Saturday Flashback: The Ready Set – Love Like Woe

Two main problems with it.

Tom: I spent some time in America recently, and heard a few tracks that never made it over to these shores. Here’s one of them.

Tom: I like this song, but I have two main problems with it.

My biggest problem is this: “love like whoa”, I can understand. It’s meaningless but vaguely enthusiastic. That’s what I assumed the song was called. Then I looked it up, and it’s actually “love like woe”?

Tim: Well, presumably it’s how loving her is a bad thing, because she’s a total cow or something but the heart wants what it wants and all that bollocks. I don’t know – the lyrics are too myriad and mind-numbing to actually look through them.

Tom: My second problem is Bieber Syndrome. He’s young, male, pretty, singing meaningless perky ballads about love, and gawping into the camera. You just want to scream at him to get off your damn lawn and find some less ridiculous hair. (And that’s coming from someone whose hair is pretty ridiculous.)

Tim: I don’t know, he’s—hang on. Your starting this with ‘I have two main problems’, combined with the basic premise of this site, mean I pretty much have to defend this, and I’m not sure I really care about him enough to do that. You’re right, his hair is silly.

Tom: Musically, though, I can’t really fault it. It’s interesting, bouncy electropop – even the vinyl-back-and-forth sample he’s using seems to fit in. It’s… well, it’s good.

Tim: Tone down the autotune a bit, perhaps, but otherwise it’s okay.

Tom: Incidentally, if you also suffer from Bieber Syndrome, you may appreciate the Ready Set’s appearance on bizarre Japanese-import schadenfreude-fest Silent Library.

Tim: Every single one of them has stupid hair. Except for the one in the hat, and he’s well, wearing a stupid hat.

Rikke Lie – Such A Lovely Day

Title speaks for itself, really.

Tim: Title speaks for itself, really.

Tim: If I were in a bad mood at the moment, I would hate this. I would think, “OH MY GOD I HATE YOU AND YOUR STUPID BLOODY HAPPINESS SHUT UP WITH YOUR SMUG BOYFRIEND”.

Tom: It is unremittingly chipper, isn’t it? It doesn’t seem to be the kind of track that’ll actually put you in a good mood though – it’ll only enhance an existing one. Like Pyro, it can only control the fire, not create it.

Tim: Well, quite, and fortunately, I’m not in a bad mood – seem to be on a break from my usual cynicism right now, which is nice – and so I love this. The build-up to the chorus is where it really gets going, and a smile leaps to your face, and there are no problems anywhere. ANYWHERE. Because it’s just such a lovely day, you see.

Oh, and while we’re here, I think you should take this opportunity to apologise for suggesting she used autotune in her last song, as we have since had the situation clarified.

Tom: Yes – sorry, Rikke! I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing that I can’t tell the difference any more.

Lili & Susie feat. Diamond Dogs – Bailamor

Let’s treat ourselves to a good bit of euphoric trance.

Tim: It really is the season now for a good bit of euphoric trance, so let’s treat ourselves.

Tim: You could just dismiss this as the usual sort of stuff that’s generally to be found in the middle of Now That’s What I Call The Trance Annual 2011, or alternatively you could really enjoy it, like I do.

Tom: There’s no reason I can’t do both. And while it hits every item on the euphoric vocal trance checklist, it’s not particularly hard – if it weren’t for those synths in the background, this’d just be regular schlager.

Tim: Admittedly, there’s not a huge amount to write about it, largely because it is the sort of stuff that’s what I said earlier, but I suppose that just leaves more time to listen to it.

The video looks like them rehearsing for a big performance, which is good, as long as they’ve got one coming up. Otherwise it’s just a bit sad.

Tom: It’s actually just their regular morning routine. FACT.

Mylène Farmer – Lonely Lisa

“If you liked Oui Mais Non, it’s very much in the same vein.”

Tom: This one’s sent in by Europlop reader Alex, who writes: “Basically if you liked Oui Mais Non, it’s very much in the same vein.” Now, we did like that track, although we did complain that it went on a bit.

Tom: Well, the new one is an improvement, I reckon. It doesn’t go on too long, although I reckon it could still do with a couple of adjustments: first of all, lose the odd talky bridge; second, add a bit more… er… ‘oomph’ on that last chorus.

Tim: I like it a lot, and it seemed to get even better on successive listens. But yeah, a bit of oomph wouldn’t have hurt.

Tom: As for the video: I don’t think there’s much I can say other than it’s ‘arty’. CGI jewel-encrusted camels are something even 50 Cent hasn’t thought of, though.

Tim: And a mysterious bloke who looks a little bit like Ewan McGregor did as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Do Jedi ride camels regularly?

Tom: Only when they’re forced to. Forced! Like, the Force in… oh, suit yourself.

Beyoncé – Best Thing I Never Had

I was really enthusiastic about this – and I can’t explain why.

Tom: Let this one run for a minute or so before you start to judge it. It’s a slow burner.

Tim: Ooh, that chorus is good. Like, actually good.

Tom: By the time it got to the bridge, I was really enthusiastic about this – and I can’t explain why. It’s not close to anything we normally review, but it’s got this steady, inexorable build to it that means that the final chorus is a proper lighters-in-the-air moment.

Tim: Part of it, for me, is that it’s not typical Beyoncé. That’s also one of the reasons I really liked Rihanna’s most recent one – woke up to it on the radio, thought ‘ooh, this song’s good’, then Dev stuck his general rubbishness in and said it was Rihanna and I sat up with a ‘WHAT’.

Tom: Pity about the “sucks to be you right now” lyric, which rather spoils the moment for me, but I can live with it.

Tim: Meh, I’m not bothered. I do sort of wish the verses could be as energetic as the chorus, but, as you said, I can live with it. Very much, in fact.

Tom: I’ve just figured out how to save the verses: sing the verses of ‘I Want It That Way’ by the Backstreet Boys over the top of them. Seriously, try it.

Movetron – Lanteisiin

A bit of Ace of Base about it

Tim: Movetron is a rather pleasant-sounding Finnish group have been going, on and off, for quite some time (as in started in 1994), but things have been a bit quiet recently. Now, fortunately, they’ve resurfaced with this.

Tim: Fortunate, yes?

Tom: That’s got a bit of Ace of Base about it, and that’s a good thing.

Tim: I have absolutely no idea what any of the words mean, nor even the title, as the entire internet seems to draw a blank, but that just means there’s more room to enjoy the music.

Tom: As a regular “track to listen to”, it probably wouldn’t get me playing it often – but by the time the post-bridge chorus came along, I was rather enjoying it and I reckon it’d fit rather well on a dance floor.

Tim: This is happy, dancy, energetic music that I could jump up and down in a club to for a considerable amount of time if this was left on repeat, and I probably wouldn’t even notice.

THAT, I’ve just decided, is what a good club track should be about – getting you dancing, and keeping you dancing, and by that definition this is a good club track. I demand more of this sort of thing, and so I say to you, Movetron people: please don’t go away for another two years again.

Hera Björk feat. Haffi Haff – Feel The Love Tonight

Well, this has got to be good.

Tim: Eleven months ago we reviewed the 2010 Iceland Pride track and somewhat liked it; a little under ten months ago we reviewed a Hera Björk track and loved it more than anything else in the world. Now, we combine the two, with this year’s Iceland Pride track, sung by the delightful Ms Björk.

Tom: Well, this has got to be good.

Tim: You’d think, wouldn’t you?

Tom: Oh.

Tim: Let’s not mince words: it’s disappointing. Right from the start with the autotune on her voice, it’s very disappointing indeed.

Tom: Who’s this Haffi Haff bloke? Because he appears to have dragged Hera down to his level.

Tim: No one particularly special – had a few tunes out that aren’t really worth linking to – but yeah. I wasn’t expecting another Because You Can, of course I wasn’t, and I accept it has to have a proper clubby sound to it, but it’s just so generic.

Tom: Not even an operatic bridge? Really? This could be anyone singing.

Tim: It’s a shame – she has such a fantastic and capable voice, and it’s wasted on this Rihanna/Britney/Beyoncé/J-Lo/anyone soundalike.

Saturday Flashback: Loona – Vamos A La Playa

“Let’s go to the beach and have a party.”

Tim: The third and final Flashback for the time being coming from French radio, this cover of a 1999 track by pretty-much-one hit wonder Miranda came out last September.

Tom: I’d completely forgotten this song! This was on the radio when I was about 15, I think. I liked it back then.

Tim: In case you didn’t get it from the video, the general message here is: let’s go to the beach and have a party.

Tom: “La Playa”. Got it.

Tim: It has an infectious hook, a pleasant summer feel to it and gentle product placement in the video.

Tom: As well as the typical “let’s see how close can we get to showing nudity before the TV channels won’t show us any more”.

Tim: Well, naturally. It is, basically, entirely generic. In a good way, though, because this sort of tune is nice: it’s happy, upbeat, and if you complain about it you can sod off and be miserable elsewhere, thank you very much.

Tom: The bits that aren’t the chorus are really terrible, and that rising-siren sample in the background really annoys me. Right, I’ll sod off elsewhere.

Tim: Good, because you’re wrong. Though, if you want to hear the original again, it’s here, with a fairly heated multilingual argument about whose version is better in the comments and with some vastly less attractive models in the video, so you probably wouldn’t like it.

Tom: Can’t hear you. I’ve sodded off elsewhere.

Dionne Broomfield feat. Lil Twist – Foolin’

A cracking track with a completely unnecessary rap bridge.

Tom: This is a cracking neo-Motown track with a completely unnecessary rap bridge added to it.

Tom: Now, I love this style. Sounds like it came straight out of the seventies, only the lyrics have been updated and the sound mix is a bit more modern and compressed. And that voice! That’s a proper soul singer voice is ever there was one.

Tim: I don’t like it. She’s TOO YOUNG, DAMMIT. FIFTEEN. THAT’S FIF. TEEN.

Tom: What. What? You’re kidding me. That voice is incredible – without the photo, she could be any age at all. The rap part isn’t bad – it actually fits the track very well, and in another track I’d say it was good – but it just seems an unnecessary way to add spark to a track that’s doing really very well on its own, thank you very much.

Tim: See also Flo Rida interfering with The Saturdays, and Alexandra Burke, Pit Bull interfering with Jennifer Lopez, and many, many others. Yes it sucks, but we just have to try and cope. And that is what album versions are there for.

Saturday Flashback: Jasper Forks – Alone

I can’t believe that’s the same guy that remixed Das Boot.

Tim: Much like our previous Saturday Flashback, this was heard whilst in France and released back in January. You’ll know of the artist’s work, although probably not by this name – born Alex Christensen, he released the dance version of Das Boot we reviewed a cover of ages ago as U96, and more recently he entered Eurovision for Germany in 2009 as Alex Swings Oscar Sings! Anyway, this sounds like nothing of either of those.

Tom: That really does sound utterly different, doesn’t it? I can’t believe that’s the same guy that remixed Das Boot.

Tim: I’ll go out on a limb: I’m not sure it’s really possible to dislike this.

Tom: Clearly you try not to read YouTube comments.

Tim: No – that way madness lies. Some people may wish it to be a bit heavier than it starts off with, and I’ll admit I was getting that way after two minutes, but when it starts to build up and then more or less becomes an entirely different song for a time it all seems great.

Tom: It does keep genre-switching, doesn’t it? It’s not like the quiet bit in Guru Josh Project’s Infinity: you can’t raise your arms up high to it in a club – it’s too long for that.

Tim: I don’t really know why it works – shifting genres, you certainly couldn’t stick a verse from a Lady Gaga tune into the middle of a Céline Dion song, say – and yet I think it really does. Love it.

Tom: I’m not sure it works. I’ll tolerate it.