Wednesday, 3 July 2013

NMEeeeeeh: Bonnie McKee, M.I.A. and Blondie.

I know that the "N" in "NMEeeeeeh" is meant to stand for "new", so I beg your forgiveness that I am about to review three songs which have actually all been online for a week at the very least. You might well have already heard them. I pray this doesn't affect your enjoyment of the blog. Anyway, time for three new(-ish) songs in NMEeeeeeh.

Bonnie McKee - American Girl
Release TBA

So, what's your proudest achievement? Stuck in at school, did you? Rescued a cat from a burning building, did you? Flew solo across the Atlantic, did you? Not Bonnie McKee, who is not yet 30 and yet her co-writing credits already include the following amazing songs...

California Gurls - Katy Perry (amazing)
Hold It Against Me - Britney Spears (amazing)
Last Friday Night - Katy Perry (amazing)
How I Roll - Britney Spears (double amazing, though I am seeing a pattern forming here)
Dynamite - Taio Cruz (oh well there we go)
How We Do - Rita Ora (I actually find this song pretty annoying and lame, though it is a well-constructed pop song)
C'Mon - Ke$ha (really amazing)
Ooh La La - Britney Spears (literally given 4 smurfs out of 5 in the last edition of NMEeeeeeh) as you can see, expectations are pretty high for her first single in nine years, "American Girl". The question is, can her own single match those she's carelessly given away to other artists?

The answer, in short, is yes. American Girl is an absolutely joyous affair, which talks about the pitfalls of modern day American society which is something touched on by artists like Marina and the Diamonds, Natalia Kills and Lana Del Rey in the past few years. However unlike Lana, Marina and Natalia's "man the lifeboats we're all fucking doomed" approach to modern day America, Bonnie McKee's is much more a happy send-up of the shallowness and frivolity associated with modern society, with lyrics like "I fell in love in a 7Eleven parking lot" and "I was raised by a television" and  "I will never say that I'm sorry, I am an American Girl".

To promote the song, Bonnie has clearly called in some favours with a host of her celebrity pals and created a promotional video featuring a lot of famous faces miming along with American Girl. In theory this sounds really lame, until you realise that these celebrities include Katy fucking Perry, Joan fucking Rivers, Jason fucking DeRülo (who I fancy so much whenever his new video comes on TV I have to scramble for the remote so I don't spend the rest of my afternoon fantasising about him) and one of my all time heroes...

...Kathy fucking Griffin. Kathy Griffin, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...

Even if you take the lip-syncing celebrities out of the equation, which is hard because there's a lot of them and I bloody love the majority of them, this is still an absolutely stellar song which sounds like a mix of Karmin's "Brokenhearted", Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and Calvin Harris's "The Girls", but better.

Think I'm exaggerating? Judge for yourself, with this promo video...

Wonderful. Just wonderful. Five Kathy Griffins out of five, for sure:

M.I.A. - Bring The Noize
Available now

M.I.A. is back, everybody, and she has a new single called Bring The Noize. And, as the name would suggest, it is quite a loud song. There's a lot of banging and clattering and shouting and looped sounds and stuttering. If you have a sleeping baby, or a hangover, or you're prone to musically-induced migraines, then you might want to pop some Katie Melua on and give this new cut from M.I.A. a miss.  Otherwise, read on.

So, it's safe to say Bring The Noize is not as radio-friendly as M.I.A.'s recent cuts such as XXXO or Bad Girls, which I think was probably an intentional decision seeing as how 2012 was the year we saw M.I.A. dress up as a cheerleader, lip-sync at the Superbowl and perform backing vocals for Madonna. I'd even go as far to say as Bring The Noize is M.I.A.'s way of reminding us what she's capable of.

This is as far from easy-listening as is humanly possible without audio of your conception being thrown into the mix, but it's still pretty good once you get your head around all of the racket. Here is the official video, which is also pretty impressive:

Where does Bring The Noize register on the Kathy scale..?

Blondie - A Rose By Any Name, feat. Beth Ditto
Available now

It's a collaboration that no one saw coming, yet which makes perfect sense. Beth Ditto, one of the most unique and prominent front-women in the music scene today has recorded a song with what is probably the most important female-led band of all time, Blondie, for their upcoming album.

Admittedly, Blondie are one of those bands who, despite the fact they've been releasing new material fairly consistently over the past couple of decades, will probably always be remembered for their earlier material like Heart Of Glass, Atomic, Call Me and One Way Or Another. You'd think this  would be an issue, but really all of those songs are incredible, aren't they? You can't argue with that.

Still, despite the fact their last album peaked at number 73 here in the United Kingdom, Blondie are giving it another go. To give them their due, their new single A Rose By Any Name sounds exactly what you'd expect a Blondie single to sound like in 2013- the electronic intro makes it sound current, while the lyrics and Deborah Harry's vocals bring an unmistakeably Blondie-esque edge to the track, while Beth Ditto's lines add something extra special as well.

It's not perfect, admittedly, for instance there's a lot of distorted vocal effects which really needn't be there to the point where it's often difficult to make out exactly what's being sung, and there's so much going on it might take a couple of listens to make sense, but for fans of Blondie this will be a welcome addition to their back catalogue.

Give A Rose By Any Name, featuring fabulous musical goddess Beth Ditto, a listen here... many Kathys?


Previous NMEeeeeeh blogs:

Aaaaand I'm done.

1 comment:

  1. Joan fucking Rivers! She has written some right corkers hasn't she? Bonnie is right up my street.

    Can't say I'm keen on the M.I.A track but I'm going to give it another listen tonight, I'm looking forward to seeing her at Bestival this year.