Olly Murs ft. Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips A Beat (Listen)
My admiration for Rizzle Kicks (despite their music not being my typical choice) is well documented but I never expected them to rise to fame off the back of an Olly Murs collaboration. I doubt it’s what they had in mind, either. However they are at the point in their career now where they need a big break, as they aren’t quite taking off at the speed I think they were expected to, so it’s time for a little compromise to get the exposure their situation requires. The connection between Olly and Rizzle Kicks is the production company Future Cut, who they’ve both been working with. Heart Skips A Beat, the first single from Olly’s second album, is nothing really new for him, but the chorus (especially the title line) is infectious and Rizzle Kicks give it a bit of an edge. I think it’ll be a sizeable summer hit.
New Boyz ft. Sabi – Tough Kids (Watch)
I’ve been vaguely aware of New Boyz for a while but never really paid them any attention, apart from the obligatory quick listen to their hits You’re A Jerk and Backseat to check I wasn’t missing anything. I can’t claim to be any kind of rap connoisseur but nothing particularly stood out to me about those tracks. However, the new single Tough Kids grabbed my attention straight away. It’s a rock-rap sound similar to what Jay-Z did with Linkin Park, but with a fresh 2011 slant. The song gets a bit too aggressive for my ears as the rap really kicks in, but I love Sabi’s singing part and the video is very cool in an excitingly youthful way. New Boyz definitely seem to be onto something interesting here, but keep an eye out for Sabi too. She’s collected a very impressive list of featuring slots now (Britney and Cobra Starship as well as this one) and her own track Goodnight is an intriguing start. She just needs the right song and the right moment to make it big.
NKOTBSB – Don’t Turn Out The Lights (Live)
I don’t know what to think of this collaboration between Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block. As both bands are well-remembered by the public but their recent releases haven’t fared too well, it made sense to tour together and combine their fanbases to fill arenas. However, the difference between the two acts is that the Backstreet Boys have a fantastic back-catalogue including many of the best boyband singles of all time, while I can’t name even one New Kids track that I’d listen to out of choice. Even their biggest hits are weaker than the average BSB album track. The new collaborative single that their joint tour has resulted in is therefore the best thing NKOTB have ever done, but a big step down even from the Backstreet Boys’ recent work, let alone their classic hits. I understand that together the two bands will attract more interest than alone, but I’m really hoping the collaboration album this duet features on will be a one-off.