baby: A latin-infused new track from Clean Bandit. Marina’s smooth vocals fit this track perfectly and Despacito man isn’t used in a cringey or over the top way – this could be a big hit. 80%
Skepta – Neighbourhood Watch: Skepta continues his consistent run of great singles with ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ – a really good flow and a great feature from LD make this a real banger. 80%
Morgan Swann – Demons: Morgan’s latest track is based around fighting addiction and mental health. With a chill beat and a nice flow, this is a solid track. 70%
Maland2016 – Inner Demons: A great new EP from Maland – this new project has a consistent, slightly ‘spooky’ tone that gives each track a personality, and the whole project a solid feel without it being too over the top or cheesey. They all really slap too, and sound like a really good videogame soundtrack in the vein of Undertale. 90%