Take That - Kidz
Dan: Take That's second single from the all conquering Progress album, Kidz is a real up-tempo barnstorming pop tune, based on a mutated version of the Kinks classic Sunny Afternoon. Not quite a classic in itself, but one of the better cuts from the album, and nice lead vocals from Mark Owen. Won't do enough to depose Gaga.
» Take That - Kidz on iTunes
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & The Cairo Gang - New Wonder
Bobble: This one's all in aid of EDGE OUTREACH's work to get clean water to Haiti, which is pretty admirable in itself. It's also a decent song though, if a little mellow. Far better than I was expecting it to be.
» Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & The Cairo Gang on iTunes
Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From A Young Man
Dan: Postcards From A Young Man is the Manics returning to their stadium-rocking bombastic...um, not best. But it's the stuff that has been successful for them in the past, and I don't begrudge them going a bit mainstream. If you really strain to hear it there's still a little bit of the Holy Bible-era stuff in there.
» Manic Street Preachers - Postcards from a Young Man on iTunes
Pink - Fuckin' Perfect
Bobble: Pink was kinda cool about a decade ago. Now it's probably time for her to call it a day - teen angst doesn't work when you're in your 30s. I've had enough of her self-pitying rock-pop snarling, it's just the same song re-released every 2-3 months.
» Pink - Fuckin' Perfect on iTunes
Kanye West et al - All Of The Lights
Dan: Kanye is joined on All Of The Lights by (deep breath) Elton John, Alicia Keys, Fergie, The Dream, Tony Williams, Rihanna, Kid Cudi, John Legend, Charlie Wilson, Ryan Leslie and Elly Jackson. I'm not sure why. It's Rihanna who takes centre stage, singing the chorus over a really classy backing track, built around a great fanfare sample. Like it.
» Kanye West et al - All Of The Lights on iTunes
Mona - Teenager
Bobble: The BBC Sound of 2011 nominees' latest release is fine, but a little odd. It seems super-short and the lyrics read like they were written by a Japanese or Korean group. Apart from that, Teenager isn't so bad - it's inoffensive but not so forward-thinking as Jessie J's work seems to be.
» Mona - Teenager on iTunes