You used to be able to get a Mars Bar for less that 50p. Nowadays it can’t get you much but in my local charity shop it got me this CD! This is another album that passed me by on release in 2009 even though I am a fan of Florence Welch’s distinctive vocal style. It’s possible that her version of “You’ve Got the Love” put me off this album. For me the definitive version of this song is the unofficial Candi Staton / Frankie Knuckles version from 1989 however Florence’s album version is different to her single release and it seems more original than the remixed single was. It is an album with a several musical styles but rooted in incredible vocals and one of my pet loves – interesting lyrics and narratives that pull you into little four minute worlds. Definitely one of the best ways to spend 50p!
Standout track : My Boy Builds Coffins
Before I get into my Prince album posts I had to talk about Wolf Alice as they have just been nominated as a candidate for Best British Group in the Brit Awards. I’ve been meaning to include them for a while, particularly after seeing them live which was totally brilliant. Ellie Rowsell is one of those performers you can’t take your eyes away from as she lets rip with her varying levels of vocal dynamics. Their latest album rubs punk-infused ire alongside Prog-rock-like expansiveness with a bit of folk and so you get a wide palette of sounds to enjoy. It’s one of those albums where you can just appreciate the musicians playing on songs that are just so interesting. At first listen you almost don’t know what you are going to get next. Fingers crossed for the Brits!
Standout track: Bit of a tough one, but i’ll go for Formidable Cool
When you don’t listen to the radio much new music can be hard to get into. Sometimes you listen to an album and something clicks. I have had a few like that and end up loving them. I want to like Catfish and the Bottlemen primarily because its a great name for a band. Also all the track names on The Balcony are one word titles which is a very satisfying thing. As music goes The Balcony has a lot of guitars and driving drums and is a great listen. At the moment though nothing has clicked yet that would make this a go to album or band. It will stay on my iPod for now at least and I have their second album to listen to as well. Definitely one to play when I fancy a bit of rock, but not a fave quite yet.
Standout Track : Sidewinder
Charity shops are a great place to pick up CD’s you thought you still had or never got round to buying, plus they are cheap! I never bought Jagged Little Pill which is practically a greatest hits collection for Alanis Morrisette who culled a run of hit singles from it in the late 90’s. I like clever or interesting lyrics and there’s a lot of that in this album. When she pulls back her voice on some of the quieter tracks you get to hear how melodic it can be. The songs that scream bitterness are countered by some more vulnerable performances, both of which relay emotional hurting. Frequently cited as one of the best albums of the nineties, if you like angst ridden jangly guitar pop rock to start the day then this is a good choice.
Standout track – You Oughta Know ; Alanis literally spits the lyrics at you.
I’m a big Sheryl Crow fan but not in the same way as I am with other artists who I can really get obsessed about, but I buy all her albums and is probably one of the artists I listen to the most, so not being obsessed about her is a bit weird for me! She manages to blend country, rock and pop in a really great way that means that I rarely get bored with her music and her voice suits all these genres. Her latest album is supposedly a return to her rock roots of the nineties, and it’s a change from Feels Like Home which was a very intentional country album. For me that’s the attraction, that Sheryl mixes it up with every album and gives you something new to listen to.
Standout Track – Only just getting into it really but the title track is a great.