A blog about popular song by Mark Higgins.
In: New Music8 May 2013
Firstly, please have a seat or a cotch or get part of your body leaning against something before you hit play on the embedded video above, because there’s rather more happening than you might want.
Let’s put some of the things that happen (but by no means all because no human has the mental or physical capability) into a bullet list. Everyone loves a bulleted list.
Those are some things that happened. Proceed at your own risk.
Praise be! Demi Lovato has seen fit to furnish us with a new song that is both loud and good. Unfortunately the video’s a load of old rope but let’s not dwell on that for the moment.
What we’re dealing with here people is the oft-neglected modern power ballad. Christ I love a good power ballad. The finest example of this sort of thing, which invariably feature great middle eights and a drop-out before the last and very much loudest chorus, would be Battlefield by Jordin Sparks.
Now that’s a proper song.
Demi Lovato is making some great strides in this area with this track, which is called Heart Attack and as such may not be suitable for those with pacemakers or a nervous disposition.
What a chorus. What a reference to Ken dolls and putting your defences up. What a great similarity to something Kelly Clarkson might have done a few years ago.
I think my favourite parts the the pre-chorus, the chorus and the post-chorus. And then the chorus again. It’s a very good song.
Anyway, here’s the aforementioned dull video. If I were you I’d put it on and then look at something else on, like the home page of Alta Vista or out the window or whatever you get your kicks from these days.
I’ll get the Swarfega.
In 2009, I went to see Fall Out Boy whilst on holiday in Australia. Unsurprisingly few/none of my friends in the area had an interest in the concert, meaning I went to the historic Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne for what remains one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve ever had.
It wasn’t the first time I’d seen the band. Yes, that was me at the Bournemouth International Centre a few years before having an absolutely lovely time, despite the best wishes and intentions of those who know me.
What I’m trying to say here is that I like Fall Out Boy. A lot. And I’m perfectly happy to fly in the flag (Ed – check mixed metaphor) of popular conception with that. I think they make some 100% great pop music and that’s really all I care about in life apart from the proper arrangement of cutlery drawers (If it’s not spoon fork knife, I will furrow my brow to a degree you thought only possible in Hanna-Barbara cartoons).
This year, after a middling degree of solo success since 2008’s terrifyingly ambitious Folie à Deux, the band returned with an album they recorded in secret. Never mind David bloody Bowie, this is the sort of thing I’m after from my dormant musicians.
You know what you’re getting with Fall Out Boy – there’s a formula to writing these infinitely catchy pophits that utterly refuses to mess about. I got the album this morning, having remained in the dark about the album with the exception of that one that was on the radio.
I listened to the first song, and I haven’t listened to anything else since. The rest of the album is utterly irrelevant to me at the moment given that opener The Phoenix does absolutely everything a Fall Out Boy songs needs to do, and more.
They’ve borrowed some strings from Plan B. They’ve borrowed some grungy/John Barry guitar chords, and most of all they’ve borrowed from themselves. If it works, make it work again, as my plumber has literally never said to me.
Look at this waveform. Just look at how exciting this waveform is.
Even without that excellent waveform, listening to the song you know a 10/10 drop is about to happen and it’s going to be bloody brilliant. I’m not one for lyrics so immediately I have no issue with Pete Wentz The Person, and given that I also enjoy the sounds of Saves The Day I’m never going to have an issue with Patrick Stump’s voice.
It’s a big, solid pop hit that is relentless in its pursuit of melody. Everything has been thrown at this song. But unlike a something likes Moves Like Jagger, where you suspect one more tweak would take it off the edge of the cliff, you could throw a few more orchestras at this song and it would still be brilliant. It is as the Hobnob, dipped into the tea of music. You may come at it, bro.
I might listen to the rest of the album but there’s no rush. Oh, and the video is a load of charmingly inane nonsense. I mean there’s a bird of prey in there which is quite good but I wouldn’t worry about the rest of it.
AFC lovely stuff.
Yes! You haven’t been misled. It’s time for another edition of Bitter Fingers Radio, presented by me, with lots of very good songs and some sort of talking in between. I think you might quite like it.
Here is some further information on all that.
In this edition of Bitter Fingers Radio, Mark Higgins plays out some of the biggest megahits to come his way recently, and salutes the grand old dame of compilations – Now That’s What I Call Music! He starts off by playing three classic tracks from the 22nd volume of the series, released in 1992 and his favourite to boot. La Roux is instructed to Hurry Up And Make Another Album, plus there’s an Epic Last Song from Pixies to round off proceedings.
Get it in your ears heres:
Songs what I played:
1. Splashh – Vacation
2. Van She – Idea Of Happiness
3. En Vogue – My Lovin’
4. Desaperacidos – MariKKKopa
5. Breakbot – One Out Of Two (featuring Irfane)
6. Chairlift – I Belong In Your Arms (Japanese Version)
7. Utah Saints – Something Good
8. Jessie Ware – Night Light
9. Melody’s Echo Chamber – I Follow You
10. Villagers – The Waves
11. La Roux – Under My Thumb
12. The Cast Of Cheers – Human Generator
13. Ce Ce Peniston – Finally
14. Kindness – That’s Alright
15. Pixies – Havalina
Next time I’ll be featuring another classic compilation from the Now series and otherwise making a nuisance of myself. It’s going to be a lovely time.
Here is a question that was posited on Twitter by your man Popjustice.
A very good question. Here is the answer (and four other very good songs by Tiga)
An excellent song! A terrifying video.
Get in there Jake Shears.
A 100% great pop song with a 98% great video. That averages out at 99% or 7/8 or something. Either way it’s great guns.
Another cover! But a really good one. And a really lazy one, which makes it better.
Tiga’s vocals pitchshifted up to make him sound like a woman are surprisingly alluring.
Those were the five best songs by Tiga.
Back to the Wilton Way Café, a pleasing establishment both in terms of a rhyming name and refreshments provided, to record a new Bitter Fingers radio type show. Always a pleasure to record at London Fields Radio, especially when the tea’s that good.
This volume I risked life and limb by playing the Electric Light Orchestra to an assembled crowd of Field Day ticket buyers, hipsters and people who don’t like the Electric Light Orchestra.
This also happened.
Mark’s done another radio show and now you get to cram it in your ears. Featured Album from Reptar? Sure. Innocent Pleasure from Olivia Newton John and the Electric Light Orchestra? I’ll say. Epic Last Song from Cursive? Best believe. Also, many other enjoyable tunes and tolerable banter in a radio show that is quite literally forty-four minutes long.
These are the songs I played in it, in between saying things.
1. Hooded Fang – Jubb
2. Fang Island – Asunder
3. Reptar – Sebastian
4. Lettie – Lucky
5. Olivia Newton John & Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu
6. Weird Dreams – Vague Hotel
7. Summer Camp – Always
8. Goldheart Assembly – King Of Rome
9. Danger – 22h39
10. Reptar – New House
11. Cursive – Hymns For The Heathen
A lovely time and a lovely show. Do place it in your ears, you almost certainly won’t regret it that much.
I’ve done a new radio show with fresh jams and fresh jingles. If you’re the sort of person that likes either your jams or jingles fresh, then you have come to the right place my friend.
This is what’s in it.
In this latest installment of Bitter Fingers Radio, Mark Higgins presents a delightful collection of indie-pop, electro and just plain great songs. Boy’s latest LP Mutual Friends is the Featured Album, Curiosity Killed The Cat are offered up as an Innocent Pleasure, Lauryn Hill gets told to pull her finger out, there’s another antipodean choice from Tim Dickinson and a fairly Epic Last Song to see the show away. Get nice.
Here’s a well formatted tracklisting you can enjoy.
1. Friends – Mind Control
2. Field Music – A New Town
3. Boy – Little Numbers
4. Grimes – Colour Of Moonlight (Antiochus)
5. Team Me – Show Me
6. Curiosity Killed The Cat – Down To Earth (12” Mix)
7. Todd Rundgren – Intro
8. Boy – Waitress
9. Bleeding Knees Club – Nothing To Do
10. Ford & Lopatin – Emergency Room
11. Amanda Mair – Doubt
12. Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)
13. Sébastien Tellier – Cochon Ville
14. Joywave – True Grit
15. The Chemical Brothers – The Private Psychedelic Reel
Well I think we can all agree that was very well formatted.
So Marina’s got a new album coming out, and this is one of the songs on it. It’s very good. Electra Heart is the name of that LP and it’s some rotten concept album about a subject I can’t be bothered to research because let’s just have the tunes, shall we (more on that later, rant fans).
Primadonna does a rather fine job as lead single, particularly given that it was helmed at the production rudder by Dr Luke and Diplo and somehow managed not to sound like Pon De Floor or Katy Perry, which is more than can be said for Nicola Roberts and Jessie bloody J.
What I like about this song is the variance in Marina’s voice between quite deep and threatening and really bloody annoying. It’s a fine line to cross. The Queen-esque guitars towards the end are a nice touch as well, and the general pop glow and sheen means it’s almost certainly one of the better tracks on the album.
The decision to leave the popbanger that is Radioactive off that album and relegate it to a deluxe edition is utterly bizarre to me, though. It is an excellent song, and I imagine ever so slightly more excellent than 40% of the tracks that made it onto the album. Here is what Marina had to say about this exclusion.
The ‘Standard’ edition is kind of like a purist’s version of the concept. The ‘Deluxe’ version is for tracks that did not fully adhere to the sound or vision but that I really loved anyway. “Radioactive”, “Sex Yeah”, “Lonely Hearts Club” and “Buy the Stars” + the videos for “Radioactive” and “Primadonna”.
Perhaps as an artist it’s important to have a “vision” for your album, a reason to make it. I’ve never really understood this, but as someone that doesn’t really value lyrics that’s probably understandable. Why you can’t just put your ten best songs on an album, I don’t know. That’s why we have double albums and bonus tracks – whether it’s a vision or an inability to self edit.
Anyway bollocks to that, let’s have a little rave.
The thing that you need to understand about Amanda Mair is that she makes very good pop songs. Once you’ve got that sorted you’ll be fine and can go back to making your dinner or whatever else you might be up to.
The song above is called Sense and aside from being 500% amazing is also going to be her debut single here in Blighty, with a release date in early April. The album is out in June and will almost certainly contain the following two songs as well:
Those songs are very good.
Amanda is but seventeen years old, and hails from Sweden which has a pretty good track record when it comes to decent pop music.
I am absolutely in love with the music Amanda is making and am very excited to hear what she might be doing this year.
Welcome to Bitter Fingers - a blog about popular song. Written by the hand of Mark Higgins, it serves up the very finest in new music, radio shows, spurious comment and #1 jams.