This weeks music reviews
Sam Smith - Stay With Me
Sam Smith is back and is on track to score his third #1 on Sunday with Stay With Me after previously doing so as a featured artist on Naughty Boy's La La La and also on debut solo single Money On My Mind.
I was apprehensive to hear Sam's new track, after being hooked on La La La and Disclosure's Latch. Money On My Mind took a while to grow, but did get there eventually. After a listen of this new track, I'm already pining for his more dance efforts. Stay With Me is like a less-enjoyable Emeli Sande single, in that the lyrics and vocals are beautiful but it's far too melancholic for me. Not even the choir can make it the slightest bit uplifting. I'm all for sad songs, but not ones that are this dreary.
Fuse ODG ft. Sean Paul - Dangerous Love
Fuse ODG is back with a little help from Sean Paul with fourth single Dangerous Love, after it's predecessor Million Pound Girl became his highest charting track to date at #5. Dangerous Love is set to do even better than this however, being #2 already at the midweek stage.
The track doesn't really grab my attention as it's off to a fairly vapid start, but as soon as the first verse kicks in it really picks up, particularly the brilliant instrumentation. Dangerous Love is by no means as catchy or bold as his previous singles, but this new one is pleasant enough and fit for summer. This also brings Sean Paul back into relevancy for the umpteenth time, the guy has serious staying power!
Clean Bandit ft. Sharna Bass - Extraordinary
Clean Bandit are back after receiving huge success earlier in the year - with the fastest selling single of the year to date Rather Be that spent 4 weeks atop the U.K. singles chart. Rather Be was knocked off the top spot by Sam Smith's Money On My Mind, and they seem to be chart rivals again this week, although with Smith being currently in the lead, with Extraordinary being at #5 at the midweek stage.
Technically, I probably shouldn't like this quite as much as I do. This is because really Extraordinary is a bit of a watered down version of Clean Bandit's sound, a far cry from their rather unique tracks like Mozart's House or Dust Clears as this one is very commercial, and not quite the smash that Rather Be was. However, the Clean Bandit formula itself is always a winner for me - the electronic tracks they produce with the addition of strings always results in gorgeous production. The strings in particular convey the emotions of the track so well - sounding rather intense at the start of the track but when the chorus explodes, they are very much uplifting. Sharna Bass is quite the talent too, and the chorus is simple but memorable. Overall, a rather decent track suited for summer, but not as spectacular as previous efforts from Clean Bandit.
Afrojack ft. Wrabel - Ten Feet Tall
After previous #17 single The Spark, Afrojack is back! This time he's teamed up with Wrabel, and the track in question was at #13 at the midweek point.
For me the track got off to a promising start, only to launch into a rather lackluster chorus. Really, it's nothing we haven't heard before. However, it is a very uplifting track lyrically and through the production. Wrabel also brings some heart as he executes the meaningful lyrics, so a spot-on choice of vocalist, at least.
Coldplay - A Sky Full of Stars
A Sky Full of Stars is the second single to be taken from Coldplay's 6th studio album Ghost Stories, following #10 single Magic. The track is produced by Avicii and was at #14 at the midweek stage, finally eligible to chart now that the album was out as it wasn't an instant grat unlike Magic.
When I think Coldplay couldn't get anymore commercial than Princess of China - they go and do that with this track! It is quite a change in direction for this track in particular, with Avicii bringing a dance production to it. This made me question how cohesive the album would be as Magic, Midnight and A Sky Full of Stars were all sounding very different. It turns out that the tracks are all fairly spread out on the album though, making the transitions more understandable. Anyway, the track itself is rather intense. Lyrically it's incredibly romantic, not unusual for a Coldplay track, and Chris Martin provides very majestic vocals. When the track launches into the instrumental hook, it becomes a very explosive affair yet stays so calming. Overall, Coldplay are back with a bang, with a relaxing and enchanting effort.