Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dexys Midnight Runners - Searching for the Young Soul Rebels

Decade - 1980s

Label - Parlophone
Producer - Pete Wingfield
Country - UK
Genre - Rock

1Burn It Down
2Tell Me When My Light Turns Green
3The Teams That Meet in Caffs
4I'm Just Looking
6Seven Days Too Long
7I Couldn't Help If I Tried
8Thankfully Not Living in Yorkshire it Doesn't Apply
9Keep It
10Love Part One
11There, There, My Dear

Dexys Midnight Runners - Searching for the Young Soul Rebels (1980)

Who the heck are Dexys Midnight Runners? The band who sang "C'mon Eilleen". Ohhhhhhhh.

That's how it goes really. They appear on one hit wonder countdowns!

DMR's was formed by the two Kevins from punk act, The Killjoys. Formed in 1978, they performed quite a few gigs with The Specials, who we've already established earlier, I can't stand. That didn't bode well.

Surprise though, it's really not THAT bad. Fairly middle of the road in quality, it's still quite pleasant and the lead singer's voice at least has some personality to it. It's just "good" though, which again really means they should not be on this list. Even worse, so is their second album.

Surely there were better 80s albums than this that could have been included?

Score - 6/10

Recommended - No.

Air - The Virgin Suicides

Decade - 2000s

Label - Astralwerks

Producer - Air
Country - France
Genre - Electronic/Ambient pop

1Playground Love3:32
2Clouds Up1:30
3Bathroom Girl2:25
4Cemetary Party2:36
5Dark Messages2:28
6The Word 'Hurricane'2:33
7Dirty Trip6:12
8Highschool Lover2:42
9Afternoon Sister2:24
10Ghost Song2:16
11Empty House2:58
12Dead Bodies2:59
13Suicide Underground5:56

Air - The Virgin Suicides (Soundtrack)

Why oh why is this on the list? It's a nice soundtrack for a great movie that doesn't work at all as an album unless you want to go for a nap. Nice, moody electronica with pop influences for 40 minutes is basically what you get. This is a score that works great in the movie, but without the visual images, it simply goes nowhere.

Quite a few amazing albums are not in this book so it always bugs me when undeserving albums make it on (See Britney Spears!). A french duo, Air's previous album "Moon Safari" was well received in a critical sense so I imagine this is why this particular album made it through.

Some scores work well outside the movie, but I don't think this does. It's like getting half a story and spending the rest of the time squinting, trying to figure out what the rest of the pieces of the puzzle are trying to say.

Bad choice and it is certainly not an album anyone needs to hear before they die!

Score - 5/10 as an album (8/10 as the actual movie score)

Recommended? No

Battle of the Decades #9

Wht a lacklustre bunch of albums. Nothing amazing here. Unfortunately Joan Baez did a runner and I couldn't find her album anywhere.

2000's - Doves - Lost Souls - 8.5/10

1990's - Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas - 7.5/10

1980's - Adam & The Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier - 6.5/10

1970's - Creedence Clearwater Revival - 7/10

1960's - N/A

1950's - Frank Sinatra - In the Wee Small Hours - 5/10


o Presley, Elvis – Elvis Presley (1956)
o Presley, Elvis – Elvis is Back!
o Derek & the Dominos – Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs
o Dexys Midnight Runners – Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
o Shamen – En-Tact
o Air – Virgin Suicides: Original Motion Picture Score

Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours

Decade - 1950's

Label - Capitol
Producer - Voyle Gilmore
Country - US
Genre - Traditional Pop/Big Band/Crooner

A1In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning3:00
A2Mood Indigo3:30
A3Glad to Be Unhappy2:35
A4I Get Along Without You Very Well3:42
A5Deep in a Dream2:49
A6I See Your Face Before Me3:24
A7Can't We Be Friends?2:48
A8When Your Lover Has Gone3:10
B1What Is This Thing Called Love2:35
B2Last Night When We Were Young3:17
B3I'll Be Around2:59
B4Ill Wind3:46
B5It Never Entered My Mind2:42
B6Dancing on the Ceiling2:57
B7I'll Never Be the Same3:05
B8This Love of Mine3:33

Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours (1955)

Having grown up in the era where the songwriter part of the singer/songwriter is what brings respect, it is difficult for me to really like someone like Sinatra, who is a performer singing other people's songs and compositions.

Then I realised I'd done the same thing with Ray Charles and really enjoyed him, so now I just blame Sinatra. Big reputation, this doesn't show me why.

This is a looooong (ok well, it felt long) collection of melancholy, sad love songs, sung by Sinatra, arranged by Nelson Riddle. The problem is that every single track has the exact same feel and the exact same vocal performance and the exact same...well you get the idea. As everyone probably figured out when I reviewed Time Out, I HATE background music and yet this is all this is.

It's not that it's particularly bad or unpleasant, but it drags and drags relentlessly without offering much of substance. I don't get any genuine feelings of sadness in his voice - I get 'entertainer pretending to be sad'.

I guess some music isn't quite as timeless for

Score - 5/10

Recommended - No

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory

Decade - 1970s

Label - Fantasy
Producer - John Fogerty

Country - US

Genre - Rock n Roll

A1Ramble Tamble7:09
A2Before You Accuse Me3:24
A3Travelin' Band2:07
A4Ooby Dooby2:05
A5Lookin' Out My Back Door2:31
A6Run Through the Jungle3:09
B1Up Around the Bend2:40
B2My Baby Left Me2:17
B3Who'll Stop the Rain2:28
B4I Heard It Through the Grapevine11:05
B5Long as I Can See the Light3:33

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory (1970)

It's hard not to like this album - it's straight up fun, swamp boogie rock n roll and John Fogerty's very cool and growly voice!

There's really not too much for me to say about it - the jams are fun (even for me), but the whole album is very much at the same level and every track at the same energy level, so it can get tiring after 5 songs. Fogerty's voice is also always the same, so this is probably heard better within a mix cd than a full album really.

Still, this version of I heard it Through the Grapevine is excellent and you should buy it just for that.

Score - 7/10

Recommended - Yes

Adam & The Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier

Decade - 1980s

Producer - Chris Hughes
Label - CBS

Country - UK

Genre - Post Punk/Pop

A1Dog Eat Dog3:05
A3Feed Me to the Lions2:53
A4Los Rancheros3:22
A5Ants Invasion3:13
A6Killer in the Home4:06
B1Kings of the Wild Frontier3:53
B2The Magnificent Five3:00
B3Don't Be Square (Be There)3:28
B4Jolly Roger2:06
B5Making History2:52
B6The Human Beings4:00

Adam & The Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier (1980)

The original band of "Ants" Adam put together jumped ship to form "Bow Wow Wow" with Malcolm McLaren. Showing that he was determined though, Adam put together a new band, lead by his friend/guitarist Marco Pirroni and came up with this album. Considering "Antmusic" topped the charts and Adam became hugely famous, I guess it all worked out for the best!

Basically this is a bunch of quirky, theatrical, catchy post-punk/pop tunes with a kind of tribal drum feel to it. The tracks are fun, but I'm just not into theatrical music, so unfortunately "It's just not my thing".

Score - 6.5/10

Recommended - Sure