Monday, 7 March 2016

February: 5 Albums

BARRY ADAMSON - Know Where To Run

Soulful, groovy, tasteful, funky, sexy, diverse (the romantic, old-fashioned "Claw & Wing" sitting side by side with the astounding sax-horror of "Texas Crash"). "Evil Kind" is one hell of a tuneful closer, and I could listen to the chorus of "Up In The Air" until the end of times. 9/10

PETE ASTOR - Spilt Milk

Oh the wonders of having a great taste. Astor is a rare kind. I've already written my piece on Pete's latest, but let's just add that "Perfect Life" (pure tears of joy) beats his own "Perfect Crime", and "My Right Hand" sounds like a cross between "Some Kinda Love" and "She's My Best Friend". Fittingly enough. Get back to me if you can write a melody as good as the one in “Very Good Lock”. 8/10

LUCINDA WILLIAMS - The Ghosts Of Highway 20

Ah give me the fucking scissors. Lucinda's latest goes on forever. Songs like "The Ghosts of Highway 20" or the tortured, haunting "Death Came" are masterful to the point of you not remembering how any of Car Wheels On A Gravel Road went, but the double album format is frankly stretching it. I think I could live with the 13-minute long "Faith & Grace", but I'm not sure I need the clichéd melodies of "Bitter Memory" or "Doors Of Heaven" or the sparse and annoying "Factory". Her songwriting skill is not in question, but the monster should have been chopped a little. 7/10   

NONKEEN - The Gamble

Whatever 'my music' even means, on Spotify or elsewhere, this shouldn't really qualify. Nervy electronic music interlaced with abstract jazz and pretty piano lines courtesy of Nils Frahm. That's the way I would describe it. Quite ignorantly, no doubt. This is very skittish, but there's meat here that will get you engaged. Wondrous album that will soundtrack any February. 7/10

THE FALL - Wise Ol' Man EP

This is cheating from Mark E. Smith, but who cares. This EP lasts like a short full-length album, but what do we get? Two new songs (both brilliant, both better than most of the cranky, clunky, clattering Sub-Lingual Tablet stuff) with their cut/altered instrumental versions and a few alternative takes on 2015 songs. The typical oddball move is that you get to hear the immortal "No Xmas For John Quay" at the end of "Facebook Troll". Whatever, but I'd take Smith's whatever over everyone else's. 7/10 

P.S. Oh, and Animal Collective still can't write a goddamn melody, Kula Shaker still exist (huh?) and PJ Harvey's new single is fantastic.