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FEATURE: Tommorow’s Sounds Today

Hello everyone and welcome to another editions of Tomorrows Sounds Today – sorry it’s a little late, but we had a manic one at the ol’ day job yesterday. Anyway, let us welcome you in from the cold cold winter and settle you in from of our roaring fire of new and exciting music. Slip off the shoes, pop on the slippers and we’ll make you a warming mug of some tasty new albums, we might even slip in a wee dram of hot releases as its a super cold day.

My first choice this week is one which is not part of Spotify but I feel it is an important thing to raise. I try not to be a charity plugger as there are far too many out there doing too much good work and inevitably they don’t all get equal voice.

That said, I have friends in the field on active service and I’ve spent different periods of my life tied with different Army Units (it was almost a full time career choice for me) so I am a strong supporter of the work the Royal British Legion do, not just at this time of year but all year round. Political views around war aside, people are dedicating their lives on a daily basis.

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/the-nation-remembers/two-minute-silence

Anyway…. morale guilt trip over with, onto the normal tunage!

Weezer – Death to False Metal – This album comes very close to the latest studio release Hurley which we covered previously and whilst the songs are all ‘new’, it is not intended as a new album, although the band have professed to giving it the same energy and coverage. It acts as a collection of work spanning their careers, and all I will say is if you are a fan of Weezer already, I think there is plenty in there you will like. However, I don’t think (as you would expect from an informal, non studio release) that it will necessarily convert any non-fans. It is still a great album and worthy of mention along with their main releases, and for me at least it certainly doesn’t feel like a weak B-sides cash in attempt. For that alone they should be applauded, as that is all too easy to do these days.

The Radio Dept. – Never Follow Suit – This EP from Swedish outfit The Radio Dept. is one of an ever growing list from a band who never seem to release many albums but are always punching out the EP’s. To say never is a little unfair as there are a couple out, but EP’s seem to form the backbone. As their name might suggest, they are on the more electronic spectrum and certainly make me think of some of the 80’s electronica bands with hints of New Order, Cocteau Twins and the like. A great piece of work and worthy of the rest of their catalogue.

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FEATURE: Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Hello and welcome to another edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today, where, as always, our crack team at Spotisfaction have crossed palms with silver, tossed runes, followed black cats and polished crystal balls till our fingers were mere nubs to bring you the latest and greatest releases on the Spotify shelves.

Also I’m afraid I’d also like to have a little moan but best to get it out of the way before the good music! I’m not sure if this is a function of Spotify or their wrangling with the evils that are record executives (I have my suspicions but at the moment they are unproven), but a number of the newer releases I’ve been listening to recently are starting to have that growing trend of only including part of the full release. It can’t be my account as I’m currently running the full premium (mostly so I can listen on my iPad) so I can only assume its deliberate. My concern is that some bright spark at (x) records has decided that if we cant hear the full album on Spotify, we’ll rush to the nearest MP3 vendor or better still, the killer margin of a high street record store to buy their wares. Can I just say, if any of you are listening, no this won’t! It will make me more likely to look online for the rest of the album. Once I have made the decision to spend my hard earned on streaming services I am not buying your overpriced plastic discs! Recent articles have shown in some territories, Spotify makes more for the artist than regular sales, stop robbing us of half the album!

…. and breathe…

Onto the good stuff! This week we have a nice mix of genres for you. In the lead up to Christmas I’m sure we’ll start to see the compilations and seasonal albums ramp up, but for the moment we’re still getting normal releases thankfully!

UNKLE – Where Did The Night Fall – Opinion appears to be divided as to whether the current releases by UNKLE are as good as their early work, personally I’m a fan of all their albums but I’m sure the debate could rage in the comments section :) This album was an easy choice for me following my slightly unhealthy repeated plays of one of its tracks, Follow Me Down which reminds me of early Sneaker Pimps. This record contains some great guess artists and a good range of subtle blending of styles which for me just create a really complete sound and a really solid record. To those new to the artist, there is nothing about this record that will disappoint, but to those fans of the old, I’ll leave you to make your own minds up!

Rumer – Seasons Of My Soul – Considering the amount of coverage and hype Rumer has had, its hard not to remember this is still her debut album. Countless comparisons to the likes of Karen Carpenter are easy enough to hear in both her voice and the tunes, but at the same time these comparisons feel a little lazy. One of two of the tracks certainly seem to have been written to show that style of vocal of which she’s more than capable of, but she also has enough range to be strong on her own and not just be seen as a clone of a former favourite of the collected consciousness. This album might feel safe to some but I see it as a great example of someone playing to their strengths. It’s a perfect sunny morning, coffee and danish, feel good about yourself record and I think there are days we all need that.

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Features Playlists

FEATURE: Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Hi everyone and welcome to another edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today, where we at Spotisfaction Towers exercise our inner domestic goddess and serve you hot, delicious spoonfuls of the latest and greatest tunes fresh from the Spotify Fridge.

A good mix of music this week, from the eclectic jazz of Afrocubism to current commercial darlings Kings of Leon. As always, we hope you enjoy our choices but I would welcome all your feedback on the highlights, lowlights and slow burners this week. Did we miss a glaringly obvious release? Let us know and it might make a revisited page or even warrant its own full length review! The comment section is below and remember that your voice empowers you (but please be polite). And so, to business!

Kings Of Leon – Come Around Sundown – I’ll be honest and say I’m not the world’s biggest Kings of Leon fan, but they are still very popular despite this, so I am sure that news of the album will be well received in some camps. Musically, this record doesn’t sound a huge departure from earlier work and that’s by no means a bad thing. I almost get the feeling they’ve played it safe, ensuring they hit the same target as before. It’s a competent, enjoyable album but I fear the only negative, if there is one, is that there is not the immediate impact that the singles of its predecessor had.

Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love – So out with the politically neutral review of Kings of Leon, and into the selfish all-praising review of one of my favourite groups… Let’s not say we at Spotisfaction are not about balance! According to my Spotify, all the current Belle & Sebastian albums are 2010 releases so I suspect some contractual wrangling in the background or a mass re-issue. Earlier in the year we spoke about Push Barman To Open Old Wounds and how much I still enjoy listening to that record. This new LP is definitely a shift in direction but not a full-on change of lanes. It feels less relective and has a more dreamy shine to it, for want of a better description. Musically it is as strong as ever and I think will go down just as well with fans.

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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.

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Playlists Reviews

Tomorrows Sounds Today

Hi guys. Welcome to another edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today, where we at Spotisfaction Towers give you all the killer and none of the filler from the last fortnight’s additions to the “What’s new” section of Spotify. It has been a truly bountiful fortnight and there is so much content that I couldn’t possibly fit it all into review and remain meaningful – apologies in advance for not covering it all! As always, you can find the things I couldn’t fit into this piece in the TST playlist after the break. Now, on with the show!

Royksopp – Senior – Our first choice this month was a no-brainer – the latest piece from the top Norwegian electro kings. It is an album which has had an uncommon effect on me in that I don’t want to force unnecessary blurb out about it. Its great, its really great, go listen. That is all I feel it needs.

Atmosphere – To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy: the Atmosphere ep’s – Our next choice this week is a new artist on me and in one I feel sadly remiss I had not discovered earlier. Having played through the album a couple of times (with increasing joy), I felt compelled to go over the back catalogue and I have to say, hand on heart it was one of those days I thank the gods of the Internet for creations like Spotify. There is no way I, in old world music behaviour, would have gone out and bought a back catalogue… but I digress. A great choice for you hip-hop lovers, phat beats, great rhymes with some meaning and edge. A positive voice in questionable times who clearly draws from life rather than faking it.

Skunk Anansie – Wonderlustre – Rather than being known for genre busting, I swear the latter part of the current decade will be known as the time all the old bands reformed! Week in, week out, I see a new band from the past come together to have another punt. Did they iron out their differences or just receive an inordinately large gas bill? I don’t wish to sound ungrateful, in many cases this is a really good thing (the new Soundgarden for example). In other cases it is just a shameless cash in, doomed to failure.

I’m on the fence about the Skunk Anansie reformation. I loved them the first time round and I’ll be honest and say I know little of the drivers behind the reform but how is the sound? Just as good as it ever was and whilst for some the lack of change might not resonate I think it’s an album worthy of note.

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Playlists Reviews

FEATURE: Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Hi everyone, and welcome to a new edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today – the place where Spotisfaction picks the best of what’s new to Spotify. The eagle-eyed among you will notice we’re a week out of sync at the moment due to the Bank Holiday, but we will continue to alternate weekly on a Monday with our Tomorrow’s Sounds Today / Classics Collected pieces.

This week is a bumper edition due to the extra week of new albums, so grab a coffee, a comfy seat and don’t be shy with that Danish while we burst forth with musical goodness! As ever, you can select each piece individually or listen to the full playlist with a few secret special extra tracks thrown in. We also like insightful debate at Spotisfaction Towers, so please use to the comments section to give kudos to the good choices and flame free constructive criticism to the bad ones.

Various Artists – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – My first choice is rather a self indulgent one as it comes from the recently released must see “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”. I was a huge fan of the graphic novels after our editoral master introduced me to the first one and the movie really didn’t disappoint, thrusting straight into my personal top 10. Edgar Wright has a particular visual talent as a director but he also understands that special symbiotic relationship between a movie and its soundtrack. With the likes of Beck (as in film band Sex Bob-Omb) and Broken Social Scene (as Crash and the Boys) adding their talents you can guarantee a special experience. Add it to the official music soundtrack (Various Artists – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and you’ll have some time well spent while craving the DVD release date.

The Pretty Reckless – Light Me Up – I must warn those of you without premium accounts, this one has overnight joined the “premium exclusive” pile, but give it a couple of weeks and it’ll be back for everyone. As debut albums go, this is a very solid effort with strong vocals from singer, actress and model Taylor Mommsen. For someone to achieve success in multiple fields you would expect one of the branches to be a little weaker but as the front woman for a rock band, she’s definitely got it working! The formula is nothing new or revolutionary but very well executed so expect to see more from this band!

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Features Reviews

FEATURE: Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Hi everyone, welcome to another edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today! For those new to the series, this is our collection of the best from the “What’s New” section of Spotify presented to you for your digestion on a fortnightly basis.

We have some real crackers for you this week, including some unusual choices showcasing our commitment to musical diversity. As usual we’ll present our top picks with a little breakdown for you, but please also take a look at the playlist linked at the end of the post for some little extras and teasers for you!

Wavves – King Of The Beach
– If you have already listened to the Best Coast album we did a review on last week then you are in for a complete treat with this piece. An epic work of positive, pulsing guitar rock that wouldn’t be out of place on a soundtrack for that drive to the beach for a surf weekend. Tones of other genre bands come out in all the tracks but at no point do they feel like they are lending too heavily from other peoples work. Turn this one up loud and feel the summer.

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Features Reviews

FEATURE: Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Welcome everyone to another edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today, where we pick all that’s best from the “What’s new?” section of Spotify and present it to you, neatly packaged with some thoughts and links!

In this edition we have quite the mix for you, from classic rock, through pop, to that Motown sound. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

1.
Robert Plant – Angel Dance

I couldn’t really start with anything other than the great Robert Plant, mostly as I’m a huge Led Zeppelin fan since my early teens, via my first guitar. Ok, I’ll grant this is thus far just a single track but it is well worth a listen and is hopefully a sign of a new album due to grace us soon. Classic Zeppelin it is not but it is full of the hallmarks Plant is famous for and a great addition to a playlist!

2.
Tired Pony – The Place We Ran From

Next up is a new band on the circuit, Tired Pony with their debut effort. I listened to the album before looking into the band and whilst the sound is not entirely original to them, it is a great piece of work. There are hints of Snow Patrol and a definite homage to Buck/Stipe which didn’t surprise me when I read of his involvement. There are also some definite country hints to the sound but all with beautiful vocal work and the standout track for me, “Get On The Road” is a wonderful build up track.