This Week’s Albums
October 10th, 2015
IT is a case of “Something old, something new/something ‘borrowed’, something…
that doesn’t rhyme”. I do a D.J. gig every week at The Stoke Pub and Pizzeria (https://www.facebook.com/TheStokeGuildford?fref=ts); I have the opportunity to play four different albums: one that is ‘old’ (to my mind, anything pre-1985), something ‘new’ (released brand-new that week); something influential (and has inspired a genre/other acts) - in addition to dealer’s choice (any album I choose). Having done this for over a year-and played everything from Graceland to Pearl Jam; FKA twigs to Beastie Boys- it is enormous fun. I get to talk to people about music; play some awesome stuff- turn people on to some great/forgotten sounds- well, I try to! I shall publish this every week; try and highlight some fantastic albums- maybe some you have forgotten about.
The Old: The Beach Boys- All Summer Long (1964)
The legendary U.S. group began their careers in the early-‘60s: their first few albums were met with muted acclaim and mixed reviews. 1964’s All Summer Long was the album that saw their ambition and sunshine sound coalesce- it is an album tight and short; packing tonnes of smile and stunning moments. Whereas The Beach Boys’ surveyance of girls, sun and sand was still intact, this album saw dissipation- the band were more emotional and mature here. I Get Around is an insatiable and phenomenal opener; Wendy is a sad and reflective track: it sees the boys at their heartbreaking best. Girls on the Beach is swooning and delirious: boasting some of the band’s most spine-tingling harmonising. The album’s second half sees some filler and disposability come into things- Do You Remember? and Our Favourite Recording Sessions lack necessary quality and durability- but that does not detract from a wonderful album. Bidding farewell to their hot rod/beaches/summer-time girls haven; it is an immaculate farewell- one that should be revisited time again.
DOWNLOAD: I Get Around; All Summer Long; Girls on the Beach
STAND-OUT TRACK: I Get Around
The New: Deerhunter- Fading Frontier (Released on October 16th, 2015)
You would be hard-pressed to pinpoint too many great bands from Georgia, U.S. - besides R.E.M. of course. Deerhunter have forgone their darker and introspective days- where Garage-Rock clatter and dreaminess sat hand-in-hand. On their seventh album there are sunnier and more positive songs: the album is more focused on melody and texture; they have taken a left-turn and embraced a new way of working. The results are surprisingly consistent. The funky and psychedelic Snakeskin shows how natural the band sound: it is a foot-tapping and addictive slice that highlights what a skillful and compelling lead Bradford Cox is. Breaker is another gem from the album: Cox’s enemies are trying to kill him (there is a morose undertone) yet the song itself is uplifting and somehow comforting- one of the album’s strongest set of lyrics. Whilst not all tracks hit the heights of Breaker and Snakeskin, it is an album sure to please existing fans and draw in fresh followers. Inventive, crisp and bold: a renewed band with a stunning sound- make sure you grab their L.P. on Friday.
DOWNLOAD: Living My Life; Breaker; Snakeskin
STAND-OUT TRACK: Snakeskin
The Influencer: Basement Jaxx- Remedy (1999)
It may not seem influential to many, yet Remedy was an album that shook-up the ‘90s Dance scene- it was in danger of stagnating and fading by the end of the decade. Most acts lacked variety and invention; they took few chances and leaps- Basement Jaxx approached like a red-hot ball of fire. Abound with colour, genre-fusion and thrill-ride; Remedy is an aptly-named record: one that inspired legions of Dance acts in its wake. Brixton’s Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe- nerdy and intellectual- created something universal, world-trotting and kaleidoscopic. Rendez-Vous’ vocoderised Disco-cum-Salsa allure was a perfect opener; Bingo Bango rides horns and is an ecstatic jive: one that compels you to surrender to its power. Red Alert is the standout: a banger of a tune that was one of the ‘90s most impressive anthems. Across the fifteen tracks, the excitement and fascination does not relent: there are new offerings and strange scenes; wonderful dances and heartfelt avenues. Durable and timeless; wildly inventive and fantastical: with its expert Deep House grooves and blissful sampling, it was an unexpected arrival- few Dance/Electronica albums have matched its giddiness: for that reason, it remains a hugely influential creation.
DOWNLOAD: Rendez-Vous; Red Alert; Bingo Bango
STAND-OUT TRACK: Red Alert
The ‘Other One’: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- The Boatman’s Call (1997)
Few albums have touched the heights of The Boatman’s Call- it remains Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ finest moment. Highlighting Cave’s paradoxical mindset; his doubts about faith and love- it is a bold and stunning introspection; a gospel of haunted insights and affecting textures. Into My Arms sees Cave doubting an “interventionist God”: a song that charts a heartbreaking split; pleaded with God not to touch his love- wanting The Almighty to direct her into (his) arms. The album is raw, soul-bearing and exorcising: the author is at his most confessional and essential- few albums capture so much soul and pain. Black Hair is a masterpiece of devotion and passion; Far from Me sees Cave pays tribute to “my mad little lover”; stuck in “a world where everybody fucks everybody else over”. Brompton Oratory quotes Luke 24 and is one of the album’s most religious and spiritual tracks. (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For looks at a doomed love- speculated to be about his former love, PJ Harvey- and sees Cave reflect on personal relations and failures. I could go on and on: get the album and experience the majesty first-hand.
DOWNLOAD: Into My Arms; (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For; Black Hair
STAND-OUT TRACK: Into My Arms