Posts

Showing posts from October, 2017

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - TORI AMOS "LITTLE EARTHQUAKES"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
TORI AMOS

"LITTLE EARTHQUAKES" I first saw Tori Amos on some TV show, I can't remember which one, and I thought how intriguing this lady was.  A mass of red hair, legs astride a piano stool, with an organ behind and a piano in front.  This quirky yet attractive lady was writhing her legs in a playfully sexy way, curling her pouty red lips and singing the most pure and sultry whispered vocal around sometimes manic Rock keyboards and sometimes slow and Classical.  I bought this album and every album since, until "Cornflake Girl" became a big hit the UK hadn't caught this alternative singer songwriter just yet.
Although "Crucify" became Tori's breakout single as it reached number 15,…

JANUARY

Image
January (Thompson) is a singer/songwriter who makes a sound involving ambient and electronic sounds creating an atmospheric feel backing her pure harmonious vocals.  Her debut album in 2008 prompted critics to liken her sound to Tori Amos and Kate Bush.
I hear a lot of Sarah McLachlan in her music and her latest album, "Whelmed" is full of emotive, almost haunting music with beautifully sung heartfelt lyrics. "Careful What You Tell The Sky", the debut set included the Oriental sounding title track and the almost Medieval backing of "Beautiful Ache".   This lady obviously likes to experiment and push the boundaries when it comes to making music.  The way she uniquely combines mysterious harmonies, backing of different eras and times and her sweet, pure vocals that can switch to Classical is an intriguing mix! The "Whelmed" album contains more of the same experimentation with the Evanescence style of "Too Soon" and "Delicate"…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD "WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD




"WELCOME TO THE PLEASUREDOME"


The Liverpool quintet fronted by Holly Johnson blasted onto the scene amidst controversy, thought provoking hit singles, 3 consecutive number ones, plethora of remixes and risque videos.  I remember seeing the band live at Manchester G-Mex on the Rage Hard tour.  Hearing whispers in the media that the band couldn't actually play (as Trevor Horn allegedly used session musicians for the records) and being a big fan of this unusual group I had to see what the live show was all about.  The band could play, it was a blistering gig, great musicians, good banter with the crowd, Holly's voice on full throttle and with great support from Terri Nunn and Berli…

AMELIA LAPPERT

Image
Singer/songwriter Amelia studied at Liverpool University in music while gigging around the London area until graduation in 2015.  Originally from Hertfordshire this young lady makes a unique sound with both Country and Folk vibes incorporating sweet and quirky high ranging vocals with heartfelt lyrics and melodies. 
A rare talent who has just released in the summer her debut E.P. "Game Of Life".  This set shows her quirky and wholesome vocals but also some very memorable tunes.  Ranging from the almost Eliza Doolittle bouncy and bright lead track "Game Of Life" to the Country-esque "You Are My Light". Amelia was Runner-up in the St Albans The Horn Battle of the Bands in 2016.  Adept at a variety of instruments after having lessons growing up playing the trumpet and piano as well as teaching herself to play guitar!  She has since appeared at festivals and also BBC Introducing... Experimenting with writing songs at an early age she has said in interview th…

LUNA BLUE

Image
Luna Blue are from Chichester and comprise of Tom High (rhythm guitar/vocals), Ryan Wellman (lead guitar), Seb Bowen (drums) and Nick Davie (bass/vocals).  Their sound is a mixture of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Razorlight with great Funk and Indie elements.
The band have released a self-titled demo E.P. and the "Nightjar" E.P. which features the brilliant single "Borrowed Words".  This great raw sound and energy will surely take this band far in the years to come! Based in Brighton the band won their University's Ensemble of the Year award and are touring constantly building up a rapidly growing fanbase.  While "Borrowed Words" is similar to the early 70s Funk bands, another song on the E.P. "Welcome Home" is a slowed down soulful Progressive Rock.  Proof that this band are mature beyond their years. Their YouTube videos cite them as Alternative Rock but I think there's much more to them than that.  The funky basslines and the ability…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - ERASURE "THE INNOCENTS"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
ERASURE




"THE INNOCENTS"


I have everything by Erasure and although "Wonderland" and "The Circus" were good albums this third album really showed the great songwriting and maturity in the sound.   I remember first hearing Erasure and I thought it was Yazoo, as Andy Bell sounded very much Alison Moyet (Alf) from Vince Clarke's previous dual partnership.  The Erasure Synthpop sound became their own, great little Pop tunes with sublime melodies and foot tapping choruses.  However, this album as I said, was more mature and showed a deft craft to song composition.

The album contained two of my favourite singles from the band, the quite wonderful emotive song, "Ship Of Fools", a really …

CHANCE MCKINNEY

Image
Chance McKinney is a CMT Music City Madness Winner and hails from Missoula, Montana in USA.  Last year he released his album on iTunes entitled "Down To Get Up" following a couple of previous releases.    A Country inspired crossover artist brings some toe tappin' Rock elements together with the customary slide guitars and a little bit of Americana.
Chance was always the kid at school that was supposedly left behind and was told "you're not good enough".  The guy has something that only a handful of people possess, guts and determination to succeed.  Touring his new style of Country Rock excessively Chance is no stranger to the live circuit. Before getting his big break at CMT Music City he had already toured with such greats as Kenny Rogers, Dwight Yoakam and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  He is becoming a superstar singer-songwriter in his own right.   The album "Down To Get Up" has brilliant crossover appeal, if you're a Soul/Motown lover check out the s…

CURSE OF LONO

Image
Curse of Lono are a London based quintet who I could describe as mysterious storytellers! Felix Bechtolsheimer, Dani Ruiz, Charis Anderson, Neil Findlay and Joe Hazell make up this unique band.  The sometimes Alternative, Gothic Rock seamlessly slips into Folk and Blues with brilliant musicianship and gravel-like vocals.  
The sound just takes you into a dark novel setting where you sit in a dimly lit bar sinking whisky shots and telling your stories like an old style detective.  New album "Severed" is out now, a favourite of mine is "He Takes My Place".   There are similarities to modern bands like Liverpool storytelling band The Coral as well as 60s artists like The Kinks and Simon and Garfunkel or even the Everly Brothers. The sound is raw and has a "live" feel to it that would sound awesome in headphones as you while away an afternoon being transported into another time and place. The band are currently on tour around Europe amidst rave reviews of thei…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - MADONNA "LIKE A PRAYER"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
MADONNA

"LIKE A PRAYER"



As a big fan of Madonna and with her whole back catalogue to choose from my own collection it was difficult finding a favourite but "Like A Prayer" has to be it.  I remember buying the vinyl edition and smelling the patchouli oils that the first pressings had been scented with to give the effect of church incense.  Like Prince and Adam Ant, my other big idols, Madonna had a different look and style to each album she released.  This was no exception, after the pure Pop Dance of the debut, the ultimate Pop album in "Like A Virgin" and the Motown singalong feel of "True Blue" this album saw a mature Madonna complete with brunette hair! The songs were different, …

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - INXS "LISTEN LIKE THIEVES"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
INXS

"LISTEN LIKE THIEVES"

I was probably as big a fan as any other of INXS before the 1990 album "X" and the band became a little too safe and commercial after the amazing global success of "Kick", which is probably most fans' favourite due to the many radio friendly singles.  This is my favourite album because it is the band at their most original rocky best and seemed to be the logical step forward from the previous 4 albums.  "Kick" had some great moments but it was a little overkill, songs were similar and even poor minimal songs like "New Sensation" bacame a hit on the back of the album.

Anyway, to this album, the 4 singles released in the UK didn't even make…

ELSA CHAPMAN

Image
Elsa is a big Soul voice from London.  Check out her original song "Get Me Up" in the video below.  Just imagine Alicia Keys, Diana Ross with a sprinkle of Aretha Franklin's powerful energy and you have Elsa.  I saw a couple of covers of "Saving All My Love" and "I Want You Back" and this lady has a voice, a big big voice.
Elsa's vocals encompass a little Funk and R 'n B thrown in for good measure as well as the Soul influence. Once you hear this lady you really want more.  "Get Me Up" is quite funky and soulful but I think she could turn her voice to any genre such is the talent that is evident in her performances.# When watching Elsa at the piano and belting out her new style of Soul it reminded me of Tori Amos, such is the confidence and the ability to grab attention and keep it focused on her voice.  I said she also reminded me of Alicia Keys, which is a big compliment as I think she is an original performer. Check out some of El…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - SPANDAU BALLET "TRUE"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
SPANDAU BALLET

"TRUE"


This is probably a predictable choice but this album was just ahead of my second favourite Spandau album "Parade".  After the first two albums were almost medieval sounding, experimental and perfect New Romantic Pop, this third album was classy and the band's song composition and style was of the same calibre.  Like most of the 80s bands they evolved and grew up musically, which almost always loses the little girls who idolise the looks' makiing the media label them as a "boyband".  Spandau had great songwriting, great songs and great musicians, and should be recognised so.  The Jazzy Soul theme set the boys on the road to world domination.

The album contained th…

SEPHTY

Image
Sephty is a young singer-songwriter playing Folk and Blues from Reading but now based in Newcastle.  His debut album "The Crow Moon" is released in 2017 and is sure to be a success.  Sephty (who is happy to answer to Joseph, Joe or Joey) has a soothing tone to his vocals, its very calming and easy to listen to.
The pure vocals and crisp sounding guitar playing remind me of Chris Isaak and Paul Simon.  Joseph has been hooked on music since listening to Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones as a youngster. Dylan is the obvious influence here but another hero is Woody Guthrie, with modern day influences of the likes of Ray Lamontagne.  Watching a couple of videos with Sephty playing live he has a great stage presence.  His voice just captivates the venue and shows a maturity beyond his years. Sephty released his single, "November" this year taken from his debut album entitled "The Crow Moon".  The single is a light, breezy Folk Pop number and is su…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - EUROPE "THE FINAL COUNTDOWN"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
EUROPE

"THE FINAL COUNTDOWN"

Europe were thrust into the similar Rock bands of the time, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Whitsenake and the like.  All with big hair, and anthemic arena style tracks that the heavier Rock fans just didn't buy and thought it was too "poppy".  This was the album that got me curious about the band and I bought the previous two albums which were very raw and you could hear the progress being made within to make this great Rock crossover album.  I also have singer Joey Tempest's solo albums which are superb.

The lead track "The Final Countdown" has been the last song on many a New Year's Eve night playlist.  Based around a simple keyboard riff it became a huge hi…

STARTS HILL

Image
Starts Hill are a three piece Rock band based in London comprising of Conor Barclay on vocals and guitar, Charlie Hawkins on bass and backing vocals and Ben Bardsley-Ball on drums.  The debut E.P. cunningly titled "Starts Hill" was released to widespread acclaim in 2015.
Currently the band are working on their second offering.  Their sound is very pure and raw and reminds me of the 60s bands, bare bones melodious Rock with a "live" feel.  The lead single from the E.P. "Grace" is pure Punk pop and there are possibly elements in the other songs of an early Jam influence. The band have been playing together since 2013 and the debut E.P. was called a "four track wonder of music" by Genius Babble. They have a really good Punk Rock vibe but as I stated in the last paragraph the recordings give off that live sound of a gig. The most recent single "I'm A Dog" reminds me of a hybrid Clash/Stooges song, its perfect power Punk.  Although this…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - BLONDIE "EAT TO THE BEAT"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
BLONDIE




"EAT TO THE BEAT"
This album was Blondie at their peak of their powers, the fourth album seems to get overlooked when fans name their favourite album by the band, most preferring the classic Punk Pop of their previous albums.  This was the album that was just superb throughout and the first "video album" that was ever made, where each song had a promo.  I was already a fan of the band and of course like very young man at this time I had a big crush on lead singer Debbie Harry!
"Eat To The Beat" should have been the platform for ultimate domination but the next album "Autoamerican" for me was a big disappointment although brave experimentally.  This set included the 3 hit sin…

NEW MUSIC EAR'S FAVOURITES - BON JOVI "SLIPPERY WHEN WET"

Image
THESE ALBUM REVIEWS ARE FAVOURITES FROM MY OWN VAST AND VARIED ECLECTIC COLLECTION! I AM A FAN OF THESE ARTISTS SO MY OPINIONS MAY NOT BE ON A PAR WITH YOUR OWN BUT PLEASE ENJOY AND MAYBE THERE ARE SOME ALBUMS YOU MAY LIKE TO SAMPLE FOR YOURSELF OUT OF CURIOSITY :)
BON JOVI

"SLIPPERY WHEN WET"

Bon Jovi have a massive following all around the world, and although their music today is sometimes slated as the "same old Bon Jovi record" from non-fans I love the fact that they just keep on putting out good old fashioned Rock 'n Roll.  From raucous guitar driven rockers to the anthemic emotional ballads the guys still claim a big space in my music collection.

Although New Jersey runs this album close as my favourite with its multitude of hits I prefer this because this was the album that got me hooked on the band.  From this I also went out and bought Jon's Power Stations tracks, the debut Bon Jovi album "Bon Jovi" and "7800 Fahrenheit" and …

HAVE DJ's AND PRODUCERS KILLED THE ART OF THE SONGWRITING ARTISTES?

Image
On looking through the music charts the last few weeks there are only a couple or so stand alone artists and bands that are actually featuring.  In the 90s it started to increase and now it is very very rare you don't see a song by "DJ Whatever featuring someone and someone" or some mixer or producer with or featuring some singer.


Before the mid 90s came, producers were exactly that, producers.  They would produce the music of artists and bands.  Mixers would remix the single for 12" records but it would still be the artist name.  I am all for everyone getting credit but have mixers and producers killed the art of the songwriting artistes?.  Anyone it seems can have a hit record now when it used to be sales alone, and you would have to be a recognised artist.  I am a music journalist and I hear a lot of music but I just can't fathom out who half these names are, maybe I am out of the loop or old fashioned?


The following is the top 10 this week...
(ft = featurin…

KALEB MCKANE

Image
Kaleb McKane is one of those rare acts that even after hearing only one song you want more.  On listening to the single "Talk To God" with its superb Lego guitar man video (enjoy it below!), I was blown away.  This singer-songwriter gave me snippets of old 70s Rock, Hendrix, Guns 'N Roses and Bowie. 
The atmospheric, almost psychedelic and eclectic guitar playing mixed with powerful vocals is a joy.   The Hendrix influence is obvious as he plays a couple of his songs live, check out some of Kaleb's performances on YouTube! Especially check out "Voodoo Child" and "Hey Joe". Kaleb is a great energetic performer, vocals evoking Axl Rose in his prime and his guitar playing with a little Hendrix, a little Slash imagery.   If "Talk To God" is anything to go by this guy should be huge, even though its only a taster it bodes well for the future recordings!. Kaleb announced on his Facebook page that he is recording his debut E.P., this guy surel…

ARCHIVE