Monday, January 10th, 2011

Clare Maguire – You’re Electric

If I’d have reviewed this, I’d have compared her to the singer out of Kosheen. As you’re about to discover, no-one else quite agrees with me…


Jessica Popper: I like that Clare’s sound is very atmospheric and she has a great voice, but after 30 seconds of ‘taster’ single “Ain’t Nobody” I was ready to go back to Jessie J. However, “You’re Electric” shows much more promise and the first ‘big’ single “The Last Dance” is excellent. You could even sing along to it, if you wanted!

Anthony Easton: Generic, with a truly thin voice. One of the least exciting attempts at this disco soul revival thing.

Martin Skidmore: Allmusic assures me her influences are Howlin’ Wolf and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who I totally love. I wouldn’t have guessed. This is instead a slightly more indie Portishead, with maybe a dash of Kate Bush in her vocal. Fortunately these are good influences too. The song is unexciting, but I like her voice, and I can imagine very good things from her, though this is just decent, I think.

Jer Fairall: “I know that lightning won’t strike twice in the same place”, coming from one so clearly poised to be the next Leona Lewis, might just prove to be too self fulfilling a prophecy.

Tom Ewing: Shuddering, blown-out drums like a badly recorded “Bleeding Love” give the song a budget stadium rock feel, and so when Clare Maguire comes in trumpeting her noisy banalities it’s very hard indeed not to think “Carol Decker”. The “you’re electric/you light up my world” line needs burying under a kiloton of fuzz, not highlighting with a tasteful piano fade.

Doug Robertson: Florence and The Machine is quite popular, isn’t she? Although in this case the machine is of the washing variety, and it’s one set at slightly too high a temperature, leading to a sort of washed out effect which guarantees that any possible mark that might have been left is permanently removed.

Katherine St Asaph: You’re the Next Big female singer-songwriter of 2011, soon to be set loose into the fickle world. You need a plan, whether it’s to phase into your production like Ellie Goulding, pantomime like Marina Diamandis or smash everything right the fuck up like Florence Welch. Or you could just really resemble someone famous. Clare Maguire practically Xeroxed Madonna’s “Frozen”/”Papa Don’t Preach” lower register, down to her throaty quavers and the way she curls off her phrases. With a worse song this would just be a party game, but “Electric” has enough stomp and shimmer to hold its own. It isn’t like the real Madonna’s making singles like this anymore.

Edward Okulicz: If the mid-career spiritual Kaballah reinvigoration thing had happened to Whitney Houston instead of Madonna, this might have been the result. But I’d have taken Madge on crack over it, still.

John Seroff: Creamy, bland and insufficient as a bad mushroom soup or a late 80’s Cher hit.

Alex Macpherson: Remember the era when Annie Lennox would win the Brit award for Best British Female every year without fail, regardless of whether she’d actually released any material or not? The industry clearly does! Although all the early ’90s synths, electric pianos and crashing beats in the world can’t disguise the way Clare Maguire’s songs are pygmies next to even “Why” or “Love Song For A Vampire”, let alone the Eurythmics material on which Lennox’s classic reputation actually rests.

Mallory O’Donnell: Listen, I have heard these precise synthesizer swells so many times both in the 80’s and in the last five years that I want to claw my ears off right now. Adding an Annie Lennox vibrato to mask lack of technique, autotuning it, then combining it with some gross Sarah McLachlan-esque sensuality, all in the service of lyrics cribbed from the Little Big Book of Pop Music Cliches also does not help. Deeply uninspired and about four years behind trend.

Jonathan Bogart: The throb in her voice is familiar, and I do a quick mental review to work out who she reminds me of. Arthur Russell? Antony Hegarty? Then I notice the big crashing structure of the song and I realize who she really sounds like. She’s not quite to scale, but then, honestly, who is? There’s still only one Celine Dion.

4 Responses to “Clare Maguire – You’re Electric”

  1. Ha ha, this is amazing.

  2. martin edited it out, but my initial Jesse J comment was “(spoiler: most of the BBC Sound of ’11 are not very good)”.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the lion’s share of these average out at the 4 to 6 range.

  3. er “_will_ edited it out” i meant

  4. This song is going to be inescapable before too long, it’s got that sort of bludgeoning anthemic feel. Obviously there are dubstep remixes, in case it wasn’t unsubtle enough. I feel like I already know what they sound like.