Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Hot Chip 'Ready For The Floor'

Chart Peak: 6


...Speaking of breakthroughs that didn't entirely go to plan. Around the time Now 69 arrived, Hot Chip seemed ideally poised for stardom; they had critical acclaim in spades, their album The Warning had been rather a sleeper hit and the single from it, 'Over And Over', was one of those songs everybody knew and liked but nobody bought. This first single from their third album was a record that people actually did buy, bouncing into the Top 10 and pulling that album along behind it. For reasons not instantly apparent, the return seemed to falter after that, and they've yet to manage a proper follow-up hit.

'Ready For The Floor' is not an instantly obvious hit, with its slightly nerdy combination of alternative and electronica which doesn't quite seem to have the strengths of either. That said, it grew on me even during the first time I replayed it for this post, and probably not only because I'd got beyond the slightly irritating "Do it, do it, do it" intro. It's undeniably catchy, but you have to wonder whether people would have thought it was as cool if it said Mike & The Mechanics on the sleeve.

Available on: Made in the Dark

One Night Only 'Just For Tonight'

Chart Peak: 9


As you can see from the YouTube comments, it wasn't only me who thought of the "One Hit Only" joke. After the Top 50 success of 'You And Me', this big anthemic track was issued in January 2008 with evident record company support to launch them as the stars of the year, and successful as it was they've yet to score another Top 30 hit; even a reissue of the first single ended up doing worse than the original.

In all honesty, this doesn't come as a total surprise on hearing the record itself. It pushes all the right buttons and has an easy familiarity about it, and it's pleasant enough to hear but almost entirely devoid of personality. It doesn't even have the Britishness of their previous 45, with the reference to "open plains" in that first verse, and really feels a bit too anonymous to build a career on. It was also tainted somewhat by the little-noticed chart hyping scandal. Still, it's likeable and feels like the sun coming out after the thorough awfulness of the previous track.
At the end of the song though, it seems to run out of steam even more than one of my blog posts and just stops.

Available on: Started A Fire

Monday, 28 September 2009

Scouting For Girls 'Elvis Ain't Dead'

Chart Peak: 8


Apologies for the lateness of that last post. I couldn't tell why I kept not having the motivation to write it and then I realised: as soon as I did, I'd have to do this one.

In fact, the chart performance of this record was mildly interesting, as it underperformed over the festive period at the end of 2007 but crept into the Top 10 in the new year; the sort of thing that used to happen regularly but was almost unheard of in the ten or fifteen years before this. It even returned to the Top 40 (albeit only from 44) when Now 69 arrived.

A YouTube commenter calls it "good for helping me kill more on call of duty." So many obvious jokes, so little time... It really is difficult to catalogue everything that's annoying about this record, but we can make do with the oppressively bright production, the chirpy "look at me" vocal, the single-finger piano and the fact that this sounds so similar to the other five singles they dredged off their debut album, as well as the seemingly endless number of other acts ploughing the same furrow - we've already met The Feeling and the even more similar Hoosiers. And just when it seems like it can't get worse, they add that predictable "Elvis has left the building" joke at the end. You can only envy him.

Incidentally, I did contemplate labelling posts about local acts, but so far it would only apply to these guys and Peter Andre. I think I'll leave it a while.

Also appearing on: Now 68, 70
Available on: Scouting For Girls

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Alphabeat 'Fascination'

Chart Peak: 6


I know it's not their first language, but I can't help being mildly annoyed by the way they pronounce the word "Fascination" during the verses.

There's a school of thought which praises ostensibly simple pop music as an antidote to the drive for authenticity in rock or urban music. And it's one I can understand, but the risk is that this can become as much of a pose as fandom of serious music, and still leaves the peer pressure problem. Inasmuch as I care at all, I'd be more afraid to be seen not liking this than on more conventionally acclaimed music.

Still, I've got to be honest. Although I admire the big stadium-sized drum sound, and I'm interested to notice the opening lyric "Easy living killed the young dudes" - which I suspect some buyers of the record might have missed - the total effect comes over as contrived, and that whispery bit in the middle is almost too annoying for words. Perhaps it's unfair of me to have so little patience with bands who look like they're enjoying themselves too much. But this reminds me too much of a song from a musical.

Also appearing on: Now 70, 71
Available on:This is Alphabeat

Thursday, 24 September 2009

The Feeling 'I Thought It Was Over'

Chart Peak: 9


As if to follow up last night's post, they might have come to regret the song title here. 'I Thought It Was Over' was their sixth consecutive Top 40 single and the fourth to hit the Top 10 - but their three subsequent singles have peaked at 53, 67 and 87 respectively. They were one of the biggest success stories of 2006 but people's patience seems to have worn out fast. People who weren't radio programmers, at any rate.

Perhaps the right single could have saved their career, but it sounds too much like they'd had the same thought themselves. There's something terribly forced about this track, as if they were so determined to include a memorable chorus that they neglected to include anything else interesting to us or even then. Supposedly the opening line "You were there when the wall came down" sets this in 1989, but it's hard to believe anyone's doing more than going through the motions. It became tiresome very fast.

Also, bad, bad moustache.

Also appearing on: Now 63, 64, 65, 66, 70
Available on: Join With Us (Special Edition)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Hoosiers 'Goodbye Mr A'

Chart Peak: 4


Well, the good news is that six tracks into this second disc, we finally get a track that could sensibly be described as "upbeat".

When I first heard this single, the follow-up to their big debut hit 'Worried About Ray', I wondered how much mileage there was in singing about people called Ray. In fact, it's supposed to be Mr. A, although on some choruses they're clearly singing "Goodbye Mr AIDS" which doesn't seem entirely tasteful. Not that tastefulness or restraint seem to be major motivations here; it's really all about grabbing attention, as all the overdone mugging in the video shows.

I think we're supposed to think this is a vehicle for some important message, but it sounds more like a child complaining about his maths teacher. All this is underlined by the sort of production ELO would consider overdone - but like a lot of ELO, it's not even dramatic or outlandish, they just didn't know where to stop. And including a false ending is just cruel. Like quite a few tracks here, it seemed even worse at the time because it was so inescapable, but it still isn't good now.

Oddly, these first two hits and a Number One album were followed by 'Worst Case Scenario' peaking at 76. The jury is still out on whether, like so many breakthrough acts in the last couple of years, they'll crash and burn next time around.

Also appearing on: Now 68, 70
Available on: Goodbye Mr. A

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Kanye West featuring Chris Martin 'Homecoming'

Chart Peak: 9


In what seemed unusual even as recently as 2007, this single had already peaked by the time the CD single was supposed to come out, so in the end it never did. The video was even later, and indeed I hadn't seen it until I looked it up to write this. I hadn't missed much.

'Homecoming' (no relation to the book of the same title) is effectively an extended metaphor, in which West tells us about a girl called Windy who told him how to "go downtown", etc. As he spells out towards the end, "If you don't know by now, I'm talking about Chi-Town"[Chicago]. It's a bit of a shaggy-dog story really, but Chris Martin's chorus and bouncy piano playing go some way to enlivening things. A step up from the previous couple of tracks at any rate.

Kanye West also appears on: Now 58, 62, 68, 70 (with Estelle), 72, 74 (with Mr Hudson/With Jay-Z and Rihanna)
Available on: Graduation (Enhanced)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Mika 'Happy Ending'

Chart Peak: 7


I suppose it's a measure of how little I enjoyed writing that last post that I was actually quite looking forward to getting to Mika. In fairness, 'Happy Ending' finds him on relatively non-irritating form, sounding more like a song than the vehicle for posing that many of his other hits seem to be. Or perhaps that's just because this is a reworked single version.

There's actually a germ of maturity in the composition here, a dry-eyed reflection on a failed relationship, and there's even a melody, although he does his best to conceal it with the annoying falsetto vocal. Perhaps that's why it starts on backing vocals, to lull you into a false sense of security. Still, I can't think of a Mika song I'd rather be forced to listen to.

Also appearing on: Now 66, 67, 68
Available on: Essential Songs 2008

Friday, 18 September 2009

Alicia Keys 'No One'

Chart Peak: 6


A record that makes me feel desperately out of touch: criticially acclaimed and a huge hit throughout the industrialised world, but to me it just sounds like a fairly standard-issue power ballad with a ludicrously OTT vocal. In fact, the whiny tone seems to completely subvert the lyric "Things can only get better" by making it sound less of a compliment than seems to be intended.

I'm not surprised people keep singing this on X-Factor, it's the sort of thing that works there.

Available on: As I Am

OneRepublic 'Apologize'

Chart Peak: 3 (Timbaland version)


Somebody made a bit of a boo-boo here: the hit version of 'Apologize' was credited to "Timbaland Presents OneRepublic" and indeed it's this version which is listed on the cover of Now 69. But the disc actually plays the original track, with Timbaland's remixing and mumbling. When first I discovered this, I got a bit of a sinking feeling, having concluded from past experience that Timbaland was less boring than OneRepublic; but in practice it wasn't entirely bad news because it did at least relieve some of the monotony of hearing the famous version yet again.

The hit mix of 'Apologize' was one of those records that seemed to tick every possible box for radio programmers, from teen-oriented pop stations to the MOR ones you hear in charity shops. Well you do if you spend as much time in them as I do. Anyway, I hated it and I hate this slightly less, probably because I've heard it less often, although there seems to have been a little more lightness of touch in the production. Otherwise , many of the same comments apply here as to 'Stop And Stare'.

Despite, or maybe because of, the huge success of these first two singles, further releases have fared poorly and at time of writing, OneRepublic share with Kajagoogoo the unusual distinction of having appeared twice on one Now album and never reappeared.

Available on: Dreaming Out Loud

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Adele 'Chasing Pavements'

Chart Peak: 2


One of the more visible beneficiaries of the release of this album, rebounding 22-18 in that week as peoplerushed to download the track. Perhaps that makes up a bit for its initial appearance, when it entered the chart at 2 and was widely expected to climb to the top, but couldn't overcome Basshunter. It was the the much-ballyhooed Top 40 debut for one of the many moody female singers expected to dominate 2008 (see also Duffy at the start of the other disc) and doesn't serve too badly as a showcase, I suppose.

She has the opportunity to deliver a solid, if rather deliberate-sounding, vocal performance, but co-writer (of this and seemingly every other record in the last five years) Eg White has supplied a rather dull melody that never quite takes off when it should. He's also the producer here, and doesn't flatter the song by heading straight for the middle of the road, although it certainly worked commercially. It makes for a slightly downbeat start to the disc here.

Incidentally, this is a relatively rare example of XL licensing a track to a Now album. I don't really know why.

Available on: 19

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Leon Jackson 'When You Believe'

Chart Peak: 1 (3 weeks)


Two years down the line from Shayne Ward, 2007's crown was handed to Leon Jackson on the 15th of December. In line with the standard practice, this track was released as a download in the first minute of the next day, and CD singles were on the shelves for the Wednesday. Of course, this sort of deadline means that several other contestants had to record the song as well, and there was no chance of anything being tailored for him (not even his suit, by the looks of if). In fact the 2007 winner's song was a slight departure from the previous two years: for the first time since the long forgotten 2004, the song was a cover of an existing UK hit. 'When You Believe' had been a battle between Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston disguised as the theme tune to an animated movie.

Inevitably, Jackson's take is more subtle, but that's about all there it has going for it. The rushed nature of the process is emphasised by the video with it's cheapo back-projection and self-referential clips from the show (so at least Dannii Minogue gets to appear in the video for a Number One single, for once) and of course this gives away that they're not trying to reach out beyond the telly audience. Of course, that'll all it needed to get to the top of the chart, but the single only managed three more weeks in the Top 40 and by March 2009 he'd already been dropped by the record company.

Available on: Right Now

Monday, 14 September 2009

Shayne Ward 'Breathless'

Chart Peak: 6


The only Shayne to chart in the UK so far, Ward had the Christmas Number One in 2005 as the winner of that year's X-Factor. Here we find him two years on, trying to keep the career going with what he calls "the best ballad I've ever heard" (it's OK, he didn't write it himself) and title track of the second album.

There is some evidence that this, unlike the off-the-peg winners single, is an attempt to establish a style that suits him. Which is not a bad idea, although it's less fortunate that the style which seems to suit him is this rather sickly number with a lyric that seems to have been plagiarised from pound-shop greetings cards. "If we had babies they'd look like you" - is this a love song to Winston Churchill? He sings it well, at least technically, although a have to say that this sort of register of male vocal isn't something I especially enjoy. He certainly gets your attention about two and a half minutes in.

People will tend to complain that shows like this generate winners who lack talent. In fact I tend to feel the problem is the opposite. Anyone who was as bad a singer as I am would be ritually humiliated in the first week or two; the people you end up with are talented, as Ward is, but the trouble is that's all they are. They're not really distinctive or creative enough to make a major impact on music, and yet they're burdened by a weight of expectation and by the knowledge that a big chunk of the record-buying public is primed to dislike them. Plus, of course, there's always the next winner down the the line. Perhaps it's significant that that this was his fifth hit within the space of two years: and yet in the almost equal time span since then, we've heard nothing from him at all. Which leads up on to tomorrow's post.

Also appearing on: Now 63, 68
Available on: Breathless

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Jay Sean 'Ride It'

Chart Peak: 11


Jay Sean (Kamaljit Singh Jhooti to family) was one of the big breakthrough stars of 2004, blending RnB with Asian music as was the fashion then. Then things went rather quiet, apparently due to disputes with his record company. He re-emerged at the back end of 2007, with this comeback single finally released on his own label the following year.

Despite, or maybe because of, this extra artistic control, the resultant record seems a bit confused. He doesn't really seem to know whether to cave in to run of the mill RnB (as he clearly did with the no-cliche-missed video) or be more distinctive. There's certainly not a lot Asian about this, bar perhaps the intro
(that dramatic, if oddly filmed, dance interlude in the video isn't actually on the record), although of course he doesn't have to do that; more conspicuously, the suddenly British-sounding lyric "Re-apply your lippy cause it came off on the glass" sticks out like a sore thumb. It's all very smooth and not exactly unpleasant, but perhaps he should have had more of the courage of his convictions.

The odd postscript is that at time of writing, he's Number 2 on the Hot 100 in America.

Also appearing on: Now 56 (with Rishi Rich Project & Juggy D), 58 (with Rishi Rich Project), 59, 74 (with Lil Wayne)
Available on: My Own Way

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Mary J Blige 'Just Fine'

Chart Peak: 16


Funny little career Mary J has had, at least in this country. Always a star to fans of the genre, and a long span of hits but a rather patchy set of peaks (just three Top 10s, once you deduct the collaborations with George Michael, U2 etc.) Still, easily a big enough name for people to form a view on her, and I have to say I've never really "got" it.
One big problem with this particular track is that there's more than one way to interpret the phrase "Just Fine": it could be an exultation or a mumble. This is obviously aiming to be the former, but sounds a little too near the other. As much of her career in the last decade or so has proved, it's difficult to express satisfaction in pop without sounding, well, self-satisfied. She makes a decent effort at a vocal performance, I suppose, but there isn't really a lot of song to work with here, despite the fact that four people apparently contributed to writing it (none of them members of Steely Dan) and the limited musical idea greatly overstays its welcome at four minutes. They don't even sound like they're trying on the middle eight.

Also appearing on: Now 50, 51, 52
Available on: Growing Pains

Friday, 11 September 2009

Samim 'Heater'

Chart Peak: 12


I remember a lot of hype about this quirky dance instrumental (er, except that
Germany seems to have got a vocal version) which was tipped to be a massive hit. Whether because there were no lyrics to identify it by or just because people tired of the hype it ended up performing only respectably.

At the time I was inexplicably annoyed by it, but I now feel a little more positive about it, and the video is sort of cute. My main concern remains, though, that I'm not really convinced this is a record so much as the incidental music for the last item on a regional news bulletin. There's not really enough in it to hold the attention. Or to write a long blog post, apparently

Available on: Put Your Hands Up, Vol. 3: The Biggest Club Anthems of All Time

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Booty Luv 'Some Kinda Rush'

Chart Peak: 19

YouTube [NB, the record doesn't have loads of cheap sound effects being played over it]

Their first original single after three covers (of admittedly relatively little-known originals). At the time I was highly disposed to dislike them after those rubbish covers, and because they have a name which makes me cringe a little every time I even see it, still less type it. Actually, though, this is better than those covers, and better than the follow-up single that's just charted at time of writing. It bursts into life with a nice chunky guitar intro, and continuing to serve out its three-and-a-half minutes in jolly enough style, without ever threatening to mean anything.

Like a lot of this album, I'd be a liar if I said I liked this track, or would miss it if it disappeared. But it's just a throwaway bit of pop and I can cope with that today.

Also appearing on: Now 66, 67
Available on: Boogie 2Nite

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Cascada 'What Hurts The Most'

Chart Peak: 10


It's tempting to say that what hurts the most is having to listen to this record, but perhaps that's a little glib. Still, this is another example of their (yes, Cascada are a group although some members seem to turn up in the photos more often than others) annoying habit of covering songs that had already been recorded more than enough before. 'What Hurts The Most' was the only solo hit to date for former S Clubber Jo O'Meara, albeit a minor one, whilst US country duo Rascal Flatts made me glad I didn't live there by taking the song into their Top 10.

Cascada's is probably the least bad version I've heard, because it at least sounds less self-pitying than most of the ballad versions. But I wouldn't say I ever enjoyed it.

Also appearing on: Now 65, 66, 73
Available on: Perfect Day

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Robyn 'Be Mine!'

Chart Peak: 10


There have been a few remarkable comebacks in pop in the last few years, but perhaps the most unexpectedly successful of 2007 was Robyn, the Swedish singer mainly remembered for her 1998 hit 'Show Me Love' (and even that arguably mostly because people were trying not get it mixed of with 'Show Me Love' by Robin S.) and had been absent from the UK chart for nearly a decade when 'With Every Heartbeat' was suddenly declared the hottest thing in the world. If I was reluctant to be carried away by the fuss surrounding that, or the underwhelming follow-up 'Handle Me', she turned out to have one more gem up her sleeve here; it had originally been a hit in her homeland as early as 2005.

Even so, it was a song it took me a while to like for some reason. Which is odd, because it's not an obviously uncommercial record: I think what's most unusual about it is the rather empty sound in the arrangement, when at times you can almost hear the empty space between the strings and the sythesisers. Gradually it dawned on me that this is actually a great strength, because it dramatically represents the emptiness the protagonist feels and refers to in the lyric. Despite the exclamation mark, the title isn't an imperative but the end of the sentence "You never were, and you never will be mine!" and that's just one of the neat little tricks she pulls here. Even the much-neglected art of the spoken section is successfully revived, and not even in her first language.

The bad news? She looks slightly too much like my granny in parts of the video.

Also appearing on: Now 68 (with Kleerup), 71 (with Christian Falk)
Available on: Robyn

Monday, 7 September 2009

Kylie Minogue 'Wow'

Chart Peak: 5


According to Wikipedia, this was Kylie's first single ever to miss the Top 20 in Romania; Kylie herself has claimed that this song goes off "like a frog in a sock". Tim Berners-Lee must be so proud, eh?

Over the years I've begun to realise that she's one of those acts who seem to attract a lot of true believers. These people start with such a solid faith that anything she does is good that it's impossible for them even to consider that any record is sub-standard or even unpopular - it's always the record company's fault or the media's fault. Actually, this single performed OK (unlike the album), but it's a bit of a tomorrow's chip-paper single for me: does the job, might sound alright in a club, not really memorable, apart from the slight production gimmick in the chorus which, in the brilliant words of fellow blogger No Rock sounds like "sounds like when you put your hand over your ear and open and close it quickly." And it sounds a bit like she's singing "Every inch of you smells of desire," which is a bit icky.

Also appearing on: Now 11, 18, 19, 21, 29, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 68, 70,
Available on: X + DVD

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Taio Cruz featuring Luciana 'Come On Girl'

Chart Peak: 5


His third hit in consecutive years, although he spoilt the effect a little by releasing two more singles in 2008.
One problem with this record is that about 25 seconds in, it sounds a bit like he says "I just wanna turn you and me into a horse," and now I can't hear the song without thinking of Taio and his ladyfriend as a pantomime horse, like in Rentaghost.

The other big problem with this is that it's an utterly generic RnB record, distinguishable from thousands of others only by Luciana's none-more-Essex rap, which doesn't really seem to have much to do with the song until she says the "Come on boy!" at the end, by which time she sounds like she's hopping on one leg waiting to get out of the studio. And why are they shouting "Come on" at each other instead of, you know, doing stuff?

All this is rather aptly summed up by the video, which features the least exciting car chase ever shown on film, and then Luciana snogging some entirely different bloke because she probably doesn't even know what Taio Cruz looks like, such is the lack of Chemistry here.

Luciana also appears on: Now 65 (with Bodyrox)
Taio Cruz also appears on: Now 70, 71, 72 (with Tinchy Stryder), 74
Available on: Departure

Saturday, 5 September 2009

H "Two" O featuring Platnum 'What's It Gonna Be'

Chart Peak: 2


A follow-up of sorts to the Basshunter track: obviously not the same musicians but bought up by the Hard2Beat label as their second release. This and the previous track seem to have so much in common that I almost wrote a joint post about them. They both spent three weeks in the runner-up position on the chart, they're both similar in style and they both seem to originate from Yorkshire.

I don't find this one as likeable though, similar as they are. Perhaps there's something a bit tawdry about the video (filmed at Dulwich College, which is probably the only connection between this record and PG Wodehouse). Perhaps I don't like the vocals, or maybe it's just how they pronounce "H Two O" (spelt like that to avoid being sued by this lot, I presume). Probably sounds OK in a club though.

Platnum also appear on: Now 71
Available on: What's It Gonna Be [Cd2]

Friday, 4 September 2009

T2 featuring Jodie Aysha 'Heartbroken'

Chart Peak: 2


I couldn't work out what the passion fruit was supposed to have to do with it. Or is it a fascist soup?

Anyway, this was a big dance hit in the winter of 2007, spending three weeks stuck at Number 2 and selling enough in six weeks to enter the year-end Top 40. I can sort of tell why, and not just because some footballers I've never heard of are in the video. Even though I'm a long way from the target audience and wouldn't go so far as to say I liked this exactly, there's something rather catchy about it and the cut-up vocals are attention-grabbing. If I can find something positive to say about it, I can imagine how exciting it must be to teenagers who actually knew there was such a genre as "bassline" before this came out.

Available on: Clubland Classix

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Britney Spears 'Piece Of Me'

Chart Peak: 2


I've never really believed in the concept of Guilty Pleasures, but this is about the closest that I come. Not because it's being sung by somebody who didn't write it, or is somehow not "real" music but because this entire album, released at the depths of her well-publicised problems, seems very like exploitation - and especially on this track, which seems to be cashing in to an almost offensive extent. Annoyingly though, it's one of the best records she's ever made, possibly because she has so little to do with it - in fact, her vocal is distorted almost beyond recognition in pursuit of a harsh, angular soundscape, as is the backing vocal by Robyn.

I wouldn't have paid money for this, especially not at the time, but I was sort of glad it fell into my lap. I couldn't watch the video though.

Also appearing on: 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 57, 58, 68, 70, 72, 73
Available on: Blackout

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Soulja Boy Tell'Em 'Crank That (Soulja Boy)'

Chart Peak: 2


We're definitely back into music people love to hate territory here. And a bit like the unusual classical piece I heard earlier tonight, in some ways this is so far from my own musical experience as to be almost impossible to write about.

Anyway, from the perspective of somebody born in the 1970s, this isn't a very pleasant experience, but I can think of some positive points; well it's quite short, and at least this is the original version rather than the awful cod-metal version Radio 1 used to play. And perhaps there is something to be said for the sparseness of the production here, which sounds like it was all played one-handed on keyboards. Just try not to think about what he's doing with the other hand.

Also appearing on: Now 73
Available on: souljaboytellem.com

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Kelly Rowland 'Work (Freemasons remix)'

Chart Peak: 4


Second single from Rowlands much-delayed second album, following up 'Like That' (which also went Top 5 but seems to have been almost instantly forgotten) and the record company had obviously noticed the success that Freemasons remixes had brought to some of her former colleague Beyonce's singles over here. Personally, I've never been keen on their Beyonce remixes - which always sound very samey and mildly out of time - nor indeed of their work under their own name, but I make a bit of an exception for this one, where they've actually conjured a bit of a soundscape from the synthesised electric sitar-like sounds and touches of fuzz bass, producing something with a bit of the tense energy she's supposed to be singing about. Wisely, this mix was declared the A-side for the UK release and added to the inevitable re-issue of the album, although the song made an advance chart appearance thanks to people (perhaps unwittingly) downloading the rather drab original before the remix was released.

Rowland has apparently claimed that the line "put it in" in the chorus is a reference to putting the work in. How that tallies with her exhortation that you've "gotta get it all the way in!" you'll have to decide for yourself.

Also appearing on: Now 54 (with Nelly)
Available on: Ms. Kelly Deluxe Version