A year ago I did a post called RXolondon that went over quite well, so I'm repeating myself here, which is ironic given some of the criticism you are about to read. In some cases, the music is fine, in some cases... not so much. I am a fan, or have been, of these folks. Note that normally I post on music I like, so this will surely annoy a few of you, but itiswhatitis...
Duran Duran: An interesting case, because I do like their album (review), but I fear it may fall into oblivion. Could be that it's an old school album that needs to be worked, but mistakes have already been made. Falling Down was a poor choice for a single when the whole point of hiring Timbaland was to secure a hit. Duran need to pop right out of the gate and they just came across as limp old men. That song sounds great on the CD, but it's so NOT a single and it is certainly not even close to Ordinary World (which Justin was aiming for). Nite Runner or Skin Diver must be the second single and they should put out a great video fast. The album cover was a bit dodgy and Roxy Music-esque for the buying public these days, but I don't have a solution to that since the "boys" are almost 50. I suspect their fans would have wanted a nice picture of them on the cover, but I wonder to whom this album is being marketed?
Tori Amos: First, let me say it's possible to edit American Doll Posse down to 12 songs and it's much better. The music is not so much the problem: I know a lot of you really liked the album and felt it was a return to form. I had high hopes from the early leaks and the provocative album title, but I still see her making the same obvious mistakes again and again. 20 songs? No, thank you! A b-side is a b-side for a reason (Fat Slut)! There were some great Tori tunes on the album (Teenage Hustling added some new twists and there were classic Tori songs like Bouncing Off Clouds and Secret Spell), but often her voice was kind of buried in the arrangements. Like the last several albums, this was made by the same team, in a bubble in Cornwall with an overcooked (and silly) "concept" and it's her second horrid album cover in a row. The passion is back, but she needs to step out of the countryside if she wants to stay viable. Sometimes don't you get the impression she is playing up to the kook image a bit? If you read her book, you'll know that Tori understands the music business. It's time to change.
Mutya Buena: Wot happened? One of the most awaited solo albums of the year, by one of the most unique vocalists to come out of the UK, and it was a complete BOMB. Mistakes on every level. It told us nothing about who Mutya really is and I actually blame her for that. From what I've read, she's just not very involved, showing up hours late for recording sessions and being distracted by her own life dramas. The songs sounded like outtakes from Sugababes, devoid of life. For example Brokedown Motel could have been a great song, but listen to the cheap-ass beat. Sounds like a demo! And her attempt to cash in on Amy Winehouse with B-boy was utter drivel that fooled no one. Mutya needs to get her shit together and make some slammin' dance songs, sweet pop songs (Real Girl came close) and epic ballads. None of this wan midtempo sludge that sunk her debut.
Bjork released her most forgettable album ever, Volta (review). Earth Intruder was interesting, but the other Timbaland songs sounded just like it. She has strayed from her original goal of taking esoteric, arty music and weaving it into great pop songs. It's like she decided she is an artiste now. She's at a point where she is so revered that she can do whatever she wants. Too much choice can be a bad thing. I also think she needs to be in her videos, which she has finally done with Declare Independence. Regardless, come back to the dance floor, Mrs. Barney, and stop dressing up like a glass pear (or Mr. Kool Aid, as someone else said!).
Prince: "Eye" offer no cures 4 this little asshole who has alienated all his fans 1) by releasing terrible albums 4 the last 12 years and 2) by suing said fans and writing "songs" about how he hates them. Eye think he hates himself and it's outward projection. He has fallen off his tiny stilettos. Now, this rant comes from a person who was obsessed by him in the 80's and still gives each album a shot. He's woefully out of touch and everything about his enterprise, ironically, screams Dollar Store, from the bad mixes 2 the horrid Photoshopped album art probably created by an intern or some roadie. Eye can't even tell u the name of his 2007 album. All eye know is that if record stores still existed, this CD would be in cutout bins. Boouwhore.