Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mary Chapin Carpenter - state of the heart

What is your favourite album ever? Its a common question to ask in musical circles, and it is a very difficult one to answer correctly. Its easy to throw in answers like the White Album or a Birdy Song Megamix but to truly say what is your favourite album EVAH and not just what is the current flavour of the month takes some thought. And i have given it a lot of thought, and this is it.

So why is it so good? The songs for a start. Accomplished and polished songs like "Quitting time", "Never had it so good", "This shirt". Great song writing and great production. The more you listen to it the more you find to enjoy about the album. Especially Carpenter's voice, to this day i've yet to find a singer whose vocals i like as much. I guess it also reminds me of my late teens when i first bought the album on vinyl back in 1989. And i've loved it, and her, ever since.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Tiffany's debut from 1987, and a lovely pop album it was too. I never really got into Tiffany at the time, though if i had realised back then that we were almost born on the same day maybe i would (lets face it there are far dafter reasons to like a singer). Many years later Tiffany is still releasing records and i am writing this nonsense. So thats all turned out well then.

The hits are here, "I think we're alone now" and so on. They are fine if verging on cheese sometimes and over familiarity makes it hard to be objective sometimes. The best song is "Danny" which is a perfect slice of pop with some lovely melodies overlaid with Tiffany's great voice. Its unashamedly bubblegum pop but with a bit of a country underpinning and that gives the album some staying power.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Let Em Riot - slashwave EP

Neo-synth pop that sounds like its come straight from an 80s dungeon, well i can't get enough of it these days and Let Em Riot produce some great digital beats. "Don't stop running" is underpinned by a ruthless electronic beat but enlivened by waves of synth noise. "Foreigners" is a great lost early 80s pop classic though made in the 2010s.

All the right ingredients are here: laid back almost dead pan vocals, electric beats, synth flourishes. Everything that made early 80s synth pop so wonderful. The sound has been recreated perfectly. Maybe it is a pastiche but who cares when it sounds so good? It may not be "now" 2016 (though 1983 might qualify) but its the now i want to live in. Now.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Salient Braves - they must have seen me coming EP

We haven't covered indie pop on this website for some time... so here is the return of the Salient Braves. Classic guitar pop that is as fun to listen to as it obviously was to make. The title track is lovely jingly jangle. "The great unwashed" has a deeper tone, and surprise instruments! I like this track a lot, the tones are quite country rock at times.

The cover of "Losing my religion". You know the original is one of those overplayed songs that i'm not sure i can stand much anymore (and i love REM) but this cover has an organic urgency and immediacy that brings new life to the worn out track. Its my highlight of the EP which is very enjoyable, and out now on Broken Down Records.

Sunday, June 5, 2016