25/04/2009

Random thoughts while listening to lots of stuff...

Seems to me like there's a ton of new albums around at the moment, and good ones too, ones that deserve attention. I can't give them the track by track treatment, but here are some abbreviated random thoughts...

Tiga - Ciao!
Mr Tiga knows his way around a pop song, and has been churning quality electro pop since the electroclash days of yore. The new album contains some corkers, Mind Dimension being a stand out. I'm also keen on any song that has the lyric "What's that sound? I like that sound. I love that sound. It's the sound of my shoes" as the song Shoes does. Who needs poetry? Not me guv.





Super Furry Animals - Dark Days/Light Years. I love band, really love them. They've never let me down, never become too self indulgent or worse, lazy. So I hope this is album is awesome.

It's rockin', folky, glam, groovy, poppy, German, and Arabic. There are songs that sound like early 80's Bowie, and Trevor Horn productions. This mish mash works, because it's the Super Furries, and that's what they sound like. It's why I love them.

There's also a song called The Very Best Of Neil Diamond. Say no more.




St. Vincent - Actor.
Like an indie Goldfrapp (that's a compliment, by the way) this album swaggers and veers in different directions, often catching you off guard with unexpected aural twists of heaviness and it's discomforting atmosphere. Coupled with her confident, intimate vocals, it's an odd and enjoyable experience.





PJ Harvey and John Parish - A Woman A Man Walked By.
There I am thinking "great a new PJ Harvey album, I know what I'm getting, and I know I'm going to like it." This thought is only half right, because I have stupidly forgotten that none of her albums have ever sounded like their predeccesor, or any of her previous albums, and that isn't a just a new PJ Harvey album, but it's a new PJ Harvey and John Parish album, and his involvement should not be underestimated. This album doesn't have much relation to her previous, most fragile album, the piano led White Chalk (with the exception of The Soldiers) or indeed to the poppy Stories From The City, the rough around the edges Uh Huh Her or the sleekness of To Bring You My Love. If anything, it's closest at times to the raw visceral Rid Of Me, but then you get a slower, rather lovely song like Passionless Pointless. Parish's music is at times bluesier and at times more soulful that you associate with Harvey. I like the directions he has forced her into, and I hope this album won't be as neglected as their previous album.






Graham Coxon - The Spinning Top.
The prospect of a new Graham Coxon album is more appealing to me then the Blur reformation, not because I'm naturally contrary (that's unrelated) but because I really liked his last solo album, and I hated britpop, even if Blur were the brightest diamonds in that particular morass of mediocrity. On his new one, he's toned down the chippier power pop of the previous album, Happiness In Magazines, and replaced with a more pastoral folky English sound. It works pretty well, although the shadows of Nick Drake, Davey Graham, Bert Jansch et al loom pretty large. It's ironic really, as Coxon always seemed the least Brit influenced member of Blur, and this album will probably receive no benefit at all from the forthcoming reunion, buried beneath an avalanche of questions about how they're all getting along. Shame really...



2 comments:

David N said...

Oh yes but the Super Furries is better than the last one, for me, which is the sort of degree by which I judge the greatness of their records. Moped Eyes in particular I love love love.

Coxon Blur. Hurrrm. In my deepest heart I hope that the new Blur stuff sounds like "Music Is My Radar", which turned out to be a cul-de-sac for them rather than a new direction, disappointingly. A whole album of that would suit me. Funky, off-kilter guitariness. But a mix of old Blur with Coxon and the many directions Albarn has shot off in would be nice too.

jamesinseoul said...

Yeah, that was my favourite Blur period too, when Coxon forced them to listen to Pavement and they went a bit odd. Mix that with some afro tinged hip-hop and I'm in. Parklife remakes and I'm out.