The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Friday, 9 July 2010


There’s a great episode of Only Fools And Horses that features Philip Pope as a night-club singer who can’t pronounce his ‘r’s. And who Del Boy books to sing ‘The Gween Gween Gwass Of Home’ and a medley of ‘Wock And Woll’.

I was reminded of this episode listening to Gabriella Cilmi’s new album, ‘Ten’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a terrific album. In fact, if Marina hadn’t trumped her with her effort, it would probably be my favourite album of the year. Pretty much every song is extremely well written, original, full of hooks, beautifully produced and sung by someone who can hit notes without the aid of a computer. There are great tracks; Hearts Don’t Lie does the Bee Gees better than the Scissor Sisters, Superhot sounds like Kate Bush singing Erasure, and Let Me Know has a great gospel chorus. Don’t let the first single put you off; okay, so she’s lost the quirky feel of Sweet About Me and the sounds are now I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Xenomania rather than Xenomania, and yes, this is yet another album in which somebody has found the Van Halen Jump keyboard sound on their sample CD. But it’s excellent, unlike the new Kylie disaster or the last Sugababes monstrosity.

Plus, best of all, it has the track Robots. Following hot on the heels of Marina, and the Girls Alouds, another song about the singer being/not being a robot. Which is fine, but not since Mariah Carey declared that all she wanted for Chwistmas was you have lyrics been so unfortunately mismatched to vocal technique. Because Gabriella, bless her, can’t pronounce the word robots. So singing a song about them, probably not a good idea. Certainly not one to perform live in concert, it would be just too tempting for someone in the audience to start shouting ‘Release Roderick!’

Intrigued by the new Katie Melua single, which if it didn’t already sound like a Sparks track enough has been remixed, mentally, by Sparks themselves.

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