Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tears For Fears The Seeds Of Love Remastered

Tears For Fears The Seeds Of Love

Get It At Discogs
After 5 years of their ever-popular 'Songs from The Big Chair' where it spawned singles like 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World', 'Shout' and 'Head Over Heels', this album was made as a comeback album from the band after a long absence. They were still popular around the world and fans were eagerly awaiting what 'The Seeds of Love' was going to bring. It brought a more mature sound with less demand of synth-sounds and more of vocals and guitar, also it brought so much more emotion and dark, daring songs like 'Swords And Knives'. This album is very different to 'Songs from the Big Chair', its more of an ambitious swansong. The band on this album still keep the concept of moving from hurting to healing to beginning anew to growing apart. Instead of producing bass-powered hooks, they now rely on piano-guitar based sounds to put this concept across and add so much more emotion to the songs. There was a controvisal outbreak during the making of the album, where it affects the rest of the band's journey to the 90's, where Orzabal and Smith had bad terms together and after the album, the two-split and signaled a change in the band's direction. The first song of the album, 'Woman In Chains', signals a very diffferent mood from 'Songs from the Big Chair'. There is a sense of change in the sound straight away when you hear it, more powerful drums and a more swaying sound of beautiful instrumentation. Orzabal's vocals on the song (and album) are so strong throughout and it really puts the emotion across and this is one of the highlights of the album. With Phil Collins on the drums and Oleta Adams sharing vocals with Orzabal, this song is one of the highlights of the album and it really shows the direction that band had taken in the album. 'Badman Song' brings us to more jazzy and more playful, creative side of the album where it shows Orzabal's skill of songwriting. The song itself is very diverse having really slick riffs and also building in a gospel influence at places. The vocals here are just divine and again just shows how talented Orzabal is, I'm beginning to think he is one of the most underrated musicians in modern music. The song is probably too long for it's kind, exceeding over 8 minutes, but still there is a glimpse of greatness and diversity to listen to. We are now brought to the hit of the album 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love'. Again, the songwriting on the song is amazing with having such a hook on it and there is such an atmospheric soul evolcing around the song that really keeps your attention. There is again a diverse sound and this is the only song on the album suprisingly where there is a Orzabal/Smith collaboration in the songwriting, this is probably why the two split up after the album. The song is insanely intricate and also very, very catchy. 'Advice For the Young At Heart' is a more cultural sound from a mediteranean style. There are many different kinds of instruments here with some very soulful vocals to soothe the song to make it sound very gentle. The chorus here is the main highlight due to it being very appealing and beautiful at the same time. 'Standing On the Corner of the Third World' is another song that has a cultural sound, this time coming from the arabic side, due to it relating the 'third world' to the music. Again, the song sounds soothing and very gentle but also this time, very dramatic. It brings a very powerful mood to the album and really grips you with its climax it has to where it reaches to the chrous, where the guitars become more intense and the backing vocals add more emphasis. It is such a moody song that is the anti-climax to 'Advice...'. 'Swords and Knives' is very dramatic again and it has such beautiful instrumentation. The brooding piano really intensify the song showing the dark side of the album. The cultural sound plays a part again in the song but is then overshadowed by the power of the vocals by Orzabal and Adams and the very mesmirising sounds of the guitars and drums. Again, the song maybe a bit too long for it's kind, but again the emotion showed in the song really brings out it's message. 'Year of the Knife' is rather different to the rest of the songs, this is more of a rock song like what other bands at the time would write in the 90's. Orzabal's guitaring in this song is the main highlight, putting so much effort in the techniques and he uses intense soloing and riffs, his vocals that goes with is probably the best performance in the album, with his impressive falsetto's and dramatic voice in the verses and chorus. The song itself is so catchy and proves a massive climax against the recent 2 songs. It is a very lively, catchy and a shout-out song that is one of the highlights. The last song 'Famous Last Words' is very quietly mostly that consists of a very gentle piano but is so powerful, Orzabal's vocals really power the song's slow-burn. Surpisingly, this is my personal favorite off the album as it just is beautiful on its own with its string arrangements building up the song to a more dramatic sound and reaching higher levels when it comes to near the end of the song where the song bursts an outbreak of distortion and some very emotional vocals and great instrumentation. This song is very well-written and it's time is just perfect. This song ends the album just at the right places. Even though the album ends the collaboration between Orzabal and Smith, it sounds like the band's legacy will never end. The album is just beauty all around and with just 8 songs that are lengthy, there is a guarentee that there is no fillers and people will enjoy and treasure the album if they are interested in this kind of music, which is power-pop/rock music.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Supergrass Road To Rouen As Nominated By lano1 At Turn On Your Record Player

Supergrass Road To Rouen

Get It At Discogs
Supergrass have a hard time coming down from their musical highs. Every time they release a giddy, irresistible pop album, they repent on the next record, crafting a moodier response. This happened with their 1995 debut, I Should Coco, which engendered two hangover records: the sprawling, ambitious, yet thrilling In It for the Money and its hazy, unfocused 1999 Supergrass, which, despite the instant glitter classic "Pumping on Your Stereo," was so scattered it sounded as if the guys weren't sure if they wanted to be a band at all anymore. They sprung back with 2002's Life on Other Planets, a truly wonderful pop album that was their best since their debut, but for 2005's Road to Rouen, they once again retreat from the bright colors and sunny melodies and turn toward darker textures. But there's a big difference here: where Supergrass drifted aimlessly, Road to Rouen is a tight, sharply focused album with purpose and momentum. It may have two long epics in the opening "Tales of Endurance, Pts. 4, 5 & 6" and "Roxy," clocking in at 5:31 and 6:17, respectively, but the record lasts just over 35 minutes, and there's a mastery of tone, as the group creates a warm, trippy, late-night vibe and then never lets it flag over the course of nine songs. They have never shown such control on a record before -- previously, their best albums were exciting because they went all over the place, and did it well -- and it's quite intoxicating to hear them ride one groove, finding different variations within it, for an entire album. And if Road to Rouen is anything, it is not monotonous -- it may be an ideal soundtrack for night, but this is hardly a one-note, self-absorbed introspective record. "Tales of Endurance" has an infectious minor-key vamp from pianist Robert Coombes, the title track is a propulsive glammy rocker, and "Kick in the Teeth" has a jangling guitar that off-sets the jazzy, lazy "St. Petersburg," the folky "Low C," and dreamy "Fin." All the songs take varying routes to the same destination, and part of the appeal of this album is that each track sounds different, yet sounds the same. Best of all, unlike that third album, this isn't a self-serious affair -- if the pun in the title itself didn't illustrate that Supergrass have retained their sense of humor, the lively instrumental throwaway "Coffee in the Pot" surely will -- and that's why this is such a terrific little record: Supergrass have found new things to do with their sound without getting self-consciously mature or middlebrow. Road to Rouen may not be a party record, but the best of bands can do any number of sounds while still sounding like themselves, and with this excellent album, Supergrass do prove that they can do exactly that.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The La's The La's Remastered As Nominated By Roisin O'Shea

The La's The La's

Also Available Deluxe Edition 

Get It At Discogs
Some albums exist outside of time or place, gently floating on their own style and sensibility. Of those, the La's lone album may be the most beguiling, a record that consciously calls upon the hooks and harmonies of 1964 without seeming fussily retro, a trick that anticipated the cheerful classicism of the Brit-pop '90s. But where their sons Oasis and Blur were all too eager to carry the torch of the past, Lee Mavers and the La's exist outside of time, suggesting the '60s in their simple, tuneful, acoustic-driven arrangements but seeming modern in their open, spacy approach, sometimes as ethereal as anything coming out of the 4AD stable but brought down to earth by their lean, no-nonsense attack, almost as sinewy as any unaffected British Invasion band. But where so many guitar pop bands seem inhibited by tradition, the La's were liberated by it, using basic elements to construct their own identity, one that's propulsive and tuneful, or sweetly seductive, as it is on the band's best-known song, "There She Goes." That song is indicative of the La's material in its melodic pull; the rest of the album has a bit more muscle, whether the group is bashing out a modern-day Merseybeat on "Liberty Ship" and bouncing two-step "Doledrum," or alluding to Morrissey's elliptical phrasing on "Timeless Melody." This force gives the La's some distinction, separating them from nostalgic revivalists even as their dedication to unadorned acoustic arrangements separates them from their contemporaries, but it's this wildly willful sensibility -- so respectful of the past it can't imagine not following its own path -- that turns The La's into its own unique entity, indebted to the past and pointing toward the future, yet not belonging to either.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Cult The Cult As Nominated By Iano1 At Turn On Your Record Player

The Cult The Cult

Get It At Discogs
The Cult's sixth and final album before a breakup lasting seven years, The Cult features a collection of mature, sophisticated songs and some of the band's best work. The album is filled with interesting melodies delivered with zest and crunch, the faster tunes rocking with abandon and the slower ones tugging at the right emotional strings. Vocalist Ian Astbury delivers a balanced mix of power, despair and anguish, while Billy Duffy's guitar provides the metallic backdrop and maintains The Cult's trademark sparsity of sound. A foursome for this album, Craig Adams on bass is satisfyingly prominent on several tracks, most notably Naturally High, while Scott Garrett's drums shine unobtrusively and remain true to the band's avoidance of an overbearing wall of noise. The five song sequence at the heart of the album, from Naturally High at track 5 to Be Free at track 9, is a spectacular sequence. Naturally High has a fat bass line that challenges most speakers, and escalates to a soaring chorus delivered passionately by Astbury. Joy is assembled around a hovering keyboards tune bolted onto an aggressive Duffy guitar riff. Star effortlessly drops into an infectious dance groove, Garrett's drums pleasingly to the forefront, setting an in-your-face beat which culminates with a great cow bell. Sacred Life slows down the pace with a touching, melancholy melody chronicling tragic young deaths. The quintet is rounded off with the high energy Be Free, Duffy and Garrett again combining to create a celebratory dance metal tune. Elsewhere on the album Real Grrrl and Saints Are Down further enhance the quality of the music, the latter an appropriately haunting slow ending to the band's pre-breakup era. In the post-grunge, call-it-alt-something confused music scene of 1994, The Cult never found an audience, helping to hasten the band's demise as a viable commercial entity. At least when Astbury and Duffy called it quits, their music and songwriting were on a natural high.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Babybird Ugly Beautiful As Requested By Roisin O'Shea

BabybirUgly Beautiful

Get It At Discogs

BabyBird the band is for the better part the brainchild of maverick singer & songwriter and although Ugly Beautiful is by no means his first release it does finally signify a degree of commercial acceptance for a man who had up until this point existed on the fringes of popular music. Jones has a knack of mixing bizarre lyrical word play with a knack for a hook laden song. Ugly Beautiful is an edgy mood laden piece with Jones running the gauntlet of emotions on behalf of the listener. Playfully dabbling with the erotic double entendres on tracks like “Candy Girl” and simultaneously a skewed viewpoint on religion with “Jesus Is My Girlfriend” the album doesn’t always run smoothly, but then I think that was always the writer’s intention. Jones displays a knack for turning his left of centre style into the more accessible on occasion their infectious hook of ‘You’re Gorgeous’ and ‘Cornershop’ both display straight pop sensibilities while retaining his trademark dark edge. Other people have achieved this but BabyBird have proved they can do it in a style all of trier own. It may sound cliched but the album has a distinct English eccentricity about it. At times Jones and the band manage to evoke melancholy not so much through the actual lyrical content but more through the combination of Jones pleading vocal and the distinctive arrangement of the music. Although not as strong as the album that followed it (There’s Something Going On), Ugly Beautiful works well because there is a sense of honesty in the performance. Jones never holds back and certain tracks might prove an uncomfortable listening experience as he bathes his tracks in whatever emotions come to light at the time, often anger can fuel him and when he lands himself in “ranting diatribe” mode it can make for a painful few minutes...but like I said the performance is honest. You may be familiar with the singles that spawned the success of this album (the aforementioned You’re Gorgeous and Cornershop). If you enjoyed these then there is every chance that that you enjoy Ugly Beautiful. However don’t walk into the experience to expect everything to be as commercially accessible as though tracks. Ugly Beautiful has a good selection of tracks that will draw you in immediately, as for the rest. They’ll grow on you as inevitably as nightfall.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin

The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin

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So where does a band go after releasing the most defiantly experimental record of its career? If you're the Flaming Lips, you keep rushing headlong into the unknown -- The Soft Bulletin, their follow-up to the four-disc gambit Zaireeka, is in many ways their most daring work yet, a plaintively emotional, lushly symphonic pop masterpiece eons removed from the mind-warping noise of their past efforts. Though more conventional in concept and scope than Zaireeka, The Soft Bulletin clearly reflects its predecessor's expansive sonic palette. Its multidimensional sound is positively celestial, a shape-shifting pastiche of blissful melodies, heavenly harmonies, and orchestral flourishes; but for all its headphone-friendly innovations, the music is still amazingly accessible, never sacrificing popcraft in the name of radical experimentation. (Its aims are so perversely commercial, in fact, that hit R&B remixer Peter Mokran tinkered with the cuts "Race for the Prize" and "Waitin' for a Superman" in the hopes of earning mainstream radio attention.) But what's most remarkable about The Soft Bulletin is its humanity -- these are Wayne Coyne's most personal and deeply felt songs, as well as the warmest and most giving. No longer hiding behind surreal vignettes about Jesus, zoo animals, and outer space, Coyne pours his heart and soul into each one of these tracks, poignantly exploring love, loss, and the fate of all mankind; highlights like "The Spiderbite Song" and "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate" are so nakedly emotional and transcendentally spiritual that it's impossible not to be moved by their beauty. There's no telling where the Lips will go from here, but it's almost beside the point -- not just the best album of 1999, The Soft Bulletin might be the best record of the entire decade.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues Collectors Edition

The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues CD1 

The Waterboys Fisherman's Blues CD2

Get It At Discogs

Mike Scott had been pursuing his grandiose "big music" since he founded the Waterboys, so it came as a shock when he scaled back the group's sound for the Irish and English folk of Fisherman's Blues. Although the arena-rock influences have been toned down, Scott's vision is no less sweeping or romantic, making even the simplest songs on Fisherman's Blues feel like epics. Nevertheless, the album is the Waterboys' warmest and most rewarding record, boasting a handful of fine songs ("And a Bang on the Ear," the ominous "We Will Not Be Lovers," "Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?," and the title track), as well as a surprisingly successful cover of Van Morrison's breathtaking "Sweet Thing." [Fisherman's Blues was reissued in 2006 with a bonus disc containing fourteen outtakes, alternate versions and late-night studio jams. The re-mastered original included extended versions of "And a Bang on the Ear" and "World Party.

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Wedding Present Take Fountain As Recommended By Friend Of Rachel Worth

The Wedding Present Take Fountain

Get It At Discogs
The Wedding Present were always the more sensitive student’s band of choice, so much so that at times they were in danger of slipping into self-parody. Always clad in black and featuring songs with unremittingly grinding guitar, topped off with David Gedge’s distinctive voice singing songs about being dumped by his Girlfriend, they were often the whipping boy for the more cynical members of the music press. Yet the Weddoes’ self-deprecation (they once brought out an official t-shirt baldy stating ‘All The Songs Sound The Same’) and sheer power of albums such as Seamonsters and Bizarro always set them Apart from more run of the mill groups. When Gedge broke up the band to start Cinerama, he seemed more settled: a more poppy element was brought into the music and he actually seemed – gasp – happy. Cinerama Started off very different to the Wedding Present, with John Barry style melodies and string sections. However, over the course of their three albums, the crunching guitars and dark songwriting crept back in until the band’s last album Torino was virtually indistinguishable from Gedge’s old group. Now, nine years after the last album Saturnalia, it’s come full circle and Gedge has reclaimed the Wedding Present name – when you hear that his 14 year Relationship has recently broken up, you can guess what’s coming. Just one listen to Take Fountain will reassure you that although the years may have passed, age has not mellowed David Gedge: nobody writes about relationship break-ups quite like him. Musically, this is probably the most varied Wedding Present yet. Recent Single Interstate 5 broods along magnificently for around six minutes, and then turns very weird for its coda – all spaghetti western theme and mariachi horns. Mars Sprinkles Down Upon Me is completely different, a beautiful ballad which addresses the problems of staying friends with an ex (“how can I shake his hand when it’s been all over your skin?”). Don’t Touch That Dial (a re-recoding of an old Cinerama single) and Ringway To Seatec are on slightly more traditional ‘buzzy guitar rock’ territory, while Always The Quiet One and I’m From Further North Than You show off Gedge’s more poppy side. The latter in fact, is one of the best things he’s ever done, a funny bittersweet tale of a Relationship gone wrong, involving red bikinis and weird pornography which had memorable days, “but just not very many”. As with Morrissey‘s comeback album last year, you sometimes get the nagging feeling that Gedge is too old to be writing about heartache and Relationship break-ups, but he does it so well that it never feels false. Besides, you’re never too old to have your heart broken are you? In the wake of John Peel’s death, it’s fitting that one of his favourite bands have reformed and released an album that stands shoulder to shoulder with their best work. With many of their early ’90s contemporaries reforming (The Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Eat Itself, Pixies), Take Fountain is the perfect reminder that David Gedge is still at the height of his powers. 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Wedding Present Saturnalia As Recommended By Roisin

The Wedding Present Saturnalia

Get It At Discogs

SIT YOURSELF down, put down anything sharp and prepare the valium drip - this may come as a bit of a shock. It's like this: for the past ten years David Gedge has been one of the most consistently brilliant and grossly underrated songwriters in Britain. Still conscious? Then brace yourself because, what's more, he's just written one of the best pop albums of the year. That's DAVID GEDGE. From THE WEDDING PRESENT. You heard. Surprising news, obviously, since this is the band that have defined the word 'cult' ever since 'C86' was buried under the weight of its own cagoule. There were countless limited-edition seven-inches, gigs packed with new songs and no encores and a stout refusal TO PLAY 'Kennedy' or 'My Favourite Dress' on request. Plus, every month in 1992 a bunch of spacemen would appear on TOTP to plug a single that sold out two weeks previously. For a decade in the post-credibility wilderness Gedge hid his genius with masterful precision, smothering tunes from the gods with huge guitar noises and the vocals of a ruptured bricklayer. No wonder the kids were baffled. Then came Urusei Yatsura.Finally, 'C96' has made elder statesmen of the Weddoes and 'Saturnalia' is their new manifesto. "Make a movie today!/Buy a red Chevrolet!!!" Dave howls as the chorus to first single '2, 3, Go' rockets off into speed-pop heaven and the Weddoes become the grinning pop imps that 'Boing!', 'California' and even 'Shatner' only hinted at. Optimism? Commerciality? FUN!?! Whatever happened to standing outside girls' houses stabbing pins into a wax effigy of HIM? Ahh, seems Dave Gedge has grown up, lost his spots and gained a few lines of experience. He's no longer the angst-ridden teenage dump magnet that helped many through their Clearasil phase. Sure, he's still an emotional punchbag of the highest order, it's just that his inner turmoil has matured to the point where he can - gasp! - cope with it. The REM-ish twangler 'Montreal' finds him resigning himself to his loved-one's buggering off abroad with subdued grace, while 'Jet Girl''s tale of a relationship-hopping emotiopath is draped over a cheery romp of hula guitars and classic hooks. In fact, the only time Dave lets loose a GUTTERAL cry of primal angst occurs during closer '50s', and even that's offset by the melancholic dancehall-waltz verses. The true position of Gedge's head, however, is contained in 'Kansas', a rampant pop beauty in which Dave packs his bags at a moment's notice and flies off to an unknown future - a spangly new beginning, who cares where. After all, while his guitarshave stayed mammoth-proportioned and his vocals still gargle from a hard day's bricklaying, ten years on, pop music is slowly coming around to his way of thinking again. So hook UP THE Valium drip NOW because The Wedding Present's time might just have come once more. Shocked? You WILL be, my dears, you will be...

World Party Goodbye Jumbo As Recommended By Friend Of Rachel Worth

World Party Goodbye Jumbo
Karl Wallinger really hit his stride on Goodbye Jumbo, which has the same overly obvious influences as Private Revolution but which features more steady and substantial songs. Indeed, it’s easy to marvel at the consistent quality of the songwriting and the excellent execution of the performances, with pretty synthesizers and a wonderfully melodic guitar tone leading the way along with Wallinger’s plaintive croon. This is a thoroughly enjoyable, beautifully crafted pop album that’s aided by a clean production sound that perfectly fits the bright, buoyant material. Lyrically, Wallinger again focuses on the environment and other topics that are important to him, particularly religion and relationships, and impressively rich, mellow grooves carry the often-evocative album forward musically. Perhaps I could live without the sparse, funky “Is It Too Late?” (a poor choice for an album opener), and I’m also not a fan of the discofied “Show Me To The Top,” but otherwise I’d be hard pressed not to tout any of the other tracks. THE CLASSIC groover “Way Down Now” (which liberally borrows from the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil”) and the emininently singable “Put The Message In The Box” were minor hits and both are outstanding, but the evocative “When The Rainbow Comes,” with its gorgeous slide guitar and lyrics lifted from the Marvelettes (how in the world did Wallinger escape plagiarism charges?), the uplifting “Take It Up,” and “Sweet Soul Dream,” a sweet soul ballad on which Sinead O’Connor again guests, are almost as good. Elsewhere, “Ain’t Gonna Come ‘Till I’m Ready” is sexually explicit yet still sexy, even if there isn’t much of a melody to it (it still works, mostly ‘cause of Wallinger’s falsetto), while “And I Fell Back Alone” and “God On My Side” are sparse, solemn ballads and “Love Street” is a beautifully breathy synth ballad. Last but not least, “Thank You World” provides an uplifting, sincere signoff from a then-popular but since-neglected gem of an album that at the very least ranks as a minor classic of its type, some liberal borrowings and a duff track or two aside. Karl Wallinger is a true pro, and this is a sparkling, expertly crafted pop album by a "band" who (then and especially now) deserve a much wider audience.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Wedding Present George Best + 9 As Recommended By Roisin

The Wedding Present George Best + 9

Get It At Discogs

Apart from the dark and majestic Seamonsters, George Best is easily the best possible Introduction To the Wedding Present's work; it's also a fine introduction to the entire C-86 scene that had such an impact on British rock. It would be nearly impossible to name the standout tracks, since the band's strength lies in the fact that every tune is so solid: it should suffice to mention "Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft," "My Favourite Dress," "Anyone Can Make a Mistake," a cover of the Beatles' "Getting Better," and a French version of "Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?" (the last two featuring Heavenly/Talulah Gosh singer Amelia Fletcher) -- then remember that nearly every song in the Wedding Present catalog is just as good as those that have been picked out as singles. This Here is a definite classic. [A 23-track reissue compiled the album plus its first two singles: "Nobody's Twisting Your Arm" and "Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?"]
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