Music Music reviews

Some Recent Listening

Here’s some stuff that I’ve been listening to lately.

Brassbound **Brassbound** by *The Ordinary Boys*

I should let you know that I don’t change the CD in the car very often. As a general rule, I’m so eager to either (a) get to work or (b) get back home again, that it never quite seems to be the right time to go through the rigmarole of opening the glove box, getting a CD out, performing the changeover routine, blahblahblah. This particular album, however, was sufficient to set a new record – I could only listen to it one-and-a-half times before my brain said No more! and I involuntarily but willingly ejected it from the system. I ejected the CD – not my brain.

This album is completely pointless. It’s unoriginal ska-pop that just treads a load of boards that made a rather nasty squeaking sound first time around. I had heard of this band before, but it wasn’t until after *Celebrity Big Brother* ended that I thought to myself, hey that Preston fella wasn’t completely repellent, I wonder what his band sounds like.

Well, short-lived that was.

Trouble **Trouble** by *Ray LaMontagne*

This, however, is superb. I do most of my listening to music whilst I’m pootling about on the computer, reading weblogs and writing PHP and fiddling about with CSS. Every once in a while, I find myself listening to an album that is so poignant and rich with sound that I hit the switch on the monitor, and allow myself to do nothing but listen for the next 45 minutes. This is one of those albums.

Fabulous voice, fabulous songwriting. This is everything that I thought [O][] by *Damien Rice* would be, until I discovered upon continued listening that it was shit.


The Back Room **The Back Room** by *Editors*

There are one of two possibilities here. Either I’ve only listened to this album twice, or I’ve listened to it a dozen times but it’s so unimpressive that I’ve not noticed. The singles seem to be reasonably catchy, but the overall effect is early Coldplay with larger testicles – not enough to really twizzle my goatee. This might be one of those albums that needs to be played in the car. Tell you what, I’ll make a note, do that, and then get back to you.

Supernature **Supernature** by *Goldfrapp*

Ah, *Goldfrapp*. *Goldfrapp* have never, to my knowledge, disappointed. Alison just gets hotter and hotter, and the music – well, I suppose the music does too. I should make a date to go to a *Goldfrapp* gig, I really should.

There is a but. The first song was used on a mobile phone commercial. If it was the second song, or the third song, then that would be fine, but I find myself wondering whether I’ve put on the *Goldfrapp* album, or if a commercial break just started. This is bad for me, and bad for *Goldfrapp*, but probably quite good for the mobile phone company in question.

Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not **Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not** by *The Arctic Monkeys*

This is a tragic tale of *Libertines* proportions. *The Arctic Monkeys* are good, really good. This album is good, really good. But it just can’t cope under the weight of everything that’s going on in its name. Some people would call it hype, but it’s not. It’s more like a religion. This band have a lot of peoples’ hopes riding upon them, and I don’t think that they’re up to it. They are drowning in their own gimmick, and the Pandora’s Box-esque nature of things means that this fabulous new way of getting yourself heard will very quickly be hijacked and controlled by the players in The Industry, and the only thing that will have changed will be the brand of clothes being worn by the guy who is making millions off of your effort.

If I sound cynical and pessimistic, then I apologise. This is the end result of years of analysis and pessing. I don’t pess lightly. My pesses have been thought about at length.

Plans **Plans** by *Death Cab for Cutie*

I’m not au fait with the whole history of *Death Cab For Cutie*. In my cybertravels, I often stumble across mentions of them here, there and everywhere. Generally, these mentions seem to be about who they are, and why they are, and some television program called *The O C*, and there is precious little mention of the music. This album, for those who are interested, is a collection of mainly exceptionally good songs, with some slightly dull ones that don’t really ruin things too much. There is some very competent songwriting ability in evidence here.

I think that’s it for now.

Music Music reviews

Reading Festival 2005: Day 2

We were incredibly tired this (Saturday) morning, and so we slept in a bit. I then wanted to fill the car up with petrol, so by the time we were on site, we had missed the start of the music. I wasn’t too fussed about the first band, but I do think that we missed a treat by only arriving for the last two minutes of Editors. The crowd was immense for such an early-billed act, and those two minutes that we heard sounded like something special. I shall have to do some sort of penance.