October 31, 2010

Ten + 1 Musical Thoughts: Grumpy Man edition

I saw Sharon Osbourne today at Jon Stewart's Rally To Restore Sanity. Ozzy had just gotten in the car on the other side.

The lack of thoughtful music parallels the state of the world right now. Really bad music being foisted on buyers, especially in England.
It's made me so cranky! Here's my honest thoughts on some recent releases...

1 Pet Shop Boys new single Together just doesn't connect with me. I get the conceit of writing a track that sounds like a love song, but is really quite dysfunctional. It's just not going to hold up against the other songs on the new hits disc. It's cold. That said, the new Ultimate collection does have a good DVD...

2 Cheryl Cole's new LP reminds me of what happened when greed tore apart The Spice Girls. Diminishing returns with cheap music pushed out for maximum fast cash. The only song I can really tolerate is Yeah Yeah, which was - I believe - produced by Starsmith. Even that one has a pointless "feature" by professional ex-boyfriend Travie McCoy.

3 The clips of Girl Aloud's prodigal daughter Nadine Coyle horrid new Tesco-only solo album sound equally demode. What's happened to pop music? This is supposed to be the "post Gaga" golden age.

4 Against all odds, I quite like Frankmusik's collaboration with Far East Movement, Fighting For Air. It catchy "as fuck all" thought I'm not sure I would have known it was Vince Frank singing the chorus has I not been told. Fortunately, we DO have his new single, The Fear Inside, to look forward to in the next few weeks.

5 I Blame Coco's The Constant album has not stuck with me . It has some good songs (the title track, for instance) and she has a superb voice. At the end of the day, after 4 videos and singles, she has absolutely no star presence. No X factor.

6 The new Wolfgang single, Lions in Cages, is superb, if I've not said it yet. Totally anthemic, with an elegant piano outro. I'm excited for his debut album, though it may not be out until 2011. Warning, if you listen to this on ear buds, you'll keep thinking your phone is ringing.

7 Little Joe McElderry was almost torn to shreds by horny twink mongers at his G-A-Y show. Poor thing had to be carried out of the building. The album is predictable but Ambitions is Glee-tastic and Someone Wake Me Up should be a second single. Which means it won't be.

8 Americans should be aware that Prefab Sprout's excellent 2009 album Let's Change The World With Music (the album title is the only flaw), was released this week on iTunes US and CD. If you want to "taste" a few songs, try Ride, Music Is A Princess and Let There Be Music.

9 Julian Perretta
has a second single, Stitch Me Up. The last one was dire, but the new track is made better only by Julian's lips in the video, shot in Marina's "Hollywood" house.

10 Rumer's debut album, the tritely titled Seasons of My Soul, turns out to be primarily one mood: 70's AM pop, with little that puts it in the now. It also has a cover of one the worst songs ever written, Goodbye Girl. Dreck! If it seems like I've turned on her, I have. Initially I really like her voice, but I latched onto her too soon. If you like this style, go back to the source, Laura Nyro, and these songs: I Never Meant To Hurt You, Wedding Bell Blues, Stoned Soul Picnic, and New York Tendaberry.

Bryan Ferry's new record sounds just like... every Bryan Ferry album, quelle surprise. But Me Oh My is a standout, though it's kind of a long aimless jam. Sadly, I find the Scissor Sisters collab, Heartache By Numbers literally unbearable. I hope I never hear it again.

If you like certain songs on records I've criticized above, let me know and I'll try those.


DanProject76 said...

You had indeed mentioned that Lions In Cages song before as I've been loving it for a few weeks and that kind of thing is usually found via your recommendations. Good stuff.

PSB CD + DVD = tempting! One for the Santa Claus list perhaps.

Good points about some of the other stuff: releasing your album exclusively in Tesco? Whatever. Boring solo material from girl band pop puppets sold just through the biggest supermarket does not inspire me. I like my pop to be heratfelt and mean something. Also annoying: people releasing bonus tracks on Amazon only, iTunes only, re-releasing recent albums with new tracks, etc etc .

My most recent purchases have been a bit less mainstream / popular: Mt Desolation album from half of Keane is very nice indeed, and the latest Sufjan Stevens album is a bit overbearingly wacky in places but a nice oddly-complicated-in-places weird thing.

palpcaso said...

I completely disagree about Together. It's all sorts of amazing and fits in perfectly with the rest of Ultimate.

D'luv said...

I disagree about "Together," too. I think it's got heart. Of course, I've posted my own diatribe on my suspicions about the subject matter, but I still think it's a solid offering. I don't think people really liked "Miracles" at first, either. But it's strangely become one of their fan favorites from the '00s.

xolondon said...

I loved Miracles the first time I heard it and still do. Now, Love Etc totally escaped me for like 3 months, until I heard it on a good car sound system and BOOM there it was...

countpopula said...

Together is epic. I can't think of many others who would delibrately write a love song in 3/4 time with suicidal overtones set against an electro backing track. And yet, it works.

Usually PSB prefer 6/8 time (Can You Forgive Her, Pandemonium), or a swinging 4 (Love Etc, All Around the World) when they want to use a tricky rhythm. Over 25 years in and they are still being creative.

Anonymous said...

Love the grump - it looks good on you at the mo.
You're right on the money too.

RedLight,BlueNote said...

........I love Heartache By Numbers and the entire Olympia album. Unbearable? No, but we all have opinions. You should post about Cocknbullkid's new song...it's bloody brilliant.

xolondon said...

Good point re cocknbullkid!