#ThrowbackThursday: Lily Allen – ‘The Fear’

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‘The Fear’ was the lead single taken from Lily Allen‘s second studio album, ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’. It’s incredible to believe but this track was actually UK Number 1 back in 2009…10 years ago! In fact, it stayed at the top of the UK Singles Chart for four consecutive weeks resulting in it being the longest running Number 1 song, in the UK, for 2009.

Despite the glistening, electropop elements to the song that see a barrage of synths weave their way throughout the track, its lyrics are deep, highlighting and poking fun at the problems with consumerism, celebrity lifestyles (and certain well-known tabloids’ obsessions with them) and the postmodern condition of the world.

The song was co-written and produced by monster-hit creator, Greg Kurstin, and saw the starlet adopting a new, ethereal and more mature sound.

The music video is pretty great too, with Lily Allen emerging from a caravan, before returning to reveal the interior of a massive mansion where she is joined by a large group of dancers, eventually performing amongst some giant, brightly-coloured, dancing presents. It’s very dream-like and actually perfectly reflects the tone and topic of the track itself.

It’s an all-round incredible track and easy to see why it reached the Number 1 spot…I just can’t believe it’s already a decade old!

What are your thoughts of this throwback jam by the incredible Lily Allen? Do you have a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘The Fear’ can be downloaded on iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-fear/731919848?i=731919950


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#Review: Ben Howard – Noonday Dream


   

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Ben Howard is an English singer-songwriter and musician, most notable for winning the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist at the 2013 Brit Awards. Since then, his second album, I Forget Where We Were, reached the Number 1 spot in the UK album charts. Now, with the buzz surrounding the release of his third album, Noonday Dream, it could see him reach that same success. Here’s what we had to say about it…

Ben Howard - Noonday Dream.jpg

Ben Howard‘s latest album, Noonday Dream, sees another change to his ever adapting sound, keeping this artist fresh and showing just how diverse he can be. Having seen 4 years pass since his previous album and now at the age of 31, Howard has proven that he won’t be bound to time constraints but instead, ensured he make the time to mature his songwriting and develop a new sound for his next record.

It all begins with the truly haunting and melancholic, ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’ ; a dark and reflective song at the start before emerging into bursts of peaceful reprieve and ecstatic, almost whale song, guitars. It certainly depicts imagery of an American desert, similar to that of the album artwork. Then during the last minute, it transforms into a dreamy, piano-led clearing; a beautiful transformation into a more euphoric sound of hope.

Other songs to take note of include; ‘Towing The Line’ which is an almost Celtic-sounding, folk song with guitars that echo and seem to envelop you; ‘What The Moon Does’ which conjures up imagery of camping out under the stars of the Deep South in America; ‘Someone In The Doorway’, a track that sounds almost like spoken verse, in places, but is probably one of the most upbeat songs on the album and somehow seems like it goes hand in hand with ‘The Defeat’; another similarly half-spoken, half-sung track that has a really rock edge to it.

Noonday Dream is an exquisitely atmospheric, richly textured and highly visual album that is sure to kick off the next chapter in Ben Howard’s career, with meteoric success.

The album was produced by Ben himself, alongside long-time collaborator Mickey Smith, who between them, have done a superb job of capturing subtle nuances that make this such a stunning record. From the warm reverb of his acoustic guitars to the drawn out, whale-like sounds of his electric guitars (as on ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’) and the distinctive piano key strokes to subtle snippets of conversations (among many other captured sounds), this is a truly captivating record.

Noonday Dream is an exquisitely atmospheric, richly textured and highly visual album that is sure to kick off the next chapter in Ben Howard’s career, with meteoric success. Whilst it might not be to everyone’s specific tastes, any person who has an appreciation for skilful musicianship, poetic lyricism and stunning production, will find this to be a real gem of an album.

Rating
4


‘Noonday Dream’ is out 01/06/18 and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/noonday-dream/1364401352


Noonday Dream on Spotify

Nica Libres At Dusk (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Ben Howard’s third album? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: B*Witched – ‘C’est La Vie’


   

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B*Witched are an Irish quartet, consisting of twins, Edele and Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou and Sinéad O’Carroll, who burst onto the scene with their debut single, ‘C’est La Vie’, back in 1998.

The song was such a huge success with its unique brand of upbeat, Irish-themed pop and peaked at Number 1 in the UK Charts. The track was filled with a series of double entendres and in 2013, the girl group revealed that it was in fact about sex.

This song kicked off a hugely successful (albeit relatively short) career, with their next three singles all peaking at Number 1 in the UK Charts, and both their albums also reached inside the Top 5!

The music video was bright, vibrant, super cheesy and downright fun, featuring the girls’ iconic denim-on-denim style, which became a signature part of their branding.

What are your thoughts of this pop quartet’s Irish-flavoured, Number 1 hit? Did you love it first time around? Are you still a fan today? Got a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘C’est La Vie’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/cest-la-vie/298026093?i=298026101


#ThrowbackThursday: Lenny Kravitz – ‘Fly Away’


   

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Lenny Kravitz is well-known for his retro vibes and fusion of various genres, from rock to reggae, folk to funk and soul to psychedelic.

Back in 1998, Kravitz released ‘Fly Away’, one of his most successful singles to date, reaching Number 1 in the UK Charts.

The song was in fact the fourth single to be taken from his fifth album, 5, and due to the huge success of it, not only boosted sales of the album but also earned him a Grammy Award in 1999 for Best Male Rock Performance.

The track is incredibly catchy with its funk bass line and gritty vocals – it’s no wonder it rocketed to the top of the charts.

The music video was directed by Paul Hunter (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and more) and features Kravitz and his band performing in a club, surrounded by a crowd, dancing and getting frisky. It’s a very iconic video for the artist and shows a real passion in his performance…something he definitely pours into his live shows!

What are your thoughts of this wonderfully unique artist? Did you love this track first time around? Do you still love it now? What’s your favourite Lenny Kravitz track? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Fly Away’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fly-away/723338099?i=723338326


#MellowMonday: Post Malone – ‘Psycho’ featuring Ty Dolla $ign


   

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Post Malone burst onto the UK music scene back in 2017, with his massive, Number 1 hit single, ‘rockstar’. Now, 2018 has seen the release of his second album, beerbongs & bentleys, the third single from which is this, ‘Psycho’, featuring guest vocals from Ty Dolla $ign.

Whilst this song hasn’t quite replicated the success of the album’s lead single, ‘Psycho’ is a fantastic track, which peaked at Number 4 in the UK charts.

Lyrically, the song refers to Malone‘s lifestyle and addresses the theme of trust issues that can arise out of fame; it’s a very personal track. This sits on top of a laidback trap beat with a simplistic, yet seriously catchy melody. It’s a subtle yet powerful song.

The music video is pretty cool too – flames, snow, tanks, deserts…it’s a big-budget, rather epic affair.

What are your thoughts of this hip hop artist? What’s your favourite song of his? Do you have a #MellowMonday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Psycho’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/psycho-feat-ty-dolla-%24ign/1373516902?i=1373517312


#ThrowbackThursday: Estelle – ‘American Boy’ featuring Kanye West


   

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This year sees the 10th anniversary of Estelle‘s 2008, Number 1 hit, ‘American Boy’ featuring Kanye West.

The song was actually written by Estelle, Kanye West, will.i.am, John Legend, Josh Lopez, Caleb Speir, Armand and Keith Harris. The track was produced by will.i.am himself and the beat is in fact from his own song, ‘Impatient’ taken from his own third studio album Songs About Girls; it’s no wonder this was such a big hit!

The song is largely disco-funk and quite chilled in its feel, lyrically describing a romance after meeting an American man.

The video is black and white and whilst fairly simplistic in its concept is effective and shows a good performing relationship between the two stars.

What are your thoughts of this 2008 hit? Do you have your own #ThrowbackThursday track from 2008 to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘American Boy’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/american-boy-feat-kanye-west/1349741979?i=1349742253


#ThrowbackThursday: Michael Jackson – ‘Blood On The Dancefloor’


   

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‘Blood On The Dancefloor’ is quite an underrated track from the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson. The song was released as the first single from the remix album, Blood On The Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix.

Interestingly, Jackson and Teddy Riley actually created the track in time for the 1991 release of the album, Dangerous, however, it did not appear on the record. Instead, it was altered slightly before it found commercial release, in 1997. The track plays with a selection of genres including funk and new jack swing.

Needless to say, the track rocketed to Number 1 in the UK charts and the music video premiered on Top Of The Pops. It revolved around the main character of the track, Susie (played by Sybil Azur), seducing Jackson with a dance, before pulling a switchblade on him.

What are your thoughts on this underrated MJ track? Got your own #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks


‘Blood On The Dancefloor’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/blood-on-the-dance-floor/id193015198?i=193015409