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VV Brown - 'Leave'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:25 UK time, Friday, 27 February 2009

VV BrownFirst impressions are a funny thing. My first encounter with this song was when I heard it playing as I was browsing in a shop, and the only lyric I could make out at the time was "it ain't over 'til it's all done/listen to my conversa-shun", at which point I decided I was having absolutely none of that nonsense, thank you very much, and left. A day or so later, I was listening to the radio and a song came on that I really liked, and then the chorus rolled around, complete with the dreaded "conversa-shun" moment. Only this time, something was different - when I was paying full attention, suddenly it all made sense.

(Here's the video. It's amazing what you can cram into one tiny cardboard box, isn't it?)

Well, sort of. Part of VV's charm is the fact that her songs defy being made sense of as much as they can - there's a cheeky playfulness about the whole thing, both musically and lyrically, that kind of leaves you wondering what on earth is coming next. To be honest, by the end of it I don't think I'd've been all that surprised if she brought out an accordion and tapdanced on top of a Hammond organ.

However - and this is the clever part - for all the boundaries being broken in this song, it's a very controlled kind of mania. There's no sense that VV just threw a bunch of ideas at the wall and hoped for the best; as eccentric as many parts of the song are, you can just tell the whole thing has been extremely lovingly and thoughtfully put together. Seriously: it takes a genius to sound this bonkers.

In a particularly neat trick, the '60s retro jollity of the melody is at odds with the lyrics, which narrate the story of a girl trying to talk herself out of a rubbish relationship. It's one of those songs that you could quite easily listen to 10 times before it really hits you what it's about - in the same way that a lot of the songs that end up on 'Ultimate Greatest Love Songs Ever 20' aren't really love songs, they just get classified as such by lazy people who don't bother to listen to them properly. Here, it would be easy to dismiss this as madcap bubblegum pop, when really it's so much more.

So I admit it: I was wrong. It is fine to rhyme "done" with "conversation" if you know what you're doing. VV, I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

Five starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: March 2nd

(Steve Perkins)


  • Comment number 1.

    I love this song. "Crying Blood" was Ok, it was fun and catchy. Yes, it sounded a bit like "Monster mash" but so what.
    "Leave" does more justice to V V. I agree its more than just bubblegum pop.
    I saw her supporting the ting tings recently, she said the song is about an ex boyfriend who she eventually realised was an idiot! (Not the actual word she used)
    You can really hear the bitterness from this relationship and some how it fits well into this catchy pop song. It's an honest and mature song, which is always good to hear.
    Live she was fantastic. Great voice, looks fab and just seemed really genuine.
    Give it a listen..then give it another listen. It will grow honestly!


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