Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Single Review: Bloc Party - One Month Off

Title: One Month Off
Artist: Bloc Party
Album: Intimacy

One Month Off is raw, anthemic and even features a key change! (Rare for Bloc Party) It's amazing how Matt Tong can keep drumming through this entire song without a break. The fury of "I can be as cruel as you, fighting fire with firewood" are spat out and sound fantastic.


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Album Review: White Lies - To Lose My Life...

Album: To Lose My Life...
Artist: White Lies
Singles: Unfinished Business, Death, To Lose My Life

"Wow. Just wow," could describe my first thoughts towards this album. It's very dark, quite depressing-sounding, but already I think we have a winner for best album of 2009. OK, I know it's January, but it still could happen! Since I heard Unfinished Business and Death, the first two singles, I couldn't wait for this album. And it's so much better than I expected.

A five minute opening song that sounds really dark and builds up to a fantastic ending, with the band singing "Yes, this fear's got a hold of me." Probably will do well live. Great as a second single.

The title track. Everything on this song is brilliant. The deep vocals and the dark lyrics that are present on every White Lies song I've heard are all there, but this one is far more upbeat, even if the chorus talks about growing old and dying. And the ending, with both chorus and backing vocals sounds... fantastic. (Taken from the single review - yes, I'm lazy)

After two insane starting tracks, this calms the album down a bit. It has a good guitar part that makes it sound epic, just like every other song on this album. However, it is probably my least favourite on this album. That doesn't mean I don't like it. It's great.

An odd song title, but Harry McVeigh's deep vocals really work well with the drums and bass before smashing into an epic chorus, rinse and repeat, then goes into a closing "start burning in the sky..." over and over again, and it doesn't get tiring.

The band's debut single has been revamped, and it sounds more epic than ever. The deepest vocals at the start as McVeigh sings "Just give me a second, darling, to clear my head..." Despite one of the most morbid and depressing on the album, it still sounds great.

The song starts great, and has a great guitar part. Again with the depressing death-related lyrics: "If you tell me to jump then I'll die." They've claimed that they are not dark people, but seriously, what are we supposed to think?

A song about millionaire breakdowns. Another odd topic for the trio, but it gets going after a while. Probably not one of their better songs, but nevertheless good.

My personal favourite, this is possibly the only upbeat song that hasn't got any depressing bits. Scratch that, it's the only song on the album that hasn't got any depressing bits. It deserves to be a single, without a doubt. From its drumming intro to its epic line built for live performances; "Keep on running, keep, keep on running, there's no place like home, there's no place like home..." to the ending, it never lets up as being the best song. In all aspects.

Beautifully brilliant. Or brilliantly beautiful. Or both. Vocal-led for most of it, until the strings play faint sounds in the second verse before the drums finally kick in, but before you know it, it's over. Shame. Oh, and we're back with depressingly dark songs. Or should that be darkly depressi - oh, I'll shut up now.

The album closes with a song about kidnapping. It builds up gradually and comes to the end where the screams of "so is this the price of love?" over and over again, which makes the album so complete.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Single Review: Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses

Name: Ulysses
Artist: Franz Ferdinand
Album: Tonight

The opening single from Franz Ferdinand's new album is good. After a rather disappointing second album (for me), this new one seems to be a great advancement. The "la-la-la-la-la" before they sing "Ulysses!" harshly sounds great. The electric sound is perfect too, and the quiet build up at the start works its magic. But seriously, how many songs have I heard with "let's get high?" Too many. Still - excellent.


Friday, 16 January 2009

Best Of 2007

#25 The Horrors - Strange House
#24 Little Man Tate - About What You Know
#23 The Maccabees - Colour It In
#22 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
#21 The Hours - Narcissus Road
#20 The Hoosiers - The Trick To Life
#19 Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
#18 Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob
#17 The Cooper Temple Clause - Make This Your Own
#16 Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight
#15 Hard-Fi - Once Upon A Time In The West
#14 The View - Hats Off To The Buskers
#13 Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
#12 The Wombats - A Guide To Love, Loss And Desperation
#11 The Twang - Love It When I Feel Like This
#10 Editors - An End Has A Start
#9 Switches - Heart Tuned To D.E.A.D.
#8 The Pigeon Detectives - Wait For Me
#7 Enter Shikari - Take To The Skies
#6 The Cribs - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever
#5 Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
#4 Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
#3 Mumm-Ra - These Things Move In Threes
#2 The Enemy - We'll Live And Die In These Towns
#1 Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare

Best Of 2006

#25 Young Knives - Voices Of Animals And Men
#24 The Kooks - Inside In Inside Out
#23 The Zutons - Tired Of Hanging Around
#22 CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
#21 The Fratellis - Costello Music
#20 Razorlight - Razorlight
#19 Hot Chip - The Warning
#18 The Fray - How To Save A Life
#17 Panic! At The Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out
#16 The Longcut - A Call And Response
#15 Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell III
#14 Hellogoodbye - Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
#13 The Killers - Sam's Town
#12 Keane - Under The Iron Sea
#11 Embrace - This New Day
#10 The Upper Room - Other People's Problems
#9 The Feeling - Twelve Stops And Home
#8 Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
#7 The Sunshine Underground - Raise The Alarm
#6 Kasabian - Empire
#5 Pet Shop Boys - Fundamental
#4 Muse - Black Holes And Revelations
#3 The Automatic - Not Accepted Anywhere
#2 Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
#1 Snow Patrol - Eyes Open

Monday, 12 January 2009

Single Review: White Lies - To Lose My Life

Name: To Lose My Life
Artist: White Lies
Album: To Lose My Life

Everything on this song is brilliant. The deep vocals and the dark lyrics that are present on every White Lies song I've heard are all there, but this one is far more upbeat, even if the chorus talks about growing old and dying. And the ending, with both chorus and backing vocals sounds... fantastic.


Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Best Of 2008

All the top 25 albums of 2008 rolled into one.


Best Of 2008 (#1)

And the winner is...
1. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
The long expected fourth album does not disappoint on any level. If they'd put their new Life In Technicolor II in at some point, this album would have shot over 10/10. (It's that good!)
Life In Technicolor opens the album, an instrumental which really works, seguing into Cemeteries Of London, a slow starting song that really gets going. Lost! is fantastic - the drumming is powerful and the vocals work perfectly.
42 is an interesting song - slow start, then a guitar part, then some singing, more guitar, and a closing slow part again. Abandoning a typical song layout works well here. Lovers In Japan, the first part of the fifth track, is fast-paced and brilliant. The second half of the fifth track, Reign Of Love, is a slow piano song. I don't understand why these two were put in one track - maybe piano similarities?
Anyway. Yes, the sixth track, is fantastic, and features Chris Martin singing a lot deeper than usual. The randomly hidden track, Chinese Sleep Chant, sounds unusually heavy for Coldplay, but is still insanely good.
Then comes the best song of all time. Viva La Vida. Well-deserving of its number ones all over the world, the violins and mixture of instruments combine to make this song absolutely outstanding. Violet Hill isn't as good, but still is the second best on the album. Its guitar solo really is un-Coldplay, but nevertheless works fantastically. Maybe the half-a-minute intro wasn't entirely necessary, but builds it up well.
Strawberry Swing is about blue skies and all that stuff. It's my least favourite, but it's still good.
Death And All His Friends concludes the album (not counting The Escapist, the hidden track) with a truly Coldplay-sounding song. I swear I've heard some of that guitar sound on an older Coldplay track. Oh well, it's still brilliant. The Escapist follows up straight after, and is just a version of Life In Technicolor, with the first thirty seconds of the opener repeated over and over, with some words.
Generally - amazing. If only they'd put a huge version of Life In Technicolor with The Escapist, Life In Technicolor and Life In Technicolor II at the end, because that would have been absolutely jaw-dropping.
SCORE: 10/10 (edited from 11/10 because that's nonsense :) )