Sunday, 26 December 2010

Elbow Post First Song From New Album

Elbow have posted an in-studio recording of their new song, Lippy Kids, the first track from upcoming fifth album Build A Rocket Boys! It's available here:

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Elbow - Build A Rocket Boys!


01. The Birds
02. Lippy Kids
03. With Love
04. Neat Little Rows
05. Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl
06. The Night Will Always Win
07. High Ideals
08. The River
09. Open Arms
10. The Birds (reprise)
11. Dear Friend

The album is set to be released on 7th March.

The first single is Neat Little Rows, due for release on 28th February.

A live version of Lippy Kids is available here.


Best Of 2010

All 25 albums of 2010 here:

#25 The Automatic - Tear The Signs Down
#24 Brandon Flowers - Flamingo
#23 Tired Pony - The Place We Ran From
#22 Keane - Night Train EP
#21 Hot Chip - One Life Stand
#20 Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown
#19 Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
#18 Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From A Young Man
#17 Hurts - Happiness
#16 Interpol - Interpol
#15 The Hoosiers - The Illusion Of Safety
#14 Delphic - Acolyte
#13 Pendulum - Immersion
#12 MGMT - Congratulations
#11 Kele - The Boxer
#10 Heretics - Heretics
#9 Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History
#8 Hadouken! - For The Masses
#7 Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
#6 Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns
#5 Klaxons - Surfing The Void
#4 The Courteeners - Falcon
#3 The National - High Violet
#2 The Sunshine Underground - Nobody's Coming To Save You
#1 One Night Only - One Night Only

And here's a video:

Best Of 2010 - #1

One Night Only - One Night Only

Original full review here.

Yes, I know a lot of people will disagree, but this is exactly the type of music I love - absolutely HUGE electronic pop rock songs. They may not stray from a tried and tested formula or their set sound, but the eleven tracks on offer on this album are just stunning.

Opening track Say You Don't Want It is definitely the most surprising thing I've heard from a band this year. The band's last album, Started A Fire, was enjoyable but felt very incomplete, almost as though they'd just given up on it halfway through (although I only thought that after I heard this one). Then they come back with a song with an absolutely huge production courtesy of White Lies (my #2 in 2009) and Courteeners producer (my #4 this year) Ed Buller.

But despite that, Say You Don't Want It is nowhere near the best song. The two tracks that follow it, Bring Me Back Down and Forget My Name, are the most catchy, memorable pieces of electronic rock I've ever heard, along with Anything and Nothing Left, which turn up later in the album. The only one that took a bit of time to get used to was Can't Stop Now, which is now right up there with my favourites.

As I noted in my introduction to this list, 2010 hasn't been a great year as music I like is concerned. Comparing this with 2009's list, I would have only put it fourth or fifth. But let me take nothing away from it; it is still an incredible album, a massive improvement on the first (which I loved, but it's now living in the shadow of this one) and fully deserves the 10/10 I gave it.


Previous albums: Started A Fire (9/10)

P.S. Merry Christmas!!! See you in 2011 for more music madness...

Friday, 24 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #2

The Sunshine Underground - Nobody's Coming To Save You

The Sunshine Underground's first album made the #1 spot on my best of 2006 list (Although I didn't give any album 10/10 that year). However, at #2 this year is an album that is still several times better than their debut. Every song is instantly memorable and I cannot find fault with it. I would happily listen to any one song on its own, as they are all powerful epic songs that I really enjoy.

Whether it be the funk-tinged In Your Arms, the danceable A Warning Sign (the best on the album), the sad yet huge Any Minute Now or the relatively heavy sound of opener Coming To Save You, the album delivers epics in spades. It is very hard to pick out a least favourite, which is the mark of a good album, but I think I'd go for Here It Comes, as much as I love it. Mainly because it's stuck between Any Minute Now and One By One, two of the biggest-sounding songs on the album, but it's just a tiny fraction less enjoyable than the rest of the album.

But what really gets me on this album is the closing track, The Messiah. It is absolutely stunning, the best closing track to an album I have heard this year. The instruments weave their way around each other and then explode into something massive at the end. I had chills listening to it (and for the other songs, too, but not as much as this one).

There was one album that I liked more than this one, but honestly, this could have been #1. The Sunshine Underground are definitely one of the greatest bands in existence. Just a shame not as many people know of them.


Previous albums: Raise The Alarm (9/10)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #3

The National - High Violet

This was another impulse buy, the best one of this year (the top 2 were both anticipated), this time going on the strength of critic's reviews (although I like a lot of albums that got attacked by critics) and the amazing first single Bloodbuzz Ohio.

Bloodbuzz Ohio, Sorrow and England are three of the best songs I have heard this year. The latter is an absolutely beautiful song and it blew me away first time I heard it. Songs such as Lemonworld and Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks took a few listens to get used to them, but they're still great.

The only song that prevents this album from getting a 10/10 is Terrible Love, the opening song. I recently heard a new version which is so much better. The album version sounds more like a demo than anything, and it doesn't sound particularly interesting. Beyond that though, the album is absolutely fantastic. It may not be filled with huge stadium anthems like most of my favourite albums, but it delivers power in so many different ways that give it the bronze medal in my top 25 of 2010.

I did take a listen to their older stuff more recently, but I don't really fancy it to be honest. This is as good as I think they'll get for me at the moment.


Previous albums: The National (no review), Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers (no review), Alligator (no review), Boxer (no review)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Klaxons To Release Free Christmas EP

Klaxons are set to release a free EP on Christmas Day, taken from recording sessions all the way back in 2008, long before their second album Surfing The Void, which was released this August. The EP is called Landmarks Of Lunacy, and the artwork is:

Elbow Announce Fifth Album

Elbow's fifth album has been announced. It is called 'Build A Rocket Boys!' and will be released on 7th March. No other details are known yet.

Best Of 2010 - #4

The Courteeners - Falcon

I did a lot of impulse buying this year as the number of bands I thought were releasing albums had dropped dramatically, and this is one of the best purchases I made. I was going on the strength of first single You Overdid It Doll, which hit me on first play.

Every song on here is good, I like every single one, despite still having favourites (You Overdid It Doll, The Opener, Lullaby or Will It Be This Way Forever?) and least favourites (Scratch Your Name Upon My Lips or Cross My Heart And Hope To Fly) but I still like to sing along happily to all twelve tracks, even when it turns into more of a one-man band sound (the acoustic The Rest Of The World Has Gone Home and the piano-led Last Of The Ladies).

Compared to their first album, this is miles better. Every song demonstrates its brilliance practically as soon as it starts, and I've happily listened to the album for the past 9 or 10 months since I got it.


Previous albums: St. Jude (4/10)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #5

Klaxons - Surfing The Void

Original full review here.

I think the album is good because it takes the wondrous ideas that only Klaxons seem capable of thinking up and using them to create ten songs that are more or less all epic. There are a couple of dips, such as Extra Astronomical and Future Memories, but it definitely never spoils the album, which keeps up the pace and hardly ever lets up.

There are heavier moments, where the music turns into a fury of sorts (which thankfully is a success) such as Flashover and the album closer Cypherspeed, more anthemic, radio-friendly (to a limited extent) songs such as Echoes or Twin Flames, and there is definitely a sense of audacity on quite a lot of the songs. Valley Of The Calm Trees and Venusia are also notable highlights.

I think the band have made a great album, and all the songs seem at home here on this album. Having said that, I would love to hear what the record label originally rejected; some songs I heard live were actually very good.


Previous albums: Myths Of The Near Future (8/10)

Monday, 20 December 2010

Gorillaz - The Fall


01. Phoner To Arizona
02. Revolving Doors
03. Hillbilly Man
04. Detroit
05. Shy-Town
06. Little Pink Plastic Bags
07. The Joplin Spider
08. The Parish of Space Dust
09. The Snake In Dallas
10. Amarillo
11. The Speak It Mountains
12. Aspen Forest
13. Bobby In Phoenix
14. California And The Slipping Of The Sun
15. Seattle Yodel

The entire album was recorded on an iPad, believe it or not!

The first single (so to speak) is set to be Phoner To Arizona, which will be released on Christmas Eve.

The album will follow FOR FREE on Christmas Day, and a physical release is planned for 2011.

A Couple Of Live White Lies Tracks

Live versions of White Lies' new songs Strangers and The Power And The Glory are available here, ripped off the radio.

Best Of 2010 - #6

Linkin Park - A Thousand Suns

I've always enjoyed Linkin Park albums, and despite all the complaints surrounding Minutes To Midnight and the direction taken on this new album, I think they just get better every album. That's right, I think Hybrid Theory is their worst album (but is still good) - shock horror, I know.

The band have changed direction so far that they're not really noticeable as the same band anymore, but the new direction is far more what I like to listen to. Epic songs such as The Catalyst and Waiting For The End were stuck in my head for several days after my first listen, and it wasn't too long before the other standouts made their way in - Blackout and When They Come For Me are my other favourites.

One thing that annoys me about this album, however, is that despite showing 15 tracks, a grand total of 9 are actually proper songs. Of the remaing 6, 4 are interludes designed to make the album flow as a whole, but end up being slightly irritating (for example, 18 seconds of crickets and booms makes up the fourth track Empty Spaces) and 2 take lyrics from other songs and use them in different ways. However, those aren't as irritating and work far better in making the album more coherent and tied together.

But let me take nothing away from the album; it is definitely my favourite Linkin Park album no matter how little it sounds like Hybrid Theory-era Linkin Park.


Previous albums: Hybrid Theory (6/10), Meteora (7/10), Minutes To Midnight (7/10)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #7

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

I've never been a massive Arcade Fire fan, but I heard The Suburbs and Month Of May at some point earlier this year and became intrigued by this album, and I wasn't disappointed. The previously mentioned two tracks along with Ready To Start, Half Light II (No Celebration) and Suburban War are the best on the album. The others are also good, but it drags on a lot due to having 16 tracks, which is about three or four too many for my liking.

If I had to cut it down, I would take out Empty Room (my least favourite), Wasted Hours, Deep Blue, and maybe the outro, The Suburbs (Continued). However, they aren't bad enough to be boring; they're good tracks on their own, but the album does go on and on, and it gets slightly dull overall after a while.

Despite this album really making an impression on me, I tried the older Arcade Fire albums again, but they're not getting any better for me. So I'll leave them to the greater Arcade Fire fans, take The Suburbs and go.


Previous albums: Funeral (4/10), Neon Bible (5/10)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #8

Hadouken! - For The Masses

Original full review here.

First of all, I would like to express my bewilderment at the professional critics, who have mostly given this album negative reviews. I happen to think that this is a great album - it is catchy and the tunes stick with you. It does what it sets out to do in sounding amazing and massive, and despite the underlying sense of aggression that runs through it, it's one of the best albums I heard this year.

Hadouken! sound like they've gone for bigger and better than their first album. In a lot of ways it works, but in others, they still sound a little ridiculous (Ugly's lyrics, for example), but they can still turn it around and make it fantastic by the end. Nevertheless, this is a good progression from their first album.


Previous albums: Music For An Accelerated Culture (7/10)

Friday, 17 December 2010

The View Announce New Album

The View's upcoming third album has been named - it will be called The Best Lasts Forever. It is set to be released on March 14th.

A free download, Sunday, has been available on their website for a while now. It will be included on the album.

The first single, Grace, will be released on March 7th, a week before the album, and should receive its first radio play sometime in the New Year.

Other songs set to appear include: Tragic Magic, Underneath The Lights, Clowns, Blondie, Witches, The Best Lasts Forever, Happy and Friend.

Best Of 2010 - #9

Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History

The best debut album this year (the top 8 on my list are all follow-up albums) with insanely catchy guitar-pop melodies and a rapid pace. Although I think it dies out for the last couple of tracks after the best song What You Know, it remains awesome. Every song up to that point is brilliant, particularly standouts Come Back Home, This Is The Life and Undercover Martyn.

The songs don't ever suffer from dragging on, mainly because the beats are quick (and catchy), and each song is under 4 minutes. However, sometimes the songs so fast that you just want more, and not having that is always irritating. But then you can press repeat and then you're off again.


No previous albums.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Gorillaz' iPad Album Title

I'm unsure whether to count this as an official Gorillaz album, but in any case it's called The Fall, and is due to be released for free on Christmas Day.

Best Of 2010 - #10

Heretics - Heretics

Original full review here.

It's a crime that this band isn't better known - this debut album is full of songs that have potential to be huge. After hearing loads of songs the band posted on various sites (I heard versions of 7 of the 10 songs before the release), it was great to hear the final recording along with three new songs, two of which are the best the album has to offer.

The only songs I'm not too keen on are Colour and the hidden track at the end (mainly due to its placement), but the others all have a massive sound. Trust, These Words, Gardens and We Could Leave are the standouts of the album, but the others are up there too. It would have been even better if they'd stuck Safety Net on there somewhere, but I'm sure they had their reasons. The only other criticism I can make is that the sound doesn't change much, and so sometimes it does get a bit repetitive, but the songs themselves stand up well on their own.


No previous albums.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Preview All Songs Off Ritual

The album previews went up on iTunes, and are available for you to listen here.

At the moment, Strangers and Bad Love are at the top of my favourites list, but the rest still sound spot on!

Lyrics discerned from the preview:

...as a girl
She says the only thing I've ever found
That's greater than it always sounds
Is love
She says the only thing I've ever found...

...treats all strangers
With love and affection
And I feel cold and empty
I've got a sense of urgency
I've got to make this happen
No stone unturned
I've got a sense of urgency...

...I don't want your love
I just gotta get home
And I feel like I'm breaking up
And I wanted to stay
Headlights on the hillside
Don't take me this way
I don't want you to hold me
I don't want you to pray
This is bigger than us...

After the red ants, the blackout
Come peace and quiet
Those little footprints
Fleshed out calm in...

...right time to get away
Where I'm going, I couldn't care
I'm bored and I'm afraid
I'm falling like rain for you
So tired, I'm picking skin
Just cos it's something to do...

...whoever taught you to scream like that?
Maybe someday I can move like you
I'm not looking for a holy ghost
Maybe someday I can scream like you...

...move the stone as the cloud's just a ripple
A shock from the impact

...tiptoeing through the rubble
And running through the flames
As empty handed leaving
As I was when I came
Tiptoeing through the rubble
And running through the flames
As empty handed leaving
As I was when I came
Tiptoeing through the rubble
And running through the flames
As empty handed leaving
As I was when I came
Tiptoeing through the rubble
And running through the...

...round this town
Nobody dares to lift a finger
They can see my heart is down and injured
If I'm guilty of anything
It's loving you too much
Honey, sometimes love,
Means getting a little rough...

...like falling in the sea
When it's too hot in the sun
Made things so much worse today
I know you said you'll miss me...

Best Of 2010 - #11

Kele - The Boxer

The second of the two solo albums I heard this year. Bloc Party's lead singer has taken on electronic music and it's worked, more or less. From the pounding opening beat of Walk Tall to the sense of happiness that runs throughout closing track Yesterday's Gone, the album runs through several different ideas and keeps it fresh.

The best songs are Tenderoni and Rise, which are both almost dance music, and the penultimate track All The Things I Could Never Say, which is absolutely stunning. I don't care much for Unholy Thoughts, The New Rules or Yesterday's Gone but they're still relatively decent tracks.

That said, now Kele has got this off his chest, I'm still hoping for a Bloc Party comeback.


Previous albums (Bloc Party): Silent Alarm (7/10), A Weekend In The City (7/10), Intimacy (10/10)

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Glasvegas Set To Release Second Album

After the loss of their drummer, Glasvegas have announced a replacement, and also that their second album will be released (hopefully) in the first half of 2011. They have worked with Flood, which makes me excited as he produced my favourite album of 2009, Editors' In This Light And On This Evening.

Best Of 2010 - #12

MGMT - Congratulations

This is what you call a change in direction. Turning from a pop-based album to a weird, psychedelic one is no mean feat, but one that MGMT most definitely have accomplished. I like mainstream music most of the time, but this one is as far from that as it could possibly be. As the bass line ascends in the opening notes of It's Working, you're instantly thrown into the weird and wonderful world of Congratulations. It does take a few listens to fully appreciate it, but when you do, it's worth it.

Other highlights include first single (of sorts) Flash Delirium, which weaves its way in and out of several different styles in the space of four minutes. Someone's Missing ends just as it's about to get going, but is one of the best here, along with 12-minute epic Siberian Breaks, which is essentially six or seven short songs combined together to make a masterpiece - the last two minutes of synth madness is the best moment on the album, in my opinion. Brian Eno is alright, but I can do without it, and I really don't like Lady Dada's Nightmare, but closing track Congratulations is a peaceful, calm end to one of the oddest albums of 2010.


Previous albums: Oracular Spectacular (6/10)

Monday, 13 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #13

Pendulum - Immersion

I didn't discover Pendulum until this year, after hearing Watercolour on the radio. On my first listen, I thought all the songs sounded the same and weren't very interesting on an album that lasts over an hour. But given a couple more listens, you can appreciate the album a lot more. Most of the songs are catchy and memorable.

The only songs I'm not too keen on are Salt In The Wounds, which drags on for almost 7 minutes without going anywhere different or vaguely interesting, Immunize or Comprachicos. But the one that I hate, and seems so out of place on the album, is Self Vs Self. The album would definitely have scored an 8 had that song not been on it. I'm not a big fan of skipping songs on albums, but I have to do it here. Thankfully, the closing pair of Fountain and Encoder is just plain brilliance. Other highlights include the two-part The Island, the slightly heavier Crush and the fantastic The Vulture.

Overall, though, the album maybe would have benefited from a bit of a cutdown; at the very least where Self Vs Self is concerned. But overall, a good album, and it led me to listen to the other two, and this is definitely better.


Previous albums: Hold Your Colour (6/10), In Silico (7/10)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #14

Delphic - Acolyte

It took me a while to like this album, the first couple of listens didn't really interest me. I left it a while, then fancied another listen, and it hit home a lot harder than the first couple of times. The album slips up around the middle with Red Lights and Acolyte, both of which tend to drag a bit (the latter is 9 minutes long without a single noticeable vocal) but the rest are absolutely brilliant.

Quite a lot of the songs maybe go on for too long - 4 of the songs are over 6 minutes long - but then again, the best song on the album, Counterpoint, is one of those, and it feels like a good length. Other huge pop songs such as Doubt and Halcyon are up there with the best on this album. Other favourites include the calmer Submission, and the penultimate track Ephemera which is as weird as it is wonderful, despite only being 2 minutes long. The closing track Remain is not quite as epic as the rest of the album, but is listenable nonetheless.

Out of ten songs, six are good, This Momentary and Remain are alright, I'm not too keen on Red Lights or Acolyte.


No previous albums.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #15

The Hoosiers - The Illusion Of Safety

Original full review here.

I never particularly liked The Hoosiers' first album; it had a few good tracks here and there, but mostly I found it annoying. But when I heard they were coming back with a new electropop sound, I was intrigued, and when I heard the first single Choices, I thought they'd taken a massive step in the right direction. Upon hearing the album, however, I felt they'd taken a step in the right direction, but not quite as massive as I'd hoped for. Don't get me wrong, this is far better and a much more accomplished effort than their debut, but still, it's far from perfect.

Overall, this is an interesting album. The band has found a sound that works a lot better for them than the rather uninteresting debut, and there are some very catchy pop songs on offer (Bumpy Ride, Unlikely Hero), but sometimes when the album tries to be a bit more diverse, it stumbles. It starts off strong, goes off a bit in the middle, then comes back for some more great tracks such as Glorious and Giddy Up, but the closing track Little Brutes is slightly off as well.


Previous albums: The Trick To Life (5/10)

Friday, 10 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #16

Interpol - Interpol

Interpol's albums have never really interested me, although some of their songs sounded quite good (Evil is one of my favourite songs of all time, but the album it is from, Antics, didn't really leave an impression on me bar a couple of songs) but finally they have created an album that I actually like listening to as a whole.

The only songs I don't like are Try It On and All Of The Ways, but the others all left their marks in some way. However, the songs are not the kind of songs that I really enjoy, and that's just the genre of music that Interpol makes, so I'm sure Interpol fans will be happy with this new offering, especially after Our Love To Admire, which I absolutely hated except for two of its eleven tracks. But I am definitely not an Interpol fan, as proven by me giving Turn On The Bright Lights 4/10, so better fans than I should enjoy all their albums, including this one. But I think I'll just stick to this one and the occasional older song.


Previous albums: Turn On The Bright Lights (4/10), Antics (5/10), Our Love To Admire (2/10)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Gorillaz To Release New Album...

... that was recorded on an iPad in a month during their recent tour. It is apparently set to be released for FREE on Christmas Day, with a video preceding it on Christmas Eve. Nothing else is known, and it hasn't been officially confirmed yet, but they did have plans to do this, so it could happen.

Best Of 2010 - #17

Hurts - Happiness

The debut album from synthpop duo Hurts took its time to get me interested, but when it did, it turned into quite an entertaining listen. It does fall down here and there, especially at the end, but songs such as Better Than Love (the best on offer), Devotion (featuring Kylie Minogue) and Wonderful Life counteract that.

The sound doesn't change much, and that's one of the main criticisms I have for this album, but the songs are of a good standard. The only two I'm not keen on are Evelyn and Unspoken, but the others are decent.


No previous albums.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #18

Manic Street Preachers - Postcards From A Young Man

The tenth album from Manic Street Preachers, and the first time I've really got into them. I have listened to This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours but that was so long ago that I can't really remember any songs bar the first four or five. But after I heard (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love on the radio, I thought this would be quite a good listen. And generally, it is. The first half of the album is absolutely brilliant - it sounds absolutely epic, but nothing beats the single for me, although Postcards From A Young Man and Some Kind Of Nothingness come very close.

The second half of the album, however, drops in quality a bit, except for the fantastic I Think I Found It. After that song, however, the songs drop below average for me. But listening to the first half again makes me forget all that.


Previous albums: Generation Terrorists (no review), Gold Against The Soul (no review), The Holy Bible (no review), Everything Must Go (no review), This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (no review), Know Your Enemy (no review), Lifeblood (no review), Send Away The Tigers (no review), Journal For Plague Lovers (no review).

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #19

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

The third album from Gorillaz actually was quite good for me, but I felt it was far too long. I really liked ten out of the first eleven tracks, but beyond Broken, the album starts to go downhill. If the album had consisted of the first eleven tracks and maybe a better closer than Pirate Jet, then it would have scored a lot higher than what I ended up giving it.

However, there are some brilliant tracks on here: the first single Stylo, the wonderfully weird Glitter Freeze, the beautiful Empire Ants and the relaxing On Melancholy Hill are all Gorillaz on top form.

When it comes down to it, I love four or five of the songs, like six or seven more, and don't really like the last five tracks. But maybe Gorillaz aren't really my thing.


Previous albums: Gorillaz (4/10), Demon Days (7/10)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #20

Kings Of Leon - Come Around Sundown

Kings Of Leon were going up in my estimations. I joined on the Kings Of Leon bandwagon after Because Of The Times, listened to their old albums and thought they got better with time, which was proven correct with Only By The Night (at least, for me, but I like more mainstream stuff anyway). Then I was expecting more from Come Around Sundown, but it just doesn't deliver. The band sound like they've tried to keep a relatively mainstream sound while pleasing older fans and it just doesn't work.

That's not to say there aren't any good songs on the album. The opening trio, consisting of the epic The End, the first single Radioactive, and the best song Pyro, starts the album off in huge fashion. Tracks five through seven are also decent songs, but from there nothing hits home bar the massive closing track Pickup Truck and, to a lesser extent, Pony Up.

Overall, I was slightly disappointed by this album, but still provided some good songs. Hopefully the more hardcore fans will enjoy it.


Previous albums: Youth And Young Manhood (4/10), Aha Shake Heartbreak (5/10), Because Of The Times (7/10), Only By The Night (9/10)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #21

Hot Chip - One Life Stand

I have quite a few Hot Chip songs in my music collection, but not an album, so I decided to listen to this one, but it didn't really get to me as much as I'd hoped. I enjoyed the first single of the same name as the album (One Life Stand), and on getting the album, the first three tracks on it were equally as good.

But after One Life Stand, the album goes downhill. Tracks five and six, Brothers and Slush, sound slightly ridiculous (particularly the opening vocal on the latter) but I still liked them, but the others just were simply uninteresting. Penultimate song Keep Quiet is the only one I liked out of the last four, but it remains one of the worst on the album.

Think I'll stick to just listening to their best songs rather than their albums.


Previous albums: Coming On Strong (no review), The Warning (no review), Made In The Dark (no review)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #22

Keane - Night Train EP

Not technically an album, but I think eight songs can be counted as a mini-album, and as it got to Number 1 in the UK album charts, I'm counting it. However, it's definitely not their best work. I loved three (Stop For A Minute, Your Love and My Shadow), liked two (Back In Time and Looking Back), wasn't interested in two (House Lights - which to be fair, isn't a proper song - and Clear Skies) but absolutely hated their cover of Ishin Denshin.

It is definitely an experimental EP, with rapper K'Naan featuring on two tracks, a cover of a Japanese pop song, Tim Rice-Oxley taking lead vocal (on the best song of the EP, I might add), and part of the Rocky theme tune making its way into a song. To be honest, the only song that is very much a Keane song is closer My Shadow, which is a brilliant song left over from the Perfect Symmetry era.

Overall, maybe it was best for the band to get this sort of experimenting out of their systems, but this album/EP/whatever you want to call it isn't particularly interesting.


Previous albums: Hopes And Fears (7/10), Under The Iron Sea (7/10), Perfect Symmetry (9/10)

Friday, 3 December 2010

Best Of 2010 - #23

Tired Pony - The Place We Ran From

Now we've seen the two albums that I didn't like (scores of 4 or less), we move into the ones that didn't really grab me but did have a few redeeming parts (scores of 5/6, sometimes 7).

Tired Pony is a side-project of Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody, but it honestly cannot be compared to Snow Patrol. It sounds a lot more like country music if anything. The melodies are there, however, and that's why this album is quite good.

The first four tracks are brilliant, from the epic Northwestern Skies to the catchy Dead American Writers. The other two songs I liked were I Am A Landslide and The Good Book (The latter features a vocal from Editors' Tom Smith which was a nice surprise).

The other four failed to stick in my head, but I know I liked three of them (The Deepest Ocean There Is was by far my least favourite on the album)

But generally, an interesting side-project that provided a good listen, even if it didn't really stick with me for long.


Previous albums (Snow Patrol): Songs For Polarbears (4/10), When It's All Over We Still Have To Clear Up (5/10), Final Straw (8/10), Eyes Open (9/10), A Hundred Million Suns (8/10)