Dragonette - 'Take It Like A Man'
One of the interesting things I learnt about Dragonette when doing some research for this review (indeed, contrary to popular belief, we don't just vomit a couple of hundred words onto the screen without any kind of second thought - at least, not all of us, and not all of the time) is that lead singer Martina's father is the Minister of Finance in the Canadian government.
This led me to wonder what it would be like if one of Alistair Darling's progeny (assuming he has any - I don't know, and it's not really any of my business either way) started a pop group. And then I decided that we need more people in the world of pop to be descended from politicians, because then Jeremy Paxman and Martha Kearney could take over as the hosts of Popworld, and wouldn't that be awesome? No? Okay then, I'll just get on with it, shall I?
Actually, not all of the above paragraph is irrelevant to this review (but most of it admittedly was just that), because I was surprised to learn that Martina was Canadian - from the song, I'd assumed she was Norwegian or Swedish, because she's got this sort of Lene Nystrom/Nina Persson hybrid quality to her voice, and the song itself is of that particular variety of very polished, dreamy pop music that the Scandinavians excel at, rather than the more edgy pop-rock style favoured by the Brits and the Americans.
The chorus in particular I thought sounded like what would happen if Kelly Clarkson stopped being quite so angry at the world and put down her rock guitars, and got a bit more philosophical on a synthesiser instead. It's very intense, but at the same time Martina's vocals have this sooting, almost remorseful quality to them (one which I'm sure I remember noting when I heard her vocals on Basement Jaxx's 'Take Me Back To Your House', which was another song that moved me emotionally in ways I didn't expect it to).
If there's one thing wrong with this song, it's a lack of urgency. It gets so carried away on its pop clouds of introspective thoughts that it doesn't really end up going anywhere terribly fast, which left me a little disappointed - I kept expecting it to build up into something bigger than it actually did. It's kind of a common problem with this genre of music, in fairness, but all the same, it was still a shame.
That said, this is a fine example of intelligent pop music at a time where there's a severe shortage of it. I have my doubts that it'll trouble the charts massively because it just doesn't sound like the sort of thing that's especially marketable these days, but that's a fault with the record-buying public rather than Dragonette, and something that I don't really have the motivation to debate further right now.