Releases Of November In Brief: Vol. II (James Arthur/ Eminem/ Scott Stapp)

James Arthur – James Arthur

Released 4th November on Syco

Pop/ Rock/ R’n’B


Sure, he can sing. I guess that’s why he won X-Factor, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that the entire record is just a mess of derivation, unoriginality, and hollowness. I mean, there’s just no feeling behind the mindless pap that he’s belting out, and even if there was, I’ve heard all of the same music a million times before from more competent musicians.

The occasional catchy tune does pop up, but these are so rare and so bounded by saccharin drivel that even they irk somewhat, and lyrically every cut is just bores completely or creates giggles where they should not be (“I wear you like a new tattoo”, really?).

On the upside, the production is deftly handled and quite nice to hear. It sounds like a funk record rather than the same over-compressed vocal pop – three cheers for the small saviours.


The Marshall Mathers LP 2 – Eminem

Released 5th November on Aftermath/Shady/Interscope



Still as angry as ever, Eminem’s long awaited new record will certainly not disappoint the millions of fans that still linger out there. Intelligently lyrical, skillfully rapped, and bitingly self critical The Marshall Mather’s LP 2 has all the hallmarks of what differentiates Eminem’s brand of hip-hop from all of the other self-indulgence that floods the scene.

You’ve got to wonder, however, how long one man can keep up as much schtick as this. I mean, we’re playing with the same themes and jokes as we were with all of the other Eminem records: he gets angry at his family which in turn makes him angry at himself so he makes a crack at his own expense and throws in a couple of clevely rhymed pop-culture references. That said, the schitck still works and I think that Slim is probably too smart to not be doing this all on purpose.

I summary, it’s a good record. I can’t say that it’s the mind-blowing masterpiece that everyone was hoping for, but I certainly don’t regret putting it in my ears.


Proof Of Life – Scott Stapp

Released 5th November on Wind-Up Records



I never liked Creed. They’re boring, unimaginative, and they just generally piss me off. Absolutely nothing has changed with Stapp’s decision to go solo.

Now, I’m not going to call into question his sincerity or commitment to his art, all I’m saying is that the guy hasn’t written a genuinely interesting track in his entire career. All of the vocals lines have been ripped from some grunge band who did it better, the lyrics are insipid and uninspired, and the music itself just blends together from cut to cut so you can’t even tell what track you’re up to.

I mean really, my time would have been better spent listening to Pearl Jam and The Tea Party back to back, because that’s where all of the music on Proof Of Life comes from.



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