Categories
Reviews

REVIEW: The Streets – Computers And Blues (Atlantic Records, 2011)

Mike Skinner is back with his fifth and final hurrah under his moniker The Streets, with Computers And Blues, and the premise of being a more ‘Ravey’ reflective and evaluation of life at “Street Level”.

From the offset, Skinner positively demonstrates his intent to stretch the boundaries of musicality with the strangely syncopated and electrified introduction to opening number Outside Inside, combined with the ever-familiar, casually poetic style flowing tamely alongside the sporadic melody. Going Through Hell features a catchy ear-worm chorus and an almost obnoxious and leary driven thumping backing track.

Sadly though, the better tunes look to have already passed and the rest of the album seems to lose its way, with the next tracks failing to deliver or cover any significant new ground in its material content, sometimes seeming to have to resort to repetition to get the across the themes in the subject matter. Skinner has opted to stretch his poetic abilities with the use of more abstract metaphors which, often overused, actually hinder empathy with the lyrical content.

Categories
Reviews

REVIEW: Muse – Wembley Stadium 10/09/10

Following the commercial success of The Resistance late last year, Muse recently returned to the stadium circuit. Their two closing sets on the UK leg of this tour hit England’s capital, with a packed out Wembley Stadium.

Walking into the stadium early to embrace the day and catch the warm-up acts, one could be forgiven for questioning what might be in store later on. The almost overstated stage dominated the temporary pitch – its strange angular design stood tall, proud and suggestive, generating a warm sense of intrigue. The sun began to set, and the lights came up. The rapturous roar of the crowd bellowed and echoed around the arena, and Muse kicked-off their 2 hour set with the explosive ‘Uprising’. With the volume turned up waaaay past eleven and approaching obnoxiously loud, the instant energy generated from the excitable crowd felt as if it would blow the roof off. Though the volume was overwhelming, the sound of every single note, drum kick, guitar pluck or vocal line was lovingly tweaked to create a sound as pristine and perfect as a fully mastered studio release. Moving effortlessly into ‘Super Massive Black Hole’, It was clear from the off that this was a set to be remembered.

Categories
Reviews

REVIEW: The Coral – Butterfly House (Deltasonic)

    Image courtest of Amazon.co.uk

    Longstanding Liverpudlian five-piece The Coral have been keeping themselves busy recording their latest studio album “Butterfly House”. Recorded in 2 venues over the last two years, this album marks the first released since the departure of guitarist Bill-Ryder Jones. Eager to showcase their new material, the band have interspersed their recording sessions with single releases, tours, and festival gigs to assess reception.

    Butterfly House doesn’t take its time to get started, and within what feels like three seconds, the vocals for the album’s opener More Than a Lover are underway. Immediately, the sound encompasses the typical guitar work that followers of The Coral would be expecting. Seamlessly moving into Roving Jewel, the album continues in the same vain. The flowing guitar works fit perfectly under the customary vocal stylings of James Skelly.

Categories
Reviews

REVIEW: The Baseballs – Strike (Rhino Records)

Image courtesy of Amazon.co.uk

Just humour me, here. In a throwback to the old school, German cover group The Baseballs have taken it upon themselves to re-introduce the good old juke box to the masses with a fresh bunch of recent smash hits re-imagined with a 50’s twist. Going back a few years to 1995, a lounge cover music outfit The Mike Flowers Pops group made their name with their audacious attempt to outshine Oasis’ immortal Wonderwall and gave themselves overnight notoriety. These days, is seems that only a few groups can summon the gall to attempt covers of such well known tracks. Nevertheless, The Baseballs have released a collection of efforts in their lively debut album “Strike”.

Categories
Features

FEATURE: Does Britain Really Have the X-Factor Talent?

Image courtesy of The Daily Goss.

And first, the news! So recently it was announced that John and Edward, fronted by aging buffoon Louis Walsh are to release a second god awful travesty. Yes my friends. It is regrettably true that those two Irish pillocks (affectionately?) shortened to JedWard, have surpassed all logic and reason with their release of their personal answer to the Nuclear Bomb, a cover version of Blink 182’s ‘All the Small Things’ (along side their new debut album). For those that may not know, John and Edward are 18 year old twins, who earned their reputation for covering poor renditions of tunes like the ‘Ghostbusters Theme Tune’ and ‘Vanilla Ice’s Under Pressure’ during last year’s series of X-Factor. The main problem was that they were at the time subject of much entertainment, because they simply weren’t good enough. How they made it into the knockout stages was a mystery to many. Nevertheless, they battled through the rounds with their out of sync jumping and cringingly tuneless vocal musings. Surprisingly, they made it to the 6th knockout round of the competition. Thing is, these boys need no encouragement. It’s not really a fair plan to expose them to the public in this way to be the subject of mockery. Whilst the novelty of watching these boys progress through the rounds bastardising tune after tune was admittingly entertaining at first, their sheer lack of quality soon became tiresome. To the point where, for many weeks, they were booed, live in front of an audience of millions. And now, as previously mentioned, they have landed a large record deal, 2 singles and an album. On what grounds? Success?