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Monday, 19 October 2009

On the radio again today

When the call came last week to come back on the Victoria Derbyshire show to help review some of this week's new music reviews, I didn't realise how much of a challenge it might prove to be. You can have a listen here.

I'm all for integrity when it comes to reviewing music, which is why for the most part I only write about things I like on this blog, because I'd rather be honest than not, though I'm also not someone who enjoys slagging someone off much.

But this morning was tricky because we had to review Imogen Heap (who was in the studio with us), Spandau Ballet (who were on the other end of the phone) and Cheryl Cole (who I know a lot of people that work with her). And fourth on the list were Foo Fighters, who happened to be my favourite of the crop today, but who we ran out of time to review. Bugger.

In the studio was yours truly, Colin Patterson (BBC radio entertainment correspondent and general good guy) and Kitty Empire (Observer pop critic who I've been acquainted with for years and general good gal). And of course Victoria Derbyshire and Imogen Heap.

So I said nice things about Imogen. I don't really know much about her but from listening to her since being asked to come on today I like what I've heard - it's not massively challenging, but it's good, well written, pretty songwriting. It's almost a cert for going on Fishy Fishy I'd say, so I do rate it. Listen to Imogen here.

Spandau Ballet were a bit waffly on the phone (hence us not having time to review Foo Fighters) and while it was hard to imagine anything we said today as making the slightest bit of difference to them or their fans, it's still difficult to be brutally honest. At least I thought so - the lovely Kitty Empire (of the Observer) managed to be nice while still being honest, something I guess which I'll have to work on. The two Spandaus who were on the phone (Gary Kemp and John Keeble) didn't leave me with the impression that they appreciate the difference between your catalogue still being relevant today, and you still being relevant today. Sure, you influenced the Killers and White Lies, but does that mean that what you're doing today is exciting (and that's a word they used)? I suspect not. They've re-recorded the whole of their greatest hits set, give or take, and that's what constitutes the new album, with a couple of new tracks. If you don't already own the hits (a) what's wrong with you? and (b) buy a normal greatest hits, not this new stuff they've put out. If you're curious though, one of the two completely new songs is here.

Then we got a couple of minutes to chat about Cheryl Cole, and whether she sang live on The X Factor (which, BTW, Clive Davis, WTF?), and her new single. It's pretty bland compared to the brilliance of Girls Aloud's cannon, I'd say. I did say in fact. It's by no means a bad song, it's just not as good as I'd have hoped it would be. Have a listen (and watch the video, also very American) here.

And, Foos, who we ran out of time for. Shame because it's a new track to go with their upcoming Greatest Hits. It's an okay track and you can hear it here. I thought at first it wasn't the Foos finest moment, by a long shot, but it's better than that after a few listens. Still not their finest moment though. That's be Times Like These.

So till the next time Radio Fivelive, assuming there is a next time.

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