May 03

ONE TRUE VOICE — ‘Shakespeare’s Way With Words’ SIOBHAN DONAGHY — ‘Overrated’

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Casualties of a) the Reality-Pop arena vote and b) an ill-timed split return with more or less desperate dice-throws. Rarely has a No.2 hitmaker been considered as instant a failure as One True Voice — but then with Girls Aloud making the best British single this year it’s hard to imagine anything more excruciating, playground-wise, than admitting to being an OTV fan. You know exactly how puppydog naff the sprit and sentiment of ‘Shakespeare’s Way With Words’ is going to be from the title — ‘ballad or not?’ is the only question. ‘Not’, as it happens, and ‘Shakespeare’s…’ will delight anyone who’s been waiting fourteen years for a Big Fun revival. First pop song about sonnets since the Verve, not much better. The English love of losers and underdogs is their one true hope.

OTV’s record I downloaded from horrid curiosity, Siobhan’s I was excited about hearing until the first strummed bars brought me up short. Supposedly she quit the Sugababes because they hated indie, a fact I’d conveniently binned until now. Obviously she’s indie only in the new-model Mel C sense: jangle jangle chug chug. I can’t entirely dislike it, she does her best and it builds intriguingly towards a blowout chorus that sadly never arrives. The middle eight is quite nice. The title is endearingly hopeful. It doesn’t have Sting on it.

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