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Showing posts from April, 2019

Hello Sunshine by Bruce Springsteen - New Song Review

After the Broadway experience comes a new song, and m y initial thoughts upon hearing it were not about this track specifically, but what it means for the upcoming "Western Stars" album in June. As Bruce has said, this is a different type of album, not a rocker but a 'return to sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements'.  My hope is that we are going to get Bruce's version of "Nashville Skyline", as the track has a laid back, country feel, with a rhythm that immediately evokes "Everybody's Talkin' ".  Another one of his early influences, the great Roy Orbison, also shines through, and as a defender of "Outlaw Pete" from "Magic", (more on that here ), this can only be a good thing. His vocal has a country tinge and the pedal steel and strings complete the image.  Given his battles with depression, documented in his autobiography, the lines about "being too fond of the blues" and "loving t

Best Of A Bad Bunch - "Under The God"

It is pretty rare for an artist to have a sustained career without at least one barren period with a lack of commercial success, critical or fan acclaim. Some may only have one golden moment, and then struggle to hit the heights ever again. That doesn't mean that all they produce in those "lost" years is without merit. Go here for part one featuring Neil Young. I'm going to look at some of my favourite songs from these lesser known or ill regarded periods, continuing with a man who has had more than one period of both acclaimed and berated music, David Bowie. Bowie had one of the greatest, in my opinion, runs of combined commercial and critical success from "Hunky Dory" in 1971 to "Let's Dance" in 1983. I'd accept the argument that you could include "The Man Who Sold The World"  at the start of the list, but for me it is with Hunky Dory that Bowie's golden run started. In that run, only stop gap covers collection, "

Rockin' The Suburbs - New Music

Just a quick post to say that I appear on a couple of episodes of the fantastic Rockin' The Suburbs podcast this week, talking about some of my favourite new music from the last two months. Be sure to listen EVERY day.  Episode 584 here Episode 585 here   Or from your usual podcast provider. More thoughts on Karen O & Dangermouse here More thoughts on Strand Of Oaks here More thoughts on Black Mountain  here   More thoughts on Jenny Lewis here

Lux Prima by Karen O & Dangermouse - Album Review

Sometimes you know that something is just 'right'. There is an almost indefinable quality that is evident from the outset that continues throughout the film, book, or in this case album. It is not often that I get this feeling, but much like 2004's "Saturnalia" from The Gutter Twins or 2010's "High Violet" from The National, this new album featuring a collaboration between Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs and renowned producer Brian Burton, aka Dangermouse, has 'it'. My, oh my, this is some album. An early album of the year contender? Most definitely. Strong words you might say, but just listen to it. Running the full gamut of styles, sometimes within the same song, from electronica, through orchestral pop, funk and soul to rock whilst stopping off at movie soundtracks and torch songs along the way.  The list of influences that I hear include "Low"era Bowie, Pink Floyd, Grandaddy, Chic, The Beach Boys, Motown, Phil Spector, Por

On The Line by Jenny Lewis - Album Review

Arriving with positive notices and an  all-star supporting cast that includes a former Beatle in Ringo Starr, a former Heartbreaker in Benmont Tench along with renowned players like Jim Keltner ,  Don Was and produced by Ryan Adams it would be easy to dismiss such a description as too good to be true. However, s ometimes it is okay to believe the hype.. The 4th solo album from Jenny Lewis is an example of the old adage that misery makes for great art, and is another entry into the canon of great break-up albums. It is crammed with catchy melodies, expert playing and excellent, if sometimes just a little too cool for school, songwriting. Right from the very start with "Heads Gonna Roll" the sweetness of the melodies is leavened with a perfectly judged dose of underlying menace and bitterness. Mention has to be given to the Hammond solo from Benmont Tench on this track. The tone is deliciously fat and filthy in the best possible way. "Wasted