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Pixie Lott - 'Boys And Girls'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:57 UK time, Saturday, 5 September 2009

Pixie Lott

I've been playing air tambourine to this. Air TAMBOURINE though! For a while it was drums, cos the verses are sort of Mark Ronson-y and that's all about acting like you're one of Motown's house-band, and if you're gonna do that, is there anyone cooler than the drummer? Damn right.

But in the end, the sheer fizziness and upward thrust of the chorus called for something a bit more lively. Luckily it's very easy to switch from one to the other, and I always keep an air tambourine in my bag. I got into the habit after getting caught out listening to 'Love Machine' with only an air kazoo in my pocket. It wasn't the same, and I think the other people on the bus were getting pretty fed up with it, by the time I got off.

I've never been caught out like that since, and neither should you, not when there's songs like this, ready to strike when you least expect it.

(Here's the video. Bling on a budget! )

Comparisons out of the way first. There's a hefty dose of 'I Want It All' from High School Musical 3 to the verses - although the song's been around for more than a year, so it's unlikely any actual copying has gone on. There is also a lot of Rihanna to the chorus. So that's ruthless Sharpay in the verses, and frosty Rih for the rest of it.

To anyone who felt a little let down that Pixie was originally sold as (yet) another cleaned up Amy Winehouse-type souled-out Duffy junior, these are key reasons to come back and listen again. And to anyone who felt that the Sugababes comeback has been less than astonishing, musically speaking, this is the song they should have had, and here's why:

The chorus is a one-note drone, with harmonic support, over a three-chord pounding vamp thing. So while Pixie stays in the same place, the world moves all around her. That's the drama. There are proper musicological reasons as to why this is a good thing, but there's no need to get the magnifying glass out, just let it happen.

And, y'know, always keep the relevant air percussion to hand, if only for the comfort of your fellow travellers.

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: September 7th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



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