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Is VV Brown Brilliant Or Rubbish Or What?

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Fraser McAlpine | 18:57 UK time, Friday, 24 October 2008

Take a look at this video a second. It's called 'Crying Blood' and it's by a new singer called VV Brown, and I have no idea what to make of it. It is clearly a song which demands a certain amount of attention, and one which will probably remain in the brains of anyone who hears it for years to come. It's upbeat, lively, fun, colourful and could be used as an antidote for anyone who is suffering from prolongued exposure to the icy wastes of Snow Patrol.

Whether this is wholly a good thing or not is another issue entirely.

All I really know is this:

I know that the bit where she sings the title of the song is the least sonically appealing bit of the whole song, as it is a bit too pleased with itself.

I know that the bits immediately before and after are much, much better.

I know that wearing your hair like it's a flat cap probably won't catch on.

I know that something is reminding me of Girls Aloud, and Fatboy Slim, and Little Jackie, and that this can only be a good thing.

I know that the rocksnobs are going to HATE this.

I know that this doesn't necessarily mean that they are wrong.

I know that it really is astonishingly perky. Possibly TOO perky.

I know that if VV had auditioned for The X-Factor, she'd have been edited to look like a hopelessly deluded, talentless nutbag.

I know that this says more about The X-Factor than it does about VV Brown.

I know that she has already performed it on Later With Jools on the same show as Metallica, and I bet Lars told James he hated it, and then secretly downloaded it straight away. Kirk will have said that he kind of liked it.

I know that I kind of like it.

I know that I will not feel like this if it is a big hit single and on the radio all the time.

I know that if you were to hear this song once every hour for as little as a week, you'd probably be thinking of buying some form of sniper rifle.

I know that this does not necessarily make it a bad song.

I know that this may be why VV Brown's hair is like that. It may need to be bulletproof.

Would anyone else like to venture a thought? I've got the CD on my desk and I don't know whether to file it or bin it. I need HELP, people!




  • Comment number 1.

    Its not Boehemian Rhapsody or The Wall but I think it is an excellent video and a catchy little number. Talking of the catchy little number dncing she reminds me of a sexy black Max Headroom with that hair do (excuse any political incorrectness - noe intended). The dance sequences are like a cross between that Mitchell & Carr dance and the Talking Heaads Once in a Lifetime video. The animation sequences remind me of Roobarb and Cistard or Crystal Tips and Alistair. Yeah, OK the cultural references belie the fact that I am a pre-senile hippy :-)

  • Comment number 2.

    I like that bit that sounds like The Monster Mash.

  • Comment number 3.

    It does sound like the Monster Mash. However I think it would be much better if Grace Jones was doing backing vocals: "THIS IS NOW A GRAVE YARD SMASH - LIKE THE CORPORATE RECYCLING OF CASH" etc etc

  • Comment number 4.

    My god, that would be the most genius thing ever. Grace Jones remix now!

  • Comment number 5.

    music = good
    singer = not good

  • Comment number 6.

    I really love this song. I think artists come and we dont allow the process of development to take place. Ive heard VV brown live and I think she is awesome. I think its good to also have some black artists in the UK having the opputunities that Duffy and Amy had.... etc. I think its fun pop and is just as fun and exciting as alphabeat or Ting tings. I think we should give this a chance and let the project develop atleast. Let her grow as an artist. She writes and produces her own music. We should celebrate that as so many artists dont even write. So I think you shouldnt bin it and let it develop and grow... I love VV brown and was sold when I saw her live, and this is where you truly tell if an artist has what it takes...

  • Comment number 7.

    I've heard VV Brown live and this doesn't do her justice, it just all sounds better on stage

  • Comment number 8.

    I think its good to also have some black artists in the UK having the opputunities that Duffy and Amy had.... etc


    Oh dear. In a music world dominated by coloured musicians you still think the oppertunities are not there?

    How sad.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm not sure I'm with you on this, Hackerjack. The word 'dominated' worries me.

    If you mean that music is an area where skin colour is less of an obstacle to success than other walks of life, then I think you may have a point, but it can also look like you mean there has been some kind of unwelcome invasion.

    Just to be clear, which is it, please?

  • Comment number 10.

    I think what they probably mean, is that the music industry, is perhaps one of the most prominent industries in the world in which colour of skin is not important. It could even be said that a lot of the more popular music in the charts today is by "coloured" artists. It cannot be said that there is any prejudice against colour in the music industry, so by suggesting tat Duffy and Adele have a head start because they're white is unfair. In a way it's harder for them, as they are producing music of a genre which has traditionally been sung by black artists.

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm not so sure it's entirely true that it's harder for white singers, especially when you consider how much of modern popular music came from white people singing a musical form that came out of black America, and going on to make millions.

    I do agree that white singers can't rely on this to get a head start nowadays, but then it's an idea to remember that Joss Stone got a lot of praise in her early career because she sings soul music well...for a teenager from Devon.

    Whether this means that she sings soul music well full stop is a whole other question.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think that the american market reflects the black music scene well but lets look at the british market.... come on now. Open your eyes and be honest.... what sould is there by black artists. Its not about colour but have you been to a Gospel chruch and seen the singers in there that are not represented. I absolutley love VV brown and have seen her live. This is just the beginning of her career. I was blown away by her live performnce. Are alpha beat anoying and Perky ? Is it because they are white and sweedish..... that is deemed acceptable, well I think this is a great song, she writes and produces her own music, she can sing live, she plays all her own instruments.... come on, lets support this girl and not let her have to go to america to be recieved to come back and get love by her own country like estelle ! I think she is a huge one to watch for 2009 ! I will be buying her record.

  • Comment number 13.

    I love this record ! Its better live I do agree, but isnt that unsual ! It always takes a while for radio to catch on. I heard they didnt want to play amy in the beginning and look at her now.... its all quite beauracratic isnt it... well either way, with the sacrcasm and the comments and the too cool for school and the over analytical, for me this is a great record that deserves the support. I cant wait for the next song, and for god sakes let an artist develop in this world of fast food, fast cars, fast everything.... Duffy had a soft release, so did adele and it wasnt untill there big singles that they took off...

  • Comment number 14.

    I think she is absolutely brilliant and much needed breath of fresh air in an industry that has become increasingly homogenous and predictable. Yes she may not be too everyone's taste, but the fact she has the ability to provoke discussion like the above indicates she is definitely good for music. Frankly I've had enough of pseudo-Amy Winehouses' and overstyled indie bands. I think you should file it!

  • Comment number 15.

    Actuala, of COURSE Alphabeat are perky and annoying! So are the Ting Tings, and regular ChartBlog readers will tell you how much we love those two.

    I know it's tempting to see this as a cynical, sarcastic feature, but I honestly am not sure whether I love or hate the song. I love the verses, and the second half of the chorus, but the first half, the bit which sounds like the Monster Mash, is a step too far.

    This comment, however, rings truest for me: "the fact she has the ability to provoke discussion like the above indicates she is definitely good for music."

  • Comment number 16.

    I really like this song. I prefer bottles which is the second song she sang on jools but this is a cool song. This monster mash thing.... loads of records have samples all over it.... we are in the hip hop generation ! Isnt this the same notion.... trust me Ive had a listen to soe of the other artists we wont mention and they are awamped with sample hooks from the past... we only say stuff because its a sample we are all aware off... anyway I like it its fresh and I read she produced it herself.wow

  • Comment number 17.

    and in regrads to the black thing, leave colour alone man. Its all about music !! Shes fit !

  • Comment number 18.

    I really love the song, it had me dancing round my room like a maniac!!! its a feel good record and i think people love to analyse things to much and are generally musically right wing. move over music snobs and just enjoy the song. It is -a great fun record and u cant deny that it doesnt stick in your head, so if its doing that then stop hating and enjoy :)

  • Comment number 19.

    "musically right-wing"? Blimey...

    I didn't raise the colour issue. Just wanted to make that clear.

    And as for samples, it's fine that it sounds like The Monster Mash, it's just that those bits are the parts of the song that I'm not mad on. Those are the bits that make me STOP dancing around like a mad fool, if that makes things any clearer.

  • Comment number 20.

    You file other stuff and you question this.... for goodness sake file it already ! Jools holland recognises talent and have all sorts of great music.... of which I trust over political radio stations... why cant you just file it ?

  • Comment number 21.

    You're possibly over-estimating my filing procedure...it's just a drawer.

  • Comment number 22.

    I heard this on Radio 2 at work last saturday and straight away it was in my head. That must be the sign of a catchy song.
    Even if it did become an annoying song after a while people'll be singing it and downloading it.

  • Comment number 23.

    "She's crying blood... She did the monster mash... She's crying blood... It was a graveyard smash..."

  • Comment number 24.

    I came across this when looking through the internet. I cant believe that this sing has not already been all over radio. Its such a great song. Im in love with this artist. Ive been watching this girls career for a while and seeing her be championed on BBC sound poll really makes me smile. Hopefully 09 will be a year where she will be supported by the media institutions... I also read the comments above and I agree slightly... I hope the next single gets more exposure. What do you have to do to be recognised these days. Cry blood ?


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