The Saturdays - Headlines ***
Having failed to top the charts with their last album Wordshaker, the girls are trying again with the release of this mini-album. Headlines features hits Forever Is Over, Ego and latest release Missing You, along with four new tracks. The best new track is without a doubt Higher, a sassy, synth-filled pop classic in the making, but the rest of the new material is patchier. Karma and Puppet could both be outtakes from a Britney album but Died In Your Eyes is a mature, lushly-produced ballad that compliments the girls' voices. If you don't already have the singles in your pop collection, this is worth a buy.
The Hoosiers - The Illusion Of Safety ****
THREE years after the likes of Worried About Ray and Goodbye Mr A, The Hoosiers are back. They have called themselves "odd-pop" before, and their second album has a very poppy slant, with debut single Choices guaranteed to cement their radio-friendly sound as a firm favourite. The Hoosiers don't seem too worried about being cool, just making bright, fun music. The chorus to Unlikely Hero is guaranteed to have you singing along, while Bumpy Ride and Giddy Up are equally full of energy.
Young & Lost Club - Compilation ****
THIS release marks the fifth anniversary of the Young & Lost Club record label. Probably best known for Noah And The Whale, who feature here with their debut Five Years Time, the label has had mixed fortune regarding the longevity of its artists. What is clear from listening to this though is the quality of the material they have overseen in that time. From the very first single, Blue Boy by Vincent Vincent & The Villains, there is a great deal for founders Nadia Dahlawi and Sara Jade to be proud of.
Little Fish - Baffled And Beat ***
CURRENTLY kicking up a storm is the Oxfordshire-based duo Little Fish. Despite the acclaim, there's something amiss. The garage-rockers blast through Baffled And Beat with a relentless energy. They throw in a range of influences and vary the pace, but even with the feisty attitude the result is somewhat bland. It's attention seeking rock'n'roll, and we've heard it all before.