If you like your pop music reviews with extra references to 'Stranger Things', Antony Costa, 'Suicide Squad', Phil Collins, Donatella Versace and '90s Disney films, then have I got good news for you... it's 'The Big Three'.
1. Bruno Mars - 'Versace On The Floor'
I always think I don't care about Bruno Mars, until moments like last Saturday night, when I was being twirled around a dance floor dressed as Eleven from 'Stranger Things' by a man in a Harley Quinn outfit to 'Locked Out Of Heaven'. And then I realise he's probably one of the most important people in music right now. Bruno Mars, that is, not the man in the Harley Quinn outfit. Although saying that, he was in disguise, so for all I know he could have been.
Bruno Mars has a new song out, that's why I mention him being one of the most important people in music, and that song is called 'Versace On The Floor'. Before listening to it, I feared it might be about my dear pal Donatella taking a tumble on the runway, but having now heard it, I can confirm this is not the case.
Instead, it's a Boyz-II-Men-meets-Mariah-Carey-with-a-bit-of-Phil-Collins-thrown-in-for-good-measure ballad that wouldn't actually sound out of place at 2am on Smooth Radio. You know in the '90s when artists would cover the main song from a Disney film for the closing credits and it would be the cheesiest thing in the world? It basically sounds like that, apart from the fact that the song is VERY, VERY SEXUAL.
Anyone who's heard the Bruno Mars effort 'Gorilla' will know he's not afraid to get GRAPHIC when it comes to singing about a nice bit of shagging, and this is no exception. Subtle, it isn't, but it works, thanks to the fact it feels like an homage to those great R&B ballads of the '90s.
Truthfully, if this song had actually been released in the '90s, it would probably be a cringe-fest, but because it's so knowingly cheesy, it works, which is, again, a testament to Bruno's talent.
Anyway, no one needs to hear me talking any more about shagging than need be, so here's the song for yourself:
As a tribute to Donatella Versace not being on the floor, she'll be used for my rating scale this week. How many Donatellas out of five does 'Versace On The Floor' get?
2. Little Mix - 'F.U.'
Fresh from their number one single, 'Shout Out To My Ex', Little Mix have teased fans with a new cut from their upcoming album, and this one is called 'F.U.'. I don't know what 'F.U.' stands for but I have a few suggestions:
1. Frank Underwood
On the road for their 'Get Weird' tour, the girls famously binge-watched 'House Of Cards' (note: this is a lie), so it was only a matter of time before anti-hero Frank cropped up in one of the songs.
2. Fun University
Similarly, perhaps their love of 'That '70s Show' could have inspired them to name-check fictional education facility Fun University in a song.
3. Forensic Unity
This wasn't as funny as I thought it was going to be. 'F.U.' stands for "fuck you", so let's just say that and move on.
With a song called 'F.U.', it's a given that Little Mix are going to be bringing a bit of attitude and *sigh* "sass" to the party this time around, but rather than teaming up to shout at an ex and put him in his place like they did on their last single, the group takes a different tactic this time around.
Instead, 'F.U.' is about the turmoil of being in love with someone you know you shouldn't, with gentle 1960s-inspired production not totally dissimilar to 'Love Me Like You', but a bit more subdued. This time around the shrill "sha la la la"s have been replaced by gentler "oooh"s, but there's still some of that Little Mix energy in there when they coo: "A, B, C, D, E, F, U"
And yeah, it does sound a little bit like Rihanna's 'Love On The Brain' since you mention it:
Here's where 'F.U.' falls on the Donatella scale:
3. Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande - 'Faith'
Chart-topper and occasional licker of baked goods Ariana Grande can now add herself to an esteemed list of stars including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Elton John and Duncan from Blue, in that she's managed to bag a duet with Stevie Wonder.
Singing a throwback song like 'Faith' with Stevie Wonder could be an intimidating task for certain singers (though, again, Antony Costa managed it with a steady hand). Ariana truly manages to hold her own on this track though, which harks back to the golden era of Motown, but still adds certain modern elements, a bit like 'Uptown Funk' or the version of 'Uptown Funk' released for the Asda advert a year later.
If I were to pick fault with it, I'd say that it's possibly not the most memorable song I've ever heard, but given that the full name of the song is 'Faith' (From 'Sing' Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), I'd say that things could probably be a lot worse, and this should definitely help Ariana's case next time someone suggests her success is undeserved or a fluke.
To quote George Michael, you've got to have faith-uh-faith-uh-faith-uh, so let's have some 'Faith':
Now, let's have some Donatella:
And to conclude, let's remind ourselves of the moment Stevie Wonder's career reached its highest height: