Please Don’t Say You Love Me (Parlophone)
IT was always going to be a tough ask for 20-year-old angelic-voiced singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin to follow the success of her pre-Christmas chart-topping version of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s The Power Of Love. She has not got the help of a major national TV advertising campaign here but this self-penned love song is similarly affecting and heartfelt, with a maturity beyond her years. For now this is great but she may need to show another string to her bow with future singles. (James Brindle)
Now (Fueled by Ramen)
US rockers Paramore revealed this first single from their upcoming self-titled fourth album this week and it shows that all the upheavals in the band over the last two years has not affected the quality of their output. Now has a slightly heavier sound but with a fantastically catchy chorus and showcases Hayley Williams’ immaculate vocals to great effect. There are hints of Blink 182’s newer material in the sound, especially the Travis Barker-esque drums, and all in all is an exciting taster of what the new album will bring. (James Brindle)
Calvin Harris ft Tinie Tempah
Drinking From The Bottle (Columbia)
THE moment I heard this collaboration between Scottish megastar DJ Calvin Harris and rapper Tinie Tempah during the latter’s set a last year’s V Festival I knew it was destined to be a big hit.
It has a huge chorus and rave breakdown about as subtle as an elephant in a kitchen but in the live arena it doesn’t half work.
On record though the limitations of the track are more noticeable and to be honest it all sounds a bit lazy and a song that this pair probably knocked out in an afternoon. (James Brindle)
Shut Up (Sony)
2011 X Factor contestant Amelia Lily somehow managed to very nearly top the charts with her dreadfully repetitive and insipid debut single You Bring Joy. Luckily this follow-up is far better, a decent catchy pop song that showcases Lily’s powerful vocals that won her so many admirers on the TV show. If Lily is going to find success I think the power-pop style of the likes of Kelly Clarkson is the way to go, such is the nature of her vocals, and this song is much closer to that template than You Bring Joy.
Sweet Talk (Island Records
THIS new single from South Londoner Jessie Ware’s Mercury Prize nominated debut album is a beautifully smooth and delicate slice of r ‘n’ b which shows another string to the talented singer-songwriter’s bow. Devotion was a wonderfully varied and polished piece of work and featured in my eyes one of the singles of 2012 in Wildest Moments. Sweet Talk does not live up to those heights but it is a silky smooth tune perfect to chill out to after a stressful day and adds weight to some comparisons she has had to the likes of Sade. Ware is an exciting talent and after being nominated for a couple of Brit Awards next month, she is getting the recognition she deserves. (James Brindle)