• Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends : Quick Album Review 4/5

    6 Jun 2008, 23:34 by Babs_05

    Artist: Coldplay
    Album: Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
    Tags: , , , ,

    Another quick album review. I won't waste your time.

    The whole album is being streamed in full on their MySpace globally (except for a few countries) from tonight for a week.

    I feel I have to balance out what I said on the release of their single, Violet Hill. I spoke too soon.

    You'll probably read a gazillion reviews on this album, most likely mine will get buried in the mound but for what it's worth, here's what I think:

    Coldplay have jumped out of their indie box and are standing beside it. They haven't lost sight of their roots but they are looking out at a big wide world. And it's bright and lovely.

    They haven't lost what makes them Coldplay. The old tug at the heartstrings, the sentimentality, it's all there. (best bit!)

    It always takes me a long time to get to know lyrics. Sometimes I never do. From what I'm getting so far, they seem more grown up, more mature. I'm getting more life experience with contemplation of themes such as loneliness. 42, about bereavement, is brilliant. Lost! is going to make me buy the album. The album version is better than the acoustic one here in - Lost? - although that's good too. Daydreamy.

    I must say, I'm really enjoying the music. Multi-layered, multi-sectioned, not typically western, not typically world, not typically fusion either. It's a great blend. Brian Eno's, doing is it? Good man. The Tinariwen influence isn't token. It's throughout and incorporated.

    They're still anthemic on the whole, but there are signs they're breaking away from that too. Maybe in the future, they'll treat us to an intimate album. They couldn't possibly go back to how they were now they've stretched so much. That would just be lazy.

    Babs My Gang

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  • [My Gang] The Last Army - Dead : Reco of the Week 20 May 08

    20 May 2008, 22:32 by Babs_05

    Artist: The Last Army
    Track: Dead
    Tags: , , , , ,


    Further to my recommendation for find Grantura last week, I thought I'd stay within the site and bring you another discovery of note - The Last Army.

    It's so lovely to find indie proper. Listen to their available tracks here in and in their MySpace to see what I mean. With subtle use of diverse elements, what they've done is create interesting material for mass radio. There are the obligatory guitars and drums but they also use violins, timpani, church organs, accordions and harpsichords. Their biggest asset, I'd say, is the lead singer, Rebekah. Hers is a seductive voice with a slight accent that you want to hear more of.

    The track I've chosen, Dead, is their new single, out in June and currently free to download. I've been listening to it for a week and it finally just dawned on me who it reminds me of - Fun Boy Three. I don't mean exactly. It's the darkness, the rhythm, the tone and feel of it. (Maybe it's just me. The Last Army take me right back to the early 80s. In a good way.)

    Nice red boots.

    Babs My Gang

    Admin - Stats as of today:

    Date Added to YouTube: April 03, 2008
    Comments: 5, Favorited: 6 times, Honors: 0, Links: 5, Ratings: 10, Views: 581 listeners of this track - 44 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in - 200
    Position Last Week: 1 / 5
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 1 / 29

    Stats after 7 days:

    Comments: 5, Favorited: 6 times, Honors: 0, Links: 5, Ratings: 10, Views: 661 listeners of this track - 47 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in - 210
    Position Last Week: 1 / 6
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 1 / 29

    231 Unique Visitors
    318 Page Views

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  • [My Gang] Linkin Park - One Step Closer : Reco of the Week 01 Apr 08

    1 Apr 2008, 16:53 by Babs_05

    Artist: Linkin Park
    Track: One Step Closer
    Tags: , ,


    'One Step Closer' is taken from Linkin Park's arguably best album, Hybrid Theory (2000), which was well-received, although some of the complaints were that they had started to stray too much into territory.

    Hybrid Theory was Linkin Park's original name, changing it in time for their debut release. Cynics argued they only changed it so they would appear next to Limp Bizkit in record shops.

    In terms of their music, though they tried to mix things up a bit by introducing different styles over the now traditional metal sound, I would say they ended up closer to pop than any other metal band. It is no accident they are one of the most popular bands in, with listener numbers close to 900,000. It's higher in YouTube. Catchy, undemanding, they're the easy-listening end of metal.

    The video is colourful and lively, staying on the family-friendly side of aggression. It's good to see they are aware of their younger audience. The buddhist monks practising martial arts is a nice touch.

    XFM (London) hammered this track when it first came out, I remember, especially by Zane Lowe, who adored it.

    Babs My Gang

    Admin - Stats as of today:

    Date Added to YouTube: May 28, 2007
    Comments: 30,938, Favorited: 21,322 times, Honors: 2, Links: 5, Ratings: 24,812, Views: 8,652,433 listeners of this track - 203,870 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in - 1,259,849
    Position Last Week: 9 / 7,657
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 8 / 63,712

    Stats after 7 days:

    (Rick Roll)
    Comments: 35,416, Favorited: 24,302 times, Honors: 2, Links: 5, Ratings: 29,125, Views: 9,796,073 listeners of this track - 205,830 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in - 1,274,526
    Position Last Week: 10 / 7,514
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 8 / 70,946

    364 Page Views

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  • Hercules and Love Affair - Quick Album Review 5/5

    23 Mar 2008, 19:57 by Babs_05

    Artist: Hercules and Love Affair
    Album: Hercules And Love Affair
    Tags: , ,
    Similar: The Opiates

    Another quick album review. I won't waste your time.

    The thing to do when you listen to Hercules and Love Affair's new album, after you've got over the initial excitement and danced your socks off, is turn it down.

    When you turn it down and let it reach your subconscious, out comes the most deliciously depressing music. Nice and suicidal, just how I like it.

    Antony Hegarty's voice, disturbing as it was in Antony & the Johnsons and practically everything else he's ever done, takes on a different quality with the morbid disco backdrop, turning into something sinister and possibly even a little cruel. He's not complaining, he's seducing. Think Marquis de Sade. Not saying I'm attracted, if anything, I'm a little afraid, but still intrigued. Backing vocals are equally dark, leaning towards hollow, dead sounds. They could be the undead. The track Easy is the epitome of the theme, the exact opposite of Blind.

    You'll struggle to keep the volume down for the first half of the album, you really do want to dance. This peaks with Blind, after which, from Iris onwards, prepare to descend. It seems incongruous with the dance beat going on, but the contrast is wonderful. Worth the effort.

    Babs My Gang

  • BBC4 Sacred Music - new four-part series 21 March 2008

    19 Mar 2008, 16:05 by Babs_05

    BBC4 starts a new four-part series this Friday called Sacred Music.

    About the programmes - I can't wait for the third one on Thomas Tallis although I love Bach too, who the series will end with.

    My reco of the week journal featuring Tallis's 'Spem In Alium'

    The series focuses on Western Christian sacred music and was made in conjuction with the Open University. I hope they cover other faiths too in the future.

    You can save some mp3s to your computer from the site - here, or you can just listen and read more about the chosen pieces: Gregorio Allegri's Miserere, Johann Sebastian Bach's Komm, Jesu, komm, William Byrd's Agnus Dei from his Mass in Four Voice. All performed by The Sixteen, conducted by Harry Christophers, who will feature in the new series.

    Music tagged in, including Buddhist chants, sufi qawwalis and works by classical composers.

    Babs My Gang
  • R.E.M. - Accelerate : Quick Album Review

    15 Mar 2008, 20:34 by Babs_05

    I won't waste your time, this is a quick review.

    R.E.M.'s new album, Accelerate, is as good as Murmur, as clever as Green, as sophisticated as Reveal, and as sparkly fun as Monster. It's ingenious.

    In my (never humble) opinion, it leans towards positive, upbeat R.E.M. though without bypassing introspective R.E.M.. Houston and Until the Day Is Done satisfy that.

    Don't listen to people who say this is a return to their early days. It's not. They're obviously not fans and they don't know what they're talking about. (:P) 'Accelerate' is an amalgamation of their entire career without trying too hard. It's a focused 34 minute effortless effort.

    Clever lyrics, what sounds like clear-cut straightforward rock but on closer listen offers more, catchy melodies, danceable tunes. I'm a fan and I'm not disappointed.

    So endeth my quick review.

    Video Supernatural Superserious

    Babs My Gang
  • [My Gang] Merz - Silver Moon Ladders : Reco of the Week 11 March 08

    11 Mar 2008, 19:13 by Babs_05

    Artist: Merz
    Track: Silver Moon Ladders
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,


    The magical fantasy explored in Merz's Silver Moon Ladders, taken from his new album, Moi et Mon Camion, brings to mind the Cocteau Twins and takes me right back to Victorialand (my favourite).

    'Silver Moon Ladders' is a daydream. It's about sailing out into the Atlantic at night. In a mostly beautiful/sad album, it's a lovely escape.

    The track opens slowly and quietly, as you head out to sea. The music bubbles and shimmers as calm waters might, sparkling in the night lights. The lyrics begin with the prosaic "When all the chip shops have closed", which made me chuckle, I don't know about you. If you're feeling silly about letting go, a chuckle might help take the edge off.

    Real instruments intermingle with electronic, vocal harmonies overlap and layer as you leave reality behind. "We know what we're searching for / For silver moon ladders".

    What happens out at sea is left for you to imagine as you contemplate the now hypnotic music and harmonies.

    The lyrics pick up again describing the next day, back at work where you look the same as always and no one knows what you did last night. You look at them with different eyes, having climbed to the moon and looked back at the earth. You see more beauty now, where everybody else sees the same as they've always done.

    The track is available in full in but I'm not sure if it's a 'gold triangle' available to everyone, or if it's a beta for us in the UK/USA/Germany. I don't want to try and play it more than three times as I notice I never hear tracks again when I do. *grumble grumble*. Anyway, you can hear the album in full in his MySpace if you can't listen here.

    Babs My Gang

    Admin - stats as of today: listeners of this track - 206
    No. of plays scrobbled in - 477
    Position Last Week: 5 / 51
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 74 / 8

    Stats after 7 days: listeners of this track - 252
    No. of plays scrobbled in - 619
    Position Last Week: 6 / 65
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 74 / 8

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