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Thanks

Dave

Carvalho Diablo

GF music review club

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Cat Power - Sun.

Another band/artist that I've never heard of.

I notice from seeing the track listing that number 4 features Iggy Pop.  

 

Track 1 Ruin

A decent (ish) pop song, slightly atmospheric, not a bad starter. 

 

Track 2 Cherokee

The voice isn't bad at all, slightly different feel than the opener. Not too bad.

 

Track 3 Sun

More raw and more of a dance opening. Continues with the same atmospheric feel. Ok, as good as the others.

 

Track 4 Nothin' but time

Step up Iggy, you're on lad.

I hope you got well paid for your time Iggy. He added depth to the warbling towards the end. Bowie style.

 

Track 5 Back in the days

Oh dear. Needed some Iggy Pop.

 

Track 6 3,6,9

No.

 

Track 7 Human being

Better. Lyrics are ok, her voice is ok.

Bored.

 

Track 8 Cherokee (remix)

A song I've already suffered, remixed by someone I've also never heard of.

 

Tracks 9, 10, 11

Wrapping Xmas pressies now.

 

I gave it a fair trial and it was Guilty. Guilty as charged.

 

I had no idea what to expect, but as soon as I got a clip of the bird on the cover I thought "this is going to be spiritual, warbling bollocks".

And it was.

 

Not my thing. I can see why people like it, so on that basis I'll give a 5/10.

On the basis of my tastes I'll give it 2/10.

On the basis of 'will I ever listen to this again or even remember it?' 1/10. or 0.

Thank fuck that's over.

 

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Thanks Joe for taking the time to listen and write a few words even if it really wasn't for you. Probably wouldn't make too much difference to you but for anyone else planning on using Youtube that list is a bit wrong. There are eleven songs on the album but not necessarily the same eleven tracks which are on the Youtube channel. Looks like four of the tracks have been switched for something else. The correct track info is as follows;

 

1. Cherokee
  2. Sun
  3. Ruin
  4. 3,6,9
  5. Always On My Own
  6. Real Life
  7. Human Being
  8. Manhattan
  9. Silent Machine
  10. Nothin But Time
  11. Peace And love

 

 

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Cat Power - Sun

 

Never heard of Cat Power... or have I? Anyway:

 

Cherokee - I like the opening guitar and drums. The understated vocals draw me in, but she isn't a mumbler or a whisperer, there's good range in there. As the beats kick in it gets more modern, lyrically I'm already interested, “If I die before my time, bury me upside down”.

 

Sun - Ooh, a bit electro. Those synthetic strains dissipating into the background, as vocals take the centre stage, building, layering and reverberating. Tight.

 

Ruin - A bit of piano always screams more traditional. Thus far it's an interesting mix, it reminds me that smart pop used to be a thing. her voice always strays an octave lower than you expect for a female vocalist, as you can hear her vocal chords vibrating on “Me-hi-co”.

 

3,6,9 - Seems a bit playful, the rhythm reminds me of the opening of Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground (White Stripes). Bit of a mood track intended to break things up. I like the layered instruments and noise, it makes me pay attention; clicking, choral-like singing, ending with a cranked autotune voice effect.

 

Always On My Own - Slowing things down the mood seems darker, or perhaps melancholic. Sometimes all you need is a good vocalist, a drum beat and the odd acoustic strum to punctuate things. My one issue is the mixing, the high pitch is so bright that it's almost peircing with in-ears at a good volume for me.

 

Real Life - Back to a bit of electronica. Slides by without anything of note happening.

 

Human Being - The two vocal tracks, with one being at a lower level, really makes this. Little bit old Western feel to it due to the background tempo. “Can't you see you cut your hand on the advantages

You could stand to manage your damages.” She's got a knack with pithy lyrics.

 

Manhattan - Electro beat reappears after a one-track breather - starting to get a bit predictable in how the album’s composed. Clicking high pitches again, I may need to listen in open headphones so it doesn’t feel like a nut bouncing against the inside of my skull.

 

Silent Machine - Unsurprised to hear the guitar leading after the last track. This has the most traditionally indie feel to the intro. Was Iggy Pop on a previous track? This feels the most like channeling a bit of Iggy. It's all a bit predictable until halfway through, then crunches into something experimental, but it's only momentary.

 

Nuthin But Time - Electronica again - tick follows tock follows tick - but stitched into something more wistful and musical. Really great, almost a bit Lou Reed. She’s got a great voice, and this gives it room to breathe, unlike some of the middle tracks. Doesn’t deserve 10:55, but I don’t really mind the indulgence when it feels like I’m sitting stoned on a beanbag, looking up at the stars.

 

Peace And Love - “Na na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na… everybody got shit to pay”. Ah, they don’t write ‘em like that any more! Seriously though, I like the grungy feel to it all, it's pleasingly raw. “I used to have scrounge money, on the ground money”. It's the least musical, but perhaps the most "real" track in its immediacy, cutting through layers and getting straight to what matters. I initially thought the album should’ve ended with Nuthin But Time, but I like that this is the edgiest lyrically, and closes with a slight sneer.

 

I was going to say I'd never heard of Cat Power, but then it hit me as the final track ended; she did a great cover of Wonderwall, and a whole covers album. I'd never bothered to dig deeper than that, so I really enjoyed this. Lots to dig through, some great lyrics and she clearly knows how to draw you in with her voice. The middle tracks are a bit meh in places, and the overall composition of alternating electronica tracks with more indie themes ones becomes predictable, but there's so much in there anyway that it feels like the substance of another artist's entire album is effectively condensed into just a few of the standout tracks here. Everything else is a bonus.

 

8/10

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The Infotainment Scam - The Fall

 

I’ve only really got in to The Fall the last 2-3 years. I got on to then watching a show that used to be on Sky Arts called The Basement. I was instantly attracted the music rather than Mark E. Smith. Who I always thought was a complete and utter Manc bellend. 

 

However he really turned me round with acerbic social commentary. In his very own complete mad as a box of frogs way of “singing” 

 

I’d not gotten round to listening to this album before. Listened to it about 12 times since it’s first play. 

 

So here goes. 

 

Ladybird (Green Grass) - Great start, cant feel but Sleaford Mods have basically ripped this tune off. Not that is bad like. I love the beat, I love the bass, I love the Joy Division guitar sound. Then it goes all heavy with a dirty rock and roll riff that drives it up to the next level. “The Pomeranian is burning”

 

Lost In Music - This is one of the best covers ever. FACT! Don’t @ me.

 

Glam-Racket - The opening to this really shows the diversity in The Fall’s back catalogue and the absolute genius of Smith. 

 

I’m Going To Spain - This is where Smith shows up people like Alex Turner and that beaut from The Libertines. This vocal pattern and lyric combination is everything they could only ever dream off. Smith’s the most unusual vocalist I have ever come across. He’s like a junkie version of Bon Dylan. He should make you want to burn your ear canal and drum. But he doesn’t. It’s a weird relationship you have with him.This a very endearing song. 

 

It’s A Curse - This is the first The Fall track I heard on The Basement. It’s got a a great driving feel throughout. It’s right, and has a feel of being about 10 years ahead of it’s time.

 

Paranoia Man in Cheap Shit Room - Boss title. Haunting start then a proper “Madchester’ groove. One thing this shows is how fucking food the drummer is. Righty tighty throughout. 

 

Service - Smith crooning over a garage house intro. Then storytelling like he’s giving an alternative side to John Simm in Human Traffic. Expecting Danny Dyer to turn up and go all “Peter fucking Andre” in the back of a cab. Mellow, lovely key change between verse & chorus. Plus those dance horns thrown in. Boss.

 

League Of Bald Headed Men - Dirty riff. What’s not to like. 

 

Past Gone Mad - It’s a mad turn of events the start of this. Wasn’t expecting a mellow Prodigy track at all. Again shows the levels of creativity Smith has to put his lyrics over. 

 

Light/Fireworks - It’s like I’ve stepped in to a mix between The Prodigy, Future Sound Of London and The Ramones with Ronnie Size throwing an old school drum and bass beat in for a laugh. Madness. Least favourite this one.

 

Overall I enjoyed it as it’s a real mix of music styles. Mark E. Smith has led me to question a lot of how I used to base my musical tastes. I enjoyed listening to him on this, a lot.

 

I’m going to give this a 8.354/10. 

 

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Review : Cat Power - Sun

 

So here's another AOW by another artist I've never heard before (and by the first female vocalist chosen by the club). Here goes...

 

[presses play]

 

Cherokee - The opening riff reminds me of Joy Division, a nice sounding vocal over a U2 esque soundscape. Hello there, decent opener.

 

Sun - Interesting techno beats open, "Here comes, here comes the sun...". This aint The Beatles, very much darker with a good spacious mix. More nicely layered vocals leave me waiting for the song to burst out through John Hurt's chest cavity. Strange choice of title track.

 

Ruin - This riff does sound familiar, I like how the songs builds, the drums sound good. Again reminding me of Pop era U2, especially Discotheque.

The songs are still washing over me though, not involving me even after several listens. Pleasant enough though.

 

3,6,9 - Trying to place this lass by her accent, sounds like an American ? Probably.

"3,6,9, you drink wine, monkey on your back, you feel just fine.". You can never have too many monkeys in rock imo, once again though, pleasant but uninvolving.

 

Always On My Own - Lots of reverb, cold and deconstructed, still waiting for the big hook.

 

Real Life - More of the same I'm afraid, nice production and vocals but not much catchy or memorable.Losing me here mid album.

 

Human Being - "You've got a right to be a human being...".

I like the bass and the acoustic guitar underneath the main buzzy riff. "See the people on TV , getting shot in their very own street...". Probably my favourite song so far.

 

Manhattan - That piano riff reminds me a tiny bit of Springsteen's Dancin' In The Dark. One of the more up tempo tracks highlighting Cat Power's sweet voice, but again nothing memorable of note.

 

Silent Machine - Big kick drum and finally a guitar hook. Nearest comparison I could make here is probably Adam and The Ants ! Okay track which doesn't cash in on the promising opening.

 

Nothing But Time - "I see you kid, alone in your room..."

Got a flavour of Bowie's Heroes crossed with U2's Bad, haha and then Iggy turns up to confirm that. Best song yet.

 

Peace and Love - Nice guitar sound but I'd love to hear a dry vocal though. Nah, this isn't doing it for me, no hook at all...although is that Kashmir I can now hear creeping underneath ?

 

Fire - Nice acoustic is drowned by reverb as soon as the vocal drops in. Another non-song.

 

Back In The Days - That's a very Hooky bass rattling away underneath the woo-woo-wooooos. Again though I'm left longing for a big dirty guitar to blow the doors off and give me a slap round the kisser, but this aint happening. Shame.

 

King Rides By - Reminds me a tiny bit of the awesome Sex by Lovage, but only slightly and this sauters on without ever cashing it's chips in. Another nice vocal but another pleasant song that unltimately goes nowhere for me.

 

So then, nice, sweet, well produced (if a bit sterile), overall lacking in hooks and memorable songs. After half a dozen listens I give Sun a score of 6 out of 10.

 

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Cat Power - Sun

 

I had heard of her, but only recently as it turns out when she teamed up with Lana Del Rey.
10 albums in, so she has serious staying power. I didn't know what to expect to be honest. Hit it..

 

Cherokee - Great start to the album. Piano loops and melodies throughout. Picked electric guitar over incessant drum machine breakbeats.Lyrics are emotional and quite interesting "I never knew pain like this/When everything dies”, but still manages to sound cheerful and uplifting. Instantly reminds me of a favourite band of mine, Warpaint. I like her voice too.

 

Sun    - Well not very sunny... Cold and distant in the production, backed up by the synths. Black/bleak guitars too.

 

Ruin - Great looping piano/keyboard driven track. Funky backing guitar rhythm parts. Bit different than the rest of the other tracks, more indie pop.

 

3,6,9    - A bit too repetitive but it's certainly catchy. Evoking the mind going through an endless loop during a breakdown. Bit of vocoder here. Not afraid to experiment though.

 

Always on My Own - Understated track. Synths are the star here for me, Clive. But ultimately a bit "samey"

 

Real Life - Good experimental electronica in this one. Layered vocals again giving it a fuller sound. "Real life, is ordinary" - got that right.

 

Human Being - Plenty of introspective musings; "you’ve got two hands, so let’s go make anything".

 

Manhattan - Very minimalist 80's sounding at the start. Drum machine and a piano. Takes it's time to settle.
It's probably the weakest track so far and a bit too long.

 

Silent Machine - Almost sounds like the start of an Oasis "Dig out your Soul" era track. Has a great swagger to it.
Not afraid to push out the experimental in this track either. Great layered vocals; hopping from normal to auto-tune and then chopped up, especially the chorus. Excellent.

 

Nothin' But Time - A bit of Iggy Pop for good measure... At about 11 mins it gets hard to keep on top of it. "it's up to you / to be a superhero" - sounds like my Maths teacher from school. Some great arrangements here though especially when the guitar parts play out. I'm hearing U2 here no matter how I try to block it out..

 

Peace and Love - Reminiscient of an early 90's indie riff. More hip-hop sounding with a light rap delivery on the vocal.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this. I'm a fan of electronica and minimalist sounding compositions that are actually quite complicated when you drill down and really pay attention, and I think this does it justice in many places. Not afraid to push the experimental side out either. Clearly she likes to push herself. It's a very sincere album and very good in places.

Some parts are a bit boring and forgettable to be honest, but as a whole the album is good.

 

I would listen to this again so it's overall a positive from me. 7/10

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Thanks for the reviews everyone. I thought we hadn't had a female vocalist which was one of the reasons I picked this. Also, if I could I would upvote Zonkoville again for the mention of Warpaint. 

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Let me know when you want mine up, its ready buy im so bloody busy with trying to get this move sorted not got as much time to log on at the moment.

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1 minute ago, Lee909 said:

Let me know when you want mine up, its ready buy im so bloody busy with trying to get this move sorted not got as much time to log on at the moment.

Next Tuesday or Wednesday mate. Got a couple of people trying to catch up with their reviews still, and was Stig's "return" simply a figmant of my imagination? 

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1. Cherokee
Breathy vocals, catchy laid back track. Good hook - kept waiting for the girl to belt it out. 
 
  2. Sun
Plus one for the Beatles shout - getting a Hugh Padgham feel from the drum programming and the tom fills. Again nice
vocal tracks - restrained layers, do like the falsetto.
 
  3. Ruin
Loop based groove and tracking, a little new wavish maybe, not quite techno. Feels a little like an electro garage band.
 
  4. 3,6,9
Here we go -- nice lilt in the groove -  the vocal layers are really working for me on this one.
 
  5. Always On My Own
This is a cool tune here. The squealing harmonics sound like feedback over the stark backing of the acoustic and drums.
 
  6. Real Life
Back to the electro backing -- more vocal layering, call/answer. I think less is more with her sometimes tbh.
 
  7. Human Being
Interesting, I like the sound of the electronic digeridoo/jews harp thingy. 
 
  8. Manhattan
Love the sound here -- a little Steppin Out feel with the Linn Drum/Piano track
The low register on the vocal sounds good,
 
  9. Silent Machine
The most direct tune so far in terms of the backing track -- hints of the falsetto work well. Could do without the middle 8.
 
  10. Nothin But Time
Great tune, Iggy -- got a bit of "Heroes" going on
 
  11. Peace And love

Harmonized rap - was not expecting that.

 

 

 

Well - it was pretty good. It did make me realize how difficult it is for female "artists" that are not powerhouse vocalists. It seems like I was always expecting something in the higher register that is not there with her. She does have a wonderful breathy falsetto.

It would be interesting to hear her take some of these tunes on with just acoustic guitar for instance. Some of this feels like it leans a little too much on the loops - there is some cool drum programming and some of the live drum sounds are cool too.

 

I will certainly listen to a couple of these again but prolly not the whole thing.  6.5/10

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Adore - The Smashing Pumpkins.

 

I got dead excited when CD told us this was his AOW. How it made my dangle wangle. This is written over 3 nights of sitting through playbacks. 

 

The thing is I thought of the completely wrong album. I was thinking Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness. I mean how similar does that sound to Adore eh?

 

I remember hearing bits of this a while back and feeling disappointed as there was no “Tonight” or “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” or “Disarm”. So I was approaching this with a bit of apprehension. 

 

Let’s see if I get somewhere near adoring this album.

 

To Shiela - This instantly gives of a feeling of reflection by that finger picked nylon stringed guitar. It’s a really nice song. In fact it’s gorgeous. 

 

Ava Adore - Lets take this up a few notches. Totally different opening, vibe, feeling and tone. Loving that beat and bass. This feels like Billy is holding back. It’s good but it’s lacking a bit of rawness. I want some sneering.  A bit ‘too’ polished if you like. Still a good song like. 

 

Perfect - Another nice song. Well written. Well played, but feels it’s missing that Pumpkins vibe for me. 

 

Daphne Descends - I like the vibe that this track has quietly riding underneath it. It’s a subtle heaviness trying to pick through the more mellow aspects of Corgan’s creative output. Again, well

Put together but it’s lacking something that makes it great. 

 

Once Upon A Time - Now this is nothing like I would have expected. Very much of a ‘Blonde on Blonde’ Era Dylan in this. Now for some strange reason this feels more Pumpkins than ‘Perfect’ and ‘Daphne Descends’ i like this a lot. Probably because I’m stoned. This is a tune you can get lost in. 

 

Tear - That drum sound is brilliant. Very roomy and big. The electronic inclusion has grown on me through each play of this album. I was put off at first with some of it. This has got loads of different elements to it that you don’t quite get on to straight away. 

 

Crestfallen - lovely, lovely piano and synth and possibly guitar at the start. This like ‘Perfect’ and ‘Daphne’ feel it’s missing that magic Pumpkins element. It feels like a soundtrack to a film. Again, that’s not to say I don’t like the song. I do. It feels different. 

 

Appels + Oranjes - I don’t like this one. It’s gone to far to the electro feel. Feels like an attempt at the mainstream market. 

 

Pug - Now we are back on track. Dirty sounding guitar and riff. Oh hang on, wasn’t expecting the nice camp feeling change there. But then that guitar comes back in with a second axe playing a brilliant loop. Two totally opposite styles in the song and it works very well. 

 

The Tale Of Dusty And Pistol Pete - A nice acoustic. Too polished again.

 

Annie-Dog - This is dark. Those off notes, the up and down vocal. He reminds me of Thom Yorke on this one. It doesn’t go with convention with those off notes. 

 

Shame - Weird chorus setting on the guitar. I don’t like this at the start, but it slowly builds up with the different layers. It’s a grower. 

 

Behold! The Night Mare - Nice. Goes on being nice throughout. 

 

For Martha - I did like this one before, well for the 5m40s. Then it goes on for another 2 minutes for no reason (IMO) the finish is nice in parts though. 

 

Blank Page - Another beautiful piano riff. A lovely track. Some nice layers, some uneasy ones too. 

 

17 - That old school recording sound with the piano is interesting. And Then it just stops. Bye.

 

Overall I’m left a little confused as to how I feel about this album. There are some really great songs in there. For me it doesn’t feel like what I would call a Pumpkins record yet at the same time it does. I think.

 

It feels over polished, like someone with OCD has constantly tweaked and adjusted everything about a million times until they were finally happy with the production. Also a lot of the songs feel like they are written for someone else and not specially for Corgan. Even though has written them for himself. It shows his songwriting skills off in a great way.

 

So I feel like this album is making me contradict myself.

 

I’m going to give a 7.65/10. For 3 reasons.

 

  1. I didn’t ‘enjoy’ it like Infotainment Scam but I liked it for the overall work.
  2. It’s over produced in parts. 
  3. It had a hole that is leaking somewhere I am not able find it. 
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The Future Isn’t What It Used To Be - Exit Calm

 

The Rapture - This is nice and mellow. Nice pace to it. It reminds me of a band from the early to mid 00’s, The Music. Those of ‘Take The Long Road And Walk It’ As it goes on, I’m

Not sure what to I think. I’ve listened to this on a number of different occasions and different scenarios. In the dark (not completely immersed in darkness of course) this gives me a better vibe than it does when I’m (like now) on the bus. I think the lyrics are pants though. 

 

Albion - Singer defo reminds me of Robert Harvey from the aforementioned comparison. This one fares much better than ‘The Rapture’ Getting a festival

Anthems vibe from this lot. Decent.

 

Fiction - Starts off with a drum sound that comes from ‘Fucking In The Bushes” and then an Ian Brown type inspired vocal. These are slowly growing on me the more I hear them. 

 

When They Rise - I really like the music these lads create, I think the singer lets the band down as he’s very one dimensional. I got bored of this towards the end.

 

Higher Bound - Lovely acoustic guitar. A nice song overall. Lyrically let down at times. 

 

Holy War - Feel like these could do with upping the tempo a bit to be fair. It’s all starting to feel a bit one paced. Not bad songs but all a bit samey. I put that down the limitations of the vocalist.

 

Promise - I’m starting to see why Mark Lanegan with the guitarist on Gargoyle. And again the singer goes for the Ian Brown inspiration. 

 

Glass Houses - Singer sounds like he’s got a bit of a growl in there but instead of roaring like a lion, he’s being a house cat who doesn’t want to go it in the cold. I do like this song.

 

Open Your Sky - Again, a good song but sounds like he’s trying to be Ian Skelly from The Coral. He does sound better on this one as you can hear the little bit of gravelly growl. But I can’t help but feel he just needs to let rip. 

 

Overall it’s actually got a lot great music on it. However I can’t help but fell the mix of the band is not quite there. Probably explains why they split later on. All the elements just don’t click enough for me.

 

I’m going to give it an enjoyable 6.9154/10.

 

I’ll probably listen to some songs again but not all. 

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A few days early but i may be busy at times next week. 

 

Had to go with these guys after going to watch them live at the Shepherds Bush O2 on thursday. 

Its a long album as its live but these boys are a touring band more than a studio one as there albums sales show. 

Do well over 250 shows a year so always on the road. 

 

Quick run down of the band

 

Charlie Starr – lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar (2000–present)

Paul Jackson – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2000–present)

Brandon Still – keyboards (2009–present)

Richard Turner – bass, backing vocals (2000–present)

Brit Turner – drums

 

 

If you don't like it don't feel the need to go all the way through with 22 songs on the album.

 

 

So my album of choice is

 

Blackberry Smoke - Leave a scar live in North Carolina

 

 

 

Enjoy(Hopefully)

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Will post all the links and stuff on Wednesday when I have access to my laptop. Never heard Blackberry Smoke before, great band name and looking forward to giving this live album a listen.

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