[16] Siobhan Donaghy, ‘So You Say’

One of an unending line of “new Kate Bush”es – Tori Amos, Bat For Lashes, erm, Patrick Wolf, Florence + The Machine, Marina and the bloody Diamonds, for all I know – Siobhan Donaghy fits the bill with a pop music that’s free, experimental, ostensibly commercial (albeit without the essential hits) and miles away from her unhappy work with Sugababes. ‘So You Say’ is forensically beautiful in every detail, and for that it’s quite remarkable.

Junior says: “It’s very quiet,” before the huge chorus swells forth, demonstrating a rather flowery take on the Pixies’ quiet-loud-quiet ethos. “I like the singing.”

Best bit: The da-da-ing and doo-doo-ing of the dizzily drifting middle section.

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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.