Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

TUNES RECOVERY PROJECT: Noisettes – Never Forget You

Made the tragic error of not being on a car advert, so it didn’t crack the top 10…


Chuck Eddy: Ultra-reined-in retro-something-or-other with a slight reggae lilt and slight rock guitar parts and slight early ’60s girl-pop crescendos, so inept at mannerisms it doesn’t comprehend that you never notice whether there’s a song attached.

Rodney J. Greene: The Britishes vs. retro-soul formula has had some of the most quickly diminishing returns of any trend ever, and no, tossing in a couple power chords doesn’t return any novelty. Really, no one is good at this except for Amy Winehouse.

Matt Cibula: Brits love the Wall of Sound these days (V.V. Brown what what), and I wish we did too. Also, Shingai is almost unbearably sexy.

Martin Skidmore: I said nice things about Shingai Shoniwa for “Don’t Upset The Rhythm”, but this is kind of dreary. It’s also sort of classy, and there’s nothing really wrong with her vocal, but I don’t think she is special enough to carry something so subdued.

Michaelangelo Matos: This threw me at first: Shingai Shoniwa (at least on this, my first ever Noisettes song) is a ringer for early Mariah, to whom I’ve long been averse. Except early Mariah would have thrown more technique at this song than it could have withstood, and Shoniwa leads from the gut, or the heart — whatever it is, it drew me in immediately and has only squeezed harder with every play. Maybe it’s the arrangement, as much of a throwback as Winehouse, only late ’80s quiet storm rather than early ’70s funk: chunky beatbox beneath church Casio, generously arranged backing vox. Maybe Mariah would have always sounded better on the cheap.

Keane Tzong: A sweet, insubstantial retro pastiche isn’t the kind of song for which I expect to have any depth of feeling, but these things happen, I guess. Time has made me appreciate this more and more (I found this quite insubstantial the first time I heard it), but every time I listen to this I hear new nuances in Shingai Shoniwa’s vocals: simultaneously warm, amused, and full of regret, they cement her position as one of the best frontwomen in pop today. Wild Young Hearts may be derided as a sell-out album for the ages, but when the results are as winning and seemingly effortless as this, I see little reason to complain.

Ian Mathers: The singer’s got a weird sort of double voice here — at times she manages to flit between timbres in the space of a single line or phrase (especially at the beginning of the song), which is a neat trick. If only the song made any real use of her Jekyll and Hyde phrasing — it just sounds like she’s singing around a sore throat or something. The rest of the song is a good-enough retro vamp, but it gets a bit tiresome when they start piling guitar rumble on string swoop and percussive punctuation. Like the voice, there’s tons of potential here, but they still haven’t made good on it.

One Response to “TUNES RECOVERY PROJECT: Noisettes – Never Forget You”

  1. This is definitely one of my favorite singles of the year, and approx. 100000000000000 times better than anything on the band’s previous first album. It’s a little retro-soul, but it’s a little more the midpoint between Back On The Chain Gang-era sellout-Pretenders and Don’t Get Me Wrong-era sellout-Pretenders. Only a little more fabulous.