JetPlane Landing,Muse,The Postal Service & Mew
Upcoming Album Reviews|
Damien's Top Ten Albums Of The Year(Whoo hoo...)
Once Like A Spark
I first heard one of Jl songs ‘This Is Not Revolution Rock’ a couple of years ago on the radio and even then it seemed like a breath of fresh air among the posing and infantile emptiness of nu-metal then the dominant force in rock music and so on this there second full album they cement the fact that they could be heading for greatness. Most bands with a political bent never forget to bring the tunes from ‘the Clash’ to the ‘Manic Street Preachers’, Rage Against The Machine and lately 'System Of A Down'.
Most if not all the songs on ‘Once Like A Spark’ seem to be inspired by recent world events. was this done on purpose? Who knows but the album has an energy pointing towards that fact, on ‘Brave Gravity’ Andrew Ferris ponders: ‘This force and division this war of complexity if explanations were effortless lines then we’d never be ready to know.’ The whole album seems to be a calling to all those that are sick of mainstream politics And have seen the way the world is going and want to in the words of JL to ‘Effect A Change’
In ‘I Opt Out’ Andrew despairs; ‘A country’s occupation once deemed shocking is now thought as awesome and intelligence is gathered by those that clearly have none’ the thing about this album is Jl wear there influences: The Pixies, Black Flag, RATM on their sleeves and every song has a purpose and mood there are no fillers on this album. From the punk pop of ‘Conventional Thought’ to the full metal jacket barrage of ‘Calculate The Risk’ everything has it’s place on here. The final track ‘There is no real courage unless there is danger’ sums up perfectly where we are in the year 2003 ‘We stand on a precipice an army of contradictions self improvement, self importance, the bible of the self we stand on a precipice balancing softly nobody move Nobody move…’
Wow after ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ I wondered how Muse could top it? That they have is to their credit and to have done it so effortlessly is excellent.Opener ‘Apocalypse Please’ sets out muse's stall perfectly 'its time we saw a miracle come on its time for something biblical' Sings Matt Bellamy over crashing piano chords as an opening song it sets out muse intent perfectly. ’Time Is Running Out’ is next the first single off the album all squelching moog noises and precision drumming, ''Stockholm syndrome''& Synth Punk ''interlude'' sound like they’ve been beamed directly from the 70’s the fantastic thing about this album is how it all hangs together musically it all just seems right. All the songs like most of muse's songs have that sing along anthem quality to them.
Matt Bellamy’s voice is extraordinary almost opera like and the classical music influence which was first shown on “Origin Of Symmetry” is brought to the forefront on ‘Butterflies & Hurricanes’ which contains a Rachmaninov, inspired piano flourish and the Breathtakingly Beautiful ‘Blackout’ 'This life’s too good too last and I’m too young too care' Matt sings over Swooning strings and a voice choir and you believe his every word.
For the moshers there is the “The Small Print” and the wonderfully named “Thoughts Of A Dying Atheist” The test of a good album for me and a great album are huge. If you can put an album on and listen to every song without skipping you know your listening to a great album Absolution is a not just a great album it’s a masterpiece.
The Postal Service
From the opening ‘The District Sleeps Tonight’ you know that this album is going to be something special. The Postal Service deliver sweet simple pop songs enlivened by electronic beats and pulsing rhythms Give Up is a late night trip through a dream like world of yearning & lost loves 'Will someone please call a surgeon who can crack my ribs and repair this broken heart…' sings Benjamin Gibbard on love song meets Atari game anthem ‘Nothing Better’ in fact most of the album preoccupies itself with pining for a long lost romance thinking of ways things could have been different. On ‘Clark Gable’ Benjamin muses over whether his girlfriend would agree to return to him so he can film them having the perfect movie romance while in the background the beat swirls and horns blow triumphantly.
Standout tracks include the French accordion flavoured 'We Will Become Silhouettes' and the magnificent 'Such Great Heights' it can get quite twee but the force of the words stops it completely tipping over in that direction.
For those music lovers that like too discover something new then this Is a rare treat.
I first discovered the Danish band Mew quite by accident whilst watching late night channel 4 Last year. I was slowly drifting off to sleep when I heard a gorgeous piano line it was the beginning strains of 'Eight flew over, one was destroyed' I was instantly fascinated by what I'd heard so to see that there debut album Frengers (meaning not quite friends but not quite strangers) keeps to those standards is heartening.
Like all good music mew’s songs take you on a journey to the world that Mew inhabit all the songs have a certain quality and wonder about them. You really get a sense of scale when you hear lead singer Jonas Bjerre's Falsetto voice Ringing out. From rocky opener ‘Am I Wry? No’ to the epic final track ‘Comforting Sounds’
In between those we have elegiac ballad ‘Symmetry’ the thundering power pop of ‘She Spider’ the touching ‘She Came Home For Christmas’ and the standout track for me ‘Behind The Drapes’ all in all this is a great album and is highly recommended.
Jay-Z The Black ALbum
If Jay-Z really is retiring he will surely be missed almost as much as the late Tupac and Biggie. In terms of taking Hip-Hop to the mainstream few artists can rightly claim as much credit as the Jigga man. At a time when many believe rap is in an era of depression its people like Jay that have been carrying the game through its bad patch. From Reasonable Doubt right up to his latest release, The Black Album, he’s been consistent in churning out hit after hit from each of his 9 albums.
The Black Album is kept tight with just 14 tracks, one of which is the intro and another a short interlude.
‘December 4th’ (the day Sean Carter was born) is a biographical track underlining the factors contributing to the becoming of Jay Z. Jay talks of his mum and dad splitting up and the adverse effect this had on his school work. On the other side of it Jay also believes the split of his parents also fuelled his passion for music, as it was an outlet for all he was feeling at the time.
A Jay Z release wouldn’t be the same without collaboration with production team the Neptunes considering the success they’ve shared with hits such as ‘Give it to me’ and more recently ‘Frontin’. So it came as no surprise that Pharell and Chad were at the fore of Jay’s swan song with quite possibly the highlight of the album. ‘Encore’ is perhaps the most entertaining of the 14 tracks combining a typically upbeat Neptunes rhythm with some polysyllabic wordplay from Hova.
Other tracks that stand out are the Eminem produced ‘Moment of Clarity’ which quite literally is that. Borrowing what’s becoming a trademark Eminem beat Jay talks of the success he’s had through all his albums and how he accounts for that success. Also ‘Justify My Thug’ as Jay borrows the hook from Madonna hit ‘Justify My Love’.
Well worth the purchase, Jay Z’s grand finale won’t disappoint. Collaborating with many of the top producers in the Hip-Hop world including Timberland, Just Blaze and Rick Rubin, Jigga continues to push the boundaries of Hip-Hop even in his final piece of work.
The game needs Jigga.
Encore, Moment of Clarity and the wealth of different styles of production.
Change Clothes (kinda dry) and THIS IS THE END OF JIGGA MAN THE RAPPER (REALITY)