Playlists Reviews

Feature: Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Hi everyone, and welcome to another addition of Tomorrow”™s Sounds Today where we at Spotisfaction Incorporated fire up the kettle and brew a hot steaming mug of the best music picked from the recent additions to the “What’s new” section on Spotify. This week I’ve come up with the provisional tagline “October 2010: So you can teach an old dog new tricks!” as it seems to be a significant number of the big releases this week are new works from artists of the past which in some cases we had feared were gone for good.

Robert Plant ”“ Band Of Joy – Earlier in the year we reviewed “Angel Dance”, a new single from Robert Plant, and it was well received. Fast forward a few months and we now have Band Of Joy which is thankfully as good as the single which preceded it. It”™s been some time since we”™ve seen some work from Plant, the last piece being a duet with Alison Krauss back in 2008. I am pleased to say this album ticks all the expected boxes and doesn”™t disappoint. It is clearly a solo effort but it does have that unmistakable Zeppelin flavour running throughout a number of tracks, and it manages to not sound like a weak, watered down solo Zepp or some sort of strange pastiche. Kudos.

Manic Street Preachers ”“ Postcards From A Young ManA welcome return for Blackwood”™s favourite sons, and something strange seems to have happened… the Manics seem to be happy?  I”™m not saying every album of theirs is a wrist-slitting emo depress-fest, but there is an unmistakable positive energy to this work compared to some of the previous angst-writhen or politically charged pieces. It is not surprising, then, that in some of the music press both Mr. Wire and Bradfield have said they are shooting for this album to be more radio focused in order to gain airplay. With some heavyweight guests in the form of John Cale, Duff McKagan, and both Ian McCulloch and Tim Roth on the cover, the pieces are in the right place and the album doesn”™t disappoint.

Neil Young ”“ Le Noise – At a scant 8 tracks long I”™m not sure if this should be classified as an album or an EP.  With that in mind the tracks are a good length so overall there is meat on the bones. Whilst at its core the music is classic Young, the title of the piece is not just lip service – there is a definite “noise” element to the production without breaching into genres that his vocals are perhaps not suited to. At times the split between low tuned, distortion heavy, almost grungy guitar acts as a little too much of a difference to the high, soulful but almost reedy vocals, but thankfully this never ultimately detracts from the music.

Soundgarden ”“ Telephantasm – A great welcome back to the wonderful Soundgarden, but alas not in a recording capacity (but I would still like to hope). This work, I suspect, was partly generated by the new Guitar Hero, along with a few other suspicious new releases recently (Megadeth, Sabbath, et al) and is a compilation of all that is great by the group. In many respects I can say with confidence: if you could only own 1 record of the genre, this would be a most excellent choice. Every important song is on there from the smash single “Black Hole Sun” to the later and darker  “Blow up the Outside World”. My all time favourite track “Spoonman” is listed so they have at least one happy customer, although I”™m sure you”™ll all love it as well. Whilst they”™re still talking and touring there is still hope for an original album, and if Wikipedia is to be believed (shocking I know), Cornell has hinted they will make new material assuming it still sounds right. In the meantime we”™ll have to make do with this.

Ice Cube ”“ I Am The West –  Our last choice today is a welcome return to the record industry for the great Cube. It is great for two important reasons, firstly as a hip hop legend and originator of that OG sound it means more “heavy hits” for us to “put our fingers in the air and tap them four times” to (Tim Westwood. I know. Sorry). The second and more significant is that it will hopefully keep him from making questionable movies for a few months (or even years) and save some strain on the HMV bargain DVD bins for a while. For fans of that gansta hip hop sound, this album really doesn”™t disappoint. A little too heavy on the OG in places for my personal taste, but you can”™t deny all that Cube has achieved and continues to create. 40”™s will be spilt on the kerb, Escalades will spin, rides will bounce and those who deny him will find caps bust. BOOOOOOOOOOOOM HOOOOOOONK BOOOOOOOOM, etc.

On that bombshell, that”™s us done for the week and we hoped you enjoyed it!  As ever, all the albums and a few hidden unreviewed extras can be found below. We”™ll be back next week with some more classic tracks for you to dust off and spin again. Please let us know what you think using the comments system, drop us any of your own recommendations for new albums and if you have any thoughts, we love to share.

Tomorrow’s Sounds Today – 04/10/2010

Peace, Love and Music,

James Battin

By James Battin

James is the little voice in Dave's ear but certainly not his conscience...

Contributor, Writer, Playlister and general loiterer in the background... I have ideas but often need to help in following them through!

I love the variety of music on offer out there and am often told off for subconciously beatboxing while working.

I'm a Cisco engineer by day and tired parent to 2 awesome children by night.

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