IN&OUTTONIGHT REVIEWS 34 Monday, 28 September 2009 London Lite APART from the multi-chorused pop- wonder Dream Catch Me, Faulkners 2007 debut album was the kind of record loved by those for whom Jack Johnson was perhaps a little too exciting. It didnt help that Faulkner dealt in lyrics that would have Peter Andre slapping his head in disgust. The lyrics here are not much better: Resin On My Heart Strings, for example, features the clich, I guess all good things have to end/Nothing ever stays the same. But the songs are stronger, and on peaks such as If This Is It and Over And Out, I could almost see myself listening to this album again. PC REVIEWSMUSIC Rascalhitsthe Dizzeeheights Siren call: Florence Welch last night Da man: Dizzee Rascals new album cashes in on his fame POP Kid Harpoon Once (XL,11.74) HHHII Seldom has anyone sounded so insincere as Tom Hull crooning to his lover on the opening song of his debut album, lets go stealing cars. The kindly folky chappie, whose pop-centric record seesaws between soaring orchestras and finger-plucking delicacies seems about as likely to rob a car as James Blunt. Speaking of Blunt, there are awkward moments on once (see Back From Beyond, Hold on and Buried Alive) where Hull edges perilously close to the drippy earnestness of the troubadour soldier. But when he scuffs up his melodies on Running Through Tunnels and death of A Rose he becomes the twisted love child of Jack Peate and Regina Spektor, and things get interesting. MARTHA DE LACEY PARAMORe are not the kind of band you should admit you like if youre over the age of 18. They tend to be the preserve of kids with tight jeans, floppy hair and ishoos. But such exclusivity is a shame as this ostensibly emo-rock band make sparky, vibrant and anthemic indie- rock that owes as much to the pop nous of Garbage and the expansive rock of Hsker D as it does to the poor-me generation of emos. As well as the power- chord pop of rockers such as Turn It Off and Playing God, Hayley Williamss sweet voice also works wonderfully on The Only exception. A welcome surprise. PC LIVe Florence + TheMachine ShepherdsBushEmpire HHHHI MARCUS FOLeY To order any CD reviewed, call The London Lite CD service on 01634 832789. All prices include P&P ROCK Paramore BrandNewEyes (FueledByRamen,12.72) HHHHI POP Paloma Faith Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? (Epic, 10.76) HHIII PAlomA FAiTH wants us to believe shes this peculiar thing -- part pole-dancer, part doll -- a grown-up Tallulah who hypnotises boys with her fishnetted pins and traverses Hackney on a rocking horse. Certainly, the woozy soul of her elaborate debut album -- a record which, in the clicky bounce of Upside down, might have been recorded in a fairground -- tiptoes between sparkle-pop and musical theatre. But though she sings about collecting stars (Stargazer), collecting tears (my legs Are Weak), and collecting chameleon visages (Stone Cold Sober), her own collection of safe tunes run far short of peculiar or interesting. M DE L POP Newton Faulkner RebuiltByHumans (Sony,10.76) HHIII WHen these homecoming shows were announced, the empires promoters must have been licking their lips at the prospect of hosting Florence + The machines seemingly inevitable mercury Prize victory lap. They reckoned without the Prizes typically confounding judges, but if Florence Welch and co were deflated by Speech debelle poaching their silverware, they didnt show it. even before the machine filtered on to a stage adorned with luminous birdcages and flower- draped instruments, the sense of occasion was palpable. The arrival of the flame-haired siren herself, resplendent in wispy white ropes and golden shoulder- pads, was enough to raise the roof, and though her own performance was slightly more restrained than the flailing limbs and speaker climbing of old, she had the sold-out empire crowd jumping along en masse to a triumphant dog days Are over. From the chugging garage- rock of Kiss With A Fist to the baroque indie-folk of my Boy Builds Coffins and a turn as a vampish, vengeful lounge crooner for Girl With one eye, she effortlessly changed pace and direction. The singles, despite not yet bothering the Top 10, were greeted like classics and her humble banter between songs was endearing. Florence has come a long way from drunken singing in nightclub toilets, but for posterity she belted out a short a cappella version of the etta James song that led to her discovery. She may not yet be the superstar the rapturous ovation suggested, but her confidence seems to grow with each performance. They may have missed out on the mercury, but that wont halt Florence and her unstoppable machine. Butkingrappersranksexismisarawnote D izzee RASCAl is what its all about right now -- after a seamless run of three no1s, hes one of our premier pop stars. And hes good at it, too. He was notably unimpressed with Prince Harrys attempt at a street greeting in the summer at a music festi- val, elicited a mr Rascal greeting from Jeremy Paxman on newsnight and launched an enjoyably stinging rebuke in the direction of Kate moss when she interrupted an interview at an awards ceremony recently -- Kate moss has lost her lipstick; its a f*****g disaster. And on his fourth album, Tongue n Cheek, its quite clear that hes enjoying life as a pop star. Why shouldnt he? even now, listening to his mercury Prize-winning 2003 debut Boy in da Corner, an album that vividly recre- a t e s t h e aural experi- ence of liv- i n g i n a deprived area of east l o n d o n ( i should know -- i was liv- ing in east london at the time and couldnt tell where Boy in da Corner ended and real life kicked in), is not a comfortable affair. Who would wish that kind of environment on anyone? if you have the talent to get out, then do so by all means. Unfortunately, hes not made a good record since Boy in da Corner, his stabs at commercial grime feeling a tad too forced, the samples too obvious, the music never adventurous enough or satisfyingly hooky. However, he seems to have found the right collaborators here (dizzee rarely writes the music -- hes mainly the words man) by dint of going for the big hitters. Bonkers, the feelgood hit of the summer, writ- ten by Armand van Helden, is deliriously, darkly brilliant and made even more so by the kind of paranoid dizzee rap that made Boy in da Corner so compelling: All i care ab ou t i s s e x a nd violence/A heavy bassline is my kind of silence, he squawks with that distinc- tive voice. Similarly, dance Wiv me and Holiday, the tunes of both of which were written by Calvin Harris, benefit from the collision of hooky pop and dizzees Bow tones. Hes chosen well, if per- haps a little obviously again, on the sample front -- the thrilling dirtee Cash bene- fits from a large chunk of the 1990 hit dirty Cash by Adventures of Stevie V, while Cant Tek no more bor- rows the chorus from Aswads mighty Warrior Charge. lyrically though, Cant Tek no more sucks. dizzees clearly aiming for Grandmaster Flashs The message but ends up closer to Culture Clubs chorus on The War Song (war is stupid and people are stupid). The sexism is rank, too. Freaky Freaky is just plain foul (i had this pretty little girl in Sweden/ Yeah, she was kind of short, but she was easy is one of the less graphic examples) and is hugely reminiscent of rubbish eighties Brit-rapper derek B who used to sing about girls breasts being like basket- balls. Show a little respect, mr Rascal. it goes a long way. THe BIG NOISe Dizzee Rascal TongueNCheek(XLRecordings,13.70) HHHII PAUL CONNOLLY Floshowsshesaprizeperformer index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html52.html53.html54.html55.html