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Review: Ellie Goulding - Delirium

11th November 2015 | Music

Fresh from her chart-topping theme-song to the morally dubious Fifty Shades of Grey, Ellie Goulding is back with her third album ‘Delirium’, and determined to hit the big time. After finally securing her first Number One single with Burn, Goulding has chosen to take a step away from her folktronica (yes, that is a genre) and dubstep-light roots to focus on some proper pop bangers á la Taylor Swift.

To this effect, the singer has enlisted the help of heavyweight producers and co-writers Max Martin and Greg Kurstin, whose recent hits with Adele and Swift respectively make them a perfect choice for a concentrated effort on the upper reaches of the charts.

With their help, Goulding has become very good at writing catchy and accessible pop songs. Holding On For Life is almost perfect: its yearning and melodic pre-chorus is brilliant sing-a-long material; the euphoric chorus is delivered with gusto; and it flirts with gospel backing vocals and house piano to spice up the radio-friendly sound.

Lead single On My Mind is also insanely catchy, with Goulding dishing the dirt on a below-par lover to the sound of clipped, rhythmic guitars. The rumour mill has it that the single is a response to Ed Sheeran’s chart-topping tale of infidelity Don’t, and if this is true then we have a stunning display of musical insults. ‘You wanted my heart but I just liked your tattoos,’ mocks Goulding. ‘I never saw him as a threat/ until you disappeared with him to have sex of course,’ retorts Sheeran. It’s hilarious.

This playful tone is maintained throughout most of the album, and on the whole it’s good to see Goulding let her hair down after the heartbreak of her previous album ‘Halcyon’. Aftertaste and Around U have a…

Review: Keke - I Don't Belong To You

3rd November 2015 | Music

Keke Palmer made claims to fame in early childhood. Since her acting debut, we’ve seen the multi-talented act do it all; music, acting, modelling and television hosting. Some skill-sets however, blossomed more rapidly than others and music unfortunately was the short straw in Keke’s assortment of trades.

From pillar to post we’ve seen the act repeatedly stall in the music business, but now at just 22 and backed by Island Records, we are introduced to a new Ms Palmer - a boss in her premier single on the label dubbed “I Don’t Belong To You”. Does the number confirm Keke’s affirmation into adulthood or prove why her career in music has failed to take off?

We Got London On The Track” initiates the R&B led production by London Holmes (London on da track) and sounds somewhat unfamiliar to his usual arena of trap led, contemporary Atlanta creations typically associated with the Thugs and Quan’s of the industry.

I Don’t Belong To You”, ultimately proves to be new terrain for London and combined with vocalist Keke, it certainly helps to instantly diversify his artistry and aid Keke’s comeback effort. Keke rides the chilled and formulaic R&B production and begins to yearn for out as she claims she “Doesn’t belong” to her lover of the moment. “I’m not interested in playing your childish games.” Keke goes on the defensive, expressing her maturity to not only her lover but her audience, a far cry from her Disney Channel past.

Kick drums follow Keke’s vocal as she begins repeating the song’s title all over the verse, adding “Keep it on the down low” here and there almost saving the abandoned lover embarrassment. In a conventional R&B format, Kekethen reverts back to what her lover has done to wrong…

Review: 5 Seconds of Summer - Sounds Good Feels Good

3rd November 2015 | Music

Pop-punk has become the defining sound of the latest generation, cherished amongst angst-ridden misfits and anyone looking to add a bit more grit to their usual pop fare.Bands like My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy have been happily tempering the energy and defiance of punk with an ear for a good pop chorus over the last decade or so.

5 Seconds of Summer joined the party rather late in 2014, and they’re already back with their sophomore album ‘Sounds Good Feels Good’. But the question is: does it sound good? Does it feel good?

Broadly, yes. The latest album offers a solid run of energetic and incredibly catchy choruses, and the energy never lets up. The group are about as tame as pop punk gets, but this will only help to broaden their appeal, stretching from blink-182 devotees after a lighter touch to disillusioned Directioners looking for something slightly edgier.

Lead single She’s Kind of Hot doesn’t stray too far away from group’s break out hit She Looks So Perfect. It’s naughty, tongue-in-cheek, and features wolf-whistling and a glockenspiel. The rest of the album, on the other hand, is slightly less silly (and filthy) than the band’s debut. They’ve turned up the angst, and now sing about identity crises (‘Invisible’); cash problems (‘Hey Everybody!’); and even divorce (‘Broken Home’ on the deluxe edition). It’s clear that lead singer Luke Hemmings is ‘the voice of the new generation’, as he proclaims on ‘Permanent Vacation’.

For the most part it’s nice to try and take 5 Seconds of Summer a bit more seriously, but sometimes they fall a little short of the mark.

On moody belters like Jet Black Heart and Catch Fire, the passion with which Hemmings belts out the choruses is almost enough to…