Why would anyone cheat on Beyonce? That was the main buzz emanating from the beyhive as Lemonade spilt all over the Internet. Well, the answer could be, unintentionally, contained within the lyrics of an album that is as ambitious as it is overrated.
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Emotion

March 3, 2016

My Lord, pop music has gotten exhausting. It seems every second song is “AN EVENT”; a carefully structured meme generator on the state of race, gender and sexuality in the world today. Either that or it’s a chance for the artist to lift their head off of a snot and tear-stained pillow and tell the world, through revenge porn lyrics, about the folk -often famous, who didn’t appreciate ‘little ole me’.

Some of the above should be admired, even if-like Beyonce’s Formation, it can be self-aggrandizing and self-serving. Pop has a duty to incite.

But, occasionally, one does wish that there was more bubblegum around, sweet, disposable, throwaway tunes where the singer isn’t proclaiming from the chart tops about how they have matured, how they have reformed or how they have conquered.

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In the late 1990s I was so caught up in a Girl Power jihad that my ears declared a fatwa on All Saints. There was something so fake about a group of grown women proclaiming that they were more ‘real’ than their far more successful rivals, just because they dressed in the same uniform of bloc coloured bomber jackets, combats and Timberland boots.

Described as a cooler, edgier alternative to The Spice Girls, they were pop for people who used their musical taste as a totem pole to show how cool and edgy they, themselves, were- not as something that touched or moved them in any great way.

In spite of making a great deal of noise, All Saints’ cannon has few classic tracks.

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Bland, James Bland

January 19, 2016

Bond songs were once renowned for their seductive strings and sleazy brass, lubricating the masses for another roll in the Secret Service hay with the gut growling gravitas of Shirley Bassey and Louis Armstrong, or the salted caramel of Nancy Sinatra and Carly Simon.

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Peaches and Queens!

June 27, 2014

Unlike most women, Mimi Rouge couldn’t leave her peculiar craving behind her after giving birth. “I went to see the movie Party Monster when I was three months gone and I was overwhelmed by this desire to attend a club like the one portrayed in the movie.” She obviously wasn’t going out much at the time so watching club kids like Michael Alig and James St James pushing sexual and social norms through costume and make-up excited her. “I wanted to get dressed up and push boundaries on the dance floor in the same way they did. Such a place didn’t exist in Dublin. So I made it.” –

Full Article from Irish Examiner, Monday December 16th 2013

Music City!

November 5, 2013

Something is seriously remiss. It’s 4am and I’m trembling like the ‘scraggy wee shits’ in Seamus Heaney’s The Early Purges before Dan Taggart pitched them into a bucket. It could be the cold, the coffee or the time that has me this way, but I’m leaning towards fury, the music from a wedding in my supposed 4 star hotel keeping me conscious as the clock ticked down to my early rise. Instead of counting sheep, I’m pumping rounds of imaginary bullets into the DJ as Gangham Style morphs into The Harlem Shake, The Girls of Belfast City stomp relentlessly into the Fields of Athenry, and as Single Ladies become Baby Boys -my temper and a Beyoncé mega mix reaching their crescendo, my alarm chimes in. It’s time to rise.

It’s the Summer Solstice and I’m in Derry to review Music City! a celebration of music that takes place from dawn on Friday till dawn on Saturday as part of the cities year-long role as the UK’s City of Culture.

But as I drive through the back roads of Inis Owen I’d be happy never to hear another note again. Ditching the car at the bottom of a hill we climb in darkness to Grianán of Aileach, a ring fort in County Donegal. It used to be the seat for the High King’s O’Neill from the 5th century. This morning it’s the launch site for the day’s festivities, the Inisowen Gospel Choir providing a Dawn Chorus.
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Now that those in a committed relationship have collapsed into a self-satisfied diabetic coma, it’s time for the cock to flee the roost. Today is National Side-Chick Day.

The idea of celebrating the bit on the side first arose on February 15th 2011 when Hip-Hop artist, Vincent VegaGenesis, posted a ‘Shout out to all the side-chicks. Today is all about you.” While some were disgusted at the thought, yet more added fuel to their fear, with one poster proudly proclaiming; “U know how sometimes leftovers taste better…”

Here’s five tracks for the side-chicks ‘getting theirs’ this evening.

All I Want is a Fighting Chance

Millie Jackson

(MillieJacksonChannel/youtube)

Millie had the whole conversation across her two concept albums Still/Caught Up, where she sang as the wife… and her ‘wife in law’.

From His Woman To You

Barbara Mason

(discolarry124/youtube)

Mason made waves with this type of track (with titles like I Am Your Woman, She is Your Wife). This response to Shirley Brown’s Woman to Woman is the best.

The Other Woman

Nina Simone

 

(Nina Simone/youtube)

When the night is over, and you’re home alone, heed these words from Nina…

 

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

The Beach Boys

(edtheboss13/youtube)
…although, he may be yearning for you too! Brian Wilson allegedly was, in this fantasy about shacking up with his mistress-cum-sister-in-law.

Creep

TLC

(TLCVEVO/youtube)
When the crept on do some creeping themselves.

Beyonce : 4

January 12, 2012

Once leading singles were put out by acts to whet the public appetite for their forthcoming opus. Nowadays chart divas use them to lower expectations so that what eventually appears will seem better than it actually is. Just like Gaga, Christina and Britney pre-empted their albums with stinkers, Beyoncé Knowles returns from the wilderness with (Who Rules the World) Girls, a dulling of Major Lazers Pon De Floor with a tired Girl Power message added on.

The experimentation hinted at by the talent assembled (Diplo, Switch, Sleigh Bells) never emerges and there are far too many tracks here that she throttles with her impressive but unnecessary vocal hysteria.

The key to 4’s charm is it’s throwbacks to late 80s early 90s hip hop. Prince is an influence, album opener and near highlight 1+1 is a delightful rip off of the purple pervert’s The Beautiful One’s, and bonus track Schoolin Life highlights her skill at aping artists who have carved out an individual niche.

But that is what is missing here. Beyonce’s vocals have soul and her beats have lineage. But they are collectively a dilution, serving as a gateway to superior artists but providing nothing she can claim as her own.

Lady Gaga : Born This Way

January 12, 2012

Lock up your closets. The Gaga conglomerate is on the move and it won’t stop until it has milked every last penny out of the pink cash cow. It’s not half as woeful as the appalling lead singles, Born This Way and Judas, would have had you believe but there is nothing on here that justifies her recent crowning as Queen of Pop by Rolling Stone.
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Adele : 21

January 12, 2012

Dear God one shudders to think about what Adele is going to write about when she hits 50. Hopefully ‘the change’ will add a little kink, a little crazy to her soulless bawling. 21, her follow up to debut 19, is the type of album that middle of the road women listen to as a form of catharsis.
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