Jodee – Emerald City

Comparisons to Dido and Norah Jones don’t seem too far off for this singer-songwriter from rural northeast USA. Studiously genre-free yet poppy and unsurprising, this track is mostly harmless although the drum machine and synthesiser sounds are annoyingly thoughtless. Lives in ‘an artistic community’ which tells you most of what you need to know

Gentle Bones – Until We Die

Double-jointed folk-pop with ctrl-v choral interludes. Clich├ęd and platitudinous in equal measure, the dim and credulous will love it for its all-purpose affirmation. I wonder who’s behind this 20-year-old singer and why.

Thirty Seconds To Mars – Do Or Die

Embarrassingly overblown and self-important mainstream rock by a band that’s had the best part of two decades to polish the act. Laden with platitudes for the easily led and peppered with ‘inspirational’ individual sound bites for that social factor. If Jared Leto weren’t doing this, one suspects he’d be running some kind of cult.

Alicia Keys ft Kendrick Lamar – It’s On Again

Confusing, interlaced scenes of military action, orchestras, gratuitous bling and white lace, punctuated by Kendrick spitting angrily into a walkie talkie for what seems like an age. Alicia then arrives to send us to sleep. Is this music? It’s good enough for yet another Spiderman remake, anyway.

Shakira – Empire

Shakira would probably like to hear that this is vocally akin to Dolores from The Cranberries, but lyrical nonsense peppered liberally with the refrain “and I’m, like” sets it firmly in another class. Visually, a cross between Madonna’s religious phase sans gospel choir, November Rain in slightly improved weather and the Sound of Music spiced up with Shakira’s usual frantic pumping of limbs. Adequately stomping for girls who don’t need their music to make them think.