Album Reviews: December 2007

 

Anthony Reynolds - British Ballads (Hungry Hill) 10/12/2007

N: "Anthony Reynolds writes beautiful music for drunken librarians." The first line of the press release that accompanies this release, a wonderful opener and I don't know about you, but made me hungry to listen to what they were describing. Tone?

T: Well, actually they are describing the brutal murder of a lovely old lady...

N: Have you stopped taking your tablets again?

T: No, really, it is. Oh, ok I can see you're not fooled this time. It's a pleasant tune not dissimilar to Andy Williams doing a take on a Neil Hannon number, and not TOO far off one of Primal Scream's more ballad like numbers. He's definitely a crooner anyway, but hey, I like crooners.

N: A well read lyricist and one who's easy take on music is absorbing like a good book.

T: Yep. A rather woozy, chilled out mood overcomes you while listening to this and that can only be a good thing. Unless you're on nightwatch or something. 7/10

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Whole Sky Monitor - Bland Bland Bland (Firebomb Radio Records) 10/12/2007

T: I never thought that, this late in the year, we would have a bona fide contender for "Best Album Of 2007", but it seems I was wrong. Of course, Nick has to agree before any lists can be compiled, but "Bland Bland Bland" is undoubtedly in MY top ten of the year anyway...

N: A bona fide indie album, with a Northern attitude that eats the fumes of an industrial age, where the music rises in exclamation as each track is aired. "Harehills Chapeltown" certainly deserved its place as first single off the album, its raw, grinding and gyrating melody a marvellous piece of songwriting. As much as it irks me to agree with you on this occasion, WSM could well have stolen that last minute goal.

T: I want to add that every track here is an absolute gem, from the fiery wrath of opening duo "Cinenema" and "Mary Moses" through the frantic fury of "Sick Sick Sick", the rather more relaxed pop nobility of "Just Let Me Talk To Her (Part 1)" - probably one of only two tracks that won't piss your parents off - right up to the downbeat finale of "URL", a short, sweet (?) ditty about unrequited love, this album is on the right label, being, as it is, an absolute firebomb. 10/10

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Various Artists - A Very Cherry Christmas Volume 3 (Cherryade) 03/12/2007

T: I'm never entirely sure whether Cherryade are taking the piss with these Christmas releases or not. As ever, some of them work brilliantly and some of them are rater underwhelming, as though they are going through the motions. Pick of the bunch is probably Billy Ruffian's "It's a Long, Lonely Christmas Without Jimmy Greenhoff", which is akin to Mark E Smith fronting The Sweet, with a song written by Half Man Half Biscuit.

N: This festive release has become part of our musical calendar, and "taking the piss" or not, this release is the light dusting to what Christmas has become these days. 7/10

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