A FEW weeks ago, I had a work experience placement at NME Magazine. As part of this, all their interns are asked to review a few singles that are debuted during the week. They gave a 100 word limit and told us that an editor will personally sit and go through them with you. So as you can imagine, there is a strong need to impress, an incredible amount of pressure to get it right and the desire to make an impact. So here’s what I came up with:
Bat for Lashes – Oh Yeah
Back in 2009, Bat for Lashes’ brilliant second album was somewhat overshadowed by Florence and the Machine’s flamboyant debut. However, 2011 might just be her time. Natasha Khan’s latest offering is much the same as previous endeavours, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Although ‘Oh Yeah’ is fairly monotonous, it still has everything you desire from a Bat for Lashes record: catchy synth riffs, hypnotic percussion and (most importantly) Natasha’s gorgeously ethereal voice. The track is mesmerising; it draws you in, until you are fully immersed, and subtly builds to a swirling climax, which will leave you craving more.
Coldplay – Charlie Brown
Coldplay are very aware that they divide a lot of opinion. Their latest track, named after the sad-sack character from Peanuts, ‘Charlie Brown’ appears to evoke self-reflective satire, as Chris Martin sings ‘when they smash my heart into smithereens…I’ll be a cartoon heart’, arousing a sense of determination to battle critics. Admittedly, of the four new songs debuted at Rock AM, this isn’t the best. The track is “typically Coldplay”: simple riff, simple structure and even simpler melody. Usually, Coldplay have no trouble channelling simplicity into success, but this offering feels rather lack-lustre; instead of silencing opinions, this might rouse their worst critics.
I actually received a lot of good feedback for this. A few personal tips based on the good points they made about mine: stick to the word count – try and make it bang on the limit! Also have an interesting opening sentence and a great closing statement – try and make it like a mini-story.
For anyone else thinking of getting into journalism I will share with you the fruits of my work experience – i.e their main piece of advice – just keep writing! They strongly advised to have a blog and to keep getting your material out there, even if it’s just commenting on someone else’s things – just share your voice! It’ll make you a better writer and let you get noticed. Hence, why I started this blog: Good advice is best followed.