Why is this in my car?

So the MP3 player in the car is on random and this album pops up; why is this on the MP3 memory stick in my car? No idea; I guess it must have been copied over when I first loaded the stick. The album I’m talking about is “My Best Friend Is You” by Kate Nash.

This is a follow-up to her début “Made of Bricks“. In that album she comes across as a very angry lady. In this one she is a bit calmer and not as in your face.

However it’s still got great blunt lyrics which I think is typical of her work. The main hit single “Do-Wah-Doo” has a good example.

Everyone thinks that girls a lady – but I don’t.
I think that girl’s shady.

So what is the album like? Well it is not as memorable as her début, it is a bit more mainstream. Maybe this is the influence of Bernard Butler as producer. “Do-Wah-Doo” is the best track.

It has the stupid annoying hidden track at the end which appears after about 3 minutes of silence. I only came across it because I was driving the car and couldn’t move the track on once it went quiet.

Day 6

Day 6 with my broken foot. Still hurting but not as bad as I thought for still under a week since the break. I managed to hobble around work this week. I’m hoping to be a bit more mobile by next week. I realised yesterday that the UK election will happen just before I can start running again; that was quite a depressing thought. Especially as I had been training hard for a half marathon on tomorrow.

So what better music to listen to today than some uplifting Joy Division in the form of “Closer“. Obviously that was sarcastic. The choice was influenced by watching a good documentary on BBC4.

Many people have talked about how great this album is and I’m not going to disagree. Is it better than “Unknown Pleasures“? In places yes. The music and musicianship are better showing a band that had come together so well. The first few tracks also show how much on the edge Ian Curtis was as the vocals are pretty mesmerising and raw.

It is an album of two halves. The first half is very fast and full on compared to the second which is a bit more measured. It contains one of my favourite Joy Division tracks “Heart and Soul” which has quite an atmospheric haunting sound. “Isolation” has a great crude sound to the electronic keyboard and drums but it fits the song perfectly.

A Very Bad Day

Today my wife was driving me around in her car and we listened to “Fly Yellow Moon” by Fyfe Dangerfield.

She was driving me round because I had to go to the local accident and emergency department. I ran over a large stone yesterday when out on a gentle training run. I felt the stone pushed up through the sole of my trainer. My foot started hurting and quickly got pretty bad. Follow this up with not being able to walk by last night I had to get it checked out.

So what did they say? Fracture of my third metatarsal, bummer. Even more of a bummer considering next weekend I was doing the local half marathon; feeling in pretty good shape as well. Well no more running now for a couple of months.

The mellow feel of this album quite suited my downcast mood. I really like the original sound of Fyfe with his band the Guillemots. However his solo work is a bit more middle of the road. The single “Faster Than The Setting Sun” isn’t bad.

But to be honest with the mood I was in the best album in the world would have sounded rubbish today.

Sounds nothing like it

I played this album from the past to satisfy an argument with my wife. We were listening to something on the radio over the weekend (a newish artist called ‘SOAK’) and she said it sounded like an album from our past. I could sort of understand what she meant but had to go back and listen to “Reading, Writing and Arithmetic” by The Sundays.

This is one of those album that had just drifted away from my usual “pot” of music because it’s on vinyl. I bought this during my student days and remember it quite clearly as I had a discussion about the album with the guy at the local record shop. I was now a real music lover talking about music in a record shop !!!!!

I would describe this as a “beautiful album”. The music is just so sweet and sublime; it just flows over you. A great album to listen to on headphones. However it is very simple in it’s style just being the classic guitar, bass and drum; no fancy electro enhancements which was in style during the eighties.

Tracks like “Skin and Bones” and “You’re Not the Only One” show off the perfect harmony between the vocals and the mellow music which is quite a distinctive factor of their music. The big single off the album that I remember was “Here’s Where the Story Ends” which still gets played now. Although I don’t think it’s the best track on the album; “I Won” and “Can’t be Sure” are better.

I guess the only minor criticism is that some of the tracks sound a bit similar however if you like their sound then it’s great.

Weekend Music

I was driving around town over the weekend with my daughter. She decided to choose the music because “I don’t want to listen to your weird music Dad”. Her choice was “21” by Adele.

Now she was right because this album is not my normal listening material. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Adele is very talented and this is a great album in terms of the music quality. The success of the album is phenomenal selling over 20 million copies and being number 1 in over 35 countries.

With it’s success it’s likely everyone will know some of the tracks already even if they don’t own it. The single “Rolling in the Deep”, “Someone like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain” were worldwide number 1 hits.

I guess at the end of the day I find this album is OK to listen to but I won’t repeatedly listened to it over and over again.

A Great Loss

Last night I listened to part of Zane Lowe’s final show on BBC Radio 1. I like his show as it has a good mixture of music and he certainly knows his stuff. The last show was a bit of self-indulgence as he was playing songs that he liked or had been important to the show. He played a song from “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse so I had to get the album out for today’s drive.

I think this is one of those albums that most people own. The sales rocketed after her death and to be honest we didn’t buy it until after as well. It also was nominated for a Mercury prize in 2007 loosing out to The Klaxons; shocking result considering the other nominees.

I had forgotten what a great collection of tracks are on this album. “Rehab” must be the track that everyone associates with Amy Winehouse; it is still widely played now. “Back to Black” is the other track that is closely linked to her. Both have pretty dark themes.

“Tears Dry on Their Own” has a genuine Motown feel to it; very much influenced by producer Mark Ronson who is part credited for the success and sound of the album.

Latest Album

From blogging about one of the first albums I ever bought in my last post to the last album I bought; “Shedding Skin” by Ghostpoet.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of this album that happened at the start of this week. His last album I loved so was keen to get hold of this as soon as possible so pre-ordered it online. This is quite rare for me as I normally wait until the initial rush is over then pick it up later.

So what’s it like? Well it is a bit different from the previous album as this one has more of a live band sound to it. That’s not a bad thing. My favourite track has to be the first single “Off Peak Dreams”; it’s probably the closest to the last album and it’s got a great beat.

I like Ghostpoet because he’s different from my usual music choice. This album still has that uniqueness of his lazy vocals where he just talks over the tracks in places. The title track and “Yes, I Helped You Pack” are other great tracks on the album. Some of the lyrics are certainly more darker than his earlier work but it sort of suits the music.

The last couple of tracks slide into a more slower pace that I’m not sure suits his style. Overall though it’s still a good listen and different from other stuff I own.