Not the first person you would imagine knocking out an anti-American political song – George Michael. Certainly it is not the first time George has wandered down the route of po-facedness – both Songs From The Twentieth Century and Listen Without Predjudice (Volume 1 lest we forget) were excrutiatingly self important, but it is probably the first time he has attempted satire. At least that is what he says he is doing in Shoot The Dog, a lighthearted funk workout on the so-called special relationship between George W.Bush and Tony Blair. The only discernable lyric which seems to refer to this is the lame double entendre of George telling “Tony, there’s something ’bout that Bush that ain’t right”.

Apparently written before September 11th and shelved until now the song is a wholesale rip of the Human Leagues ‘Love Action’. Indeed the fact that it has the stylings of a bootleg and plays to the electroclash camp is something that suggests that actually it was written about two months ago. Not that George has done much writing here, he does his “not even cool enough to be crap Prince” gruntings, mumbles over a loop of the dullest part of Love Action and completely misses out anything resembling a chorus or a breakdown. Indeed the track is so desperate that for its grand finale George – just plays a big chunk of Love Action. Its always nice to hear Phil – but it merely reminds you how bereft of ideas Shoot The Dog is and also conjures up the spectre of other so-called political singles. Like The Lebanon.

In the end George is trying to court controversy again, and as savvy a media manipulator that he is, there is not much left of the outrage-o-meter for him to try. We’ve don’t the polysexual bondage video (to cod funk workout) now its not very radical political views (to cod funk workout) – with a scrapily animated video that portrays him in bed with Cherie Blair – the threat is what there George? This will limp into the top ten at best and only deserves such a high placing because it contains at least one line of political comment that might resonate with modern politics. And it comes from Phil Oakey when he says “I believe in truth though I lie a lot” – and no beating about the bush.