Thursday, April 30, 2015

MV : "Let the good times be never ending" by The Charlatans

Good times indeed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Grateful Dead - built to last

Everyone says this, the 13th and final studio album by the Grateful Dead from 1989, is not very good. Well everyone except me that is, i think its one of the best records ever recorded. I have a few 1000 albums but the only one i would run back into a burning house to save is this one (though to be honest just buying it again on Amazon would be safer).

Its sublime. Relaxed West Coast rock mixing bluesy rock with synths and electronic wizardry. Sonic adventures abound on the sprawling epic "Victim or the crime" which shows more innovation in a few asymmetric chords than most bands show in an entire career. "Picasso moon" also scores highly here, at once familiar and totally alien.

Then there is the beauty of tracks like "Standing on the moon" and "Built to last", reflective and melancholic. Its pretty much perfect, the only problem was there never was a 14th album to follow it up.

Monday, April 27, 2015

MV : "Run back" by Carl Douglas

Carl's other hit, love this track!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mike Nesmith & the First National Band - magnetic south

From 1970 Mike Nesmith's first solo album after leaving the Monkees and a superb musical treat it is too. The early 70s saw one strand of 60s psychedelia morph into country rock and this album is an early example of that. Its at once harking back to the past and looking forward, steeped in Americana. "Joanne" is a highlight, a sweet country ballad. "Mama nantucket" also rollicks along complete with yodelling!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Idlewild - everything ever written

Idlewild have returned, older and wiser (and with new blood). Their comeback album is very good though also "older and wiser". It has a more mature sound but still possesses plenty of the indie pop rock thrills that excited many back in the day (including myself).

You have to love the hard guitar drive of "Collect yourself" but elsewhere are Celtic folk touches that are melding well into the Idlewild DNA. Its a great album and another great comeback album by a 90s indie band. Maybe its nostalgia that the old stagers are using to keep their grip on our sonic hearts... or newer bands are becoming harder to like? Or we're all getting old.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Shura - 2shy

The new single from Shura is another lovely refined synth pop track. Layers of dancey but chilled pop sounds underpinned by a classic pop melody as its background. Its great but by now i expect nothing less, the forthcoming album will be very interesting... and anticipated.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kristine Sparkle - devil woman

Late 60s pop singer Christine Holmes became Kristine Sparkle in the 70s and went glam. She never saw much success as a singer but scored a big hit as a songwriter with her song Devil woman which Cliff Richard took to the top 10. This album is an amazing mixed bag, including Kristine's lovely original version of Devil woman as well as some zany glam rock covers of songs by the likes of the Beatles.

Her cover of "Eight days a week" is great fun, her glam rock version of the Hokey cokey (no honestly) is also enjoyable despite being wrong on so many levels. This collection of songs is terrific, as a pop album its hard to beat with so many gems and surprises.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jimi Hendrix - are you experienced

The Jimi Hendrix Experience's debut album from 1967 was one of those albums that changed music history. It still sounds pretty amazing nowadays with its psychedelic rock assault, but must have sounded like it was from another planet back then. Who was this alien Jimi Hendrix and how was he able to produce such sounds out of his guitar? Songs like "Foxy lady", "Purple haze" and "Hey Joe" have become total rock classics.

However its not a perfect album, there are a few places where you wish Jimi would have stopped pissing around and got on with it. But thats a minor point, the album's fusion of heavy rock noise with accessible song structures changed the world. Dude.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jerry Garcia - Garcia

Jerry Garcia's first solo album from 1972 was a very solo affair indeed with the great man playing most of the instrument parts himself. Its a very strong album too with a strong folk-psychedelia blues rock vibe, a number of the songs later becoming part of the Grateful Dead's repertoire.

Highlights are the superb blues-rock of "Sugaree", the skanky folk of "Deal" and the astral cowboy epic "To lay me down", steel guitar taking you into outer space. Man.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Top 5 Records (March)

1) Foo Fighters - sonic highway
2) The Charlatans - modern nature
3) Foster The People - super model
4) Royal Blood
5) The Pierces - creation