Friday, October 18, 2013

Katy Perry's entire Prism album, and six other songs you may have missed

It's Friday, so it must be time for the customary round-up of new songs from the last seven days. This week's line-up looks like this:

1) Katy Perry - Prism
Officially out on Monday, Katy Perry's uploaded her third album to SoundCloud in its entirety, in a bid to combat the people who leaked it yesterday.

The release also coincides with the first swathe of reviews. They're mostly positive - but The Guardian, with depressing predictability, has written a sneering critique of the album's lyrics.

Alexis Petridis's article is based on the flimsy premise that, when Billboard called Prism "Katy Perry's most spiritual album to date", it was somehow suggesting she had consulted Deepak Chopra and M Scott Peck to create the most insightful and revelatory excavation of the human psyche ever to appear in popular song.

Thankfully, the co-writers are mostly Swedish (to paraphrase Petridis, the liner notes read like an IKEA catalogue) and the lyrics are, for the most part, totally unimportant. And, although nothing quite strikes you like Roar, it's a thundering collection of melodic pop.

Recommended tracks: Legendary Lovers, Walking On Air, Unconditionally.

3) Little Mix - Move (Alias Remix)
Good song. Good remix. Job done.

3) Eminem - Rap God
So this is what it sounds like to be reinvigorated. Eminem, on a six-minute lyrical rampage, proclaims "I'm beginning to feel like a Rap God," and actually sounds more deserving of the title than Kanye "Yeezus" West.

Lyrical gems include: "Got a fat knot from that rap profit / Made a living and a killing off it / Ever since Bill Clinton was still in office / With Monica Lewinsky feeling on his nut-sack / I’m an MC still as honest / But as rude and as indecent as all hell".


4) James Blake ft Chance The Rapper - Life Round Here
From the video's YouTube description: "The video, shot entirely in black and white, tracks Blake and Chance as they cruise in a lowrider through an eerie forest inhabited by stallions and Somalian pirates." How can you resist?

5) Rebecca Ferguson - I Hope
"Interesting fact": The most-read article I wrote on the BBC News Website last year was this interview with Rebecca Ferguson. It wasn't spectacularly insightful, or even well-written. The public just have a huge reserve of affection for the Liverpudlian singer.

They're going to lap up her new single, I Hope, which arrives after an ugly and protracted spat with her former managers. Launching with a rollicking drum roll, you kind of hope it'll see Rebecca spitting with fury, like Rolling In The Deep vintage Adele.

She doesn't, of course, but the song is an urgent and uplifting and an instant classic.

6) Lady Gaga ft R Kelly - Do What U Want
This is only a 30-second clip but it restores my faith in Gaga's ability to write a straightforward pop song. The best ArtPop preview to date, not that that's saying much.

7) Bruno Mars - Gorilla
The Indian press is up in arms about this video, in which Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto stars as a stripper (SPOILER: Bruno Mars is seen "cavorting" with her at the end).

Pinto's representatives even issued a statement in her defence to the Hindustan Times, which protests: "Freida’s look in Gorilla is quite a departure from what we otherwise see. Apparently, when she was approached with this opportunity, she knew that this would be a reincarnation of sorts for her and she was quite thrilled to do it, being the risk taker that she is".

It's no Blurred Lines - there's a storyline to explain the raunchy bits - but I still wouldn't watch it at work, unless your boss is particularly easy-going.

And that's your lot. Have a great weekend.

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