Archive for britpop

[The London] Suede / Sci-Fi Lullabies

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 900000010UTC 12 by marky7235

Sci-Fi Lullabies (2 Cd-Set)Sci-Fi Lullabies is a compilation album by English alternative rock band Suede, consisting of B-sides from the singles that were released from the band’s first three albums. The album is a favourite among fans and is considered by many critics to be Suede’s best collection of songs and one of the greatest of the B-sides and rarities genre.

The Analysis: Disc One

My Insatiable One—-Long one of my favorite Suede songs, I still find it hard to believe that this was released as a B-Side. This release, as a whole, stacks up higher than most of the other Suede material all put together. Anderson and Butler crafted this song with finesse and emotion. The vocals are excellent and the trademark suede guitar sound is well in tact. This is stellar. I love how the vocals lyrics are very asexual only feeding into the media frenzy around the band’s preferences.

To The Birds—-Coming out of the quiet, the Butler guitar is magnificent. Anderson enters with a sedate yet somehow incredibly sexy vocal full of abstract lyrics and pleasant pop musings. This is a huge song…even though it is delivered in a mostly sedate manner. This band is still one of my favorites from the emerging Britpop era…this is a prime example of why.

Where The Pigs Don’t Fly—-Wow…I just love the hell out of this song….it would be a real chore to find something negative to say about the whole damn masterful thing. Anderson delivers a vocal that is just soaring beauty…the melancholy musical delivery fitting the lyrics and mood perfectly. The chorus is a flitting piece of masterful pop musings….this is beautiful, powerful and classic all at the same time…all the while being full of innuendo and double entendres.

He’s Dead—-With this song, the band returns to the slight fuzzy sound that made the first two records so appealing to me. Butler manages to produce a sound from his guitar that was signature…you can tell a Suede song when you hear the opening strains from his guitar. Anderson delivers another vocal that rises above all of the clutter is a clear and pristine delivery that is as asexual as his onstage persona. This is fantastic…and these are B-Sides?

The Big Time—-Slow and sedate, this has a remarkable melody line that is instrumentally delivered masterfully. Anderson delivers a vocal that is much more evenly paced…at a lower register but full of emotion and wanting. This is powerful music…it is too bad that this band imploded when it did…this is genius material. This is so sedate and beautiful…I have goosebumps everywhere!!!

High Rising—-Beginning with some sort of organ sound and some quasi orchestration, Anderson enters with a vocal that is rather low for him…but emotional and loaded none the less. this is another of those tracks that gives a funeral and sedate delivery that leaves you hurting a bit inside…wondering where all of this inspiration comes from. This is brilliant pop music that most of this country missed out on. When the end of this song begins…well, you have to hear it to appreciate the mastery and the elegance….GOSH!!!

The Living Dead—-Delivered with just an acoustic guitar at the onset, Anderson delivers lyrics that are steeped with Drug use…perhaps autoboigraphical? This is haunting and a bit empty…but that only serves to make the song even more powerful. The simple acoustic guitar and piano creates an atmosphere that leaves you devesated….wow!

My Dark Star—-This has a great rhythm section sound to the song…the percussive nature of the song creates an entirely new kind of mood…delivered with a slight edge that seems to wrap itself around Brett’s vocal. This is one of the first songs I can really remember his actually using the word ‘she’! The chorus is this huge addictive affair that leaves you with mixed emotions…the music and the melody is uplifting and inspiring…the words are sad and poignant. Masterfully done!

Killing Of A Flash Boy—-Beginning with a nice bombastic drum intro, this song digs itself out of the melancholy of the past few songs and is flat-out more aggressive and delivered with a nice urgency. The vocal is much more accessible and I wonder and question why the hell this was a B-side….thinking that the band sold itself short with a lot of these extra recordings…they all could have been A-sides and continued the domination on the british charts for quite sometime. This is great!

Whipsnade—-This is nicely layered with typical Suede sounds that remain consistent as exactly what you expect and require from the band. This has some spectacular melodies…the overlayed vocals allow the song to be even larger than you anticipated. The guitars are present but understated…allowing the vocal to be moved to the front of the mix. This is wonderful!

Modern Boys—-Lush and sounding like a soundtrack song to me. Brett enters with his vocal and delivers a sexy and lazy vocal that is sexy and seductive. This is lush with sounds and reminds me of very early Bowie songs…back when he was still David Jones And The Lower Third….to me, the Bowie influence is all over these songs. This is excellent.

Together—-Returning to a much more brash and guitar based sound, Brett delivers a vocal that sounds like it was recorded with a megaphone. This is not a bad thing…there is great comfort in variation. This has a chorus that is so damn addictive…I played this three times in a row before I could move on. The sound leaves you feeling elated and energized….just as music should!!!

Bentswood Boys—-Returning to a more sedate sound, Brett manages to paint a remarkable landscape with his lyrics….giving you goosebumps at the gritty British portrait that is painted by his words. the gentle music that accompanies the song only adds to the loneliness of the track. This is brilliant. I really miss this band!!!

Europe Is Our Playground—-With lots of airiness and atmosphere, the first disc of this collection closes out with a great song and leaves you salivating for the next disc. Brett delivers a vocal that is haunting and layered with a remarkable beauty that is only accentuated by the gentle and light music. The drums are nice on this song…and moved to the very front of the mix…this is fantastic, mood music that still sounds as fresh as it did in 1997.

Disc Two:

Every Monday Morning Comes—-This is another of those B-sides that makes me question the sanity of the band…why was this not released as a single? Delivered from the onset in the typical and expected Suede manner, the chorus hits and smacks you in the face with a sense of pure brilliance. the song carries a nice element of the 60’s in its sound. The track is huge and the chorus raises it to a whole other level…this is superb.

Have You Ever Been This Low—-Beginning with a nice Butler feedback introduction, the song emerges with a much more sedate percussive track that lies on top of the fuzzy guitar in a remarkable and ingenious way. Butler flits back and forth between a lower vocal and a nice falsetto…always keeping you guessing. The lyrics are heart-breaking…speaking to me of depression and the effects that it has on your psyche and the emptiness that it produces. This is remarkable!!!’

Another No One—-The band….well Brett inparticular….delivers another heart wrenching track that reeks of loneliness and desolation. Again, Brett confuses the fan base by appealing to ‘her’ and ‘she’. The lyrics are loaded with hurtful feelings and loneliness brough on by sudden collapses in relationships. This reaches right in your chest and rips your heart out…with no apologies…remarkable!

Young Men—-Returning to full on Butler guitar mastery, this again has a nice level of fuzz and enthusiasm that only he could produce with his guitar. This is nice, but remains largely unremarkable…even with a catchy chorus, this is just average for me…I still love the fuzz and the slight aggression that the track is delivered with.

The Sound Of The Streets—-Delivered with a charming acoustic sound at the onset, Butler brings a bit of life to the song with a slight underlying electricity in the song. Brett produces a trademark vocal…full of vivid lyrics and a chorus that again is so damn catchy I question how this ever ended up as a B-side. The song again, carries a slight 60’s psychedelic feel to it…this is brilliant!

Money—-As electric and aggressive as anything on this release, this never really found a place with me…it almost seems out-of-place on this release surrounded by all of the subtle beauty that has been put on display thus far…but that is the direction that the band decided to take by the time the third release came to pass…so this should not be a surprise. To me….this is a B-side.

W.S.D.—-This has some really exceptional drums and some electronic noises that surprises even me. Brett enters with his vocal and it is pretty much average and predictable. This is such a gay song though….speaking of cross dressers and the art of Drag Queens. This is an interesting track….but kind of falls flat for me…there seems to be a real emotional disconnect. I’m just sayin’.

This Time—-Lush and with a poignant musical sound, the mood is already set even before the vocal even begins. The gentle acoustic strains of the guitar wrap around you like a fuzzy balnket…the sedate drums are just enough to set the pace for the track. The melody of the song is well intact before Anderson even begins to sing…when he does enter, it is almost an intrusion into the gentle mood that you were feeling. The vocal is lower in range and fits the music wonderfully well though and it becomes a huge and wonderful track that sucks you in and makes you play it a few times before you move on to the next track…this is another of those truly magical moments.

Jumble Sale Mums—-Delivering more rather sedate music, the track really comes alive at times…giving you huge hopes for a giant chorus that never really seems to develop. none the less, this is classic later day Suede…delivered with consistency and though provoking lyrics.

These Are The Sad Songs—-Butler returns with another really trademark and fuzzy guitar intro that allows you a nice break from the more sedate sounds of the past few tracks. This is nicely electric and shows Brett singing in perhaps the lowest register I have ever heard him deliver a vocal. The chorus is slow to develop, but when it does, this is a classic Suede display…this band knew how to construct huge song and deliver them with practise and mastery.

Sadie—-Anderson again surprises with his vocal…delivered in a low register that is accented by overlayed harmonies that gives the song a nice fresh sound…this is superb. When the chorus hits, the fuzz seems to drop away and the song is a nice track full of lyrical and musical clarity. This is great!

Graffiti Women—-More gentle acoustic guitars introduce the track and a slight electronic sound runs through the backdrop of the song. The drums are really pronounced on this song…allowing the band to have a firm seat in the sound. the vocal…surprisingly seems to be pushed to the back of the song…the percussion is more in the fore front than on any track I can remember. This is nice, but not even close to the material on the early part of this release…this sounds like a B-Side.

Duchess—-With the most minimal musical soundtrack at the onset of the song, the vocal is right in your face and is delivered in a morose and funeral way. This is wonderfully harmonious and the keyboards slowly become louder as the song progresses. This is quite a send-off for the end of the release…reminding you again of the lyrical power of the band and the masterful vocals of Anderson….just beautiful!

****3/4 out of 5

Advertisements

Morrissey / You Are The Quarry

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 240000009UTC 12 by marky7235

You Are The Quarry (Gatefold)You Are the Quarry is the seventh studio album by Morrissey, the former lead singer of The Smiths. The album was released on 17 May 2004.

The release was a significant event in Morrissey’s career for several reasons. Throughout the late 90s, Morrissey was treated with contempt by the British music press and subsequently became a pariah with respect to the Britpop movement,[citation needed] turning to progressive rock in lieu of his usual indie pop. With You Are the Quarry, Morrissey returns to the musical mainstream. Because it was his first studio album in seven years, the critics and the public were more willing to give him a chance and offer a tabula rasa. As such, the first single “Irish Blood, English Heart” became his highest charting single in the UK at #3 and received significant airplay in the US, going to #36 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album charted at #2 in the UK (held off the top spot by Keane, which prompted Morrissey to joke in concert at the time “With regard to the album ‘You Are the Quarry’, if your name is Keane then you better leave now”.) and became Morrissey’s highest charting album in the US, reaching #11.

The album is in many ways unique in comparison to Morrissey’s previous work. Musically, Jerry Finn‘s production gives the album a very mainstream, commercial feel, but it also makes the songs very appealing and polished. This is especially evident in the percussion, which is prominent and melodic. Guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte craft songs that fit somewhere between modern indie rock and AOR. Lyrically, Morrissey touches on many themes, varying from politics to relationships to Morrissey’s place in society.

The Analysis:

America Is Not The World—-Delivering one of his best crooning vocals in years, as well as his most blistering reading on American consumption, Morrissey is in full poetic form…attacking many of the inadequacies of American life over some of the most pleasant and endearing pop music again surprises many of his fans by reminding us that he is still here, still strong and still speaking his word….regardless of whom he might piss off. This is MY Morrissey!

Irish Blood, English Heart—-Just as quickly, Morrissey goes from chastising the Americans to his own Brits. Perhaps one of the best singles Morrissey & Co. have ever produced, this has balls and lots of charisma. Morrissey has rarely sounded better or more driven by a track…the chorus delivers a magical hook that will live in your brain for YEARS…and punctuated by barbed lyrics that make you think and urges you to do research. a true triumph!

I Have Forgiven Jesus—-To this day, this remains one of my favorite tracks from this release. Full of the kind of self-deprecating lyrics that only Stephan can deliver, this both makes you laugh and feel introspective at the same time. The chorus is this huge beautiful melody that allows Morrissey to sing in that upper register that breaks him free of the croon mode…reminding me of the old days. This is a huge shining star that for me has never quite dimmed.

Come Back To Camden—-Oh Stephan…..how I truly love you!!! It remains impossibly difficult for me to fathom how someone else in the world magically feels the same way I do…release after release, he always relates to me on a very personal level. It may be just a line or a melody…or in this case a full song. This is magical and incredibly personal for me….my own personal hero!

I’m Not Sorry—-Starting off with a pretty nice drum delivery and a classic Morrissey style guitar, the vocal enters with a drama and flair that only Morrissey can deliver. There is a slight vocal echo to the vocal that gives the song an even more lonely feel. the words are intense and cause you to stop and examine them all with a microscope. This is Morrissey at his best…rarely has he delivered such poignant and real lyrics set to a brilliant landscape of instrumentation.

The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores—-This begins a bit noisy, but silences to allow the slow and sexy croon of Morrissey delivering line after line that you feel an overwhelming urge to take apart and study. This is just magical…as the music builds and builds, the vocal increases with intensity as Morrissey urges you to take him in your arms and love him….this is just brilliant! A true piece of art, this one!!!

How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel—-Returning to the much more Boz driven guitar delivery, Morrissey manages to deliver his croon over whatever music is presented to him. This is still amazing to me. Morrissey proclaims his hurt and disdain and still steadfastly maintains that no one could know how he feels…and in a graphic way…but surprise Stephan….we know how you feel!!!

First Of the Gang To Die—-Perhaps the crown jewel of this entire release, Morrissey delivers a single that will live on and on and on!!! This has all of the energy of The Smiths, the integrity of the mans solo beginnings and a huge promise of the future. This is magnificent…I am at a loss for words here…this is a huge, shining, bright moment that will live on forever. Viva Morrissey!!!

Let Me Kiss You—-Another of those magical songs that allows Morrissey to lend his tender croon to the mastery of a band that has learned to play around his voice. this is accentuated by some nice backing vocals from the band…beefing the song up a bit and giving it even more emotion. The piano is a nice touch…giving the track an even more grand feel to it. Morrissey delivers line after line that plays on his desolation and lonliness…allowing us to believe that the man is still alone and desolate after all of these years…I find this hard to believe…but I’ll buy into it.

All The Lazy Dykes—-Beginning with some nice drums and electronics, Morrissey delivers a nice vocal…I’m not even going to get into the political correctness of such a song…I expect Morrissey to push the envelope and indeed he does. This is a bit brazen…even for Stephan, but the song is another triumphant example of a return to pure form. This is brilliant!

I Like You—-For Morrissey, this is a surprisingly upbeat and rather positive song. The music matches the vibe of the lyrics to a tee. Stephan delivers line after line that speaks of infatuation and the quivering belief that he had allowed emotion to enter into his squalid world of emptiness. this is a triumphant….leading one to believe that Morrissey had experienced love and perhaps the crash of misery afterwards…welcome to the real world my friend!

You Know I Couldn’t Last—-Ending his stellar comeback with a magnificent ballad full of vivid lyrics are heavy piano, Morrissey allows you to totally lose yourself in the moment as he delivers lines after line about the terrible press and how they can twist your words and make you to be something you might not like. Morrissey delivers a tale that is career encompassing…full of fan sway and media spin….and the danger of buying into the whole damn lot of it. This is spectacular!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

School Of Seven Bells/Disconnect From Desire

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 130000007UTC 12 by marky7235

Disconnect From DesireSchool of Seven Bells (often just SVIIB) is a three-piece band formed by Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines, together with identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, formerly of On! Air! Library!. The band is named after the School of the Seven Bells, a mythical South American pickpocket training academy.

Windstorm—-This is pretty remarkable from the very first notes of the track…to say that this is shoe gaze or dreamy would be a huge understatement. This is wonderfully layered and fuzzy…the drums are magically pronounced and the vocal is so dreamy and breezy you will believe you have been magically transported to a huge sunny field in the middle of nowhere. Exceptional!

Heart Is Strange—-With huge keyboards and really upfront drums, this is a nice mix of British Dance and Dream Pop. The vocals rise above everything and soar around the room like while covered angels dropping bits of relaxation. This is magical for me…the vocals from these two sisters in perfect in every way. They compliment each other so well…this is beautiful, fun, relaxing and sadly being missed by a whole world caught up in rap, pop or emo. Exceptional.

Dust Devil—-Coming out of the fog, the track is begun with a heavy bass synth line that is slowly accented by perfect Dance floor synths that further develop…soon you are wrapped in a huge fun ambient dance track that is accented by beautiful and unforgettable vocals. This is so throwback…making me think of My Bloody Valentine on Ambien. This is invigorating and surprisingly relaxing. Just wonderful!

I L U—-From the very onset, there almost seems to be a choir of voices singing. The song settles and allows for the sisters to further compliment each other with their magical voices. The music is very sedate to begin with, slowly coming more to life as the track continues and seemingly including a bit of a male vocal as well. this is wonderful…there is a remarkable air of sadness on this song…complimented by a beat that keeps you from sinking to far. Truly amazing.

Babelonia—-This track delivers a bit more fuzz, reminiscent of the great 90’s output from the UK. This is remarkably noisy without ever crossing the border to nerve-wracking. The subtle and serene vocal, the really upfront tambourine and the swirling synths all come together to create a really magical moment. Brilliant!

Joviann—-The vocals on this track are so upfront and important that the music behind the entire thing really becomes secondary. This is littered with wonderful harmonies, breathy one liners and a remarkable peaceful delivery. The synth line that grows a bit louder as the song progresses is damn addictive…the overlays on the vocals creates a sound that you could land on safely from six stories high. Magical!

Camarilla—-With a low hum running through the backdrop, the song open immediately with a serene and ghost like vocal…Enya has nothing on the beauty of these voices. As the track progresses, the music becomes much more evident and driving in the feeling of the song. Although the voices are ever-present, on this track the blips, bleeps and 80’s style synth lines almost steal the show. This is huge fun…would love to hear a remix for this track.

Dial—-A bit of a darker sound at the onset of this track surprises me…but slowly, the lightness returns as the song continues. The two voices come together to create a lush harmony that will bring you close to tears. This is remarkably beautiful pop that slowly becomes more bombastic and bass driven. This is wonderful…the low hum that runs through the backdrop of the song masterfully compliments the serenity of the vocals perfectly. This is fabulous!!!

Bye Bye Bye—-With a slight bit of air at the beginning of the song, the bass enters with a remarkable synth line that just seems to take over the song from the girls. Although the vocal…underlayed with a nice male vocal as well, are masterful….again, the star of this song is the irresistable music that conjures up images of everything that ever made you happy as a child. this is magnificent, brilliant pop beauty that should be heard all over the world. Perhaps we would all settle a bit then!!!

The Wait—-Ending the release with just as much beauty as it started, the vocal work so well together that you just know these girls have been singing together their entire lives. This is remarkably beautiful…there is magnificent musical texture to the song…a wonderful slow hum that compliments the entire thing and the angelic voices that bring a smile even if you do not want it. Masterful!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

The Stone Roses/Turns Into Stone

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 250000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Turns Into Stone

The Stone Roses were an English Alternative rock[2] band formed in Manchester in 1984. They were one of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement that was active during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band’s most notable lineup consisted of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield, and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren.

The band released their début album, The Stone Roses, in 1989. The album was a breakthrough success for the band. At this time the Stone Roses decided to capitalise on their success by signing to a major label; however, their current record label Silvertone would not let them out of their contract, which led to a long legal battle that culminated with the band signing with Geffen Records in 1991, and then finally releasing their second album Second Coming in 1994. The group soon disbanded after several lineup changes throughout the supporting tour, which began with Reni first departing, followed by Squire.

Turns Into Stone is a compilation album by The Stone Roses released in 1992. It consists of early singles and B-sides that did not feature on their self-titled debut album. The compilation reached number 32 on the UK album chart.

The album’s release was surrounded by controversy, as the Roses were in the middle of a legal battle with their then-record label, Silvertone. An injunction prevented the band from releasing any new material for several years afterward, during which Silvertone re-released many singles, including two separate versions of “Fools Gold”, and releasing stand-alone singles from the first album that were not intended to be singles (such as the edited version of “I Am the Resurrection” featuring a drum machine instead of Reni’s distinctive drumming).

Despite this, the album is seen in a positive light by Roses fans because it collects some of their best-known songs onto one CD, before a best-of compilation was even viable.

The title of the album is taken from the final lines of One Love: “What goes up must come down/Turns into dust or turns into stone”. [Wikipedia]

Elephant Stone—-This extended version of one of the best known and loved singles from this band is full of added synth rhythms and given a dance floor groove that surprisingly does nothing to take away from the mastery of the single. When the trademark guitar of Squire enters, you are taken to a warm place that settles comfortably in your soul. It is quite some time before Ian enters with his vocal, but when he does, memories flood back and you remember why this was the most important band of the late 80’s an early 90’s. This is as brilliant as it ever was and you only gain a bit more time to enjoy the mastery thanks to this extended version. God…I miss this band everyday!

The Hardest Thing—-This has always been a favorite Roses song of mine…simply because Brown sounds so damn good with his vocal. The band chimes in on the chorus and makes this a mop-top style retro song that  captured my heart from the first listen. There is a arkable slight accent when Brown sings and although live he really does not deliver, on CD he is the consummate singer. This is a  classic that has never sounded better to me.

Going Down—-With a nice gentle guitar and a throwback sound that is more than 60’s inspired, the song swirls around your head with a sweet melody and a classic band vocal that rounds out the track and makes you want to reach for The Byrds or The Association. This is wonderfully preformed and sadly ignored by many people…you are truly missing out!

Mersey Paradise—-Again, this reeks of the late 60’s more than some of the music actually produced in the late 60’s. Squire delivers a jangly guitar that is irresistable….Reni delivers a drum track that is stellar and Brown..when he sings the words Mersey Paradise…..I just smile from ear to ear.

Standing Here—-With a much more psychedelic guitar sound from Squire, and that distinctive drumming from Reni, this song is huge and layered with throw back auras. Brown sings ike the mop-top that he was and seems to meld his voice with the psychedelic, jangly guitar perfectly. The double tacking on the vocal gives the song a nice full-bodied sound..this is brilliant!

Where Angels Play—-Beginning gentle and building very little from the quiet guitar sound, this is a nice swirling track that is almost a lullaby thanks to the quieter delivery and the subtle vocal of Brown. These so-called B-sides are the very reason why this band was as huge and important as they were. This is wonderful.

Simone—-Beginning with some nice backward guitar tracking, this song begins with atmosphere that only grows as the song continues. In fact, it would seem to me that this whole song is a backward guitar track with very odd vocals….this is masterful and typical of The Roses….it is not the first time they have done this….Brilliant!

Fools Gold—-This is an almost 1o minute extended version of this song. For me, this was never a really GREAT song…but it is the one that first gor The Roses attention overseas, so I try to like it anyways. This extended version is pleasant enough…some nice bass and added synth lines bolster the track…Brown has a rather untouched vocal and it is as subtle as ever on this track. There is a nice slight echo to the whole thing that makes it a bit larger, but 10 minutes is a bit long…even for a psychedelic jam.

What The World Is Waiting For—-This is classic Roses….the guitar s strong, the overlayed vocal gives Brown a bigger and better voice…the percussion is masterful and the vibe is right ut of 1968. This is brilliant shoe gaze, mop-top rock from the early 90’s that helped shape a generation of today’s 30 somethings. Fantastic!!! When Brown sings “….Stop the world, I’m getting off..”…I’m so there!!

One Love—-This is also given the extended treatment….clocking in at almost 8 minutes. This has a nice noisy guitar sound from Squire, giving the song that classic Roses feel while Brown delivers a trademark vocal that parlay his accent into a charming delivery tat just makes me fall in love all over again. When he REALLY sings on the chorus, it is just brilliant….as for the extended version…it s mostly a drum machine that pretends to be Reni.

Something’s Burning—-Also coming in at 8 minutes in length, this begins rather odd with some eerie atmosphere. The rum beats are machine made…you can obviously tell. The guitar is very subtle and Brown delivers a vocal that is almost a whisper…it is funny when he references Monkeys….this has been a recurring theme with Brown, who I think strongly resembles a chimpanzee…and I mean that is an affectionate and loving way. This is nice…quiet and full of long extended instrumental interludes…really wonderful!

**** out of 5

Oasis/Time Flies….1994-2009

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 200000006UTC 12 by marky7235

Time Flies...1994-2009 (2 CD)

Time Flies… 1994–2009 is a compilation album released by English rock band Oasis. The album was released on 14 June 2010, the album contains all 27 UK singles released by the band between 1994 and 2009. The record features the songs “Whatever” and “Lord Don’t Slow Me Down” which had previously never appeared on an Oasis album. “Sunday Morning Call” is not listed anywhere on the artwork but appears as a hidden track on Disc 2.

Five different versions of the album was released, the 2CD version, DVD, the Deluxe Box Set, 5LP Box Set and the iTunes Deluxe Edition.

Disc One:

Supersonic—-Catching the band at their bombastic best, the slow and nasty british drawl of the brothers was remarkable at the time. the layers of sound on this song allows it to still sound fresh and relevant. The Beatles influences are all over the song…the huge build-up to the chorus and the snotty delivery is classic. this is a band at their very best.

Roll With It—-What is remarkable to me, is that this song has such a deep sound..I never really remember the production being that poor on this track. the instruments are swimming in a murky delivery while the vocal is all shiny and at the very front of the mix. This is nice, but I always remembered this being much more crisp and clear. Still…this is a piece of my history…you can not deny the genius of it all.

Live Forever—-From the huge bombastic drum that introduces the song to the snotty McCartney style vocal, this song was destined to be huge and prophetic at the same time. Indeed, at this point in the band’s career, the belief was that they would live forever….but history wrote a different story. Regardless, we have these gems that are just remarkable. The soaring guitars and the percussion on this track take me to another place…this is stellar.

Wonderwall—-Perhaps one of the biggest songs of the band’s career, this track never, ever gets old for me. The sentiment and the delivery come together in a huge classic way that changed a whole summer for me and became a permanent part of my mental wallpaper.The acoustic delivery was a new thing for the band and the public literally ate this stuff up. The lyrics are much more introspective than you would expect from these snotty kids and the result was a huge successful streak for the band…..what the hell happened?

Stop Crying Your Heart Out—-Although I am not really familiar with this track, it fits in perfectly with the Oasis catalog. This is very Lennon influenced and you notice this right from the very first notes of the track. The vocal is achingly beautiful…the build-up is slow and worth the wait as the song becomes this huge masterpiece of a song that has me pressing the repeat button for another quick listen…how did I miss this?

Cigarettes & Alcohol—-I was never a big fan of the first Oasis release…to me it was a bit to raw and unrefined. I bought into the whole hype thing though and still listen to it on occasion these days. This track, from that release, features a much more blues/punky sound that the band never really revisited again after this release..instead going for the shinier pop sound of Wonderwall. none the less, this is a piece of Music history…you have to digest this to get to anything else.

Songbird—-Delving back into the Beatle-esque sound that the band had mastered at this point, I could easily hear McCartney delivering this track with ease. The piano is incredible and the low hum of sadness that runs through the backdrop of the song is fantastic. Really nice!

Don’t Look Back In Anger—-One of my favorite tracks from Oasis, I even bought this CD single  though it offered nothing new along with it. I love the huge sweeping piano, the aching vocal that begs for attention and the drums that match your heartbeat almost beat for beat. This is a masterful example of pop music that never, ever has gotten old for me. This is a band at the very peak of its creativity and we remain the beneficiaries. Wonderful!!!

The Hindu Times—-Another of those songs that somehow slipped by me once i had given up on the fact the band could past their differences and make meaningful music. This is nice, but the noise that the band creates almost drowns out the vocal. Seemingly going on a Harrison style excursion into some other realm of belief, the band missed the mark here…I really do not care for this.

Stand By Me—-This is another of those singles that i am not really familiar with…all in all, this is classic huge Oasis…who could ask for more than this…the guitars are huge, the melody is a jingle that sings Oasis for days and the vocal is a slow and mellow sneer that reeks of snot and attitude….do you need anything else?

Lord Don’t Slow Me Down—-Not included on a proper Oasis release, this on off single is guitar based and steeped in the blues. The whole attitude of the song goes back to the early sound of the band…British Blues…this really irritates me. I must tell you…I do not like this…it is not what appeals to me and please remember…this is just an opinion.

Shakermaker—-With a very large sound, the band almost threatens to drown out the remarkably melodious vocal. This is fantastic…the psychedellic leanings of the song really resonate with me and I listen to this over and over again…even if it is just for the vocal attitude. This is wonderful.

All Around The World—-This is so nice…the vocal has the spotlight on this track…it is way up in the front of the mix…the guitars, laying in the backdrop still manage to have a huge sound. The overall feel of the song is one of empowerment and a positive outlook for the future…this is Oasis at some of their very best. Remarkable!!!

Disc Two:

Champagne Supernova—-I’m sure, I’m not the only person that marks this as my favorite Oasis release EVER. This is serene, majestic.pschedelic and infinitely spectacular. i could not ask for more from any one single in my lifetime. This is beautiful pop music that has a brilliant druggy influence to it that you will never be able to erase from your mind. This is just brilliant…a band at the very peak of its mastery!!!!

Some Might Say—-Another one that seems new to me…how did this band manage to slip these singles by me? Guess I was too caught up in my Death Metal obsession to pay attention or something. This is remarkable….full of the blues that you found so prevalent in the 80’s, the squeal from the guitars help to create a nice fuzzy sound to the song. now that it is going full tilt and i have taken the time to look…I have a copy of this, but it never resonated with me until now….must be the beer!!!

The Importance Of Being Idle—-I really love the vocal on this track….I really dislike the musical back drop that accompanies it. All in all, you can take one and forget the other. I just really do not like the blues lean that the band tried out for three releases or so…you are not the Rolling Stones…all of this pretentious piano in unecessary…ugh!!!

D’You Know What I Mean—-The beginning of the song makes me wonder if this is long-lost Pink Floyd!!! As the track begins to take shape, the music enters and allows you to see the true form of the song. This is a nice mish mash of early and later Oasis coming together to produce one of the best songs of the bands later career ever. This is nice…the heavy bass sounds, the inclusion of some electronic noises and the ever-present snotty vocal all come together to create a huge masterpiece of a song.

Lyla—-Electrically acoustic based, this is a nice combination of all the things that made this band great. There are extreme Beatle-esque leanings that you can not deny….the huge drums add to the bombastic quality of the song and the delivery is classic English Snobbery. This is fantastic!!!

Let There Be Love—-This is nicely acoustic and full of  introspective lyrics that you would not expect from these blokes. This is almost bordering on beautiful and inspirational…you cannot deny the layers of the song that show the Brothers have more to offer than they are willing to admit. There is a nice trade-off of vocals that gives the song an even deeper level. This is wonderful…standout…a favorite!!!

Go Let It Out—-At the onset, you wonder where this is all going. The end result is a single that allows you to realize how much talent and how much material these siblings had inside of them. This is subtle…the guitars never become really obnoxious and the lyrics never become to sappy…none the less, the end result is a masterful combination of all the above together. This remains wonderful!!!

Who Feels Love?—-OK…..I missed out on this song….WOW…this is wonderfully psychedelic and gentle. This is Stone Roses meets Suede Meets Happy Mondays…the smile on my face is permanent. This is brilliant….the harmonica, the downshift guitar, the chorus of voices that add to the song….this is exquisite…..FANTASTIC!!!

Little By Little—-WOW….AGAIN…..this is remarkably sedate, with one of the Gallagher’s not even sounding like themselves. Theis is poignant and introspective…this is intense and wonderful. This is huge and orchestrated…this is large with fantastic guitars…this is wonderful….

The Shock Of The Lightning—-This is much more bombastic and full of the rock groove that the band originally built its foundation upon. the snotty vocal is full on intact and the delivery is like stepping back into 1994 upon the first release. I’m not crazy about this, but it is pretty damn catchy!!!

She Is Love—-This is nice and folky, allowing the listener to realize the true scope of the band and perhaps some of the dissension that causes the Brothers to have so many problems…one like the softer side, one like the more raucous side of things…perhaps it is time for solo careers guys…think of all of that great music…make a decision…….

Whatever—-This is BRILLIANT!!!! This is classic Oasis, combining all of the elements of the band that made them so fantastic…the snotty vocal has been replaced by a remarkable and accessible vocal that allows you to actually feel the lyrics…the music is huge and uplifting and not all guitar based. This is exquisite!!!

I’m Outta Time—-Again, this is just classic…exploring the more introspective elements of the band you could not ask for a more evolving band than this. truly, you can listen to the change that has occurred from the beginning of the snotty Brits to the grown up Morrissey influenced introspection that has occurred. This has been a remarkable journey…really a great collective!!!

Falling Down—-Combing the best elements of the band…the swirling psychedelic guitar, the gentle vocal and the ever-present really great drums all come together to create this huge painting that is literally mural sized. This is brilliant. A huge and fantastic way to end this collective, it reminds me how much I loved this band, hated this band and then fell in love over and over again. Awesome!!!

****1/2 out of 5

Wild Nothing/Gemini

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 140000006UTC 12 by marky7235

GeminiWell, believe it or not, it has been practically impossible to find any relevant information about or regarding this band. All I know is that I love them….if you have info, PLEASE pass it on!!!

Live In Dreams—-From the very onset, I am amazed by the shimmering and glossy mastery of this band. This is like stepping back into the summer of 1993. The beats and vocal delivery are displayed with a laziness that reeks of summer days with huge sunbeams falling from the sky and making your entire body feel comfortable and hazy. This is so relaxed and easy to digest I may very well fall in love right this minute.

Summer Holiday—-Playing like a remarkable never heard New Order track, the female vocal comes in and moves the song to a whole new level…this is brilliant. Shiny and full of pop leanings, I could not think of a better title for the song. This is shoegaze at its very finest…this is halcyon induced trance dancing that makes me yearn for my younger days when not a damn thing mattered. BRILLIANT!!!

Drifter—-With a gentle and introspective intro piano line, the song becomes bigger while still allowing you to be lost in the gentle melody. The vocal is so ghostly and airy that you swear to god this release is ten years old. This is pure magic….I really love this band!!

Pessimist—-WOW….this is more snaky than early Verve, more atmospheric than The Roses and full of more flavor than the Lemon Drops. This is everything I loved about the 90’s and more all wrapped up in a nice package and delivered in 2010. I could not ask for more on this day….this will be stuck in my player for quite some time.

O Lilac—-With a really nice guitar setting the pace for the song and very far in the front of the mix, it still manages to contain a nice swirling feel that is full of summer yearnings and the joy that sunshine brings. This is remarkable…the handclaps going on in the backdrop are an instrumental part of the song and the ghostly vocal is full of beauty and layers. Man…..this is awesome!!!

Bored Games—-With a much more electric sound and a guitar that again makes you think of New Order, the combination of female/male vocals come together to create a landscape on top of yet another landscape….all combining to create a huge mural of sound that brings a gentle smile to your face and a satisfied filling of empty spaces in your soul. Magnificent.

Confirmation—-Bright and shimmering from the very onset, this does manage to have a bit of a darker feel in the backdrop for me. The vocal is so removed and haunting that you just shake your head and wonder how exactly the band manages to produce such a beautiful and magnificent sound. This is exquisite…makes me want to reach for the Cocteau Twins right away.

My Lonely Angel—-With a really heavy bass sound and a slight oriental feel to the music, the vocal enters and seems to be overlayed on top of overlay. This results in a deep plush sound that is just a wonder to behold. I could not ask for more enjoyment from one CD…this is remarkable….you MUST hear this!!!

The Witching Hour—-With some nice guitar at the onset of the song, the low hum of the bass rings through the backdrop and the ghostly removed vocal is by now so comfortable it wraps around you like a warm blanket. The swirls of atmosphere are remarkable…..the feelings you get from this CD range from euphoric to deep sadness…and that is just this song!!! This is a masterpiece of a CD that I wish everyone could hear.

Chinatown—-The musical landscape of this song is rather fun…reminging me of Technique era New Order….the vocal is happier and more forward allowing you to really hear some of the words and to grab a hold of the song a bit. This is fantastic!!! One of my favorites from this release.

Our Composition Book—-This track comes out of the fog at you with a jangly guitar lead that again brings an automatic smile to my face. The vocal is bright yet remarkably lazy…giving you that easy, breezy feel of summer nights when it is still 80 degrees at midnight and the friends around you are abundant. This is wonderous and damn near magical.

Gemini—-Again, this reminds me of some of the classic songs of NO…only the remarkable swirling vocal sets this apart from everything else. This is so comfortable and magical that as soon as I type my last word…I’m going for another listen.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]

Gene/Drawn To The Deep End

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on 60000005UTC 12 by marky7235

Drawn to the Deep EndGene were an English alternative rock quartet that rose to prominence in the mid 1990s. Formed in 1993, they were popularly labelled as a Britpop band and often drew comparisons to The Smiths because of their Morrissey-esque lead singer, Martin Rossiter. Gene’s music was influenced by The Jam, The Small Faces, The Style Council and The Clash.

In anticipation of their second studio LP, October 1996 saw the release of ‘Fighting Fit’, an up-tempo rock song which reached number 22. The start of 1997 heralded the release of ‘We Could Be Kings’, another epic rock song which again proved to be very popular, reaching number 18. The LP Drawn to The Deep End takes its name from a ‘Fighting Fit’ B-side, and it revealed a lavish production replete with strings, far more prominent guitar solos from Mason, and a rather warbling vocal affectation from Rossiter. The album showed some measure of musical development from the band, which was reflected by the inclusion of a keyboardist in their live shows (Grand Drive’s Julian Wilson [1996-98, 2004], former Style Council keyboardist Mick Talbot [1999-2001], Marcus Brown [2001], and Angie Pollack [2003-2004]), and the fact that Rossiter was starting to master the art of singing live whilst playing the keyboard for some songs. Lyrically speaking, the dominating themes of the album were loneliness and deep yearning. Indeed, Rossiter was in the depths of depression during the making of the album and the songs resulting from this period remain some of the band’s most powerful work. Drawn to the Deep End was another critical success, with Q magazine awarding it four stars. Like its predecessor, the album entered the top 10 of the album charts, and subsequent singles, ‘Where Are They Now?’ and ‘Speak to me Someone’ both made the top 40, at 22 and 30 respectively. [Wikipedia]

New Amusements—-Beginning with a rather somber and subtle drum, the guitars are slow to enter the song…when they do make an entrance, the sound is gentle as well…for a moment or three. The vocal begins in an odd removed kind of way and very slowly…like a spring flower, the song begins to open up and make a real appearance. When the song finally becomes proper, the result is nothing less than marvelous. Rossiter drops all of his Morrissey leanings and enters the song with his own, albeit, predictable tone. The result is marvelous…when the chorus kicks in you are hooked….This remains….magnificent!!!

Fighting Fit—-With a nice gentle introduction, the song takes a minute to get started..but when it does the British guitars are muscular and the vocal belongs to Martin alone. This is so damn catchy and full of hooks you wonder why this was not much bigger than it was. The Morrissey comparisons are far gone as Rossiter has become his own man and the result is fabulous. This is a huge, beefed up Gene that delivers a chorus that is so damn contagious you will wonder why it has been 5 years since you treated your ears to this magnificent spectacle….fantastic!!!

Where Are They Now?—-This is a ballad from the onset that is resplendent with the classic sound of Gene…the intro is quiet and gentle and the song builds and builds until you are left with this huge emotional song that makes you want to jump up and down with joy. This was for a time…my favorite band in the universe.

Speak To Me Someone—-The barren vocal begins with the first gentle musical note….Rossiter delivers a heartfelt, sometimes wrenching vocal that is full of every emotional word you can think of. This is literally brilliant…my heart aches and I have hope that someone actually feels worse than I do. The song has these great ebbs and flows that are genius…designed to keep your attention, I’m sure, the song delivers 100 fold. Marvelous. When Martin really lets loose with his vocal you will be tempted to weep…this is muscular and full of raw feelings that border between madness and joy.

We Could Be Kings—-Beginning with a rather American introduction, that is quickly washed away with the intro of the accented vocal of Rossiter. This is Brit-pop at it’s finest…that nice layered feel that builds and builds on a particular sound…the ebb and flow of the delivery and the magnificent climax as the song becomes literally huge in your ears. This is almost GENIUS….I mourn the loss of this band…..where are they now?????

Why Was I Born?—-A pretty generic question that we all ask ourselves on a regular basis…right? Maybe it is just me!!! Merging wonderfully from the previous song, this is rather sedate and makes me feel old…I never questioned my existence until at leat 30…..25…jeez!!! This is magnificent….the entire track is full of comprehendable feelings and questions that everyone on this earth can relate to…to me…a highpoint of this CD. Wonderful.

Long Sleeves For the Summer—-With a nice gentle introduction, you at once wonder how this song will end up…if you know this band at all! The guitar intro is almost Spanish styled acoustic renderings that set the mood and whet your taste buds for the entrance of the vocal. The voice enters the scene and makes you melt…the emotion and the fragility is better than anything The King [Morrissey] has conjured up in years. This is magnificent…the song builds and builds until you again feel the urge to spin in circles until you are dizzy…falling into a joyful heap on the floor. I could not ask for more!!!

Save Me, I’m Yours—-The sound of this track is almost predictable…the gentle introduction that you are sure is going to grow into something magnificent. Martin sounds more fragile than ever and you weep with his ability to read your mind and make your emotions public. The strong lead guitar makes an impression on me almost immediately, as does the gentle vocal that is resplendent in bare human emotions written in perfect prose. This is wonderful.

Voice Of The Father—-This is incredibly, surprisingly beefy and full of rather aggressive guitars and drums that almost threaten to drown out the vocal completely. The voice is raised somewhat by the 4th bar…becoming clearer, but the star of this song is the band and the proof that they have the ability to really let loose and leave the Brit-pop signature behind. Wow!!!

The Accidental—-Beginning with a much deeper sound, the bass and odd sound effects set the mood for the song. This is magnificent…Martin enters sounding even more sedate and somber than ever. The song is driven by the shimmering lead and the heavier than usual bass sound. The vocal remains gentle and morose for quite sometime as Rossiter vocalized the many feelings that so many of us harbor but are ashamed to vocalize….the entrance of the female vocal is a surprise but is a welcome distraction…this is marvelous….

I Love You, What Are You?—-Beginning like your predictable Gene track, this opens up rather brilliantly with lush musical sounds and remarkable vocals. The edge of the emotion is undenable…you have no possible way of ignoring this…..this is brilliance and one of the last genius songs made by this phenomenal bands.

Sub Rosa—-With a remarkable sedate intro, the vocal is left almost bare…that is how sparse the guitars are. You feel the hair raing on the back of your neck as Rossiter sings you to sleep in a wonderful serene manner…the end was so near and we never had any idea. This is a remarkable end to a release that marked the end to a brief yet brilliant career.

**** 3/4 out of 5