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NEW MUSIC EAR'S PERSONAL PLAYLISTS - "A-HA"

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A NEW FEATURE ON NEW MUSIC EAR.  THE PLAYLISTS ON MY IPOD FEATURE LOTS OF VARIOUS ARTISTS SO I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE MY PLAYLISTS WITH YOU.  HOPE YOU SEE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES!
A-HA

PLAYLIST

From 1985's poppy electronic debut album, "Hunting High And Low" I chose the four singles, the stunning debut "Take On Me", the more rockier "The Sun Always Shines On TV", "Train Of Thought" and the title track.  The only other track I chose is the brilliant "Here I Stand And Face The Rain".



From 1986's more rockier Pop album, "Scoundrel Days" I selected 7 of the 10 album tracks which shows what a good album it is.  The singles are here, the unusual Rock Pop ballad, "Manhattan Skyline", one of my all time faves, "I've Been Losing You" and the quirky Pop track "Cry Wolf".  The title track is included, a superb track along with the "The Swing Of Things" that returns back to the Pop nature…

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - PRINCE - "PURPLE RAIN"

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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 :)
PRINCE

"PURPLE RAIN"

It is no surprise to regular readers of my blog that Prince features for the fourth time in an article, also to fans that this album is finally getting a review.  After the success of my "Sign "O" The Times" review on New Music Ear I return to the legend's back catalogue.  Much has been said about this album and I won't bore anyone with the usual things, this is my experience of this iconic set.  I had been hooked a little by Prince's music ince "1999" and "Little Red Corvette" but when "When Doves Cry" came it was inspirational, so unique, so different, I had never heard anything like it before.  Then of course came the film, one…

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ELECTROPOP ARTIST "JAZZ MINO"

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Based in London, raised in Somerset but originally from Manchester, Jazz Mino is an Electropop busker/singer who regularly can be found busking with her ukulele around Piccadilly Circus!  With her catchy songs, infectious charm and unique dress style she has been enchanting audiences around the capital's music scene.


The music press started taking notice of this talented lady after her debut single "The Dorkiness in You" was released.  She has a growing fan base and won the KISS FM Music Cube Competition in 2014.   Jazz followed up this single with "Blue Eyes". 

Jazz has the music style of Imelda May with a little cute craziness of Miss Li.  A powerful soulful voice matches the quirkiness of her incredibly catchy songs.  The lady has not only captured the British hearts, she has promoted the art of busking as part of the "Sofia Welcomes The Streets Of London" project.  This meant TV time on Bulgarian media!


 Following successful singles su…

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ROCK BAND "FIREBUG"

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FireBug are an exciting American Indie Rock band originally from Chicago.  Their sound is unique, a little Pat Benatar, a little Garbage, a little Psychedelic, with some Goth and Blues overtones as well!  This is the kind of band I love where you just can't categorise them into one genre.


I originally reviewed this band a few years ago just after I heard the 2009 single "Dreaming Of America", The song epitomises the FireBug sound.  You first think there is a Razorlight influence, then it begins to rock out 70s style and Juliette gives her best Pat Benatar before a Metal Rock ending! Since then the lineup has changed for live tours but the two mainstays are vocalist Juliette Tworsey (also on rhythm guitar and mandolin) and Jules Shapiro (lead and slide guitars and organ).


The band have played such venues as Howlin' Wolf, House Of Blues and One Eyed Jacks.  They have toured the UK a few times and played at Knebworth Sonisphere Festival in 2010 with other major …

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ALTERNATIVE SINGER/SONGWRITER "STEVE MORAN"

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Steve Moran is an Alternative singer/songwriter using the spoken word and is a man with a message.  Hailing from Manchester, this unassuming guy uses his songs to convey emotion, harsh truths and showing a way out of the darkness.  He has been out of the limelight a while working on his debut album.


Steve writes his songs based on his own experiences and the perils of everyday life that affect others.  Although only releasing two singles to date, he has received wide acclaim from many countries and had airplay on MTV and the second single was a minor American chart hit.


This guy is unique, the first single "Wasn't Meant To Be This Way" lyrically covers society problems of today while the video tells another story, it received emotive feedback by viewers and listeners alike.  "What A Waste" covers alcoholism and real life dilemmas.  Clearly the message he is sending is honest, provocative, positive and delivered with emotion.


Steve has been working h…

DEBATE ARTICLE - "80s VINYL VERSUS TODAY'S CD - WHICH DO YOU PREFER?"

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It's been argued time and time again, vinyl versus CD.  There are pros and cons for both formats.  As a buyer of both I can conduct the debate from my own personal experiences.  You, as a reader, may disagree, different generations will say different things but these are my own conclusions.


VERSUS

VINYL Be it the 7" single, the 12" multi-track versions, the 4 track E.P. or the album, the vinyl format was special.
For the most part of the 80s vinyl's only opposition was the tape, or cassette.  In reality, you could "record" your vinyl albums onto cassettes to be an ideal companion playing in your car or your portable tape recorder.  Another advantage of the cassette was recording the Top 40 on Radio 1 in the UK on a Sunday night, desperately trying to pause when the DJ talked over the song!
The fury today of people downloading music is a nonsense.  I taped the Top 40 to have all the songs I liked to listen to in one go and help me decide which sin…

DEBATE ARTICLE - "FOOTBALLERS AND MUSIC - USUALLY A RED CARD OFFENCE?"

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As the new football season kicks off again I was wondering about both my passions, music and football.  This prompted me to think of footballers who actually felt the need to combine both with their "talents".  We all thought fondly of John Barnes' rap on New Order's "World In Motion" in 1990 and also "Anfield Rap (Red Machine In Full Effect)" by the Liverpool FC Cup Final team in 1988.  Both were a success reaching number 1 and number 3 respectively on the UK charts.

These songs however were rarities in their pop respectability as we will find out.  Other soccer stars' fared less well.

Some may remember Liverpool and England's Kevin Keegan in 1979 singing a typically 70s ballad "Head Over Heels In Love" as his debut which reached number 31.  Probably the best known footballer's song apart from Spurs' Paul Gascoigne's "Fog On The Tyne" which amazingly reached number 2 despite being a major hit for…

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ALTERNATIVE ROCK BAND "CARDBOARD HIT"

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Cardboard Hit are a three piece band consisting of Ross Towner, Lee Hayes and Matt Rouse.  The band play an Alternative Rock but I also think there is an element of Punk in there as well.  There are great unusual vocal harmonies coinciding with a pounding drums and powerful guitar riffs.


The debut E.P. entitled "Subject To Status" was released last year.  The songs "All The Voices" and "Say Yes" are brilliant rockers.  The band have been compared to Muse or Queens Of The Stone Age, but to me they bring to mind a hybrid of Progressive Rock such as Led Zeppelin with a little Midnight Oil and Wall Of Voodoo thrown in for good measure!


Formed in East Sussex, only Matt is from that area with Ross from North London and Lee from Cheshire.  The three different backgrounds make three different characters, but also three friends who certainly rock together and are set for stardom, I will certainly be keeping my eye on this band.


Cardboard Hit are a uniq…

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - ROCK BAND "MOHAWK RADIO"

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Mohawk Radio are a 4 piece Rock band from Manchester.  The line-up comprises of Mia Page, James Gregory, Conor Marsh and David Quinn and they play in an Alternative/Rock/Pop style.  The powerful vocals of Mia are backed by dynamic guitars and drums.


Already with tours in the USA under their belt and some famous fans including Ace from Skink Anansie the band are trailblazing their way on the Rock circuit.  More Pat Benatar/Heart than Paramore, it is melodic, authentic anthemic Rock.  The band won "Rock The House", beating thousands of bands across the UK.  They also won PureFM's 2014 Stockport's Finest.

Each member of the band has lived and breathed Rock music since an early age.   Their unique sound brings back the real rock n' roll live band and have earned rave reviews and a blossoming fan base, as well as international radio and TV airplay.  They released their third E.P. in 2917 entitled "Shoot From The Hip".  

This follows on from their prev…

CLASSIC ALBUM REVIEW - MICHAEL JACKSON - "OFF THE WALL"

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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 :)
MICHAEL JACKSON

"OFF THE WALL"

Love him or hate him, Michael Jackson was a top performer, singer and dancer and he made memorable songs that the world will remember for a lifetime.  I never really got into the Jackson Five or the solo stuff he used to make but "Off The Wall" took him to a new level.  Before the tabloids got hold of him, the weird eccentricities that took hold, before the appearance changes and the sometimes annoying "ugh" vocal inflection before every line, (I know for a fact it grated on some people who couldn't see past this) and before the megastadom began with "Thriller" this was the album that put Michael on the map.  

"Off The Wall" reached a pea…

THEME ARTICLE -"HOW MUSIC HELPS US FEAR WAR, GET THROUGH WAR AND REMEMBER WHY WAR IS POINTLESS"

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War is a sensitive subject but war songs evoke feelings of inspiration, pride, fear, remembrance, confusion and hope.

The headline echoes Edwin Starr’s 1970 anti-Vietnam hit War and most people’s feelings towards conflict.  Culture Club released The War Song in 1984, although not their greatest song it stated, “War is stupid and people are stupid”.  Maybe childish but a true statement?



People are definitely not stupid and music is a very emotive media. A war song relates to war or a people’s thoughts of conflict, they could be anti-war, pro-war or just statements of warring life.  There are many songs we know and remember today passed through generations of loved ones lost in battle or proud patriotic moments in history. Historically, there has always been a “war” song.  As early as the 16th century, ballad writers wrote songs encouraging bravery and honour in war.  The earliest British war song was The Ballad of Chevy Chase which was written about the Scottish victory at t…

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - FOLK, COUNTRY AND BLUES ARTST "ELEANOR NELLY"

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Eleanor Nelly is a young singer songwriter from Liverpool who has created a quiet little following around the town gigging regularly.  Her influences are far and wide and include My Chemical Romance, The Hummingbirds, Slash, Billy Joel and Johnny Cash! Her sound is a mix of Folk, Country and Blues and is surely heading for big success.


I first reviewed Eleanor in a mini review a few years ago after seeing her performing Acoustic tracks on BAY TV, a Liverpool based channel.  Just her and her guitar oozing with confidence and such an accomplished performer.  I did say at the time she reminded me of an Eva Cssidy/Alanis Morissette hybrid telling her songs in a unique way.

Gigging regularly and being managed by her mum she has appeared in many festivals picking up fans and follwers and awards such as Knowsley Rising Star in 2014 and the Liverpool International Music Festival Academy awarded her as "the one to watch" in 2015 and "most ready artist" in 2016.  She is c…

NEW MUSIC PROFILE - PUNK POP ROCK BAND "THE SOAPGIRLS"

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The SoapGirls are Camille and Noemie Debray, known as Mille and Mie and are a fun, sexy and quirky Alternative Pop/Rock/Punk duo.  With Mille on bass and Mie on guitar they provide a blistering flashback to the Punk bands of the late 70s and early 80s.


On a journey to find their true musical identity the girls have travelled from their birth nation of France via USA and now based in South Africa, they started out at a very early age street performing.  At 15 years old they released a Pop Dance album called "Xperience" which gave them a few hits on International labels such as UMG Africa.  As The SoapGirls they released their debut abum, "Calls For Rebellion" in 2015.  I had just done a mini review on the girls at the same time.

The album contained "Hater" which reminded me of the old Punk of the early 80s, a little Grunge and Goth Rock combined with the attitude and devil-may-care attitude of girl bands Elastica and Fuzzbox.  The song had a cool …