Thursday, May 31, 2007

Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me

Eat Me, Drink Me which has been fashioned by himself as well as guitarist and bassist Tim Sköld. Manson has stated that he had difficulty cutting down some of the tracks but I don't think thats the obvious problem with this album. The quality of the album cover is my main concern.

Amongst the broken down trains and burning builidngs in this musical landscape songs like You And Me And The Devil Makes Three appear. This is kind of song where Manson thrives as its held together by a spikey drum beat and a good bridge to the chorus that make it the best track on here. Just A Car Crash Away is another high point of the album. It moves along with Manson's breathly vocal and Sköld's neat guitar rhythm seeminly achieving a rare moment of clarity. Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery is another of my favourites which is as much a slice of bright bubblegum pop as the title allows. It's also another track for Sköld's guitar work. This is as much Sköld's album as it is Manson's its a gritty and abrasive and there are tracks here that are some of Manson's finest work. This is underlined with the last track on the album Eat Me, Drink Me which is a very similar track to the opening If I Was Your Vampire. It doesn't take you anywhere but really draws you in with some sparkling guitar work against a primal drum beat. It's an album thats produces moments of brilliance but doesn't produce them consistantly enough.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Klaxons - It's Not Over Yet (Single)

Heres a real treat for everybody. A Klaxons performance of It's Not Over Yet which is due to be their next single. Its a more chilled out version than the original, which isn't released until the 25th June. So lay back and relax to a different type of Klaxons performance.

Arctic Monkeys - Matador (Single)

Now for something slightly different, a track from the Japanese version of Favourite Worst Nightmare entitled Matador. I for one am disappointed that this isn't available on the British version. I hope that this is an insight into a possible new direction for the band because it has a very psychedelic zest to it. How refreshing it is to see them trying something different with no vocals from young Alex Turner till towards the end of the track. It's getting a limited release on 7" on the 18th June.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full

Isn't it nice to see something written about Mr McCartney that isn't about his private life? This is his latest offering, Memory Almost Full. The first album on the new Starbucks record label. I wasn't envisaging to find anything new about him from this and so I wasn't suprised to find that this is the same material that hes been releasing for all of his career.

Sure, I don't know what I really, a rap album or a dance album probably. This is as far from that as possible. I want to like this album but find myself thinking the same things as when I looked at the lead off single Dance Tonight. Its not all bad though, Mister Bellamy mixes old with the new with McCartneys usual vocal delivery and a tinkery piano rhythm on top of a modern sounding drum beat. House Of Wax moves along like an ghostly presence reminiscent of the Manic Street Preachers track Intense Humming Of Evil. With Eerie vocals from McCartney and uncessesary guitar solos its a step above the rest of the material on this record. Most of this however you can find done far better earlier in his career. A pleasant trip if one that you've taken many times before.

The Bees - Listening Man (Single)

The newest single from the bands latest release Octopus. Its a jaunty summer melody that really has no place being released as a single, its reminiscent of much of the album though which was a tour de force. It features a very witty video that I think some of us can relate to.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Paul McCartney - Dance Tonight (Single)

This track from his new album Memory Almost Full sounds like it was written in five minutes. The gentle mandalin playing and lyrics are pleasant enough but its a song that really only this man could get away with.

It's almost as if he isn't trying anymore and in essence he doesn't really need to. Having said that its a fantastic video that accompanies the song directed by Michel Gondry that stars Natalie Portman and Mackenzie Crook.

The Horrors - She Is The New Thing (Single)

These fellows are darkness personified. But unfortunately this is one of the the weaker tracks from their debut album and not even a clever video that combines live action and animation can save it. It suffers from the ailment of not being quite different enough from the previous singles to warrant a listen. Something that plagued Strange House, they need to hide away in the shadows for a while and plan their second album.

Queens Of The Stone Age - Era Vulgaris

The first listen to the new Queens Of The Stone Age album I await with quivering fingers and an aching in my stomach. I really enjoyed Lullabies To Paralyze their last album, I thought it was the most significant of the Queens Of The Stone Age albums. It represents a point of change, they were evolving and the culmination of this change is Era Vulgaris. The album opens with a sensational riff on Turning On The Screw which sets you up nicely for what you will experience with the rest of the album.

When I first saw the track list I was pleased to see a favourite of mine from the Desert Sessions and the Queens live album Over The Years And Through The Woods. Make it Wit Chu which is very different from anything that they have produced before. It chugs along beautifully with a piano beat holding it together. My personal favourite has to be the Suture Up Your Future which has a moves along with a bouncing bass line in the verses and in the chorus descends into echoey guitars. You still get your churning, heavy pop tracks with 3's & 7's and Sick, Sick, Sick fitting the bill. But overall the songwriting and technical ability has upped significantly and they have allowed themselves to create a much darker and less mainstream effort where they experiment without losing their own sound. They've created an album which is without a doubt the finest of their career to date.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kanye West - Can't Tell Me Nothing (Single)

Despite him being in the middle of nowhere for his new video he still manages to sneak in a gratuitous shots of a Lamborghini. This could only be Kanye West. For a rap video its very arty, a women dressed in long flowing dress and waves of psychedelic colour and smoke that float across the screen isn't the norm. Kanye likes to do things differently and this Hype Williams directed video is exactly that. Its a song that doesn't grab you like it should though, despite it having all the usual Kanye motifs like a lovely sampled vocal that rings through the track. Its not quite up to his usual quality and I hope this isn't a sign of him losing his magic touch.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The White Stripes - Icky Thump (Single)

The new single from The White Stripes new album of the same name. Its reminiscent of the earlier work of their self titled debut and second album De Stijl.

But once again they've mixed it up with wonderful sprawling Jack White solos on top of a very simple drum beat supplied as ever by Meg. This track is brash and heavy. It isn't for the weak of mind or for those who find Keane too noisy. A triumphant return to the fray for the Whites and definitely a contender for single of the year.

The video is below, its a strange fellow indeed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Marilyn Manson - Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)

You mention Marilyn Manson to a person and immediately the reaction is either disgust or indifference. He conjures up the image of this grotesque image of resentment. But underneath all the make-up and showmanship there's a man who knows how to make good music . This the first single from his forthcoming sixth studio album Eat Me, Drink Me an album which was strictly a collaboration between himself and Tim Skold. "Don't break, don't break my heart, and I won't break your heart shaped glasses." Manson sings, this is quite clearly a pop song dressed up in rock clothing, its grimy its gritty but when the chorus comes in you can't help but sing along. Manson has been creating this kind of song all his career and long may that continue.

Bjork - Earth Intruders

The video for sublime Bjork single Earth Intruders which is taken from her new album Volta which is her sixth studio album.

I don't know about you but this video has a hypnotic effect on me. It feels as if my mind is being taken control of, its probably nothing. Must buy Bjork back catalogue.

Manic Street Preachers - Send Away The Tigers

The music in the early section of the manics career was filled with passion and they felt as if they had something to say to the world. Recently they've been trying to recapture that energy with the patchy Know Your Enemy which without a doubt would have benefited from a trimming down and now with Send Away The Tigers which nobody could say was too long with its 10 tracks. The opening track, which is also the title track is a brash piece of pop brilliance that features a lyrical structure not unlike that of a Holy Bible track and a James Dean Bradfield riff to die for. Indian Summer is another highlight which drifts along beautifully, with its subtle strings and James' guitar meandering through the duration. One track that doesn't work in the context of the album is the first single Your Love Alone Is Not Enough which ostensibly doesn't fit well into this collection of songs mainly due to its more heavily pop nature when compared to the other material.

They seemed to have recaptured some of that fire that drew them to create The Holy Bible. It appears that they have reached the stage of their careers where they are mainly influenced by themselves which speaks loudly about the nature of the Manics back catalogue They have created an album that bodes well for the future of the Manic Street Preachers.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Cribs - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever

The Cribs are a band that I have a love-hate relationship with. While they lack technical ability they tend to make up for it with their sheer song writing ability. Sometimes this isn't enough though and their songs have the tendency to descend into a dirge of noise. Their new album Men's Needs Women's Needs, Whatever doesn't dispel this tendency and doesn't quite have the same quality of songs as The New Fellas. Saying that it has some absolute gems, one of these being Shoot The Poets which is a gentle acoustic track that is a real contrast with the rest of the album. You can download the track below.

Feist - My Moon, My Man (Single)

"How honestly my beggar should be, my songs out of key again" sings Leslie Feist on her new song My Moon, My Man from her new album The Reminder. Who is also in her spare time a member of the hugely talented Broken Social Scene. On the first listen to this you can't help but tap your feet to the fantastic bass line. Her vocals sit perfectly ontop of the basic song structure that bounces along with intent through the duration of the song. Such an infectious offering would in an ideal world go straight to the top of the charts. The marvellous video directed by Patrick Daughters is below for you to enjoy.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Se Dice Bisonte, No Bufalo

The culmination of recordings made in 2005 in California and Amsterdam. Its an album consisting of mainly instrumental tracks. Only three of the ten featuring vocals provided by his Mars Volta band mate Cedric Bixlar-Zavala. Rodriguez-Lopez is not one to shy away from experimentation and this is no exception it flits and darts about and your never quite sure what you might hear next. Its an album that has great togetherness. Its alot lighter and simpler than his Mars Volta work, hes evidently trying to create something which while not overly different from the aforementioned band, is rawer and produced to a lesser degree

His brilliance shines through on many of these tracks and its the instrumentals not featuring Bixlar-Zavala's vocals that shine the most. Boiling Death Request A Body To Rest It's Head On is one of those tracks which incoporates a killer hook. Luxury Of Infancy is a statement of intent at the start of the album, with his guitar creating a soaring intro to Rapid Fire Tollbooth which would make an excellent Mars Volta track given a reworking which I believe is their intent.

Its an album that is obviously a time filler before the next Mars Volta album. Its a fine piece of work taken for what it is. But I would be interested to hear Lopez working with musicians out of his comfort zone. Other vocalists with a different style might give him a whole new different set of fans.

The Clientele - God Save The Clientele

I was unsure how to approach this album, I'm familiar with the Clientele's style and sound and from the song posted on their Myspace page it was obvious that not much had changed. The Clientele create music which rewards repeated listens, it doesn't grab you and senselessly shake the life from you. That just isn't the way that they make their music. It rocks you gently from side to side in its comfortable arms until you realise what you are listening to is pop music of the highest order.

Songs like Isn't Life Strange can make you drift away into the clouds losing hours of time that can't be accounted for. These songs haven't been made in a factory that throws bass lines, riffs and drumbeats together. They're been handcrafted lovingly with the care that is so often forgotten about. They feel personal and fresh despite their obvious influences. Standout tracks Bookshop Casanova and Here Comes The Phantom ooze with sunshine brilliance. The latter bouncing along beautifully oblivious of the world around it. Songs like Winter On Victoria Street make you glad to be alive lifting the heart and allowing the soul to sing.

Beatles and Beach Boys comparisons are obviously going to be made. But The Clientele are far beyond these creating music that doesn't shy away from these influences but injects so much of their own style that they don't seem to matter.