2 July 2017

2017 Album Review Round Up Part 7

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.

Thundercat – Drunk

The multi-produced album!!! An old nemesis of this blog, but for once I am not going to be complaining.  This is the third studio album from soul/jazz fusion artist Thundercat and features the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus and Pharrell Williams amongst others.  It has twenty three tracks and lasts over fifty minutes….and what a glorious album, what a stunning record!  It is one of those moments where my lack of time is upsetting me as it deserves a details review (I hope to get one up at some point).  The music moves me on so many different levels, it really is one of my favourite records of the last few months and will be in my list for album of the year.

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

Top track – A Fan's Mail (Tron Song Suite II) (Featuring Sounwave)

The Birthday Massacre – Under Your Spell

I have heard a lot of good things about this band and was looking forward to the album, it is a decent sound with some heavy synths and massive ideas that the band have cultivated here and in goth/industrial circle it will be going down a storm.  But it is not ground breaking enough to be a cross-over album, it is lacking originality and it does not push the boundaries of industrial as much as a band with this reputation should be able to. 

5 out of ten – Not for everyone, but played well.

Top track – All of Nothing

Gone is Gone – Echolocation

A supergroup with a modern twist, featuring members of Queens of the Stone Age, At the Drive-In, Mastodon and the founder of Sencit Music.  After releasing a self titled EP in 2016, this album was released in January and to be honest, it is a little dull.  It is a basic stoner record, with a bit of prog worship in the mix and its impact is minimal at best.  The way I look at this, it would be a below average if these cats were not already in famous bands, it is just a tad too predictable and unadventurous. 

4 out of ten – Well, it is alright, but still……

Top track – Pawns

Andrew McMahon In the Wilderness – Zombies on Broadway

Coming from the voice of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, you sort of know what you are going to get with this album.  Piano based pop rock, anthemic songs, heartfelt ballads and an ambitious record that will appeal directly to his fans.  It is a decent record, but it is not one that I would return to that often as it is a bit one dimensional.  That said, as far as pop records go, you could do a hell of a lot worse than this album.

6 out of ten – Now I see where you were going, but it is not quite there.

Top track – Dead Man’s Dollar

Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness

The second album from Buffalo, New York born Julie Byrne, this indie folk record is an album that is perfect for those reflective periods of your life.  Her music sounds like it was made for the outdoor, there is a natural and earthly feeling to the music and it feels like the world stops just to listen to the music.  It is not an energetic album, but it is a beautiful one.  If everything was going at a million miles an hour, then this album would be a perfect antidote.  A natural pause in the madness that is this blog, a beautiful record.

9 out of ten – Almost perfect, almost….

Top track – Sea as it Glides

White Reaper – The World’s Best American Band

Garage rock act White Reaper have been building up a head of steam for a while now, their third studio album from these Kentucky residents has been receiving praise from all corners of the globe.  They are not reinventing the wheel here, but they are just giving it a new coat of paint and trying to make their presence known in the world.  It is a good rock album which combines a classic sound with some fuzzy sensibilities – it is in debt to Kiss heavily in a lot of places, I have a feeling this is going to be the soundtrack for the summer for an awful lot of people.

7.5 out of ten – This is good and worth checking out.

Top track – The Stack

Incubus – 8

I have always had a love/hate relationship with Incubus, ever since I saw them supporting Korn in Newcastle many moons ago when they released the ‘Enjoy Incubus’ EP.   8’ does not improve matters to be honest, if anything it makes things slightly worse.  Where to begin…. This could be considered their ‘St. Anger’, it is the album where they have tried to get a bit of energy back to their sound, trying to get that special moment from their youth back with inconsistent results.  It was a brave try, but they reclaim their old glorious.  They really should have know this as they have developed as people,  moved on as musicians since then, they have proven that they were unable to catch the genie once again and it just sounds sad.  They are old hands trying to make young music, but without the unbridled passion that comes with youth and inexperience.  In short, it sounds calculated and it does not feel natural.  You cannot knock the performance in terms of musicianship, but you can knock it for trying too hard to recapture that original chutzpah.

4 out of ten – Well, it is alright, but still……

Top track – No Fun

The Mountain Goats – Goths

I always thought Americans did not get sarcasm, but this album dripping in ironic verses and a dark humour, that makes it feel that it is inflicted it a touch of genius if I am honest.  I have not heard of The Mountain Goats before, but on the strength of ‘Goths’ they are a band I will endeavour to listen to more.  It is a dark indie record, with the tongue firmly in the cheek, sonnets about the goth culture and some strange tales indeed And played with an attitude that makes other albums on this list seem like kids playing with pans, it is a truly amazing record.  Approach with an open mind and let the music take you to dark and wonderful places.

9 out of ten – Almost perfect, almost….

Top track – Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds

Formation – Look at the Powerful People

There is an anger to this music, but not an unhinged attack on the world.  No, this has the anger of people who are desperate for change and they are taking matters into their own hands.  It is a powerful record which mixes styles and genres with unassuming ease, the confidence behind the music is fantastic!  It is good to hear a band who are concerned with social-political issues making such an impact straight away!

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

Top track – On The Board

Dreamcar – Dreamcar

A new wave supergroup with members of No Doubt and AFI, sounds like a nightmare to some people (I know that my old writing partner Chris Jermyn would have hated it).  But it is a gem of a record, it is part of that current vogue of New Wave music revival, which end up a little bit samey by the end of it.  The talent of the band shines through, yet the one-trick pony element of the band does wear thin by the end of the record.  However, if you only have one trick, might as well make it a good one!

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

Top track – All of the Dead Girls

No comments:

Post a comment

Past sermons

Greatest hits