Sunday, 12 March 2017

Five a Day: Week Ten

It was Mark E Smith's 60th birthday last Sunday so decided to dedicate Monday to The Fall and the albums that I have not heard. Tomorrow I am planning a day of pop Princess'; I am determined to find any album as good as Body Language by Kylie by a female solo artist. Pop men should be Thursday, Busted Related stuff on Wednesday and Friday is newish music Friday.

Happy Belated Birthday Mark E Smith

County on the click - this is a noisey lofi Fall LP with some really exceptional songs. The production on the first track is so noisey you can't hear anything properly apartment from Mark's vocal; everything is swamped by a distorted guitar. There are a couple of songs on here that sound like Iggy Pop. There great backing vocals on this thing that compliment Mark's expression of poetry.

Your Clutter, Our Future, is an amazing album. It's is experimental with so many fast panning guitars, over the top noisey synths and tight tight Rhythm sections. Bury, is a seminal track as well as good any of the classic Fall stuff. Great little features from Mark's dictophone as well.

Room to Live is the wackiest and most off the wall fall LP, it is very repetitive, very lofi and very noisey and that is saying something for a Fall album. Papal visit is the epitome of all this weirdness.

Imperial Wax Solvent is a good fall album. It doesn't stand out as exceptional but what does is 50 year old man, this albums 11 minute ode to his age.

 A Part of America Therein, is a chaotic live album by the fall. Great to hear the American compare at the being of this LP. The tracks are really good. The version of The NWRA is a fairer recording of the tack than the studio cut. Hip Priest sounds like it could fall apart at anytime, possibly because it features the falls ex bassist on drums. Wired, lie Dream and older lover are amazing.  The tracks aren't cut properly as they are from different gigs so weird fade ins and outs are common. But I do like a live fall.

Female Solo artists

Duffy's Rockferry is much better than its lead single; Mercy. That song was everywhere in 2007 and the track stands out like a sore thumb on this album of cinematic soul inspired in equal parts by Motown and Philly spector. Glorious strings sections, Soulful unique enough voice and solid song writing. Mercy is the only obviously upbeat track, only track with an organ and no its not bad it's just not as good as I remember.

Eliza Doolittle's self titled album is early Kate Nash and Lily Allen pop music if it was less interesting and more doo woop inspired. It is Grey for most of the record with some glimpses of potential. The albums big hit; Pack Up is the albums most interesting track and it's main hook isn't even sung by her. It's all bittersweet too. I ain't the target market but I don't see any appeal.

Drastic Fantastic is a equal parts folky and britpop. The album starts with some footstompers and progresses to Laura Mailing esque stuff but all really enjoyable and the album cover photo is absolutely sublime.

Christine and the Queens debut album is a minimal spacious electro pop album with flat production, forgettable songs and has very little going for it. I tried this album last year when I became allergic to this mid tempo minimal electro and I still am by the sounds of it. I became allergic because every album by synth pop stars went let's turn the down the tempo and strip out the interesting stuff. The Naked an Famous, The Invisible, Jagwar Ma.

Do you want the truth or something beautiful? by Paloma Faith is an orchestral pop album tracks I didn't think I'd heard before but most of the tracks had been featured on adverts. I have always liked her as a person. Funny in interviews, beautiful lady and her style is so unique. This album is very good. Fabulously composed tunes.

Write off Wednesday

The same year Charlie Simpson rejoined the band he once said he'd never go back to he released this inoffensive country flavored solo album. That does nothing much interesting. The most interesting track is a Bon Iver cover. I have no desire to explore this again.

Son of a Dork was the first project released by the other two members of Busted that weren't Charlie simpson. Matt and James I believe there names were. This is colour by numbers pop punk record. Taking the style of Blink 182, Sum 41 and in places Good Charlotte and replacing me against the world lyrics and replace them with creepy 'love' songs /isn't being a failure cool songs. If you stop thinking while listening it could be a Blink album but minus the good songs.

Our next album is Night Driver by that there reformed Busted and it's awful. When you make a comeback Lads remember what genre you once were. You nay as well started another project to release this and not used guitar pop stylee. What makes this album awful is not the lack of guitar, it's the bland synth pop songs with dire lyrics. Kids with computers is one of the song titles, these kids you are taking about make much better music than you. It's faceless too, they have been away song long, I can't remember whose voice is who's. This could be anyone.

Speaking of bland synth pop, when guitars became old hat for 'pop' stars. Mcfly dropped there guitars immediately and became experts in synth pop music. Ha hah hahaha. Don't be silly this was released roughly six years before the New Busted album and I can't help think they wanted to copy it's formula. This has the same problems as it.

While Charlie Simpson, the guy at the beginning of this day who seems miles away, was off making credible country acoustic music, McFly and The other two busted members were running out of money so they decided to form a super group and this album is dire. It fused the bad pop punk that son of a Dork were doing with the later day electronic stylings of McFly and it is awful. Dare I say it hints at potential but never reaches it. I also don't know who this is aimed at. It still seems aimed at young kids but they don't know who these people are. People who once like these two bands have moved on (I am now into hip hop, post punk and Jazz) shouldn't dig this unless they want nostalgia which shouldn't really be a draw otherwise I would of got it.

Today we are calling write off Wednesday, most of it didn't reach much above awful and it was only the Bon Iver cover reached above mediorce. Instead let's listen to something completely different. One of the best pieces of comedy the ex parrot sketch.

Male Solo Artists

The weekend always seemed to me like a dumb artist name and that's because it is. Starboy is the name of his latest effort and with his last album topping the charts with hit collaborations.i was skeptical as whether I would like this. I do, 45% of this album is danceable, grooving and fun tunes. Some sound like Disclosure and others prince. Other tracks when he attempts to rap or do love songs it ends up falling flat or sounding creepy. It is also far too long over an hour. I'd forgive some of the badder tracks if the album was shorter thus increasing the percentage I like this.

Girl by Pharrell is a confusing album. It starts off as a homage to MJ and then goes into a Caribbean flavour thing, then northern soul and the back to this tropical tracks. Alica keys turns up for a duet mainly centered around Pharrell. Half through the album there is a minute and a half of wave noises. Caused more confusion than enjoyment.

I loved the days when pop music was organic, when horns, drum kits and there was a sense of reality to them although I am talking about a on the nose pop rock middle of the road record it easier to hear an acoustic guitar. This was the Era of pop that that offbeat thing going on, not reggae just the rhythm of each track was an off beat making people bounce along. Olly Murs album is a solid down the nose pop LP. However if there were more likes like the first, A Change is Gonna Come (Not the Sam Cooke song), which sounds like Movin on Up by Primal Scream it would be higher.

Divide is the all concurring album by the weedy ginger haired lad that is Ed Sheeran but how does jamuggins feel about it? Can I see it's appeal to kids? Yes. Can I see young adults liking it? Yeah sure. I think 40% is good. The opening track sounds like Eminem, Galway girl is really fun and others have genuinely funny/ witty lyrics but most tracks are soppy or over sexual love songs. That's why I struggle to give this album a pass.

Wanted on Voyage is another down the middle acoustic pop acoustic male solo artist record. Kinda sounds like early Jake bugg if he had a few more members to his sound. The album starts with his two singles that most people would of bought it for and then turned it off. They would have been saved from the mediorce that follows. He does have that thing you need in a singer songwriter a unique voice but with one track that picks up the pace another is slower and more Grey than the last.

Newish Music day

Ow my ears, did Kanye reincarnate into a woman? Cos that's all I hear on this album. The beats and the auto tune. The forced bad rhymes just made me laugh. Most of the songs are about Sex and the club and the guest collaborations are useless. They can't save any of the tracks from being in your face, overtly sexualised bad hip hop/trap/ Dance. It's just so confusing.

The first few bars of the second album sound like Tom Waits so I know we are in safe hands. Laura Marling is back and I couldn't be happier. Semper Femina is a beautiful beautiful record. It is genuine, folky lovingly crafted. Heart went into this. I love everything she has done and this form  continues onto this.

Volcano is the long awaited second LP by the band Temples and is a slight change of pace for the band. It is slower, more dreamy and more dense sounding. Atmospheric synthesizers recall Tame Impala, distorted pounding drums are Sgt pepper esque and it all fits together perfectly. Not what I was expecting but just as good as what I was.

Hurray for the Riff Raff is a country outfit from America or so I am told. They have appeared on a few festival posters in UK Soni thought I would check them out. First I thought they were a new band, they aren't.  First I thought they were inspired by Courtney Barnett, they aren't (makes me realize how many cues Courtney takes from country music). Lastly, I like this album. More listens will be coming on this. Some great vocal textures, compositions and the opening ditty is one of the stranger ways to open an album. Great album cover too.

The last album is by an Allison Crutchfield who I hadn't heard of until I started listening. Seen her album advertised but never listened. I like this a lot. It is a lo fi rock record with some retro sounding synths and rye Lyrical takes on romance. Tourist in the town is well worth a listen and is a highlight for this project.

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