Friday, November 28, 2014

Top 5 Records (November)

1: Shura - indecision
2: Royal Blood
3: Chvrches - the bones of what you believe
4: Sequal
5: Bob Dylan - under the red sky

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Röyksopp - the understanding

Röyksopp's second album is a masterpiece in modern electro pop and dance, though maybe too close to the mainstream at times. For some that may be a problem though not for me when its as well done as this.

Its certainly very listenable, especially on vocal tracks like "Only this moment" with its neat little tinky bop electronica underpinning male-female vocals. Style wise the album is a satisfying fusion of synthpop, dance beats and intelligent electronica. The pop focus however may deter the hardcore dance fan, the rest of us can simply enjoy the tunes.

Monday, November 24, 2014

MV : "End of night (Vince Clarke Remix)" by Dido

Funky smash.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Shura - indecision

Effortlessly retro and modern at the same time, a superb single by up and coming synth pop artist Shura. Upbeat with slinky samples, breathy and sparkly and perfect pop. Its hard to think of anything better sonically at the moment.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Princess

Stock, Aitkin and Waterman brings to mind late 80s and early 90s plastic pop horrors, but actually there were some good artists and good records released by SAW of which Princess may have been the best of all. Her first album, released in 1986, contains a number of superb pop hits full of tasty electro-pop and R&B. "Say i'm your number one" being her big hit, a top 10 which should have topped the charts. Atmospheric and intelligent as well as very catchy. "Just a tease" is another great track with some slinky bass beat and a teasing melody.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Laura Branigan - self-control

Released in 1984 this was Laura Branigan's third album and was her biggest success yielding 2 top 20 hits including the superb title track, a classic slice of mid-80s pop with tasty synths, plenty of drama and baffling lyrics.

That is by far the best song off the album though which struggles to raise above average or filler for most of the time, though "Ti amo" has some lovely melodies and "The lucky one" has some great big pop feel. Overall the good songs make it worth it but don't expect a classic.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Kacey Musgraves - same trailer different park

Tales from middle America, modern country music indeed and very well done. The songs like "Silver lining" and "Follow your arrow" and simple yet effective, evoking a feeling of hope amid the confusion of modern life. "Merry go 'round" has a lovely banjo led melody that matches the melancholic feel of the song perfectly.

The album has a good mix of styles though on the whole is pretty easy tempo and has plenty of high lights, "Blowin' smoke" has a tasty honky tonk vibe. "Back on the map" is laid back and multi-textured. Its not alt-country as such but intelligent mainstream and very enjoyable indeed.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Paul Parrish - the forest of my mind

Some "lost 60s masterpieces" arn't really, well apart from being lost and from the 60s. This album from 1968 is very much of its time, with flutes and strings highlighting a trippy light psychedelic feel. Its rather Donovon-esque in many ways. The songs are intricate and sweet such as on "Suzanne" and on the flowery and reverb happy "Walking in the forest of my mind".

There is also a bit of a Motown feel on "I can't help myself" which in some ways works better than the psychedelia which errs on the wrong side of the twee-cool divide at times. Its still an interesting work but a bit patchy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Debbie Gibson - out of the blue

The 80s idol's first album from 1987, derided by some at the time as being uncool and teen girl pap and lauded nowadays by... well no one really as far as i can see. So how does this album stack up? Actually its very good indeed, its slick and commercial of course but very well done. There are some lovely pop melodies and hooks to make even the hardest heart (secretly) sing.

Of course songs like "Foolish beat" and "Play the field" are all very innocent and teen sweet but whats wrong with that? Everything need not be a harsh gritty vindaloo, sometimes you just want a nice mild korma.