[10] Emeli Sandé, ‘Heaven’

Emeli Sandé

“Will you recognise ME?” Sure. You’re that Shara Nelson, aren’t you?

Bit of satire there, ladeezangennelmen. Junior seems to know all the words to this one already – which is more than we can say about ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ because I never play it, having absolutely KILLED it in 1991. It left a grimy fingerprint on the stereo along with Screamadelica, Eg & Alice’s ‘Indian’, Jesus Loves You’s ‘Bow Down Mister’ and Jellyfish’s Bellybutton. And, let’s face facts, The Milltown Brothers’ debut album.

Junior asks if she’s English, obviously, but of course Sandé couldn’t be less English if she was Neptunian. She’s Scottish and let’s say that she caresses ‘Heaven’ with that peculiar Scots soul passion, ranking alongside Sharleen Spiteri, Lorraine McIntosh, Marti Pellow, Pat Kane, Lulu and, er, Maria McKee. On firmer ground, the beats are terrific and the strings – ahem – sympathetic. That Critics’ Choice BRIT will look lovely in her palm.

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Florence And The Machine, ‘Dog Days Are Over’

Florence And The Machine

Yes, I fibbed. I played the industry tart last night and went along to the BRITs launch at the Roundhouse, so it seems only fair to stick around in 2008 for a few minutes to laud Critics’ Choice award winner Florence. Her vocals were mixed way too high – not quite such a treat when your voice leans towards the old banshee’s wail – but nothing could spoil this storming number. Flo bashed the drum Bat For Lashes-style while harp trilled prettily alongside. Whether she’ll hit the commercial peaks of last year’s CC winner Adele is another matter altogether, but she’s sure to be a whole lot more interesting.

Junior was acting the arse this morning, rabbiting baby talk back at me whenever I asked a question. To give her the benefit, she was possibly trying to include little Junior 2 who writhed rhythmically on the rug while big sis did a ludicrous high-tempo dance. It’s the kind of record that should make you lose your inhibitions, whirling wildly to each burst of energy. Either that or you’ll just hate it.

Where are you then? Pick a year, any year, except 1969, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

[2] Yazoo, ‘Only You’

More humanity in machines. Even Alf’s nasal, masculine drone finds some emotion, tripping over itself in the later lines, cracking and interrupting itself. It’s a great performance; she finds more rhythm in her tone as the song goes on and Vince ups the tempo as all the feeling comes pouring out. Gives Junior’s old dad a bit of, erm, hayfever.

The girl herself raises her arms in the air and sways them from side to side. This is a reaction I haven’t seen, more typical of Rod Stewart fan during ‘Sailing’ or a Foreigner fan during, well, anything. Junior’s calling ‘Only You’ a soft rock ballad. Hmm. Swap the synths for power chords, and what have you got?

Right. Depeche Mode, Yazoo, the Assembly, Erasure, countless productions/remixes: where’s Vince’s Outstanding Contribution Brit? Sign my petition now.