Estelle, Higgins shine while Brightman, Vampire Weekend disappoint

“This regular feature will review new songs available on the iTunes music store. The songs are chosen only from the new releases, not necessarily new singles heard on the radio. Ratings are based on one to five stars, just as they would be reviewed on iTunes.”

This regular feature will review new songs available on the iTunes music store. The songs are chosen only from the new releases, not necessarily new singles heard on the radio. Ratings are based on one to five stars, just as they would be reviewed on iTunes.

Estelle – American Boy (featuring Kanye West)

Estelle’s voice is great on this poppy song, and the music is varied enough with a solid beat that the tune is enjoyable. Some of the lyrics seem to be inserted for the purpose of rhyming and stretching out the song to nearly five minutes, and West’s parts bring nothing to this track.

Promising, but not great. Estelle should have kept this a solo act.

Missy Higgins – Where I Stood

Missy Higgins’ ballad questioning herself in life is a wonderful track. Her voice is a warm and emotional instrument in this piano-heavy song. The song is listed as an alternative track, though it is a fairly mainstream and general light-rock tune.

At some points, Higgins is too forceful in reaching outside the warmness her voice provides through most of the song. Worth downloading, though may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Sarah Brightman – I Will Be With You (Where the Lost Ones Go)

Where to begin? This symphonic song brings back memories of the gothic hard rock songs that the 90s sprouted (remember Meatloaf’s comeback?), yet there is absolutely nothing trendy left in this type of song today. The soprano, whose career spans three decades, strains her talents to try this duet track with Paul Stanley (yes, from KISS fame).

The two just do not work together, blended or bantered. Unless you are a fan of KISS and need to collect everything of theirs, or enjoyed Brightman’s career on the London stage or with her solo albums, I cannot see any reason to try this song.

Vampire Weekend – A-Punk

It is difficult to pinpoint where this song belongs. The track is listed as alternative, but there are aspects of Afropop and Bob Marley. The tune really does not stand out as its own song. Listening to it, I felt as though I had heard the music somewhere before, many times over.

The engineering is not the greatest, either, as sometimes the instruments drown out the vocals and make them even harder to understand. Perhaps the best method to describe the sound of this music would be to imagine grunge if it were to hit the Carribean.

Sometimes grating and unmemorable beyond the instruments, this song is not worth the money.