18 June 2017

2017 Album Round Up Review Part 1

Welcome to a round up review!  It is the first of many I will be releasing over the next few weeks, think of them like the bullet point reviews you get in magazines, short and to the point.  I did one of these last year before Christmas, mainly due to the volume of albums that were still left to review at that time of year and this is happening for similar reasons.  There are many reasons for this, the biggest reason of all is time.  Basically, there is only so much time a one man team has available to do the details blogs that I usually post on here.  So, the list of albums that I want to review, promised to review, need to review has grown.  At the moment, it is hitting north of 100 with ease and I need to get that down as there are some other releases that are coming and they need my attention as well.  Now, I will be breaking these round ups down into batches of ten, they will be minus the normal link to purchase of stream the albums (due to space) but you will be able to find these online very easily (legal links, remember - this is not that type of blog).  I will be using the same introduction to each of these blog, if only to save more time.  Thanks for reading - Eddie.

Adaline – Aquatic

‘Aquatic’ is your average synth pop, female vocal album with some decent upbeat anthems, a few balances and performed very admirably.  But the end product does not stand out from the pack enough, it has a run of the mill feeling sadly.  You could really listen to a lot worse, Adaline has a good voice that suits this music, but it is not outstanding on this album and the songs merges into one after a while.

5 out of ten
– Not for everyone but played well

Top track - Commotion

Wire – Silver/Lead

A band with a legendary reputation, one that has help transcend them from punk originals to post punk royalty.  It is their sixteenth studio album and it still sounds as if they have a passion and desire to create a monstrous piece of post punk noise.  It is a great record, but not one that I have found easy to love.  This is always the case with Wire for me, it takes me two years to appreciate anything they release, so I am getting the review up now in full knowledge that I will want to change the mark in the future.  It is good, but soon it will be great.

8 out of ten
– Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top track – Short Elevated Pieces

Rag ‘n’ Bone Man – Human

This man has a great voice, one that with the right care will carry him to higher heights of fame as the years go by.  But the pop production on some of these songs does not match that natural, raw talent from Rag ‘n’ Bone Man.  Also, for a debut there is quite a few tracks and it could be slimmed down and it would have made a great impact.  But I reckon he will be one for the future, he will do a Tom Waits and take his own course.

7 out of ten
– This is good and worth checking out

Top track – Human

Obituary – Obituary

They came, they trashed, they conquered.  If you do not like Obituary, this will not change that fact.  If you like your metal to be a bit on the death side, mental and off the wall, look no further.  It is a no-brainer to like this epic album, but do not expect anything outside of the box either.  The album does exactly what you expect, it is heavy as fuck and well worth a listen if you have the slightest interest in metal.

8 out of ten – Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top track – End It Now

Mastodon – Emperor of Sand

The boys are taking that final step away from their original roots…. or have they?  Musically, the heavy nature that was one the core of Mastodon is long gone here, but the writing style is still similar to early works such as ‘Leviathan’ with a slight change to the tone.  It is a good, solid release with some decent numbers, but it is not world changing and it sort of passes me by at times.  If it was by another band, it might be getting higher marks, but Mastodon held up by a different measuring stick and this is just a good album by those lofty standards.

7 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out

Top track – Ancient Kingdom

Alt-J – Relaxer

Alt-J seem to be a bit pissed off on this one, maybe it is a reaction to the feedback for ‘This Is All Yours’.  But it is an odd-ball album, one that delves deep into the strange side of indie with some strange rhythms and noises at unexcepted places.  Working on a different level to most bands can make you stand out, this is a case where it actually works.  It should not work, it should be flat on the floor and short of breath.  But it is a surprising album, worth investigating if you want to hear a band that have strayed down the darker side of the path.

8 out of ten
– Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top track - Deadcrush

Bonobo – Migration

Another gem from Ninja Tunes, Bonobo have created an atmospheric landscape where you can lose your sense of self and it is easy to be absorbed in this beautiful and majestic album.  It is full of subtle soundscapes that last as long as a dream, sometimes a bit too long and sometimes not long enough.  This trip-hop, downtempo anthemic collection is for the dark nights when the soul needs a gentle companion, one that will help the wounded soul rest.  A beautiful triumph.

8 out of ten
– Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top track – Break Apart (Feat. Rhye)

Creeper – Eternity, In Your Arms

The debut album from Southampton based horror punk act Creeper has been getting a lot of good press, sadly this is not going to be the case here.  It is aiming for a hardcore audience and adding some keyboards over it, the riffs are average and it ends up sounding a little samey by the end of it.  It is played well, but I have heard a lot better from the genre of horror punk.

5 out of ten
– Not for everyone but played well

Top track – Room 309

Deep Purple – InFinite

This is possibly the final album from Deep Purple, one of the longest running soap operas that has ever stalked the planet.  To be honest, it is not my thing as it does not have an excitement factor for me.  However, I can understand why other people will be lapping this up.  If you like your classic rock, you could do a lot worse than this.  However, you could also do a lot better.

5 out of ten – Not for everyone but played well

Top track – One Night In Vegas

Los Campesinos! – Sick Scenes

This is one of the albums I wish I had more time to write a full review, it is an awesome record that I have not been able to praise to the best of my abilities – so, sorry to Los Campesinos! for that one.  It is an indie/alternative rock gem of joy, with eleven tales of twenty something life that reminds me of a life once lived.  It has a sense of desperation to the words, but the music gives it all a sense of hope that is so important.  A lost gem in this list, gonna have to return to this one at some point…..

9 out of ten – Almost perfect, almost…..

Top track – Sad Suppers

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