OMD – Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark to give them their full title – know a thing or two about hit singles. After all, they were soaring up the charts when most of the Clash team were just naughty twinkles in our parents' eyes...
Expanding their classic album 'Junk Culture' for a twin-disc release, OMD ransacked the archives for a plethora of unreleased and unusual material.
A walk down memory lane, the band decided that something fresh, something new was needed.
So Andy McCluskey kindly agreed to take part in our weekly Singles Column, casting his gaze over the latest releases.
- - -
Ellie Goulding - 'Love Me Like You Do'
This will be massive as the 14 million YouTube hits already suggest. And it is in an anticipated film (NB - this song appeared in the adaptation of '50 Shades Of Grey'). Ellie has a very distinctive voice and I like the production. It ticks all the 'mega ballad' boxes, but lyrically it doesn't really elevate though it's very catchy.
- - -
Myles Manley - 'Pay Me What I'm Worth'
Quirky low-fi folk rock. I like it's brevity and directness. Dry husky voice and simple guitar builds to quiet a crescendo with repeated organ phrases. Nice work. Nick Jonas- Jealous I am afraid that I find this to be modern corporate R&B pop. The lyrics do not resonate in any meaningful way. To me this is "Budweiser" music designed to be safe and bland enough not to offend. The business has no room for anything that doesn't follow the tried formula and this is what you get. No doubt it will sell.
- - -
Nickelback - 'Miss You'
A well crafted soft rock track but yet another with lyrics that just seem like they are there just because some need to be sung. I know that it is very hard to find a new way to say that you miss someone in a song, but surely there is a more emotional and real way than is demonstrated here. I am sure that it will resonate with fans of soft rock who like their lead voice to sound tortured and authentic even though it does't work for me.
- - -
Sea Witches - 'Stars'
I like this. It reminds me of Siouxsie and the Banshees when they had just learned to actually play. A definite hark back to post punk and that is never a bad thing when delivered with a personal and real approach. If you printed the lyrics some would not win poetry prizes, and some just may do. It's all in the delivery kids.. and Jo Herring delivers it well.. No relation to Samuel T, I assume?
- - -
Si Cranstoun - 'Never Gonna Let You Go'
New Motown anyone? This is very well observed nostalgia in a classic style. Great delivery and playing. Sounds like it could have ben created any time in the last 50 years. It doesn't move me in any way, but I imagine that if you can't buy a new Smokey Robinson album then it will fill the gap.
- - -
Vision Fortune - 'Back Crawl II'
Some fabulous processing on this track for all lovers of crunchy drone psychedelia. Unafraid to not write a "song", Vision Fortune have delivered a wonderful soundscape of evocative noises. I think that I need to find an album. Congratulations gentlemen.
- - -
'Junk Culture' is out now.