Monday, 4 November 2013

NMEeeeeeh: Britney Spears, Adam Lambert and Dami Im.

This blog contains not one, not two but THREE really good songs. If you don't believe me then keep on reading and, when prompted, press "play" on the aforementioned songs. It's an all new NMEeeeeeh...!

Britney Spears - Perfume
Available 2nd December as part of Britney's forthcoming eighth album

Starbucks supporter and MENSA member Britney Spears is making another comeback, everyone. And this time she's taking it seriously. I know she said that last time. No, I know, and the time before that. But this time she really, really means it. Right? While the lead single from her upcoming album Work Bitch was finally released in the UK today (a good 6 weeks after the rest of the world, I might add...), she's decided to chuck the second single from the album online too. And what has she decided to call the album, again..?

"Britney Jean". SEN. SATIONAL.

Yesterday Britney tweeted her fans to let them know that if they added her on Snapchat then she'd send them teasers of her upcoming single Perfume. Twitter then exploded with jokes about Britney opening up Snapchat to find thousands of photos of men's erections, but if we're being honest that's ridiculous because the only people who listen to Britney's music are gay men and women, and straight men haven't lusted after Britney since Toxic, let's be real.

After teasing the lyrics to Perfume over Snapchat and it having been described in interviews as "relatable to everyone", "effortlessly iconic" and "sung beautifully", the stakes were pretty high for the song before it was put online earlier this evening.

But now that it's out there...was the hype worth it?

Short answer: yes. It's a very good song.

Long answer: This song has been a long time coming, here in the UK the last time Britney released a ballad as a single was Everytime back in 2004. After Work Bitch, which wasn't so much "balls out" as "entire cock and balls out, bouncing around all over the shop and smacking you occasionally in the face", it's nice to hear such a completely different side to Britney, and as a Britney fan I'm pleased to say I think this is much more representative of the music she'd prefer to be making as a mother-of-two, and this is really apparent in the delivery of her vocals for the song- a far cry from the "phoned in" approach many critics have accused her of taking with some of her more recent outputs.

And let's talk about those vocals- because she is sounding great. You can say what you want about Britney, but you've got to admit that this time around Britney is delivering vocally. Is this on par with Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"? No, of course it isn't. Idiot. But she still sounds excellent, and when you're listening to Britney on Perfume you really believe what she's singing about.

A scenario that bizarrely specific is very hard to sing about convincingly (could you imagine if this was Lady GaGa's song-- "well....this song speaks metaphorically about the burden each of us carry and the perfume represents suffering because this isn't just a song IT'S ART"), but Britney pulls it off and she conveys the paranoia and desperation and insecurity the song talks about perfectly. "I hide it well, hope you can tell but I hope she smells my perfume", Britney sings on the post-chorus, and my heart breaks a tiny bit.

There are several Britney fans on Twitter who are acting as if this song is a gift from the Gods and this song will change everything and from this point on Britney is back to Onyx Hotel perfection. It's not, and she isn't. Meanwhile, there are still those who want Britney to flop like a sack of shite who are talking as if this song stinks like a box of dead turtles and her career is over. It doesn't, and it isn't. What everyone needs to do is relax. Take a step back. Inhale. And smell her perfume...

In preparation for the weak (and I mean WEAK) product placement that is inevitably coming with the video for Perfume, let's see how many Britney fragrances out of five she's managed to score with her most recent output...

Adam Lambert - Marry The Night
Release TBA

I don't want to get sued for libel or anything...but I think that above picture of Adam Lambert might be airbrushed.

So it seems like Adam Lambert is going to be appearing in the new series of Glee, making his debut alongside Demi Lovato (who, lest we forget, once punched a girl in the face) in the episode "A Katy or a GaGa" which sounds to me like it might feature the cast singing songs originally performed by Katy Perry or perhaps by Lady GaGa. These suspicions were confirmed earlier this week when Glee posted the first of Adam Lambert's performances from the show online, which is a cover of the Lady GaGa song Marry The Night. 

Now I'll be the first to say that I do not watch Glee. I think it is terrible. I once went out with a guy who couldn't sleep unless the TV was on, and he used to have a Glee boxset on all night long and at various points I would wake up to Lea Michele screeching or Jane Lynch shouting at a lass in a cheerleading outfit, which might have something to do with my aversion to it. Mostly though I don't agree with the message of the show, that you can be in your school's choir and still be "cool". Because I was in my actual school choir, and I was the biggest loser going. Trust me.

Because of this, I very rarely listen when Glee post previews of the songs that will be featured in upcoming episodes (it might surprise you to hear I haven't even seen the episode The Power of Madonna, even though it heavily features my idol Madonna, the woman who, if asked by her to do so, I would off one of my fingers for without even questioning why she would want me to do such a thing). That said, when I saw that Adam Lambert had covered Marry The Night, I was curious to see if he could pull it off.

It turns out he really, really could.

The production of the song is much the same as Lady GaGa's original version of it, so there's no surprises there. Where Adam really shines is vocally- his delivery of the song sounds phenomenal but it also sounds absolutely effortless. On the rare moments where he ad libs it doesn't sound at all forced, and honestly if it weren't for the fact he's performing it on Glee, and of course the fact everyone already knows the song, you would think that Marry The Night was written for Adam himself.

Check out Adam's very impressive interpretation of Marry The Night below...

And now check out exactly how many bottles of Britney Spears perfume it's worth down Savers...

Dami Im - Alive
Release TBA

There are a lot of reasons to love Australia. Koala bears. The Sydney opera house. The way their toilet water goes round a different way to ours. But, more importantly, they've given the world some great music over the years. I'm talking Kylie Minogue. I'm talking Darren Hayes. I'm even talking a cheeky bit of Holly Valance. And one thing they also know how to do right is a talent show's winner single.

Here in the UK we have had some really shit "winner's single"s rush-released after The X Factor has finished. The fourth series of Australia's version of The X Factor was won by a young woman called Samantha Jade. Her "winner's single" was called What You've Done To Me and it was a camp, electropop, stomper. Seriously, check this out...

And then listen to Leon Jackson's When You Believe...

How shameful for our whole nation.

A year later, and Samantha Jade's successor to the X Factor Australia crown has been announced, and this year's series was won by Dami Im, who recently previewed her winner's single, which is called Alive. Even the name "Alive" suggests something more upbeat than whatever it was they had Matt Cardle chuck out all those years ago.

Within seconds of hitting pressing play on Alive it sounds uplifting in the vein of something Kelly Clarkson or Katy Perry might come out with. "I'm coming out of the shadows", sings Dami Im in the promising opening lines, "I'm shooting straight like an arrow". And the uplifting clichés just keep on coming until the fantastic chorus kicks in with inspiring lines like, "life ain't nothing but a crazy dance, learn the moves 'cos you're alive".

Frankly Dami Im's voice is gorgeous, and this song is just so wonderful and empowering that it makes Katy Perry's Roar sound like something Christina Perri might shit out. Please, please, listen to Alive here...

Absolute pop perfection. TOP MARKS...

Aaaaaaand that's it.

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