Mamas Gun - You Are The Music
Nick Lewis 26/09/2009
Mama's Gun tick all the right boxes for me: psychedelic visuals, heavily 60s influenced sounds - both soul and Beatles-esque pop all with a modern twist of slick production and obligatory lo-fi hip-hop beat in the second verse; but it's all just so functional.
Frontman Andy Platts won a scholarship to the prestigious LIPA institute in Liverpool and this single bears the mark of someone trained in pop music. Not withstanding the gracefully long string intro on the album version, the chorus comes in after what seems like only 5 seconds verse (common pop wisdom is that the chorus should come in within the first 30-60 seconds otherwise you'll have lost your audience) and the aforementioned lo-fi hip-hop beat in the second verse seems such a deliberate signpost to this being a 'modern' record as opposed to the 60s re-tread it really is.
Much like Corrine Bailey Rae (whose debut Platt played on) it's all just the wrong side of retro. Platt doesn't possess the soul necessary to really pull of such a derivative sound, and rather than embracing the retro there are plenty of modern flourishes which seem calculated to please the sort of Simon Cowell attitude that old sounding music won't appeal to the kids of today.
You Are The Music tries its best to be cool, to take all the best bits of soul and 60s pop and update them for today's generation but it misses the mark. It doesn't commit enough to its retro roots, and the chorus, whilst aiming for the Hey Jude catchiness stumbles over the line from uplifting to saccharine. The worst thing about it is that in common with the output of most popular music school graduates (that I've heard) it seems too deliberated in its execution: as if everything was consciously decided on to sell as many records as possible.
Having said that, it is a solid piece of work and not as irritating as I don't know….Cheryl Cole's new single….
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