All about Glastonbury Festival

2011 Albums Reviewed

ALBUM OF THE WEEK – NAKED AND THE FAMOUS – PASSIVE ME AGGRESSIVE YOU

59 DAYS TO GO

New Zealand’s best band get a great Friday Other Stage gig and going by this, their debut album they will be well worth going and seeing. Recent winners of the NME best new band award, they also played the main stage at Big Day Out this year, so they are definitely on everyone’s radar and should be on your’s.
Passive me Aggressive You Is the album Mgmt should have come up with but didn’t. Does this mean that NAF are just a copy band of Mgmt. The answer to this is no, they have definitely got their own sound , they surely take the best bits of Mgmt but they add the 80’s pop sensibility of New Zealand’s other pop star Ladyhawke.
Passive Me’s obvious hit and best tune is Punching in a Dream, but there are plenty of other great tracks to keep you coming back for more.
Pop Debut of the year? Possibly. Well worth anyone’s hard-earned, go out and listen for yourself.

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ALBUM OF THE WEEK – THE STROKES – ANGLES

65 DAYS TO GO
The comeback kids are here, and this album is not to bad. Don’t get to over excited I here you say. Well there are plenty of positives and a few negatives but before I get into that I will give you my personal 2010 recollections of The Strokes.
I hadn’t listens to them for a while but because Is This It was voted best album of the noughties and JC was playing Glasto, I revisited their precious back catalogue, and yes they are a band for the times, but best album of a decade, not likely.
The Strokes headlined Splendour last year so I procured Sydney sideshow tickets before heading off to Glasto.
I was around the JP tent when Julian started so I thought I would drop by, I caught a few tracks but because I was seeing the real thing in less than a month, I buzzed off.
Back in Sydney , wife pregnant, money in short supply decided to off load Strokes tickets, so in the end didn’t really catch much of them during the year.
Anyway back to the album at hand, one of the positives is the awesome start to the record, Machu Picchu and Under Cover of Darkness are vintage Strokes, everything you expect of them, but I suppose nothing new. Then the album takes a violent middle of the road twist, The Cars come to mind, Steely Dan as well, maybe underlining how hard it is to write really good pop songs.
All in all it’s an okay album, not to inspiring but it’s better than say Kings of Leon’s latest and probably Brandon Flowers. Is that the right genre to put The Strokes though, shouldn’t we be comparing them to Yuck and say British Sea Power where they are simply outclassed.
My recommendation save your dosh, listen to on Spotify if you must.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – THE VACCINES – WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THE

77 DAYS TO GO

And the answer to the question is exactly what we get.
The Vaccines are not out to win any prizes for originality but they do produce excellent rock n roll. It puts the recently reviewed Beady Eye to shame with it’s ruckus rock and it’s oasis like thrills.
Again it is another album where the lyrics take a backseat, in fact some of the lyrics are plain embarrassing.
It looks like The Vaccines will play Glasto, and they will be well near the top of my must see list. I expect they will play the John Peel, a good night should be had by all.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – BEADY EYE – DIFFERENT GEAR STILL SPEEDING

Liam Gallagher (San Ysidro, CA. 2005.)

Image via Wikipedia

Beady Eye‘s debut album is not that good. It is good to hear Liam singing again, as he ahs a great voice and when not used as an imitation of John Lennon it is Unique and quite simply awesome, apart from that there is not much to recommend about this album.

At its best it is a poor pastiche of Oasis’s worst album’s, lyrically it is a mess, lyrics are not just random words joined together to form sentences, they must have meaning and be interesting.

At it’s worst it is a miserable attempt to sound like his former hero’s.   

This album recently made NME’s top 25 of the first 4 months of the year, and they left out the brilliant soulful British Sea Power a record Liam could only dream of making.

Saying all that I would love to see them Live. 


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – ELBOW – BUILD A ROCKET BOYS!

91 DAYS TO GO 

Without doubt I have listened more to this elbow album than a lot of other albums during  a weekly period, this is due to the almost majestic nature of this record as it grows and builds every time you listen to it.
It does not on first listen appear to have the crowd pleasers of Seldom Seen Kid,  but overall it feels a stronger more mature better paced record.
This is a band who after 20 years have really found their skin and are happy to live in it.
It’s hard to really single out any individual tunes as it is the record as a whole that makes this such a triumph. However opener The Birds is a triumph, Neat little rows shows another side to these boys and Jesus is a Rochdale Girl is sublime.

 
I saw Elbow a couple of years ago and they were fantastic, with these new songs they will be a truly unmissable live act.
I’m hoping they head out here for Splendour so I get to see them in a standalone venue.

Glastonbury have booked one of the modern day heroes of British music – Go Elbow.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – ANNA CALVI – ANNA CALVI

96 DAYS TO GO

Could Anna Calvi be the British debut album of the year, in a crowded field already, this album and Anna Calvi are stand outs.
It has taken me a while to warm to the charms of Anna Calvi, in fact she has changed my album reviewing process. If I had written this review the week I bought the record, this review would not be so glowing, so I am going to give every album a 2nd week or more listen before deciding it’s fate.
Anna Calvi is one original lady, Slide Guitar, soundtrackish influences, this is one out there album. It has touches of sublime beauty, Desire stands out but a half dozen songs pull at your heart. Suzzane and I builds and builds and you really want to know what is it about Suzzane by the end.
Anna Calvi is already confirmed for Glastonbury so must be on everyone’s list of must see artists.
I for one can’t wait to see this Slide Guitaring, diva rock Glasto.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – YUCK – YUCK

108 DAYS TO GO

Could this be the British debut of the year. Yuck have steamrolled 2011 with a vibrant rock n roll album worthy of The Arctic Monkeys or The Libertines.
They however have seemed to have missed out on the marketing juggernaut that has been the pathway to success of those bands and bands like Hard Fi and the up coming Vaccines.
Yuck starts out the way all good rock albums should with 2 absolute classic barnstorming tunes and gathers pace from there.
This band are heading for greatness and it is with a sense of excitement that I wait to see if they can translate this album into a great live performance in the John Peel Tent at Glasto.
This is the sort of band that Liam et al should be championing and not half arsed oasis wannabes like Twisted Wheel and well for that matter Beady Eye.
Rock and Roll is alive and well.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – ESBEN AND THE WITCH – VOILET CRIES

132 DAYS TO GO

Okay, I wrote this out once before, on my crappy work computer, and I lost it all, so I can hardly be bothered to start again, as that review was especially negative.
Basically I slated the album from start to finish, so do I need to include all those snide comments again or could I begrudgingly be kinder this time round.
The answer is no, the album bores me to tears, it’s a second rate attempt at cashing in on The XX bandwagon.
It seems to me this music is for the uninspired, pass me the sick bag.

Photo is of the Car Park Stage at Laneway Festival, just before Stornoway were to play.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – THE JOY FORMIDABLE – THE BIG ROAR

142 DAYS TO GO

The Big Roar is pure rock and roll. the Joy Formidable are in a sense a hard rock band but they have the sensibility of an indie band and the tunes of a stunning pop band. The formidable are indeed formidable and they have produced a big Roar.
This is an Album that hits you head on with the amazing 7 minutes and 44 seconds that is the pure adrenalin rush of The Ever Changing Spectrum of, and then neatly cannonballs into The Magnifying Glass. If you need some ruckus and genuine beauty then check out Whirring. This is a sensational record, one that you will find yourself coming back to time and time again.
I expect to see the Joy Formidable raging in the John Peel Tent sometime after 8 one night, check for me down the front.


ALBUM OF THE WEEK – WHITE LIES – RITUAL

150 DAYS TO GO

White Lies were one of my bands of 2009, I saw them at Glasto and then back in Sydney soon after for a Splendour sideshow, so I was really looking forward to Ritual their second Album. Released nearly 2 years to the day after their superb debut, however that’s about all it has in common with To Lose My Life, as Ritual is a dull sounding update of my least favourite 80’s band Duran Duran.

There are a couple of good tracks, Is Love and The Power and the Glory stand out but the White Lies bandwagon has seemingly stalled at Album No 2. In a recent interview they have said they wanted to have a Kings Of Leon like career, well unfortunately they have skipped putting out 4 great Albums and gone straight to a turkey.
The only upside is that Live I feel that this material could stand up and that with their great songs from the first album they are a good bet for a good time at Glasto 2011.