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Monday, 23 March 2009

I was on the radio today, again

As I tweeted last week, I had a call from those lovely people at Radio Fivelive again last week and was invited to come back on the Victoria Derbyshire show to help review some of the new music releases. Didn't take much mulling over on my part to of course say yes.

It's a great thing to do for me - just something I never thought I'd do, so it's a refreshingly different and unexpected experience.

Colin Patterson, Radio Fivelive's entertainment correspondent and seemingly all round nice guy, was there as usual, as was the reviews editor from the excellent The Word magazine, the equally excellent Kate Mossman. Victoria, the show's host, keeps the whole thing ticking along, in between interviews with Paul Gascoigne (who I walked past - cool!) and irate callers venting their spleen about the rights and wrongs of the media coverage of the death of Jade Goody. Victoria, or Vicky as people seem to call her, is a reassuringly 'on it' presence for someone so green in the ways of radio as I am.

But as for the music reviews, on today's agenda were the new releases from The Decemberists, Noisettes, Royksopp and Jennifer Hudson. A mixed bag. We also had calling into the show Jamie Morrison from the Noisettes and Sven from Royksopp, so at least when it came to us reviewing their singles they weren't sitting in the same room, unlike the first time I did this and Alesha Dixon was looking right at me as I tried to say something, anything, about her single that wasn't all-out blowing smoke up her ass.

The Decemberists record (The Hazards Of Love) is a tricky one, combining as it does folk, metal and indie, and its 17 tracks of pseudo-mythological concept isn't for everyone, but it is worth a listen if you like that kind of thing (you probably won't know whether you like that kind of thing so the only way to find out is to give it a listen). Singer Colin Meloy is an interesting guy - he's put out a couple of covers EPs, including one called Colin Meloy Sings Sam Cooke - now that's diversity. And he sounds exactly like the bloke out of Deep Blue Something. Make of that what you will.

Noisettes' track may already be familiar to you - Don't Upset The Rhythm is featured on the current Mazda car adverts and it's a great pop hook, though the change of direction from the garage rock-lite of their last record is a little mystifying (Don't Give Up is a really good NME-friendly party track).

Royksopp's new single Happy Up Here, sounds disappointingly just like their advert-friendly first single, Eple (which I found out means 'apple' in Norwegian). But there's a great track on the album, called The Girl And The Robot, which features Robyn. Lykke Li and Karin Andersson, lead singer of The Knife, are also on the album, so it's a proper Scandinavian pop-fest).

And finally we just squeezed in a review of Jennifer Hudson's new single If This Isn't Love. As I said on air, it's very hard to say anything bad about someone who is clearly enormously talented (she's one of the few actresses to have won an Oscar, Bafta, Golden Globe and Screen Actors' Guild award for the same role, in Dreamgirls) and she's suffered such tragedy in her life so recently (her mother, brother and cousin were all shot dead late last year), so I hope I was the right side of diplomatic about a track that doesn't really move me. I wish her all the best though, and the track's not such a bad mid-tempo R&B number.

That's it - hopefully I'll be back again some day, I'd love to do it again. If you missed it, you can catch it here for the next week (it's Monday's show). It started about 90 minutes into the show.

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