Graham Parker's career spans the decades.
Already an angry young man when punk was in its infancy, the songwriter scored numerous barbed, subversive hits as the 70s drew to a close.
Maintaining an active solo career, Parker's output has drawn praise from everyone Elvis Costello to Paul Weller and even Bruce Springsteen.
Re-united with friends and former band mates, Graham Parker & The Rumour will release new album 'Mystery Glue' on May 18th.
Intrigued, Clash invited the legendary songwriter to take a look at this week's singles – and he wasn't too happy with what he heard…
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Carly Rae Jepsen – 'I Really Like You'
This is moony eyed teenage girl music. Sounds like it was written by a team of Scandinavians – there's a lot of it about. Conveyor belt. Rent-a-song. I would normally only have heard this in a supermarket coz I don't listen to commercial radio. I believe she won a TV show competition. Sounds about right.
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Mumford & Sons – 'Believe'
God, I hate doing this. I hope no one ever asks me again. But I can't resist. I'm sure they're a lovely and talented bunch of fellas, but I can't find one good thing to say about this music, these lyrics, this voice…nothing. OK, here's something positive: beautifully executed middle of the road record.
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Heartless Bastards – 'Gates Of Dawn'
At first, I found myself in the 90's with this one. It's got that soft bit/loud bit going for it. With repeated listenings, however, it reveals an atmospheric lyric and sound, and some great crunching anthemic guitars. Familiar chords, but nothing wrong with that.
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Lion Babe – 'Wonder Woman'
Well, she's definitely a mammal. I saw the video. And she also has a serious set of pipes on her. You can't accuse this of being an actual song, but it is quite entertaining in its own Babarella-esque sci-fi quirky way. Lots of dinky electronic plunking sounds.
It's hard to separate it from the video visuals though, with its hyper-real Star Trek gloss. Produced by Pharrell Williams, if that helps you out any.
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Lucy Rose – 'Our Eyes'
Why is the 80's sound back? It was and still is the worst period of music production (guilty as charged). Familiar descending chords, but her voice is quite lovely, very sweet. It's a pity there's the drenching echo on it, and the drums – if they were indeed played by a human – detract from the piece due to the same period treatment. I'd like to hear her with the echo machines turned off, so that voice can reach in and touch you a bit.
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Lauren Desberg – 'Rock Steady'
This is a cover of a tune by the Whispers, from 1987. Again with the 80's thing! It starts out simple enough but then the slick gloss of the wrong time period gets thrown over everything like a sonic waterfall. And the keyboards go way over the top with clutter.
Jazzy and nice chord progressions, but less vocal melisma would have been better I think. And get rid of these producers, people. Let's hear the human heat coming from you.
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Graham Parker & The Rumour will release new album 'Mystery Glue' on May 18th.
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