Friday, July 15, 2011

Pop Boys Do Pop Things: Calvin Harris, Will Young, The Drums and.. Olly Murs?

I don't know how many of you went festivaling (yes, it's a word. ahem) recently but I was down at Oxegen DJing multiple times last weekend. I saw only a few bands but given that one of them was surprisingly good Pretty Reckless and the other was Amanda Brunker and Friends it truly was a culturally enriching weekend. I didn't see Beyonce because I was DJing at the time so let's NOT TALK ABOUT THAT PLEASE.

It was a ball but it has completely knocked me for six, I'm only feeling normal now. The upside was having lots of pop treats to catch up on over the last week or so.

While I was "away" lots of male pop types did interesting pop things mainly through the medium of giving us new tunes to listen to. Here are my very succinct and journalistic comments on them:

(1) Calvin Harris has just given us new single Feel So Close. It's a bit dance-y as is Calvin's wont but is not the same sort of dance-y as previous efforts. It's a dance tune that is a bit sad and a bit slow but also fast because it is a dance tune. I really like it and the video is suitably lovely. I was a bit unimpressed with a label press release dubbing it an "emotional rollercoaster" but I felt like a proper cry watching it so be warned.  But overall I would give Calvin 4 slow but fast but slow dance tunes out of five for this one. Well done Calvin. Take the rest of the night off and have a takeaway.

(2) Will Young has come along with his newie Jealousy. We haven't heard from Will much lately as he has been busy doing acting type things and probably clearing out his Sky + box (do you reckon he watches Made In Chelsea?) but now he is back with a sad sack but amazing synth-ish pop number about ... deep stuff. It's V.G. and apparently there are lots more synth delights on the way. I mean if you like Will Young and you like synths this'll be right up your Will Young Synth Street. There is an album coming that is produced by Richard X which in itself is EXCITING news.

(3) The Drums have also popped up with a new number called Money. It sounds like all their other songs but not in a bad way and I would give it 4 Songs that Sound like Your Other Songs out of 5. In other words, I quite enjoyed it. I never understood why The Drums didn't become properly properly huge as they are the perfect jangly indie band with a pop undercurrent but perhaps their new stuff will send them into chart orbit (yes, I just wrote that phrase. Yes, I do feel an appropriate level of shame about it)

(4) Olly Murs has shocked us all with a song that is not stomach-churningly dreadful. Heart Skips A Beat slaps all kind of vogue-ish UK dance music trends together and works way better than it should. It also helps that Rizzle Kicks, the painfully cool but also brilliant rap duo, are on hand to keep things moving along. The song is a little corker and could be the first proper "everybody enjoys this not just X Factor fans" crossover tune in his arsenal. As long as we ignore the video which would be perfectly good if it had less Olly Murs mugging throughout. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO RUIN YOUR OWN VIDEO OLLY? WHY?

That is your pop boy lot for now. I would like to thank all the pop boys involved for their time and tunes. Calvin Harris and Will Young in particular have made me a bit of an emotional wreck as I type this in a bustling (kind of) Dublin cafe. And if that's not the mark of a good pop tune, then I don't know what it is.

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