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The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSICREVIEWS -

Eoin But­ler’s guide to down­loads, sin­gles and free au­diostreams

PSY ft MC HAM­MER Gang­nam Style (live at the Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards)

★★★★ The roly-poly rap­per was un­known out­side of his na­tive Korea be­fore Gang­nam Style was up­loaded to YouTube in July. Four months and 766,000,000 views later, he is a global pop su­per­star. Still, his de­ci­sion to wheel out MC Ham­mer for this Amer­i­can Mu­sic Awards ap­pear­ance last week­end sug­gests Psy is re­al­is­tic enough about his own long-term ca­reer prospects. BRUNO MARS Locked Out of Heaven At­lantic ★★★ Mark Ron­son’s in­volve­ment on both the pro­duc­tion and song­writ­ing might ex­plain why the first sin­gle from Bruno’s Un­ortho­dox Juke­box al­bum steals so shame­lessly from British New Wave bands of the early 1980s. Not men­tion­ing any names, but The Po­lice might con­sider open­ing a case file. DAWN MCCARTHY & BON­NIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY Christ­mas Eve Can Kill You Domino ★★★ On this early sea­sonal of­fer­ing, singer McCarthy and Old West throw­back Will Old­ham roast chest­nuts, hang mistle­toe and re­late the har­row­ing tale of a lonely man, child­less and des­ti­tute, hob­bling to an icy death on the road­side this Christ­mas Eve. Brim­ming with hol­i­day cheer. GABRIELLE APLIN The Power of Love Par­lophone

★★★ This year’s John Lewis Christ­mas TV ad is a touch­ing story of the love be­tween two snow­men. (Woah, po­lit­i­cal . . . I mean, a snow­man and a snow­woman.) If that sounds al­most un­bear­ably twee and an­noy­ing, then you haven’t seen nymphish Zooey Deschanel-looka­like Gabrielle Aplin per­form the sound­track on pi­ano in a de­serted fairy cas­tle. It’s a de­light. YO LA TENGO Be­fore We Run Mata­dor ★★★ The Hobo­ken trio’s first new track in three years of­fers strings, horns and Ge­or­gia Hub­ley’s se­duc­tively un­der­stated vo­cal. But that can’t dis­guise the fact that it’s ba­si­cally the same chord pro­gres­sion re­peated for six min­utes. And the video looks like com­post de­com­pos­ing in real time. It’s a grower, I’m as­sured. Much like fer­tiliser.

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