5. Plan B 'iLL Manors'
Nobody likes the utility player, even if he is rather nifty with his director/screenwriter/actor/soul experiments. But all those jazzes aside, 'iLL Manors' is just the proof we need that Plan B can pen a hit of the highest order. "No such thing as broken Britain, we're just bloody broke in Britain," he blasts over rough strings as zippy as a Brixton looter. Really, our yoof couldn't ask for a more equipped leader.
4. Usher 'Climax'
Who knows what inspired Usher to drop the sex-god persona on his latest record, but those always roused by his almighty know-how on the mic can't snivel at this nugget. Diplo-produced with a faint funk-jam flavour to match, 'Climax' may be the saddest break-up story Usher's ever told; "Where are you now when I need you around, I'm on my knees but it seems we're going nowhere fast." Honest, heartfelt and aces.
3. Enter Shikari 'Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here'
Even if Enter Shikari's recent works have been sorta vanilla, one can't ever forget just how radical their post-hardcode-sexes-electronica principles once were. 'Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here' from their latest album is deliciously affable, all Crunchy Nut riffage with a refrain so trembly it wouldn't look out of place amid Nicky Minaj's team hoedowns. Welcome back, boys.
2. The Wanted 'Chasing The Sun'
If 2012 is the year of the boyband, why aren't there more tunes like this? 1D's slothful output aside, The Wanted plainly know a thing or two about a rug-cutting hook. Well, least the people who wrote this for them do; in which case here it's the pop-dubbing 'lectro pro Example. 'Chasing The Sun's busy, moody temper and love-lasts-forever naiveté fiddles like a 'Family Guy' episode for kids. And it's fuckin' A, too.
1. Calvin Harris ft. Example 'We'll Be Coming Back'
This couldn't go wrong. Planet Earth's hottest DJ/producer/game changer + the most assured rapper/singer/loudmouth going was only ever going to sound BIG. 'We'll Be Coming Back' - a good-ol' thrumming caper that doesn't waste time before hopping into Harris's tinkly key-thwacking™ and even has one of those restful time-outs where Example trills all squishy and stuff - is also a nice coming-together of two who weren't always so respected on court. It's game, set and match now, though.
Sunday, July 8
5. Plan B 'iLL Manors'