Sunday, June 26, 2022
Saturday, June 25, 2022
The opening track on Regina Spektor's new album Home, before & after, sum up her and her appeal and charms, better possibly than any track she's ever put out.
Becoming All Alone, comes with a disclaimer. It is cute. Extremely cute. It finds Spektor having a conversation with God walking home one New York morning. He invites her for a beer and they discuss what this life thing is all about and why things can seem so ridiculously unfair. That's what you get. This is Regina Spektor.
Well Spektor is cute but also fiendishly ambitious. It'is something that you have to accept and embrace about her. This is as much West End Musical as it is Pop or Rock record. She was always a talent apart.
I don't have problems with any of this. Since I discovered her a few years back, she's become one of my favourite living artists. But she's probably not for everyone. You have to have a sense of wonder and a special place in your heart for childhood to really have your head fully turned by her.
Emerging with the wave of wonderful talent that exploded so unexpectedly with The Strokes at the turn of the millenium she has ripened and matured since, an astonishing, classically trained talent sat at her piano at the side of stage, one part Carole King, one part Disney or Pixar heroine.
Home, before & after rather overplays the cute card. I don't like it quite as much as 2016's Remember Us To Life, the astonishing record that really made me truly fall in love with her.
She's a little too much ingenue here. She flutters her eyelids one too many times. Nevertheelss it also contains some of her very best songs. It's still a good record, Spektor is such a good artist that I'd say she's incapable of making a totally bad LP. But I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with some of this..
Despite a few quite spectacular tracks here, there's just a bit too much saccharine elsewhere for my taste. I'll play it some more and am hopening it will win me over. But I'll probaly return to Remember Us To Life as my go to Spektor.
Martin Courtney, also of Real Estate, releases his second solo album, which should appeal to anyone who has ever enjoyed the sound of guitars that jangle.
This is hardly earth shattering news for anyone who has ever listened to a record that Courtney has been involved with before. This is what he's like. This is what he does.
This is a sound that most obviously goes back to The early Byrds and the bands they immediately inspired. Then, in Courtney's case, to the Eighties and Nineties, Felt, Ride, The Clientele, bleached out Belle & Sebastian.
This is slightly characterless. Courtney's records often are. The vocals and actual lyrics are somewhere back in the mix, not the main priority, which is the shimmering haze of the guitar sound.
I sometimes find this slightly frustrating about Courtney, Real Estate, Beach Fossils and the whole raft of American guitar bands that showed up around ten years ago and defined a new / old sound.
This record says precious little but sounds nice if this is your thing. It's partially my thing but as with most of Courtney's records, I'm not entirely sure. I wish he'd say a bit more.
Friday, June 24, 2022
It's a walk down Indie Memory Lane. To the moment when the likes of NO, The Lightning Seeds and Oasis begab to corall all of the slightly wistless meanderings of The Railway Childre, House of Love and Sarah Records and turned them into a chart prospect.
Labelled Throwback Indie by the ever perceptive A Pessimist is Never Disappointed site, that's exact;y what this is. It's pieced entirely together from other records. Not essential on any level really but a likeable record for anyone who likes this stuff.
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Going through a Depeche Mode immersion and rather enjoying it. Their hearts were in the right place.. Here's their first single.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Monday, June 20, 2022
Any album that begins with musing on Les Chantes de Maldoror the fabled prose poem by The Compte De Lautreamont must have something for me. I love that pretentious nonsense.
New York's Wild Arrows Loving The Void, is not a particularly easy album to listen to. It's one of those claustrophobic, arty Post Punk albums that was in vogue in the early Eighties.
To be admired for its ambition but I won't go back to it. I was struggling for air by the fourth track. Fans of This Heat, Pop Group and 23 Skidoo might find more succour here than I did.
Sunday, June 19, 2022
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Minneapolis band Green / Blue have clearly got a decent work ethic. Only months after I reviewed their LP Offering with gushing, wholesome praise, they're back with another, their third album in all Paper Thin.
It's not as good as Offering. Very few alternative guitar records will be for me. this year There's still plenty to enjoy here mind.
Green / Blue capture and bottle much of the sound and spirit that made the American leftfield charge of R.E.M, The Replacements, Guadalcanal Diary and the Paisley Underground bands so thrilling. This time round there's also a healthy dollop of the British Gothic dread of the same period. The Cure, Joy Division and The House of Love come to mind particularly.
Paper Thin like Offering is very, very 1984. I'm not complaining. I hope they're making inroads. Because although their sound is very, very much of those times, they do it all very well.
American Indie band that frankly sound like an English Indies band. Mt. Joy, based in Los Angeles but originally from Philadelphia, return with third album Orange Blood.
Incredibly heneric. This is a likeable record without ever threatening to be one you would press on anyone as one that you would press on anyone that they need to hear.
Something of a mix between The Shins and The Libertines. Or else something a lot less exciting like Snow Patrol. I enjoyed my listen through to it but there are certainly more essential things around.
Friday, June 17, 2022
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Been lsitening to a lot of Roxy recently. What a phenomenon they were. First two albums especially. The ones with Eno on them. But also plenty more to marvel at all the way to Avalon.