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Competition: Win Alexandra Burke CDs

By on Monday, 30th November 2009 at 11:00 am

Capital Fm - Jingle Bell Ball (side)A couple of weeks ago we introduced XFM’s Winter Wonderland. Now, to go hand-in-hand with their sister station 95.8 Capital FM’s more pop-tastic event, the Jingle Bell Ball, we’re offering two lucky people a taste of the gig by giving you the chance to win a brand new CD from Alexandra Burke.

The event takes place this Saturday and Sunday (5th and 6th December) at London’s O2 Arena, and features performances from amazing artists such as Lady Gaga, Alexandra Burke, JLS, Shakira, Tinchy Stryder, Sugababes, Ne-Yo, La Roux, Dizee Rascal and many more. There’s still a chance for you to win exclusive tickets to the Jingle Bell Ball. Simply tune into 95.8 Capital FM for a chance to win pair of tickets every hour.

To win one of two copies of Alexandra Burke’s new album, all you have to do is email me with the answer to the question below, and we’ll pick a winner at random from the correct answers as at midday on Thursday (3rd December). Please note that we will only send this within the UK, and you’ll have to provide us with a postal address.



Album Review: Scouting For Girls – Scouting for Girls

By on Wednesday, 10th September 2008 at 12:36 pm

Since Scouting For Girls exploded out of radio speakers with the likes of ‘Elvis Ain’t dead’ and ‘She’s So Lovely’ the piano has experienced a new found fame in the pop world. The way Roy Stride uses the piano as though it was an extension of his very person is what makes each track so very infectious. There is no way one can remain seated in the presence of such energetic reliance on the keys to accentuate his happy, slightly rasping lyrical delivery; add that to the sumptuous strumming of Greg Churchouse on the bass and the oh so hungry domination of the drums by Peter Ellard and you have a recipe for musical addiction.

Once it is understood that the band’s aim is to get you addicted you realise that variety is not necessarily essential rather; repetitive, recitable rhyming sets are vital, once you have that all you need is for the instrumental delivery to be fuelled by an unparalleled hunger and the masses will bow down, and bow down they did. Each and every single is an infectious blend of key-fingering, capable bass handling and dominating drum delivery, unfortunately they all sound very similar. Not necessarily the same but the formulaic set of ingredients does not allow for deviation and so the pop trio don’t even try to test the waters, but hey if it isn’t broken, what’s there to fix?

Ultimately if you are seeking out the next best driving album, this one should definitely be part of the selection, your muscles itch to jump and run around as though you’ve scored the winning England goal. With the sour state of affairs at the minute, such an album is not only a breath of fresh air but a canister of the stuff, ready to deliver each and every time on each and every track. You can slap this CD and spin around the front room with your Nan and know it won’t offend, similarly you can leave the album on while your 3 year old does their colouring and know they won’t be reciting any questionable lyrics.

It’s not an album that is all about the diction, nor is it all about the music, it appears to be all about the delivery and they get it right every time, perhaps this is why some have slated the group, their overload on happiness even when the words being sung should be tugging at your heart strings, the guitar strings just won’t let you lose that smile. The ‘ooh whee ‘ backing vocals on started on ‘She’s So Lovely’ forcing your mind back to the days of Cliff Richard and the Beach Boys and summers ‘On the Busses’, continues through onto ‘It’s Not About You’ and you know what it doesn’t get tiring, unless of course you are trying to sit in staunch seriousness.

All in all this album like a few other pop sensations at the minute, not taking itself too seriously and by doing so they have been able to approach the creative process with a carefree nature which reverberates throughout the songs and continues to do so throughout ones senses whether they want them to or not. There should be a warning on the CD’s case about the addictive nature of the contents within, that it should be played with caution as once you have succumbed you will not be able to get the tunes out of your head and lord forgive you if you don’t know the lyrics as humming and ‘dum dum dee-ing’ will no doubt get you some funny and no doubt annoyed looks!


Album Review: Kid Rock – Rock n Roll Jesus

By on Tuesday, 9th September 2008 at 1:13 pm

Kid Rock hasn’t ever really shone on our side of the pond, well not for his musical capabilities, more or his rumping, humping and to-ing and fro-ing with Pamela Anderson, so having his video plastered all over the music box is somewhat of a shock to our systems. That said is not quite unpleasant, it is in fact an enjoyable diversion to the modern pop that repeatedly floats over the airwaves. By leaving the fluffy, simple Simon lyrics to the other genre merging artists out there, he gives his listeners a chance to ponder with him on some of the more serious topics out there.

This is apparent on his track ‘Amen’ where the line “our nation’s race relations got me feeling guilty for being white” shows that there is more depth to him than singing swinging and being merry with the ladies. It continues onto the chart topping ‘All Summer Long’ which is a light hearted reflection on yester year’s innocence; you have to smile at the line “we were trying different things and smoking funny things”, surely that is the true essence of the adult summer holidays.

By the time you reach ‘Roll On’ you realise that there is true diversity on this album, his soft nature seeps through on this track as his mellow gruffness serenades your ears. This song is appears to be a reflection of his current person; seasoned on the spices of life with a splash of old school rock fusions making for a well rounded, capable artist able to marry all the ‘best bits of music’. He won’t even allow the song to finish on a low note, the sax and the piano both battling out to reach the listeners soul on the deepest chord.

If you think this is an album that sees him turn his back on his rock beginnings you’d be sorely mistaken, you just have to listen to ‘So Hott’ to realise that lines like “I want to f**k you like I’m never gonna see you again” will always be present on a Kid Rock album. How can you deny the skill of someone that isn’t afraid to insert “Nazi” into a song and follow up with the ability to rhyme it with “yahtzee” and finally “paparazzi”? If lyrical dexterity of such clear calibre does not get your juices flowing and you then perhaps the slower more sensual ‘When you love someone’ is more your cup of tea with its choir style conclusion adding once again another dimension to Rock’s repertoire.

The same can be said of ‘New Orleans’, what a wonderful fusion of jazz, blues, soft rock and country essences. This song quite literally lifts your spirits and your derriere from its current position and places it a good few feet notches higher. It is jam city central on this track and you gotta join in, if only with a shoulder shimmy or two. The spirit and soul in this song is undeniable and of all the songs on the album this is probably the one that is most likely to get the household up and forming their own air band, complete with ‘screw-faced’ air guitar recitals and furious drum pounding with those professional yet imaginary sticks.

After such energy you have to wipe the sweat off your brow and get ready for the heavy bass lined ‘Don’t Tell me U Love Me’, a mellow yet powerful medley of intermittent scratching and choir-clappy song that leaves the listener somewhat baffled as to what genre box to place. Admitting defeat, it falls into the simple box of ‘good-song genre’ as there really is no definitive genre e-fit for it. Kid Rock’s ability to fuse so many different sounds has been called comical by some, I think he displays the ingredients of a truly classic album and artist. There is no way one can review this album without giving ‘Half Your Age’ its just dues, this country inspired comical slur on Pamela Anderson is a hilarious listen, refreshingly honest with possibly the chorus-anthem highlighting the plight and desires of all men; “she’s half your age and twice as hot”.

Any album that can catapult you back to yesteryear with a smile on your face, fast forward it to the consciousness of today’s woes with determination and grit. All the while scaffolding interesting and intriguing lyrics on a melee of beats, guitar grime, pristine piano playing and an all natural feel that is unrivalled by many other artists.



By on Saturday, 9th June 2007 at 9:06 pm

Ghosts - The World is OutsideQuite a few medium-profile releases this week, including Queens of the Stone Age’s new effort, “Era Vulgaris”, “Tally Of The Yes Men” by Goldspot (I can’t stand it, but has some big record company backing, so could be one to watch), Calvin Harris’ “I Created A Disco”, Tiny Dancers’ “Free School Milk” and finally Bon Jovi’s “Lost Highway”. However, the one I’m going to focus on for this week’s “Band of the week” feature is Ghosts, another sort of middle of the road indie pop band from London who have their debut album out on Monday, “The World is Outside”.

Normally I’d just write them off as being another bunch of Keane wannabes, and they may always be destined to have that label. However, they have one song that is simply sublime. Its “Stay The night”, which you may have heard recently on Virgin radio.

Their lyrics are typical teenage simplicity that’s not gonna win them an Ivor Novello, with ‘original’ lyrics such as:

Oh why don’t we take a taxi back to mine,
I’m sure that we’ll find a way to pass the time,

As much as I want to hate this band I just can’t bring myself to, with their catchy songs and simple tunes that just beg to be hummed along to all summer long. Definitely a band to divide opinions, they will have you loving them or hating them pretty quickly! Hardly a band that will earn you a lot of street cred, they could well be one of the slow burners of the year, doing a Snow Patrol on us and slowly wowing festival crowds.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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