5 at 5 // 19 August 2014

All these new songs are alright, actually, I don’t even loathe the Taylor Swift one. Just Taylor herself.

TAYLOR SWIFT – ‘SHAKE IT OFF’

The new Taylor Swift song is a 6 or 7/10 pop song that could have been released by literally any up-and-coming or on-their-way-out female singer who paid enough to sit in a session with Max Martin. This guy produced ‘…Baby One More Time‘, ‘Stronger‘, ‘Oops! …I Did It Again‘ and ‘Hold It Against Me‘ for the most dynamic female popstar of our time and now he’s working on happy clappy Kidz Bop-lite songs with this animated Cheesestring. Sigh. I copped a read of a review that was quoted on tumblr so I’m unsure of the source, but the main crux was that Taylor Swift “has never coloured inside the lines”. Uhhhh… are you fucking kidding me? Taylor not only colours inside the lines, she hires an expert to help her pick out a pallette of perfectly complimenting and contrasting shades before she sets crayon to page. I have literally never seen a candid photo of her not completely made up and believe me when I say I have seen more candids than I care to think of thanks to ONTD’s walking posts. And of course there’s absolutely no harm in Taylor Swift having a carefully controlled and ultimately predictable image, but let’s not be rewriting history before our eyes. ‘Shake It Off’ is so “colour inside the lines” from its specifically-crafted-for-pop-radio melody that they pulled from the Carly Rae Jepsen offcuts drawer, it’s “I are who I are and I are a roaring Firework” let the haters hate message to the fact that it is yet another song under the trademark Taylor-plays-the-victim-again umbrella and being teeth-grittingly “self-aware” only means that she gets to be martyr too (you know she’s truly bitter as fuck that she can’t dance for shit). Whatever, it will be a hit because that’s where she’s at now and she’ll still win country music awards even though the Country Music Association sent her a p45 tweet right after her livestream ended (and subsequently deleted it later). ★★★☆☆

KATY B – ‘LITTLE RED LIGHT’

It’s weird how I would never rank Katy B among my faves even though she consistently brings out music of exceptional quality. This is just a free download, promotion for the set she’s going to perform at Notting Hill Carnival, but it’s better than songs many artists put out as singles proper. I mean, it’s all about that sparse production on the bridge, letting the vocals take precedence. I think what I like the most about Katy B, is that her songs are always polished and massive sounding, but so thoroughly British, and London at their core. I mean, this will sound great in any club up north but it’s gonna be transcendent on my iPod walking around London. ★★★★☆

MIKE MAGO & DRAGONETTE – ‘OUTLINES’

No secret that I am a massive Dragonette stan, and that my main goal in life is to slowly infiltrate the brains of anyone and everyone who will listen to me until they too love this band the way I do. Dragonette have a tradition of hopping onto tracks with dance music producers, indeed their biggest global hit was as a feature on Martin Solevig’s ‘Hello‘, and ‘Outlines’ has that same massive, mainstream feel though admittedly the chorus isn’t as much of an earworm. If I had one standalone criticism of this track, it would be that Martina’s vocal isn’t as distinguishable as it is normally, but that’s a small fry complaint considering most people listening won’t know that and definitely won’t care either. ★★★★☆

LABRINTH – ‘LET IT BE’

I’ve got a lot of love for Labrinth. I think his work with Tinie Tempah is Tinie’s best and that ‘Earthquake‘ was one of the most exciting pop songs of 2011. ‘Let It Be’ is his first new release in two years, and I feel like it’s a hit. It sounds like the organic workings of a Labrinth track before he production jizzes all over it, and if you don’t believe me check out the Live Lounge version of ‘Earthquake’ here and think again. I love the robot voice on BVs “oooh-oooh-ing” all over the place. Makes it feel like wild west showdown music. ★★★★☆

THE TING TINGS – ‘WRONG CLUB’

Apparently this was released to zero fanfare yesterday? I say “apparently”, it definitely was because I immediately downloaded it, but I know for a fact it wasn’t due for another two weeks because I was keeping track of it on my new releases tracker. This is such a good and unexpected sound from The Ting Tings, just an all in pop song, that wouldn’t have been out of place on the new La Roux record actually. It’s going to chart in negative numbers I expect, which is a shame but if you’re so inclined you could help it out a little by downloading here. ★★★★★

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