Kicking off the latest crop of singles to land on my doormat is none other than Kid Rock with his latest release ‘Roll On’, and I daresay kicking is a very apt word because anyone who can release material of this calibre deserves one. Half arsed sentimentality dressed up in cod blues performed by an man who used to rap who now makes vaguely disguised attempts at singing. Quite frankly dreadful. Not convinced are you?, he’s playing the Hammersmith Apollo on Sunday 30th November.
Next up is Filly, with her new single ‘Instantly Out Of Control’, the second single from her forthcoming album ‘Slideshow’. I was all set to write this off as just another pop/dance/urban plodfest but this does have a certain novel appeal to it. The production is slick without having too much of a sheen . As a vocalist Filly shows enough restraint to let the trickery behind her voice do its stuff and there is an appealing floating tempo thing going on in the radio mixes which keeps the listener second guessing where the track is heading. There’s a tasty suite of mixes onboard as well including the slow building vocally choppy recut courtesy of Burns, while elsewhere Goldielocks gives the track a dry and skittish reappraisal. Its out on November 24th, worthy indeed put it on your list.
Estelle returns with her zillionth single this year (alright that is something of an exaggeration but it does kind of feel like that). This time out she’s going straight for the late night vibe with a laid back reggae groove and a helping hand from Sean Paul chattering away in the background. As is often the case I’m not entirely sure what all the fuss is about here. Yes, Estelle has managed to grab herself a bounty of America’s highest profile performers and producers in recent times and the results aren’t the worst out there but all in all this single like its predecessors strikes me as painfully average.
Next up is Tracy Chapman who will probably be best remembered for her little clutch of acoustically driven singles from the nineties (Fast Car, Talkin’ About A Revolution). Nothing much has changed and she continues to plough her own furrow in the acoustic market and in this case her new single ‘Sing For You’ is perfectly acceptable faire and dare I say it slightly more light hearted material than you might have been used to from Tracy’s back catalogue. Its a prelude to her up and coming European tour (she plays the Hammersmith Apollo on December 15th), her new album ‘One Bright Future’ is out now.
Finally a bit of a heads up on an album that wont actually be out till February next year but one that is worth a mention all the same ‘Under One Sky’ is a vocal and instrumental suite by John McCusker and an assemblage of UK musicians including the likes of Roddy Woomble (Idlewild) and Graham Coxon (Blur). I’ve only heard the Coxon track so far but its respectable enough, gentle acoustics and sweeping melodies almost take you into what feels like soundtrack territory and its all done with enough reserve to make Coxon’s input sound decent enough (his voice doesn’t usually work for me).
Here’s the dates for the ‘Under One Sky’ tour
25/Nov/2008 Fruitmarket Candleriggs, Glasgow 0141 353 8000 ?27/Nov/2008 Aberdeen Music Hall Union St, Aberdeen, Scotland 01224 641122 ?
28/Nov/2008 Perth Concert Hall Mill St, Perth, Scotland 01738 621031 ?29/Nov/2008 Ironworks 122b Academy St, Inverness, Scotland 0871 789 4173 ?
01/Dec/2008 Pocklington Arts Centre, Market Place, Pocklington, N. Yorkshire 01759 301547
?02/Dec/2008 The Lowry Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester 0161 876 2000 ?04/Dec/2008 The Sage, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear 0191 443 4661 ?
05/Dec/2008 The Playhouse Alnwick, Northumberland 01665 510785 ?06/Dec/2008 Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank Centre, London 0871 663 2500 ?
07/Dec/2008 The Albert Hall North Circus St, off Derby Road, Nottingham 01159 500 411 ?
08/Dec/2008 The Queens Hall Clerk St, Edinburgh, Scotland 0131 668 2019a