What a diverse group I’ve got lined up this week for “Single Play.” If “Single Play” was a radio station, I’d be saying: “Coming up this hour, I’ve got quite the train wreck of a set” because these songs would not mix well together. But individually, I’ve got some tasty musical treats that should satisfy a wide variety of moods. So, let’s get to it:
Natalie Imbruglia, “Instant Crush”
Can you believe it’s been 18 years since Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” was released? Just to give you a sense of the passage of time, just know that Imbruglia is now 40. Yeah, let that sink in. Okay, what about “Instant Crush?” It’s a cover of a Daft Punk song that came out a couple of years ago, and I gotta say that I like it better than the original. Imbruglia hasn’t lost any of her waif-like breathy vocals, and uses it in an effective manner on “Instant Crush.” The song is going to make a good addition to a “Hot AC” or “Triple A” format, and may give her a needed nudge away from her career-defining single.
Pushing Static, “Sidewalks”
Here’s a jaunty little number from Pushing Static, a one-man band brainchild from Asher Condit. “Sidewalks” is infused with some very infectious pop hooks that’s very difficult not to like. These days, writing a pop song can be a color by numbers type of thing. Riding a wave of a trend may be the ticket to commercial success, but every now and then there are artists who just have the right combination of bubble gum pop humming their head, and it comes out in satisfying ways…like Pushing Static’s “Sidewalk.”
Teddybears, “Broken Heartbeat”
When an artist finds the right combination of seemingly contrasting elements that results in a great single, it’s a pure joy to listen to. Case in point, Teddybears, Swedish band who partnered with Beenie Man. Beenie Man is a reggae artist from Jamaica who boasts the modest title of “King of Dancehall” — so you know good to great things are a-coming. “Broken Heartbeat” is kind of a dreamy and hypnotic song on its own, but when Beenie Man jumps in, it “really livens up the joint.” I’ve been spinning this one for a few days now and it becomes more and more infectious with each play. Go ahead, give it a try and you’ll soon be hooked.
Iron Maiden, “Speed of Light”
33 years ago, I went on a trip to jolly old England with my parents to visit family members. Whilst there (see, I added “whilst” ’cause it sounds British), I remember watching the TV show “Top of the Pops” with Iron Maiden singing about “The Number of the Beast.” I kept asking to no one in particular “How is this a “pop” song?” What can I say, England is wonderfully weird when it comes to popular music. Flash forward to 2015, and Maiden sounds like it’s 1982 all over again with their return to form single, “Speed of Light.” Lead singer and jack of all trades guy, Bruce Dickinson, recently got the “all clear” after undergoing treatments for cancer, and it seems like he’s lost nothing in terms of vocal power. “Speed of Light” is a welcome return for Maiden and a real testament to their enduring desire to rock.