This week, two new 1D songs, the return of CeeLo Green and the aftermath of the John Lewis Christmas advert.
100 – Stay With Me by Sam Smith
97 – All of Me by John Legend
96 – Funny by Chase & Status ft. Frisco
92 – Bird Set Free by Sia
Sia follows up the brilliant Alive with a great independence single, but sadly not quite as good as Alive. Sia’s strong point has always been her song writing and here the lyrical construction is very good. Sia’s vocals are also great. The problem is that Bird Set Free lacks the drive and punch in the instrumentation from the previous single. This song is still good, but not as good as the older single.
83 – End of the Day by One Direction
59 – Music to My Soul by CeeLo Green
I have always had a soft spot for CeeLo Green. Fuck You, It’s Ok and Crazy (with Gnarls Barkley) were great singles. Music to My Soul is much more laid back than any of the former singles, but I still really like it. The neo-soul aesthetic has always worked for CeeLo, but I wish that this song had a bit more punch to it. Like the Sia track this week, it needs a bit more drive for me.
56 – Half the World Away by Oasis
45 – Coming Home by Sigma ft. Rita Ora
44 – The Girl Is Mine by 99 Souls ft. Destiny’s Child & Brandy
This song sounds like a darker version of Easy Love by Sigala, but nowhere near as good. It butchers the Destiny’s Child sample under some production that is far too heavy. Side note, even though they sample Destiny’s Child, you only really hear Beyoncé and not the other members. This song just feels like a bit of a mess.
37 – History by One Direction
So this is One Direction’s attempt at sounding like Jack Johnson. It just doesn’t work. It lacks the ease of his music and the vocal layering the chorus is too heavy. The claps are also too loud in the mix. This track doesn’t really achieve what it wants, something which is becoming a theme for recent One Direction singles.
14 – Adventure of a Lifetime by Coldplay
Coldplay attempting disco was not something I ever expected. Weirdly, I think it works. I like the upbeat and cheerful instrumentation, especially the opening guitar riff. Chris Martin’s voice actually vaguely works on this song, which is another thing that surprises me. This is a very fun song, something that I felt has been lacking from recent Coldplay.
11 – Half a World Away by Aurora
This Oasis cover by Norwegian singer Aurora is the latest track to be used on the John Lewis Christmas Advert. For me, Aurora’s effort’s aren’t as good as Lily Allen’s 2013 offering but much better than Tom Odell’s last year. Her willowy vocals match the tone of the advert as well as the relaxed instrumentation. It is a little dull, but then again, it is coming from the John Lewis Christmas advert… Overall, it is a good track and a cover that does retain some of the magic from the Oasis original.
3 – Sax by Fleur East
And thus we have the latest contender in the neo-funk scene, X Factor runner up Fleur East. East fuses a funk instrumentation with some synth disco elements to quite a good effect. It is very catchy, even if the metaphorof the “sax” in question is a bit forced. My one qualm with the instrumentation is that Sax needs more saxophone in the actual mix! I mean, it is in the title. This is quite a catchy song, but could have used more saxophone.
Worth a Listen
Bird Set Free by Sia
Music to My Soul by CeeLo Green
Half the World Away by Oasis
Adventure of a Lifetime by Coldplay
Wouldn’t Turn Off
All of Me by John Legend
Coming Home by Sigma ft. Rita Ora
Half a World Away by Aurora
Sax by Fleur East
Would Turn Off
Stay With Me by Sam Smith
Funny by Chase & Status ft. Frisco
End of the Day by One Direction
History by One Direction
Worst of the Week
The Girl Is Mine by 99 Souls ft. Destiny’s Child & Brandy