Tracks of the week reviewed: Dodie, Paris Jackson, Paloma Faith

This week we’ve got some floaty-light vocals, a beautiful yet moody ballad, and a slightly flavourless dollop of pop

Luke Holland

Last modified on Mon 16 Nov 2020 04.55 EST

Dodie

Cool Girl

A quietly devastating late contender for single of the year from the Epping singer-songwriter Dodie Clark. Featherlight vocals and tender acoustic pluckage navigate that desperate yearning to change everything about yourself in order to make someone (who you know, if you’re honest, never will) love you back. “Cool girl will be different / I’ll be quiet, I’ll be easy,” she sighs on a chorus so soaringly heartbreaking it makes you want to find whoever made her this sad, slap their Pret out of their hands and tell them in no uncertain terms that they’re a stupid idiothead.

Shaggy

Raggamuffin Christmas

You’ve got to at least respect a festive tune that thinks “sod it” and chucks every single noise on the Casio at it, including a rave honk and a sort of whining cat thing. Does this make it good? Oh good heavens, no. It is one of the worst noises it’s possible to hear outside of a Glastonbury long drop.

Paris Jackson

Let Down

Ignoring the elephant in the room for a moment – and it’s a biggun, and the room is more of a tiny larder – this dreamy, faintly sinister yet wholly beautiful mood-ballad is about as assured a debut single as any artist could ever hope for. Wait: the elephant’s looking at us. Don’t move.

Smashing Pumpkins

Cyr

Just know that I put exactly the same amount of effort into writing this review as Billy Corgan put into curling out this punnet of electropop cobblers.

Paloma Faith

Gold

It feels a bit snide, ragging on ol’ Pal-Fai: someone who may on occasion unsuccessfully try to flog you a horrendous Skoda, but who otherwise only really wants to make you, and everyone else who watches Saturday Night Takeaway covered in Pringles shards, smile. And this isn’t awful. Not really. It’s just a slightly flavourless dollop of grandstanding pop that wishes it was much more epic than it actually is. It’s just a bit … safe. Much like the Skoda Scala, which has a five-star NCAP safety rating. And 58mpg, eh? Interesting. Plus, 148bhp is actually quite adeq … DAMN YOU, FAITH!