Aside from fancying Louise Nurding (now Redknapp), I remember Eternal as one of the most successful groups of the 90’s. With their debut album they had a string of hits and I had it on tape but finally picked it up on CD. Their blend of RnB and pop has that Britishness that always manages to stand out from American groups. I don’t know how well the sound translates to new ears some 20 years later as the distinctive 90’s beats and rhythms dominate this album, but it is still very listenable with some great songs and powerhouse vocal performances. If you like En Vogue or SWV then you are in the right place for Eternal. Following Louise’s departure they continued as a trio then eventually a duo, however it’s their debut album that finds a place in my collection.
Standout Track: Save Our Love
Sometimes I listen to an album not just for the music, but for the story of it’s creation to capture the feeling behind it. It helps if it’s interesting and if burning £1M in cash doesn’t pique your interest then nothing will! It’s difficult to know how far to push your tongue into your cheek. The White Room imitated the mainstream but at the same time produced something subversive and distinctive in its own right. The collector in me has been keeping an eye out for the original 1991 CD release and I picked up a copy in good condition for a really cheap price. There’s something about the concept of an original release that can be important as track listings and mixes can differ in later versions, so losing the intention of the artist. Listen to the trance pop beats and go read about The KLF. Its an interesting story…
Standout track: No More Tears
I was lucky enough to grab a ticket to see Jessie Ware perform at All Saints Church in Kingston, Surrey, as part of her promo tour for her new album Glasshouse. With only about a couple of hundred people it was a intimate setting with a stripped back band in a fabulous venue. I liked her debut album Devotion but never gave the follow up, Tough Love, as much of a listen. Her performance was fantastic! Its always great to see someone in this kind of setting where there is no place to hide and its down to them show what they can do, and she didn’t disappoint. She has a real soulful voice and delivers with emotion and depth. The new songs sounded great, so time for me to get the first two back into rotation and then check out Glasshouse. Lucky for you can see the gig here.
Before you have heard a note there is a lot to like about Dr. Feelgood. The band’s name for a start, as well as the names of the musicians themselves, Lee Brilleaux, Wilko Johnson, John B. Sparks and The Big Figure. If you have ever seen the Old Grey Whistle Test performances of the towering “Roxette” and “She Does It Right” Johnson’s choppy guitar licks and back and forth strut should be enough to get anyone interested. I finally got around to picking up this album and it doesn’t disappoint with it’s British take on RnB mixed with the pre-punk sound of the later 70’s. With everything else going on it could be easy to overlook Sparko’s bass but it really is great to listen to. The only track that doesn’t really do it for me is Boom Boom. Nothing can match the growl of John Lee Hookers original.
Standout track: She Does It Right
So The Big Moon are now officially my new obsession. I already posted about their debut album on this blog post but this week I saw them live at the Boileroom and they were fantastic! They were clearly having a great time and so were we. Sound at this venue was brilliant and did justice to their performance. Juliette is a very charismatic frontwoman and its great to see bands that just completely own their songs as well as the stage.
Special mention also to Get Inuit. A great set from them as well and again all the better for their brilliant frontman, Jamie Glass. Check them out here.
I cant stop listening to Love In The 4th Dimension and it gets better with every listen. Check out The Big Moon here , buy the album and go see them play! (Is that enough gushing for ya?)
Photo by kind permission of Ramble On Records
I am trying to put my finger on what makes Bastille sound so anthemic. This album has two main elements for me and if you have ever heard the single Pompeii you will be familiar with both of them. The pounding drums and drum fills create an atmosphere of building triumph in many of the songs, regardless of their lyrical content. But I think without the distinctive vocals this anthemic quality would not seem as marked. Dan Smiths voice is never drowned out by the music and his lifting style just holds you in anticipation of what he is singing. This was a good album for a Monday morning tube ride, even though it was my first listen.
Standout track: Icarus
Guilty pleasure time! This album came out alongside a TV special parodying the comeback of an influential musician celebrated by the likes of Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson and the Bee Gees. At the time Bruce Willis was starring in the hit TV show Moonlighting which I was a big fan of so this CD was an easy purchase. Almost all RnB covers, Bruce’s vocals are pretty good and the 80’s re-imagining of these songs is pretty good musically too. I’m am pretty sure that most people will see this as a novelty but I think it is a fun album and an enjoyable listen. Some people get a bit snooty about this sort of thing, citing it as not being “real” music, but any music is worth a listen and you can take it or leave it. Who is anyone to dismiss what someone else enjoys? Embrace the cheese!
Standout track : Fun Time