Molly McQueen - 'No Sleep Tonight'

Now here’s a song for women belonging to the girl power school of thought. Molly McQueen makes a beeline for our mainstream music currents with her debut solo single ‘NO SLEEP TONIGHT’.

Anyone who remembers the likes of Garbage, Republica and Hole will know that this female power rock-out is nothing new. However, the near perfect balance of aggression and melody probably means that this track will do well, especially as it is part of the soundtrack to Uma Thurman’s latest film, MY SUPER EX GIRLFRIEND.

If you like women who wear their devil status on their sleeves then this is definitely a song for you. Crush those big bad men!

Written for Entertainmentwise Image by Notraces

Christina Aguilera - 'Back To Basics'

The owner of the biggest voice and image in pop today is back, and if you’re a fan of the Dirrty Christina Aguilera then no doubt you have been wondering how her recent marriage will have altered her music. Well it certainly hasn’t done either her voice or her originality any harm. Her new two-disk album BACK TO BASICS certainly shows a new found maturity but it still very much the creations of our filthy Christina.

Christina is often compared to Madonna because of her dramatic images and musical directions. First of all, let’s face it, there is surely no greater compliment that a female artist can receive. Second of all BACK TO BASICS is not going to be putting an end to those comparisons, especially as far as the second CD is concerned because this really is two albums in one.

While CD One is full to the brim of the highest quality polished pop and features the funky beats and touching harmonies we know Aggy for, CD Two is a trip to a century-spanning theatre, may be even the Moulin Rouge. The whole of the second CD could easily work as a musical score; indeed you can easily image Baz Luhrmann’s Diamond Dogs performing many of the numbers.
The second CD draws upon many highlights of the past centuries music and draws on jazz, soul and blues from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s in a raw, honest and in places sinister way. In fact it becomes so sinister in places (namely ‘ENTER THE CIRCUS’) that you find yourself checking the album sleeve to see if Tim Burton was involved in the production of the album.

The one drawback to this album is that Christina makes reference to her relationship with her new hubby a little too much. Indeed in places it feels as though the whole album is a documentation of their relationship thus far. But on the plus side at least you know that her songs are personal, which is more than can be said for most pop music out there.

This is an album for anyone with a liking for grandiose pop, and fans of Christina will definitely not be disappointed. This is raw essence of Christina that just gets more ingenious with every album. There’s simply no stopping this big-voiced diva.

Image by Mambo1935

Hayley Sanderson - 'Something In the Air'

The next young artist hoping to launch her career on the back of an advertising campaign is angel-voiced Hayley Sanderson. Her heart-warming melody ‘SOMETHING IN THE AIR’ is currently the soundtrack to the latest Talk Talk TV advert (the one with the shape-creating people), but we think her talents could land her more than a good phone contract.

This heart-warming tune of promise, friendship and inevitable love is more poignant than she may have even intended, and the light and airy ballad has the potential to be the soundtrack to your summer evenings.
Hopefully it will not be too long before we get to find out what else she has up her sleeve, but for now this will keep us singing sweetly for the rest the summer.

Written for
Image by Birdfarm


Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest

If you are in need in more of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, more slapstick Disney and disgustingly good CGI, then get yourself to a nearby cinema for a Pirates of The Caribbean booster. It will protect you from withdrawal symptoms for about twelve months, but be warned; it does not offer lifetime immunity.

Unfortunately director Gore Verbinski and his crew are just another team that have fallen foul to the curse of the sequel. Dead Man’s Chest does nothing that the first one did not. Thankfully however, it does include all the best ingredients of The Black Pearl, and in more or less the right doses.

Yet again Depp steals the show, even over brilliantly hideous CGI and a frantic plot line. He cracks you up with the perfectly timed raising of an eyebrow, and makes being turned into a human kebab almost look like fun. And as the plot unfolds he pulls you closer and closer to the edge of your seat with every minute that he minces his way towards saving the day. He captures the art of slapstick so perfectly that at times you may even have to remind yourself that you are watching more than just a sexier and more expensive episode of The Chuckle Brothers.

Thankfully it isn’t until the final five minutes of the movie that you start to feel cheated. You realise that you are not going to get anything near a neat ending and that the last two and a half hours have been little more than rum slurping, sword yielding filler. But don’t worry, it’s filler that is riding the crest of its technological wave.

The Flying Dutchman’s eternal crew, despite being almost entirely CGI, only just lose the show to Depp. With bodies that are amalgamations of the creepiest creatures of the deep, and the increasingly barnacled face of Bootstrap Bill, the living dead crew of The Flying Dutchman will long haunt adults and children alike.
Although the narrative of Dead Man’s Chest does fall a little flat towards the end, Depp and the film’s groundbreaking animation serve as more than adequate buoyancy. And if nothing else floats your boat at least Depp, Bloom and Knightly serve as pretty damn good eye candy.

Image by Bradley Wilson

Spotlight Kid - Departure

There is a fine line and a big difference between heavy music and noise. Unfortunately Spotlight Kid seem to have put themselves on the wrong side of that line with their debut album DEPARTURE.

Formed in 2005, Spotlight Kid are friends Chris Davis and Katty Heath. Davis used to be part of band Six By Seven, and started writing his own material after the band parted ways. After a while friend Heath, whose commitments with her band Bent had been fulfilled, agreed to join him in recording an album.

Apparently Davis knew all along how he wanted the album to turn out, but it would be great to know what his exact aims were; this is a very blurry album. It is wish-washey and noisy at the same time, and most definitely bland and repetitive.
The same musical ideas repeat throughout the album, there is very little change in tempo and what lyrics there are aren’t defined enough to make tracks stand out.

On top of this the production is very poor; the guitars tend to drown out every other sound anyway. So underneath that layer of sound there could hidden be musical genius, but you just wouldn’t know.
For example the guitars drown out most of Katty’s vocals, which are few and far between in themselves, and also musically repetitive. The fact that the heavy guitars drown her out makes it extremely hard to make out what she’s singing, and has the result of making them sound very whiney and annoying.

In terms of comparisons, this is a bit like Deftones without the guts. If you like the more instrumental Deftones tracks, such as “PASSENGER” on WHITE PONY, there is a chance that this album might work for you as driving or background music. Everyone else should bypass this album however. There is nothing to be seen here.

2 Stars – Not offensive but still pretty crap

Wrtten for Entertainment Wise Image by Julio Rojas

Dan Arborise - Around In Circles

If, unlike the majority of the country, you are not bored of the oh-so-talented and oh-so-sensitive solo male singer/songwriters who keep creeping out of the woodwork, then be sure to check out Dan Arborise's debut album. If however, you can take no more from the James Blunts, James Morrisons and Paolo Nutinis of the world, AROUND IN CIRCLES is probably not an album for you.

Born in the jungles of Borneo to Polish parents, Arborise grew up in South London, which he moved to via Nigeria. He received classical training in both guitar in piano, but later moved on to take up electric guitar.

At this point he joined some friends to form band Playground, who at one point were threatened with the management of Ricky Gervais, who ended up choosing a career in comedy instead.
It all started to look good for Playground, and their first UK tour received rave reviews, but life differences saw the band members going off in different directions, at which point Arborise moved to Edinburgh to study Physics. In the stunning Scottish capital Arborise rediscovered acoustic guitar and started writing again.

His years of guitar playing are evident on his debut album, and to be fair to the guy he is pretty damn good at it. So the chances are that if you appreciate acoustic guitar, you’ll really like Arborise’s stuff. Another plus point is the fact that he is not nearly as gushy as James Blunt.

The problem is that as a whole his music is doing nothing new, and that the record sounds all the same all the way through. So if you like your music to have something a bit different about it, this is not for you.
Arborise is the sort of artist who would be great to have play your local on a rainy Sunday evening, but who you would be a disappointed by if you had driven the length of the country to get to his gig.

3 Stars – Average, decent album but not amazing

Written for Entertainment Wise Image by Streetwalker