I Need Something
Russian political dissident Alexandr Litvinenko was assassinated by unwittingly ingesting Polonium-210, a dangerous radioactive isotope that has the nasty habit of being able to kill people very very easily. As any physicist will tell you, the denser an element is, the more likely it is to be, y'know, a bit nasty. Litvinenko's silent killer, one of the heaviest elements known to man, is so dangerous that just a gram of the stuff could in theory wipe out 50 million people. Ouch. The poor bloke didn't stand a chance.
But anyway, Newton Faulkner. According to the press blurb surrounding this chap, he plays "guitar like we've never heard it played before", which is quite a statement to make. Unfortunately it's more likely to be an accurate reflection of the listening habits of his target audience rather than the heavens heralding any new blessed innovator. For young Mr Faulkner is primed and ready for the mainstream let's tick off the signs: gravelly faux-soulful vocal stripped of all and every trace of personality - check; major label bankrolling this single - yup (Sony BMG); a lyric that, despite using actual words in grammatically accurate sentences, still manages to say absolutely nothing ("I need something to believe in because I don't believe in myself... and I don't mind anymore") - spot on. Which, in a world where Tom Chaplin is considered a drug fiend by the masses, means that a little bit of acoustic guitar tapping here and the odd harmonic there bookending the song is likely to send them into sweaty palpitations.
For those of you with a little more savvy however, here's the deal: Newton Faulkner has recently taken on support slots with Paolo Nutini and James Morrison, which may give you a pretty good idea of what the song sounds like before you've heard it. I'm sorry to say it's even worse than you'd think. This thing is incomprehensibly bad as a single, leaving no memorable melodic or lyrical trace once it's over; the kind of song that you're hard pushed to explain what it's like even while you're listening to it, even though you're aware that something is attacking you from within.
Which brings us back to our old friend Polonium-210. You see, I Need Something clocks in at less than three minutes, which means that per second it's surely one of the most densely damaging songs on the planet. So let this be a warning to you - exposure to even half a bar of this stuff will in all probability cause your hair to fall out, turn your internal organs to mush and you will spend the remainder of your mercifully few days in unbearable agony hallucinating and haemorrhaging from every conceivable orifice. Which is, I would like to think, the state that Sony BMG's A&R folk must have been in when they signed this chump.
This isn't music. It's 6-string radiation poisoning. It's too late for me now. Save yourselves.