Boyzone - Love Is A Hurricane
Starting this short segment of new singles by bands who have had lineup changes (sadly in this case due to the passing of Stephen Gately last year), is the second single from Boyzone's latest album Brother. Now I'm not afraid to admit that ever since I bought it a good six weeks ago, Brother has been my favourite album - it's a really excellent comeback, far better than I ever imagined they could return with and almost on par with Take That's Beautiful World, not that the media would ever perceive it to be. Still, three weeks at No.1 in the UK shows that there is still a vast interest in this band. Ronan, Shane, Keith and Mikey's second single from the project, following top ten hit Gave It All Away is the more uptempop number, Love Is A Hurricane. Penned by Gregg Alexander of the New Radicals, who wrote Ronan's solo hits Life Is A Rollercoaster, Lovin' Each Day and I Love It When We Do, it's like nothing's changed in the past eight years, he could have released this in 2002 as the follow up to these singles and it would have fit completely with the music climate of the time. That's not to say that it's a bad thing, there's always a place for Boyzone's own style of pop in the current UK charts filled with rap, rap and more rap. Hopefully this will be another hit single for them, or at least keep the album high in the charts, because it really deserves the success it's been getting so far.
Sheelah - Psycho
Formerly Caracola, before going through a line up change, Swedish duo Sheelah participated in Melodifestivalen 2008 in their former incarnation with the insanely catchy Smiling In Love which made it as far as 'Andra Chansen'. Psycho is rather fantastic and suggests that great things are around the corner from these girls. A pulsing electropop track with typically brilliant Scandi sparkle. The lyrics are a bit tongue in cheek and trashy but the song just hits you on the first listen and never lets go, with possibly the catchiest chorus of the year and the fantastic 'you're a dancing psychoooo-o-o-o-o-o- echoing refrain. I wouldn't be surprised if Sheelah find their way back into Melodifestivalen in the very near future, in fact maybe they should have been in this year's contest with this very song, although they would have had to shave about 9 seconds off the running time to make it eligible!!!
The Pipettes - So I'll Say Goodbye
Possibly my favourite group of 2006, We Are The Pipettes is one of the finest debut albums ever, and hailing from the same home town as me (Brighton) I feel a close link to The Pipettes, who perfectly reflect the energy and fun of the local music scene. Having lost a couple of members, acquired some more, lost them and acquired another, the current line up is Gwenno (who featured in the most popular line up) and her sister Ani. I can't claim to be blown away by what I'd heard so far of their new material. Stop The Music, the new single is good but not the stomping comeback I'd hoped for, and the other free download track, Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen left me feeling wanting more. Finally though I have found something fully worthy of my time, the band's greatest moment in my opinion since the heights of Dirty Mind and Pull Shapes. So I'll Say Goodbye is a brilliant 80's throwback fun electro pop song which has a great chorus which it explodes into about halfway through the song for the first time before returning with fantastic added backing harmonies all the way to the end. Sadly, it's been relegated to b-side status on the Stop The Music E.P. and won't feature on the album but at least it gives me a lot more promise for the new direction and new material to come.