THE ENEMY: Be Somebody.The Coventry band has imbrued this bash and crash rock with a distinctly punk sneer – and then it twists again when the piano joins the throng.
BENJAMIN TAYLOR: Wilderness.The offspring of two of America’s most acclaimed singer songwriters, James Taylor and Carly Simon, so where did it all go wrong on this one? As dreary as it gets.
ASH: True Love 1980.Just when you start to fret that it’s about to get lost in an electro no man’s land the chorus suddenly blossoms to give it the lift it so sorely needs. Mind you, it quickly deflates again.
SEAN PAUL: Press It Up.The gratingly-voiced dancehall gyrator sounds like he’s out to shake and wiggle some booty with this one. That’s all there is to it.
JO HAMILTON: Pick Me Up.Born into a nomadic family that lived everywhere from the wilds of Scotland to the heat of Kuwait so expect something different which is what you get here. Kind of big-sounding folk funk that quickly sweeps you away with its deep, multi-layered undercurrents.
MARIAH CAREY: Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel. Predominantly top-heavy soul ballads more sugary than sugar mice smeared with icing. A few are over-elongated – stretching the interest to beyond breaking point – while others maintain the twinkling romance factor. Somewhat hilarious is a mini version of the Elle magazine about her popped in the cover sleeve where her husband, rapper Nick Cannon, talks about the first time they met: “I always say grace over my food so I bowed my head over my french fries at a meeting with her. She said ‘I do the same thing’ and pulled an electronic Bible out of her purse.’’ Priceless. Let’s hope it was at McDonald’s.
CAROLINA LIAR: Coming To Terms.A stunning debut from a band that has a sponge-like songwriting touch to mop up all their influences and with one squeeze they all come tumbling out as something original. No two songs are remotely the same as they range from anthemic rambling festival favourites such as Coming To Terms through to Last Night that seems to have the spirit of Genesis, ELO and New Order battling it out for ultimate glory. You feel some are old favourites that have been around forever, never more so than the hymn-like Show Me What I’m Looking For. Awe and wonder comes with the chiming Done Stealin’.