Friday, July 27, 2007

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

I've always been confused by the name of this band, is it an order? Or merely a exclamation that they are in fact a piece metallic cutlery? I think I would prefer not to know, It maintains the aura of mystery. Something that can be said about this band for certain is that they are improving dramatically with each album, Gimme Fiction was a sign that this is a band that should be listened to. So with open ears and an open mind I picked up my copy of their newest album, eager to see whether they could keep up the magic touch which the now possess.

I was not to be disappointed the strangely titled Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga continues their rich vein of form. Underdog, the first single from this album a tapestry of a wonderful bass line and horns that puts it in line for song of the year. Its a celebration of how good they have become and a perfect choice for a first single. They have fine tuned their sound so well that every song jumps out you with lyrics and tunes that are unrivalled. Songs like Rhythm And Soul and Finer Feelings are a triumph of pop combined with studio ingenuity and anyone who dares them to produce these songs live should check out the performance of Underdog on the Late Show with David Letterman which can be found on youtube. So, what are you doing sitting reading this? Go out and buy this, you shall not regret such a decision.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Jai - Alai Savant - Flight of the Bass Delegate

I stumbled across this band through another of my favourite bands The Mars Volta whom they share a record label which. In many ways they are similar to the aforementioned band. They have produced a debut album which jumps around and flits back and forth through multiple influences, like a ten year old boy who's had far too much Haribo and Capri Sun and wont stay still. Despite the strong impact of other bands on them including the Mars Volta they have a very clear sound, that is very much their own. Its held together by the hushed vocals of Ralph Darden which are at times very reminiscent of Sting and the sublime drumming of Michael Bravine.

Scarlett Johansson Why Don't You Love Me jumps out and hits you on name alone and it doesn't disappoint when heard, its a song I could listen to all day without becoming bored. One of the best songs is the funky The Low and Frequent See which trips along and at over 7 minutes as by no means short but have no fear as none of that time is wasted. Sugar Free has to be my favourite song from the album and is without a doubt the most police sounding with is superb chorus. They are a band who can produce pop brilliance or self indulgent mastepieces and with that range they have the potential to become even better. Although quite a few of the songs seem to cut out just as they are getting going, that's a minor quibble over what is an excellent debut from a band who should be huge.

Feist - 1,2,3,4 (Single)

One of my favourite singers currently and the creator of the critically acclaimed album The Reminder is the lovely Leslie Feist. Not only is this lady intensely beautiful but also amazingly talented. Yes, ok I'm in love with her. Anyway, this is the new video to her second single from The Reminder and is entitled 1,2,3,4. See if you can get through the whole video without smiling once.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kula Shaker - Strangefolk

They have always been a band that alot of people love to hate. But one thing for sure is that they are an exceedingly talented musicians and on this their long overdue third album they show how good they really are. Hurricane Season and Shadowlands are well thought out pieces of songwriting brilliance that allow you to wonder how you haven't heard them before. Sure, their music might not be fashionable in our Arctic Monkeys flavoured world. But they play without compromise and in doing so highlight how poor some of the songwriting is out there in the current music scene.

Politics rear their head once again with a song that featured on their The Revenge Of The King EP. Great Dictator (Of the Free World) has since had a slight reworking and I think its a very witty and humorous take on a subject that others have sang and died by, but in this case it works well. The title track as I see it seems to act as a divide for the album. Before it I see lighthearted and jaunty tunes and afterwards they seem to switch into serious mode, perhaps I am imagining this so called split in the album but its something which I will credit them with.

The first track following the break is Song of Live/Narayana which incorporates elements from the tracks Narayan and Climbatize, both from The Prodigy's album Fat Of The Land. Narayan was a co-written with Mills and it featured his vocals, some would see the use of this as a remedy for a lack of decent new material but its such a good reworking and they've changed it enough to make it an worthy track in its own right. They are a band of the 90's, but this music is timeless. If only more British bands were making such good music.