With an Alex Turner twang in the lead singer’s voice, a clear cut beat and guitar shredding introduction, ‘Shimmer’ is a brilliant song for a band’s debut single. The guitar is very precise and the drum builds up nicely to the sound of the full band. The chorus is impeccable with the simple one-liner ‘She’s got a shimmer that will shake you to the bone’, a quality every girl wants to have. The beat is very drum heavy but it works well; it is one that could become mundane but it doesn’t. The song is very simple and basic and that makes the song fantastic.
Every band needs a bass and the bass line in this is particularly slick and gorgeous. The break deceives you into believing the song has finished but then the music hits in to give a loud ending. Personally, I’d have left it at the break for a more an abrupt finish as the follow-up section gives the listener awareness of where the song is going to go. Music should be full of surprises and the ending doesn’t quite provide that.
Upon third listen, this song is fully ingrained into your brain: you are head-banging, rocking, dancing violently and miming manically along to the words. You can imagine that performed live, it would come to life and the crowd atmosphere would make it superb. However, the full band version does not prepare you for listening to the acoustic. Lead singer, James, has a soulful, powerful voice that is not showcased as it should be in the band version; his voice hovers dreamily in vibrato. The solo version makes you crave an intimate performance. When stripped back, the track becomes a soft serenade sung by a star-crossed lover who is singing a warning about somebody he has loved and lost. His solo has the potential to make him as successful, is not more successful, as the full band version does. The song has the versatility to fit all eventualities: the acoustic version turns the song into a heart-wrenching whereas the full band is foot-pounding, bitter and angsty- and you can’t help but love them both.