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since 09/04/2007


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Beatles (The) 09/05/2007

Sgt. Pepper, forever living on

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Beatles (The) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the eighth album released by The Beatles. It was released on 1st June 1967 and it’s 40th anniversary will soon be marked by a covers album recorded by various current recording artists. The impact this album has had on music over the last 40 years cannot be overstated. Listening to it today it still sounds like it could have been released this year. The production techniques and quality are immense and cannot be matched. It’s closest rival of the time comes from The Beach Boys (or Brian Wilson’s….) Pet Sounds. This record defines modern music, across all guitar-based genres. It is sheer art. Over the years there has been much debate over what are considered drug references, but if you ask me that is irrelevant, it’s a ground-breaking piece of creativity and musical expression. Much of it has a psychedelic feel fitting of the era, but is creates such a vast landscape of sound and a massive dreamlike feel that is key to the album. The ever controversial but brilliant ‘Lucy in the sky…’ is perhaps the best example of that. It’s describing a dream of a young Julian Lennon and it’s not only the lyrics but the composition and distant swirling vocals that aid that. Ringo Starr has always taken a lot of flak for his drumming capabilities, but I think ‘Getting Better’ is representative of his abilities. His percussive work is solely based around what is required for the song or concept. Anything more intense would kill this song ...

Beautiful Freak - Eels 08/05/2007

Beautiful Freak - experience alienation

Beautiful Freak - Eels Beautiful Freak was Eels debut album, way back when in 1996. And although a lot of water has passed under the bridge since, it’s a solid starting point for a band. In honesty, I’ve enjoyed this album so much over the years I’ve struggled to really enjoy anything else by them and have actually avoided their music where I can. I think that comes from a disappointment over the first single from their second album. It’s not a ‘classic’ album, it’ll never be remembered for being anything ‘huge’ or ‘iconic’, but for me, it is a very good album and very enjoyable. Eels are slightly depressive alternative pop. Mr E the front man, doesn’t seem to have a rock ‘n’ roll bone in his body. This is a tender and fragile album, of pain, woe and a jaded mistrust for society and humanities treatment of the underclasses. It tells tales of the underdogs, the misunderstood and misfits. With touching lines like ‘If I was one of the beautiful people, would I be on your list?’ alienation, unreadiness and pain that will fit well with the angst of teenage years or a bad day for a thoughtful person. ‘There was some happiness, but my stone face cracked again’. It’s full of vivid uncomfortable lyrics such as ‘it’s like I woke up in my mothers clothing, like I’m talking to a voice that doesn’t exist’ that all add to the experience of the album. I wouldn’t recommend listening to this when down or depressed. A lot of people would say that about all music like this, but for me, I would welcome REM ...

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea - PJ Harvey 08/05/2007

Raw, edgy quality pop

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea - PJ Harvey It’s much more poppy than some of her other records yet still retains a dark and compelling edge and lyrical complexity that is associated with her music. Another highly rated accolade this album has is the fact Thom Yorke of Radiohead, sings on three of the tracks. Backing vocals on two, but lead on ‘The Mess We’re In’ which is one of the highlights of the album. There is more of a produced quality to this album than her others. It’s smoother around the edges, the instrumentation being key in that. There seems to be balance in the use of the synths, pianos and distorted guitars. Reserved isn’t quite the right word, they just seem to be more restrained, harnessed and generally better used. The studio where most of this was recorded may have played it’s part in creating that. The Linford Manor studio in Milton Keynes, has been involved in creating other finally polished albums, by a great variety of musicians. Other highlights of the album include ‘This is Love’ a great indie dancefloor anthem, ‘The Whores hustle’ with some sparing Thom Yorke vocals and the big opener to the album ‘Big Love’, which is indicative of the rest of the album. ‘Horses in My Dreams’ is perhaps my least favourite song on the album, but that is just down to personal taste. I would always describe PJ Harveys’ music as raw, but how you can say that of something so well produced I’m not sure, but some how, it still applies to ‘Stories from the city, stories from the sea’. ...

Veneer - José González 08/05/2007

a good album to relax to

Veneer - José González Veneer is a strange album. When I first heard it I was fairly non-plussed, it was all very nice but suited background listening rather than any particular attention. The only track that really stood out was ‘Heartbeats’ but only for its familarity due to its use in the Sony Bravia adverts. I didn’t even realise it was a cover by Swedish band ‘The Knives’. And it stayed that way for quite a while, until earlier this year when in the middle of a bad patch and with sleep becoming more than a struggle – I really discovered this album. José González has a strange heritage in as much as he is Swedish born by Argentine parents. The album was originally released in 2003 across Europe and didn’t reach the UK until Spring 2005, I believe it followed later in the year for the states. The sound/style is consistent throughout the album, well-played classicial guitar and soft almost forgettable melodies. That is until you really start listening. At first it seems like a guitar album, the only visible difference between tracks being changes in the guitar playing, but behind the stark composition there are some beautiful lyrics. I think ‘Lovestain’ typifies this ‘You left a blood stain on the ground, You left a love stain on my heart, but blood comes out easily’. Other quality tracks on the album include ‘Broken Arrows’ and ‘Crosses’, but in honesty I don’t think there is a bad track on it. Perhaps it is due to the simple nature of the recordings and their composition (although don’t be ...

Come on Feel the Lemonheads - Lemonheads (The) 08/05/2007

Come On Feel the unique approach

Come on Feel the Lemonheads - Lemonheads (The) Come on Feel by The Lemonheads is from 1993, a golden age for the band and for U.S music dominate the airwaves, commerical or otherwise. Come on Feel hosts a vast variety of tracks that made up the best of for this era of their career ‘Down about it’, ‘It’s about time’ ‘Into your arms’ ‘Being Around’ ‘Big Gay Heart’ to name a few. The major disappointment is ‘Being Around’, the acoustic version that acts as a B-side for the cover of Simon and Garkfunkels ‘Mrs Robinson’ is far superior to this album version. There are acoustic versions of ‘Down about it’ in circulation around too and although I prefer them, this is still a fine version of the song. Various tracks from this album have been part of the Evan Dando solo set over the last few years, proving their quality in his vast catalogue of music. The first three tracks are non-stop ‘power pop’ – ‘Great Big No’ (another best of song), followed by ‘Into Your Arms’ and Down About It’. ‘Paid to smile’ shows a more thoughtful softer composition than some of the almost ‘thrashier’ performances on the album, paving the way for the country-esque ‘Big Gay Heart’. ‘Style’ brings around another complete change of pace and shows the vast musicial ability of the band. An out-right rock song. For me ‘Rest Assured’ and ‘Dawn Can’t Decide’ are two of the weaker tracks on the album, although continue to show creative promise except perhaps for some strange ‘ba baa’s’ on the latter. ‘Rick James Style’ is an alternative, more expansive ...

Flights of Gravity - Exit Motel 08/05/2007

Flights Of Gravity, cult classic in the making?

Flights of Gravity - Exit Motel I’ve had a copy of this album in my possession for almost two months now. I’ve written several reviews in other places about it, all from when I was a couple of weeks in. In fairness those reviews are probably a little more balanced than this one, because this album is a ‘grower’ and this has most definitely grown on me now. It Perhaps not an album that will leave you with an instant hit of satisfaction, but then something as subtle and complex is best enjoyed over time, little and often until you can not remember why you didn’t cherish it straight away. I mean that in the sense of a very traditional album, some areas of it are always more easily accessible than others (hence why singles exist). But when you open the doors to an album as a whole and really listen to it over a period of time your opinion becomes almost intoxicated by the brilliance of something so well crafted and thought out. Because that’s what ‘Flights Of Gravity’ is, it is most definitely an album of thought and craft, no mindless rock here and although sitting within the alt-rock genre there seems to be something to pull most keen music fans. It’s what I’d class as a musicians album and I hope it’ll enjoy the slow burning cult status of other albums in its field. I’ll draw no comparisons here as they may be somewhat premature or may be slightly grandiose but the potential is there and only time will tell. I imagine ‘Flights Of Gravity’ will slowly bring this band into many peoples living rooms and ...

Fracture (DVD) 07/05/2007

Keep guessing in this intelligent and slick movie

Firewall (DVD) 07/05/2007

Stereotypical Harrison Ford Action/Thriller

Our Shadows Will Remain - Joseph Arthur 06/05/2007

A well-crafted more polished Joseph

Tragedy Rocks - Crimea (The) 06/05/2007

Tender, fragile piece of music

Wave of Mutilation (The Best of Pixies/Parental Advisory) [PA] - Pixies 06/05/2007

A true reflection of a seminal band

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