I have used this column many times to express my disdain for Smith, a man whose relationship to soul music is similar to the relationship a girl called Stacey from Hartlepool wearing a bindi at V festival has to the Hindu god Shiva.
Disclosure ft Sam Smith
So know how hard it is for me to say this: this song is so sexy I had to step out of the office to write this review. Disclosure’s production squishes and squelches heavily under Smith’s bruised vocal. The song is only bettered by the video, in which Smith stands smarmy and sweaty against a pole, like he’s coming up off a £20 pill, as revellers writhe around him. I don’t know whether all this is evidence of Smith’s new direction or my compassion but, either way, I’m willing to give him this one.
Cool For The Summer (Hollywood)
The sexual politics of this song are probably a little bit questionable – it basically takes Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl to third base – but it’s so hard to care with all these sultry piano house lines and vocal pitch bends floating around like a pop (lady) Garden of Eden. Unusually for this type of thing, it seems Lovato is the one leading the charge, suggesting she’s been round this rodeo before: “Don’t be scared cause I’m your body type” and “Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite” she instructs, like an American Pie 4 character. Yes, the whispered “Don’t tell your mother” bit is quite hammy but basically what I’m saying is, yes, Demi Lovato, I will have a lesbian affair with you.
Orange Blossom (Smart Girls Club)
Christ, either I’m on heat or this is the most lewd week for singles ever. Although, to be honest, with lyrics like “I’ve been dripping for an hour, little juicy, how you do me, made for eating, so consume me”, you don’t have to read too hard into this one. Previously going by the moniker Princess Nokia, and before that Wavy Spice, the artist now known as Destiny gets better with each new incarnation. Orange Blossom is pretty close to nirvana with its Sunday morning glory synth lines and cunnilinguistic flourishes.
Hello Hi (Dice)
Big Narstie is like the Jeremy Corbyn of grime, if Jeremy Corbyn were a 200lb stoner who made YouTube commentary videos about that mum who played naked Twister with her daughter’s friends. Narstie has been a grime stalwart since day dot, and stayed true to the genre’s roots while most of its stars went off to make pop records of questionable value. Now that everyone’s come back round to making grime proper, he’s become an unlikely godfather for the scene, known as much for his devastating adjudications on MC beefs and hot takes on everything as his music. Hello Hi is Narstie’s signature track, and like everything he does is both pantomime ridiculous and spectacularly technically adept. I don’t care what Tony Blair says, I’m voting Narstie.
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