September 1, 2007
The title of this post was the original name of this blog (I didn't end up using it). Anyway, the state of the Empire is strong! This has been a good year for British pop/rock.
A CDR's worth of my favo(u)rites this year, with more to come in the fall, I hope. These are all bands, no solo artists, and in no order:
Ghosts Stay The Night video
The epitome of the classic Britpop single. Totally joyous. Stop and new single Ghosts are epic too.
The Klaxons Golden Skans video
The March song that made me want to wear skinny jeans with pointy shoes. I didn't really do it!
GoodBooks Passchendaele video
History lesson in a highly melodic three mintes. Classic singalong chorus, tightly arranged and produced.
Lucky Soul The Great Unwanted MP3 here
I just wrote about this - the great unwanted will not be ignored!
The Revelations If I Called You On The Telephone video
It's indie, so it goes here, but it's a perfect retro pop girl group gem.
Travis Closer video
Atmospheric and sweet. Best thing on the CD by far. Took me awhile to like this song.
Cherry Ghost False Alarm
This band is Britpop with a countryish twang. A soaring ballad.
Fields Song For The Fields hear it at myspace
6 minutes of British folked crossed with raging guitars. A major song. Charming The Flames is worthy as well.
Arctic Monkeys Fluorescent Adolescent video
I love Alex Turner. Love. Him. Remember when the boys were all electric?
Cajun Dance Party Amylase video / MP3 via Torr
I like how the hook is built around the word catalyst. Smart and punky pop.
Mr. Hudson And The Library Upon The Heath
Jazzy ballad about dudes smoking "greenery" and musing on life while sitting on Hampstead Heath.
Passenger Wicked Man's Rest video
Gorgeous comedown music - soothing, but not somnabulent. Smart too.
Little Man Tate This Must Be Love video
A midtempo guitar pop gem about kissing with tongues and feeling up girls. Yay second base.
The Hours Ali In The Jungle video
Literate. They're about to take NYC. From a worthy album that no one but me liked. I reviewed the CD here.
The Twang Either Way video
What if the criminals on British cop dramas burst into song? Here it is! A mix of spoken and sung parts, veddy Briddish. I bet drunk hooligans show their soft side singing along to this.
Bloc Party I Still Remember video
Memory of teen flirtation. Gay themed? One would assume. Indie approved, but we'll let that slide because this song is sweet and moving and uplifting.
Hard Fi The King play MP3 sample
Sweeping ballad, not as good as Move On Now, but still worthy. Gorge middle eight at 2:48.
WinterKids Who Am I Kidding hear it at myspace
They're from Peaslake! Nothing like the CD, this classic is sung by the band's little sister and better for it.
A Silent Film The Lamplight video
Very indie. The vocals on the opening are pretty. Smooth chiming British rock music. Has potential.
Aqualung Garden Of Love
Sort of one guy, but this song is a masterpiece. See more here. I suppose Aqualung is a solo artist, but we'll let that slide.
In terms of albums, the best British pop band album is Ghosts self-titled debut. By far. It is brilliant pop record and you must have it! Will be high on my top ten this December.
Worthy: Fields debut album Everything Last Winter is such an intriguing mix of folk and metal, all meldoic. The Hours' Narcissus Road (reviewed) is solid as a rock, if not revolutionary.
Half-n-half albums: Cherry Ghost's Thirst For Romance, Hard Fi's good-not-great Once Upon A Time In The West, Mr. Hudson And The Library's schizo A Tale Of Two Cities, Travis's meh The Boy With No Name, GoodBooks' Control (not what I was hoping for, but some good tunes).
Do not buy: Little Man Tate's About What You Know (too pubby), WinterKids' Memoirs (too American sounding, like Fall Out Boy).
Jury's out: Aqualung's Memory Man takes awhile - it is not an immediate kind of record. Athlete's Beyond The Neighbourhood -single disappoints me, but I have not heard the full CD. The Twang's album is supposed to be good, but I don't have it yet.
The best blog for new British music is done by Torr. It's updated about once a week and always has good new bands,.