A few years ago one of my kids went to the music festival at Reading so I took a particular interest in the bands that were playing and watched the broadcasts on TV. Off the back of that I bought a few albums and one of them was Save Rock and Roll. In the main the rock/RnB sound encapsulates the reason I enjoyed their live performances but for me it starts on a high with The Phoenix and slowly winds down. By the end of the album I felt like i’d had enough. Not sure if it was the music or the vocal style, or maybe the presence of Elton John! While I like some of his work it kind of ends it on a low because I just don’t enjoy his collaborative work of recent years. Still a good album but glad it’s not longer than it is.
Standout Track : The Phoenix
When the record company heard the pseudo-psychedelic ATWIAD for the first time apparently they weren’t impressed. Where was Purple Rain Part 2? While still touring with Purple Rain Prince was writing and recording ATWIAD and as always moved in a different direction to its predecessor. When I think of Prince albums ATWIAD seems to sit quietly in between Purple Rain and Parade, not always springing to mind when browsing my collection but this doesn’t reflect the quality of the album. You have undoubtedly heard of the singles but what defines it is its exploration of different sounds, instrumentation and composition that would characterise at least the next two albums. Where previously Prince would do it all, this is his more co-operative period with the Revolution, Wendy and Lisa in particular. If you have heard Purple Rain and like musicians that don’t stand still then you have to move on to ATWIAD.
Standout track : Condition of the Heart
The poster for Pollinator always caught my eye at the tube station and when I noticed it was available to listen to on a recent flight I didn’t hesitate. Its not often an album grabs me but after one listen I vowed to grab it from iTunes. It’s rare that this happens so this morning I have been trying to decide what it is I like about this album. Primarily its the driving drums that underpin the songs that do it for me, at times reminiscent of the drum track of Heart of Glass. Debbie Harry’s vocal has understandably lost a little of its smoothness, being really noticeable on Doom or Destiny however that might be intentional. This album really has the post-punk-disco-infused sound that for me is Blondie, and while some people may not like that i think its the reason why this album instantly appealed.
Standout Track : Long Time