Daniel Merriweather - 'Change'
When Fraser asked me to review Daniel Merriweather's new single, 'Change', I pleaded ignorance. What was this song about? Fashion? Greenpeace? Loose coins? Of course, I recognised his name (it's pretty distinctive) and I even knew his face (it's pretty fit), but that was it.
So it was a surprise to me when, as I was casually typing away at my desk and loudly singing along to the radio, a colleague, Chris (he'll want to be name checked), said to me: "Isn't this the song you're meant to be reviewing?"
"No," I said, "This is that train song. I'm reviewing one called 'Change'"
"The 'train' song?!"
"Yeah. 'Ain't nothing on a train'" I sang along.
"Err, Vicki, its called 'Change'"
"Well, that's weird" I said, "Why would they call it that? Especially when the chorus is clearly 'ain't nothing on a...' Oh."
Now, why would I admit to this ridiculous mistake, when singing the wrong words is clearly something my mum would do? Or does - once, listening to a certain Coldplay song, she sang: "And it was all yellow...and blue" (Blue?! BLUE?!?)
Well, you see, I admit it only to make the point that 'Change' is one of those songs, by which I mean it's a song that feels like it's always been around. It's the kind of song that just slots neatly into the current radio playlist and no one really notices. The kind you absent-mindedly sing along to. And the kind you can get the words wrong to without worrying too much. In other words, 'Change' isn't really much of, well, a change to anything else that's in the charts.
Whether this subconscious brain invasion is pure genius or just uninventive, I'll leave you to decide, but it certainly has the '60s soul vibe that's oh-so-popular right now (in Mark Ronson's house, at least).
What marginally sets this song apart from the rest is the dreamy vocal loop, the epic feel to the backing track (when the horns quieten down, that is) and Wale, the rapper who breathes life into the song and breaks it up a bit.
Don't get me wrong: I quite like the way the song announces the chorus a bit like a fanfare. And I quite like Merriweather's vocals. Oh, and I much prefer his lyrics to mine (after all, what is the point of a train if there is nothing on it?). But, put together... it's all just a little bit average. I mean, a year down the line, who's really going to remember it?
You can call me old-fashioned or an idealist, but I like my music to make me feel at least something and that's something that this song just doesn't do.
Download: Out now
CD Released: February 2nd
PS: Is it just me, or doesn't the video look a *little* bit like Merriweather is standing on top of and being carried along by a train? Albeit a very slow one. (Vicki! Let it go! - Fraser)
PPS: I might not really rate the song, but Daniel, if you're reading this, you're still fit. Call me?