This weeks music reviews
5 Seconds of Summer - Don't Stop
5 Seconds of Summer are back with their follow-up to number 1 single She Looks So Perfect. Don't Stop is set to give the band their second number 1 single, even with stiff competition from the 2nd week sales of Ella Henderson's Ghost. It is taken from their upcoming eponymous debut album.
For me, Don't Stop has already grown a lot quicker than their debut did for me, but I put this down to not having some borderline-cringeworthy lyrics that I did eventually learn to love! The track opens with bold guitars, reminding everyone that 5SOS aren't just any boyband like their current chart rivals, but a band who do in fact play their own instruments, and to a high standard as well. Lead singer Luke Hemmings provides some strong vocals as well. The track builds up extremely well to an explosion of the chorus. The lyrical content of the chorus itself is quite simplistic but they do pack enough of a punch to get you on board. It is quite the grower, a track that is rather charming as it's so feel good and action-packed, a sentiment expressed by the super-hero themed video. The band have gone up in my estimations extremely upon that first listen of their debut, they've become very likable, and not even in a guilty pleasure way anymore.
George Ezra - Budapest
Budapest by 21 year old Ezra is currently at #3 in the midweek charts after being re-released and consequently recently becoming a radio 1 staple. The track is taken from upcoming debut album Wanted on Voyage and has been streamed more than a colossal 10 million times on Spotify.
While they may be hard to decipher on first listen, the lyrical content of Budapest is stunning, as he talks about giving it all up for the one he loves. Ezra's soulful and heartfelt vocals really bring these lyrics to life and give them so much meaning. It's such a feel-good, pleasant track that is undeniably catchy - it's very hard not to at least sway along when listening to it!
Gorgon City ft. Laura Welsh - Here For You
North London duo Gorgon City who previously supported Rudimental are back, but this time teaming up with Laura Welsh. Here For You is currently at #05 at the midweek stage, and if they keep this position then they could be looking at a second top 5 single, after their previous track Ready For Your Love featuring MNEK peaked at #04.
I was VERY apprehensive about reviewing this track, as Gorgon City's previous effort is already my favourite song of the year, so there was always the underlying feeling that any follow-up would be in the shadow of it's predecessor. Although Here For You is not quite as bold and euphoric as the stellar Ready For Your Love, it is still very much enjoyable but in a totally different way. It is SO relaxing, pleasant and mellow - making it a perfect chill out track for summer. Laura's vocals deliver the lyrics just right as they bring the relaxing feeling, and production values from Gorgon City compliment these vocals so well, and suddenly add a bit more life and make a statement on the chorus. Very well done to them on producing a high-quality follow-up.
Demi Lovato - Neon Lights
Neon Lights is taken from Demi's eponymous latest album, which went to #10 in the U.K. last June. The track is co-written and produced by one of the men of the moment, Ryan Tedder. It currently sits at #11 at the mid-week stage.
The track opens in a very gripping fashion with Demi providing vocals in a lower register, and the synths and claps make for an interesting build up. The chorus is instantly memorable and very much catchy, and of course she delivers vocally like always. However, I feel like the production in the chorus and the vocals clash with each other a bit rather than compliment, making it harder to focus on one of them. Nothing spectacular really, just bubblegum throwaway pop, but at least enjoyable bubblegum pop at that!
The Kooks - Around Town
Around Town is the second single to be released from upcoming 4th album Listen. It's predecessor Down just managed to dent the top 40 at #40, but Around Town is currently sitting at a slightly higher position of #32.
The track draws you in with the fantastic instrumentation, and with the vocals being as strong and unique as ever. There is a feeling of intensity as the track builds up, and this works really well with the finger snaps. Although the chorus is rather repetitive, the backing vocals work so well to enhance it, and the production remains stellar. The repetitive lyrics themselves are quite special anyway, with the phrase "When the chips are down" being an interesting choice to mean that someone will love him even when everything is wrong, a very bold statement indeed. Overall, it's chart position so far reflects the fact that it is definitely a step-up from the rather uninspired Down!
Peace - Money
Birmingham band Peace release the first single Money from their forthcoming 2nd album, which is also set to be their first top 40 single after a midweek #40 position. This follows their last album which went to #16 officially.
The band describe themselves as "Dark melodic indie techno" and to be honest, this description is pretty much bang on. The introducing instrumental draws you in very well, and the vocals that shortly follow it are fantastic. The melodic instrumental hook is definitely the highlight of the song each time it comes around, as although I like the concept of the chorus, the actual lyrics themselves seem a bit too simplistic, and the verses end up being stronger. However, maybe it'll turn out to be a grower on the whole.