Review: John Newman – ‘Olé’

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80%
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Fascinating

A relaxing, chilled song that may or may not be a dig at T-Swizzle, but nevertheless one that conjurs up images of islands and cocktails. Olé, John!

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Reggae-tinged (potential) Taylor Swift diss tracks are always delight to listen to, even if scarce. Co-written by Calvin Harris, ‘Olé’ is a lovely bit of summertime pop and, regardless of whether or not it actually relates to Hiddleswift, it’s very clearly from the point of view of someone whose new girlfriend is still in a relationship with another man (“You’ve hidden my name in your phone so you can call me to tell me you’ve been going through hell / Left him alone and you booked in a hotel”).

Despite its laidback, chilled nature, ‘Olé’ bears some surprisingly feisty lyrics for how relaxed its aura is. In fact, lines like “I see online that you begun to be a good girl and take trips with your boyfriend / Being attentive, continue to pretend” shatter any sense of it being a relaxed ditty, especially when you consider the obvious candidates for who the lyrics might possibly be about. The hook may a little disappointing and the “Olééhééé” chorus is really a non-event when compared with the riffs and lyrics, but overall Newman’s vocals are lovely and it’s a nice little song that just makes me want to go and make cocktails.

‘Olé’ is out now via Island

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Third year PAIR student and live editor. Also the Wessex Scene's Head of Events. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about politics and cats @_Carly_May on Twitter.

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