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Alexandra Burke ft. Laza Morgan - 'Start Without You'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:55 UK time, Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Alexandra Burke

Picture the scene: There's a heated discussion taking place in the middle of a record company board room. Execs are hotly debating the release date of a new single, so that it can gain maximum exposure, reach as many ears as is humanly possibly and therefore drive people to the shops - real or virtual - in order to spend, spend, and once again spend.

The song plays quietly in the background, although it clearly has not been made with quiet play in mind, which is proving to be a distraction. It is a boisterous, Caribbean-flavoured thing, boasting a childishly simple, sing-song chorus.

It also boasts a man called Laza shouting incoherently about seizures and propellers, and a relentless skull-crusher dancehall beat, played as if a Troll was attempting to swat a swarm of cocky gnats off the EastEnders drum kit with his fists. It is deliriously happy, to the point of being simple-minded, and conjures up instant images of warmth and sunshiney freedom in everyone that hears it.

And it is this last point which is causing the trouble.

(Here's the video. It's basically Eric Prydz for girls)

On one side of the table, people are shouting that a record this summary needs to be out in the height of, y'know, SUMMER. They're yelling that it's a perfect soundtrack for outdoor barbecues and beach parties, and as such, needs to be available to buy at the beginning of the holiday season. A song this happy, they fume, is perfect for the end of term, with long weeks of hot nothing stretching out before you, rather than the beginning of a new school year, with new shoes that pinch, new uniforms that itch, and nothing but extra homework, conkers and the faint promise of Christmas to look forward to.

On the other side, arms tightly folded, faces impassive, are the record company's corporate wing, the brand-holders. Their argument is far less emotional. They simply point to a copy of a TV listings magazine with a big picture of Simon Cowell on the front, and the headline, "IT'S BACK!", then re-fold their arms and wait.

There is then some quiet discussion and a brief glace at a contract which appears to have been signed with red liquid, and the debate is over. Autumn it is.

Three starsDownload: 5th September

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Popjustice says: "We have liked all the Alexandra Burke singles so far and we like this one too."

Pop Boi says: "The new video takes the cake on cheese-factor"

Swear I'm Not Paul says: "It's chirpy but banal, and extremely unlistenable. Repeated listens only make it worse. "


  • Comment number 1.

    This song makes me :(

  • Comment number 2.

    3 stars.

  • Comment number 3.

    Three words: Children's. Holiday. Disco.
    Or, in other words: Eurotrash.

    Expect a peformance of X-factor, with Alex needlessly "belting" over a backing track, Cheryl Cole crying for no reason, Louis Walsh saying "you remind me of a young (insert artist's name here)", Danni Minougue pumping her arms like a loon and Simon Cowell telling Alex that "she's a star, deserves her success and that every constentant should look up to her".

    2 Stars

  • Comment number 4.

    Catchy in a totally inane way . That chorus is sure to divide people . On one hand its easy to pick up as its basic , on the other hand , it is clearly , the wrong side of cool .

  • Comment number 5.

    *ON* X-Factor, sorry.

  • Comment number 6.

    My grandma and your grandma, sitting in the disco, my grandma told your grandma down let me start without you (8)
    Those may as well be the lyrics.
    Its the worst 2nd Album single since forever.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hilarious how they moved the release date back 2 weeks - they were obviously scared of the competition from Taio Cruz.

  • Comment number 8.

    The chorus reminds me of Boney M - "Hooray, Hooray, it's a holi, holi-day"
    When I was a lad, "starting without you" had a rude connotations - is this song about what I think it's about?
    Alexandra looks great - she wouldn't need to start without me. But the song is as empty as a junkie's eyes.
    Why do producers thing having an idiot shouting in the middle of your song will improve it (see "Now 76"?

  • Comment number 9.

    @ 8

    Most likely, listen to the lyrics again:

    "You're the only one I want on my back" and "I push it out".


    And yes, the nobody rapper is completely deteremental to anything the song has going for it; and I also spotted the 'Iko Iko' sampling in the chorus, Adam. It's like a reggae nursery rhyme.

    The again, I have always seen this song as the kind that is deliriously catchy, but not the kind you'd want to play at full volume in the car if you're friends were walking by, or anyone for that matter.

  • Comment number 10.

    I actually expect this song to chart very well. It's not as good as any of her previous singles, BUT it's got Heavy radio airplay so far, so...

    Top 5.

  • Comment number 11.

    Heavy Radio airplay? She's been snubbed once again by Radio 1. This is actually a good thing because it means it's definitely not going to #1, it will, like Bendter said, chart suffer the same fate as 'All Night Long' and chart somewhere in the Top 5.

  • Comment number 12.

    Well Olly Murs was also snubbed by Radio 1, and we know what's happening this week so far. Thing is, when you're in the public eye and promoted and airplayed as much elsewhere as they are - they hardly need Radio 1's support. It's ridiculous the amount of promo they get just because they are from X Factor, but I won't go there again or I'll be here forever.

    The Wanted didn't make the playlist either but managed to reach no.1 with their debut single, but again - the promotional campaign in the lead-up to their single release was nothing short of extraordinary. It was impossible to avoid. But why was that? Because they are a young pretty-faced boyband aimed at young girls, and no offence, but we know what they are like when it comes to buying music. That's what ensured their debut single sold a great deal in it's first few weeks.

    For all the faults with Radio 1's playlist, I'm actually glad they are starting to snub such artists in favour of giving other, less-promoted artists a fair chance.

  • Comment number 13.

    @ oddone

    Kutox explained what I said in his post.

  • Comment number 14.

    @12, following the realisation that Olly Murs is going to be number 1, Radio thought it would be clever to put it on the playlist! Peer Pressure...

  • Comment number 15.

    They didn't do that with The WANTED! And to be honest, at least their song knew it was a pop song, 'Please Don't let Me Go' seems to wishy-washy and pathetic to even want to admit that.

  • Comment number 16.

    Yeah the chorus melody is a huge steal from "Iko Iko " .

    We all know this song will be commercially huge , but something really stops me from liking it .

    I agree with Connie , this track makes me think of a holiday rep , using this song to start the dancing at a children's holiday disco .

    Not cool .

  • Comment number 17.

    And now I love it.

    5 stars.

  • Comment number 18.

    Thanks to all those who identified the Iko iko connection, i thought I had heard it before and its been bugging me for a while!


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