Conor Behan serves up a star-studded line up of new pop music from Shakira and Rihanna, Paloma Faith, Pixie Lott and Lily Allen. This is The Outmost Friday Four.
The weekend is upon us! Let’s warm our ears up before we plan any more mayhem. This has been a bumper week for big pop names giving us new tunes from Paloma and Pharrell teaming up to Rihanna and Shakira making sweet music together.
Her Keane cover was everywhere this Christmas and the Hard Out Here video was an attempt at feminist rant via pop song that garnered praise and outrage in equal amounts. So what’s the next trick Lily has up her sleeve? If this anything to go by it’s a bubblegum pop tune combined with a dollop of M.I.A. The chorus is feather light, bordering on too ridiculous while she growls “na na na” just like pop provocateur M.I.A. It’s catchy as all get out but it feels a bit too much like a novelty song then a properly satisfying pop single.
Pop team-ups are more and more common these days but it’s hard not to be a bit excited at the prospect of two people so fun on their own working together. Thankfully this track sticks to the kind of pop-rock with a sense of melodrama that is Shakira’s trademark. Rihanna’s presence adds a layer of fun but it’s the giant hook and repeated “Oh oh ohs” that are going to leave this one lodged in your brain. We can only imagine what the video will be like.
Pixie Lott feels like a popstar from a different time when being very pretty and good at singing where all you needed. Even if she is a tad devoid of personality Lott actually has a strong voice and every few singles she stumbles onto a winner. Her forthcoming third album is said to be a soul-inspired affair and for all the James Brown meets Duffy bluster this is basically a enjoyable sexy-pop romp. It was originally recorded by Christina Aguilera for her 2011 film Burlesque (aka the last big movie Cher did. Seek it out) but was never properly released. Knowing that you can totally see what Pixie is going for here. It’s not far removed from Xtina’s Ain’t No Other Man and while it’s not earth-shattering it’s got a bite Lott is usually missing.
Paloma Faith has always been an alluring and unique talent who seemed a tad trapped by the major-label tedium her music seemed to box her into. Although she’s not as ridiculously successful as the likes of Adele or Emeli Sandé, Faith’s last album was a big hit. It would easy to expect more torch songs and balladery but for her third LP she’s going upbeat. To kick things off she’s roped in Pharrell Williams for the throwback funk of Rely On You. If you imagined Blurred Lines rewired to be a brassy female led anthem to a no-good lover. It’s bouncy, infectious and deserves to be huge. Plus the video is gloriously over the top.
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