« Previous | Main | Next »

Mark Ronson & The Business Intl ft. Kyle Falconer & Spank Rock - 'The Bike Song'

Post categories:

Fraser McAlpine | 09:57 UK time, Friday, 3 September 2010

Pop music often searches to find the eternal in the everyday. Songs attempt to freeze time around one emotional moment - I haven't got enough money! I wish I could wish on a falling star! Girls are sexy! - and to make sure it's communicated to as many people as possible, it'll often take place in the most mundane of locations: a street, the house you grew up in, a nightclub.

It's partly because gems often shine brighter when placed against a dull background, and partly a way to bring extra reality to the situation, so it feels truer. In the same way that we all tend to sit up and take a bit more notice of a film that says that it is based on a true story.

This is why it's a good idea to write a song with a bike in it. It's not just a fun hook to hang a lyric from, it speaks to our inner child. Most of us have ridden a bike, right? Well this sings to the part of us that yearns for a simpler life, free of boring distractions.

In fact (drumroll) it's not just a pop song, it's an integral part of the cycle of life (TISH!).

(Here's the video. It's cuuute.)

Now, having made such a fuss about the rightness of the lyrical conceit - props are due to Dave McCabe from the Zutons, who also wrote Mark's biggest hit 'Valerie', as sung by Amy Winehouse etc etc - it's important to say the finished article doesn't quite match the grandeur and brilliance of 'Bang Bang Bang'. There's no double-speed chorus, no Q-Tip, and no French bits. But that's OK, lots of songs aren't as good as 'Bang Bang Bang'. MOST songs aren't as good as 'Bang Bang Bang', in fact. 'Bang Bang Bang' is a peak, most other songs are the bits that hold the peak up.

So, instead of concentrating on what isn't here, let's look at what is. Why, look! It's Kyle from the View! And Spank Rock! And Kyle's singing about the freedom of a pair of wheels on the open road through his trademark cotton-wool gob. And he's got this freewheeling skippy-hop beat to do it over. Spanky brings the jibber-jabber, claiming not to understand why people prefer cars to bicycles. It is officially ALL FUN.

Even having to endure Kyle singing "that can't be the way that I roll" as if he's trying to work in some urban lingo to fit better with the funk, is no hassle at all. There's nothing you can't just shrug off, bowling along to a song like this, and I speak as someone who has actually listened to it while riding a bike. Which has to be the ultimate test.

Naturally it passed, with flying colours. I pulled a wheelie when it finished too. Fell over.

Four starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Popped Music says: "This song is cheesy, there is no doubt about it."

Resonance says: "Too laid back to be exciting, and too distracting to be laid back."

Glasswerk says: "The Scots rocker lends a languid element to the otherwise sprightly song which wheels along like a lost psychedelic pop classic. "



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.