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Singles Of The Week (2 September 2013)

Today’s Singles of the Week features the latest singles from Gabriella Cilmi, Frank Turner, Katy Perry and Céline Dion.

It’s September, which means the unstoppable ‘how many shopping days till Christmas’ countdown is about to begin while incredulous customers bemoan the presence of festive gift wrap and greeting cards in the shops ‘ALREADY!’. To distract from this impending Christmas stress, we have some new music for you courtesy of today’s Singles of the Week column. Along with the long-awaited return of music royalty Céline Dion and UK singer-songwriter Frank Turner’s new single, there’s also the lead track from record-breaking pop princess Katy Perry’s forthcoming album, Prism. However, while the anticipation around her comeback may be a little less than that of one Ms Dion, that doesn’t make Gabriella Cilmi’s new song any less noteworthy…


‘The Sting’ by Gabriella Cilmi


Review by Jeremy Williams

Gabriella Cilmi - The StingGabriella Cilmi has had a bit of a tumultuous journey in terms of pop. Launched at just 16, Cilmi’s distinctive vocal and relaxed styling struck a chord with the world when she motioned that there was ‘nothing sweet about me’ back in 2008. While her début album, the sweet but surprisingly honest Lessons To Be Learned, saw her innocent approach soar to the top of the charts globally, winning numerous awards in her home country of Australia, it appeared record executives wanted their girl-next-door to vamp it up for her 2010 sophomore, Ten. Gone was the soulful thinker, replaced by a sex-hungry disco kitten who graced the front cover of FHM topless and paraded around G-A-Y in an outlandish alien costume (the latter remembered fondly by the songstress, while the former she would rather forget). While there was more than a little merit in her sophomore effort, the shellshocked public could not adapt to her post-adolescent sexuality and Cilmi fell out of favour with her label.

Having opted out of releasing a standard covers album, Cilmi parted ways with her label and has instead opted to go it alone. Returning now at still just 21 years of age, Cilmi is determined to showcase her songwriting credentials and her distinctive vocals – the two elements that saw her soar in the first place. While her physical transformation into a pixie-like goddess is apparent in the video, it far from overrides the irresistible, instant appeal of comeback single ‘The Sting’.

‘The Sting’ is a major departure for Cilmi. It has none of the naive innocence of her teenage scribblings, nor the overt sexuality of her sophomore release, instead offering up a lyrically intelligent, soulful singalong. With the bee metaphor dominating the three and half minute lyrical charge, Cilmi demonstrates an understanding of pop nuances in both the curious lyrics and irresistible chorus.

Without the backing of a major label, many teenage stars simply disappear into obscurity. Cilmi’s returns proves that she was never a pop puppet and that music has always been in her heart.

Download the single from Amazon or iTunes.


‘Losing Days’ by Frank Turner


Reviewed by John Lucas

Frank Turner - Losing DaysFrank Turner appears to be having a bit of a pre-mid-life crisis. On the third single from his fifth album, Tape Deck Heart, the 31-year old folk-rocker is in nostalgic mode, reflecting on the awkward moment when the live-fast-die-young party animal starts getting a bit too old and sensible for it all.

You can understand why he might be feeling a bit more grown-up than he’d imagined. These days he’s more likely to be found headlining Wembley Arena to a crowd of 12,000 or playing the main stage at Reading than to be braving the drunken bear pits and open mic nights that he would’ve been familiar with in his punk-rock twenties, when he fronted post-hardcore collective Million Dead. Maybe for a certain kind of artist, moving up to the stadiums and corporate gigs is the equivalent of taking that safe, well-paid middle management job instead of going to India to find yourself or chasing the acting dream. The rewards are plentiful, but you lose a bit of yourself in the process.

So he may be more housewives’ favourite than hell-raiser these days, but in his defence it’s a sound that suits him quite well. The jangly guitar sound is straight out of early, solo Morrissey mixed with Billy Bragg, and his lyrics are pithy and relatable, if not exactly revelatory. Somewhere, a disillusioned bank manager will hear this song on Radio 2 and resolve to get his first tattoo since The Wedding Present were the height of indie cred; but there’ll be a hell of a scene when his wife finds out.

Download the single from Amazon or iTunes


‘Roar’ by Katy Perry


Reviewed by Sam Johnson

RoarKaty Perry has delivered yet another anthemic pop delight with new release ‘Roar’, the first single from her upcoming album Prism. It seems Lady Gaga isn’t the only artist releasing their single early as ‘Roar’ has also been brought forward a week. It is perhaps not quite the ‘pop emergency’ that Gaga’s ‘Applause‘ was; Katy’s decision is supposedly based on overwhelming demand.

We can see why too. ‘Roar’ is a positive, self-empowerment song typical of the Katy Perry brand. It’s got all the spark of ‘Firework‘ matched with the feel-good energy of ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)‘. Whilst we’re naming her previous singles, we must also say that ‘Roar’ thematically progresses from ‘Part Of Me‘, being another song shaking off all that Russell Brand business.

She eloquently describes her current situation this way: ‘Now I’m floating like a butterfly / Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes / I went from zero, to my own hero’. To put it negatively, we’d say it’s not much of a departure from the music we heard on Katy’s Teenage Dream album. However, the track is absolutely massive and Katy has never sounded better – at least she’s not slipped into electro-pop like every other pop star.

It’s all go for Team Katy at the moment, what with her impending gig as part of the iTunes festival, the ad for her fragrance Killer Queen doing the rounds and the official music video for ‘Roar’ due for release this Thursday (September 5). ‘Roar’ will certainly place Katy at the top of the charts again where ultimately she is destined to land with this song.

Download the single now from iTunes.


‘Loved Me Back to Life’ by Céline Dion


Reviewed by Andy Hastings

Celine Dion - Loved Me Back To LifeYounger readers may be surprised to learn that Céline Dion is more than a YouTube sensation, professional mother and Caesar’s Palace employee. Before her Las Vegas residency, the French Canadian chanteuse had a relatively successful music career (having sold an estimated 200 million albums) and is due to release her first English-language album in six years. Ladies and gentlemen, Céline Dion is BACK BACK BACK.

‘Loved Me Back to Life’ is the title track and lead single from the ‘Un garçon pas comme les autres (Ziggy)’ hitmaker’s 25th (!) studio album and promises an ‘edgy’ new sound for Céline . The track finds her singing in a lower register than usual, over a skittering drum loop and synthesised strings. Her voice is so low in the mix and her pronunciation is so mangled that we’re not entirely sure what the song is about, but the lyrics were written by the ubiquitous Sia, so no doubt they were very expensive.

The track ultimately rolls past without making any kind of impact – there’s no melody to speak of and aside from very loudly singing of the title during the chorus, [tweetable]Céline herself is surprisingly muted, buried beneath the ‘LOOK HOW CONTEMPORARY I AM’ production[/tweetable]. ‘Loved Me Back to Life’ sounds like the kind of song entirely constructed by an A&R team – chuck together the songwriter du jour and production team willing to employ every modern production technique and then turn the dial up to eleven. Then slap out the result as the lead single, regardless of what it really sounds like and whether it’s doing the artist in question any favours.

After a gap of seven years, you’d expect one of the most successful female artists of all time to come back with a track with more impact, but ‘Loved Me Back to Life’ is surprisingly anaemic and instantly forgettable. She’ll manage to shift enough copies of the album to keep the label happy – this is Céline Dion, after all – but if this is the best she has to offer, her days of troubling the singles chart are long over. Sorry, Céline .

The single will be available for download from Amazon from Wednesday.





  1. MANOLO25

    2 Sep 2013 at 06:21

    I totally disagree with you, Loved me back to life is amazing. Celine Dion is back with something EPIC. You just lost credibility and a reader.

  2. Ashton Elijah Pittman

    2 Sep 2013 at 06:25

    You say Loved Me Back to Life has no melody, but you gave Roar 5-stars. Righttttt. Credibility level: -10

    • Caspar Aremi

      2 Sep 2013 at 23:25

      Different reviewers. Your credibility as a reader has been lost.

  3. Ashton Elijah Pittman

    2 Sep 2013 at 06:26

    Also, next time, you should review the actual STUDIO TRACK, not a cleaned up live performance that someone with Audacity stuck up on YouTube.

  4. julian

    2 Sep 2013 at 07:53

    Poor that Andy guy.

    • Andy

      2 Sep 2013 at 12:08

      Thank you for your concern.

      • julian

        2 Sep 2013 at 17:21

        I hope you get a life sooner or latter.

        • Andy

          2 Sep 2013 at 18:09

  5. LNT

    2 Sep 2013 at 07:57

    LOL @ the bland, basic, childish trash that is ”Roar” being called ”anthemic pop delight”. There have been tons of songs with similar lyrical content, not to mention it sounds like ”Brave” from Sarah Bareilles. Repeatitve & Unoriginal.

    ”Loved me back to Life”, penned by Sia and performed by Celine has better vocals (well dah!) and more profound lyrics. Anyone who thinks this song lacks melody should get a working pair of ears.

    Also, the sarcasm ”professional mother”, ”Caesar’s Palace employee” is cheap.

  6. Guest

    2 Sep 2013 at 08:03

    celine’s single isn’t even out yet, this is from a low quality live performance….

  7. Petko85

    2 Sep 2013 at 13:58

    Celine’s new Song will be a massive Hit, without a doubt!

    It is so catchy, even my friends that aren’t Fans of Celine totally love it!

    Whoever wrote the review is just clearly A Dion Hater – but he will see how well this Song will do Worldwide!

  8. manu

    2 Sep 2013 at 14:26

    hahaha at Loved Me Back To Live review. Poor Mariah Carey fan, it’s hard for him to asume that Celine is more successful than her in every single way

  9. Rufus

    2 Sep 2013 at 14:30

    Wow! What can you expect from Mariah Carey fan in this case?! Nothing reliable anyway… I’ll never understand this kind of rivalization between MC fans against all. Your idol must be proud of you bashing Celine! Or is she really???…

  10. Adam Lowe

    2 Sep 2013 at 14:50

    Wow. You stop reading a magazine just because you disagree with their review of Celine? Fanboy much?

    • Mika

      2 Sep 2013 at 15:09

      Andy Hastings can have their own opinions.

      But he HAS NOT EVEN LISTENED to the “Official Version” of the Single “Loved Me Back to Life” because it has not even released yet when he wrote the reivew.

      How could he JUDGE and REVIEW the song without hearing the official version??

      It is absolutely UNPROFESSSIONAL!

  11. WD

    2 Sep 2013 at 17:03

    You disrespectful, vile pigs – Celine is a music legend, the most successful female recording artist of all-time. And the best that you can do is review a cleaned up, live performance? You’re idiots.

    • Carayah Marey

      2 Sep 2013 at 17:16

      relax! this website means absolutely nothing for music industry! 😉

    • Andy

      2 Sep 2013 at 18:08

      It’s lovely how music brings happiness and joy to so many and unites us all, isn’t it?

      • Edna

        2 Sep 2013 at 19:02

        Exactly… now apply this sentence to your article about Celine Dion you wrote in the first place.

    • Caspar Aremi

      2 Sep 2013 at 23:12

      You call the author disrespectful, then a vile pig. Hypocrite much?

  12. Steve

    2 Sep 2013 at 18:16

    Haha what a jerk, but what can you expect from a Mariah Carey Fan that uses every chance he gets to bash Celine… Oh my is that ridiculous!

    It seems like he can’t get over it that Celine Sold more Albums worldwide than Mariah did haha, poor guy 😉

    • Caspar Aremi

      2 Sep 2013 at 23:13

      What does being a Mariah fan have to do with whether or not someone can write a critical review of a Celine song?

  13. Elliot

    2 Sep 2013 at 20:13

    Please don’t assume publicly-accessible videos that we are able to embed in these posts are the same materials we have used for any given review.

    Also, perhaps we could all note that Andy never mentioned he was a fan of Mariah Carey, either here in the comments section or in his review, so why some people have shoehorned her into this comment thread is beyond me. Please take your tiresome and pointless fan wars back to where they belong -> YouTube.

    • Adam Lowe

      4 Sep 2013 at 16:42

      Clearly these people have never heard of ‘advance review copies’.

      Mind you, they haven’t heard of ‘manners’, ‘logic’ or ‘sanity’ either, most of them.

  14. Steve

    2 Sep 2013 at 21:15

    Elliot, Andy didn’t mention it here, but we did our research and its no secret that he is a Fan of Miss Carey and he admittet at Twitter that he doesn’t like Celine so why the hell is HE writing about a Celine Song???

    • Caspar Aremi

      2 Sep 2013 at 23:13

      You stalked the author to find out what his musical tastes are? That’s kinda creepy.

      • Adam Lowe

        4 Sep 2013 at 16:42

        Agreed, Caspar.

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