I have been travelling around Italy for the past three weeks or so, and not listening to much music (it’s pretty antisocial to don headphones when travelling with a delectable spouse).
But when I have been a-listening, this new release has been the go to. I’ve trying very hard to get into it, to embrace the morphing of an old favourite artist.
Unfortunately, the journeying of Mr.Hanlon is in a direction away from me.
He has lost much of his pop sensibility. Songs are now lengthy, wandering tales. The wordplay is still excellent, but the pace ponderous.
This is an album of dealing with a breakup, of contemplating the aftermath and the heritage of a relationship that was substantial but is no more. There is also that continuing theme of a wanderer, rejoicing in memories of place, but lured by the new and unknown.
In light of that summary, clearly this CD is evocative at some level, and has kept my attention, but not with the adoration and joy I’ve felt before. But vision of Dazza still makes me smile…
File under: It’s (maybe) not you, but me
You won’t see another review from me for at least a week, as I’m out of albums on my iPod until I return to Australia.
We hit an auspicious number with a jaunty set of numbers from a hep cat named Charlie.
Mr.Hunter came to my attention as a one-time, part-time Disposable Hero, where he delivered some cracking guitar lines that broke throw the industrial beats of said outfit.
A little research tells me often plays guitars with extra strings (but not quite banjos or harps), and can do tricky things where he plays lead and rhythm at the same time. I suspect he can also pat his head while also rubbing his stomach.
Such feats could be seen as pure novelty, but he seems to also a lot of that talent stuff.
This album is a collection of instrumental tracks, and Mr.Hunter grants centre stage to his horn-player Dave Ellis on most tracks, with the guitar work often back there laying a damn fine understated groove.
When he does step into the spotlight, such as on the Hawaiian-influenced Fistful of Haggis, it is certainly awe-inspiring.Even the somewhat chessy Nirvana cover (Come as You Are) bears repeated listens.
This is jazz without too much of the self-indulgence or skivvy wearing. But don’t take my word for it, check out this promo thingie:
File under: It’s great mate, woof.
Well, I’ve been ridculously tardy in getting to #399. It all started because, in the interests of temporal accuracy, I’d been holding out to listen to the Housemartin’s debut album on vinyl. But the opportunity didn’t arise, I got waylaid by other matters, and finally I’m back having lept forward to this “best of”.
The Housemartins were a bright shining light of the late-80s British music scene who faded too fast, but fueled some other acts already reviewed here.
Their schtick was one I found, and still find, irresistable. It’s all sugar-sweet whiteman soul, but with slyly sarcastic and biting lyrics.
Paul Heaton’s voice is pure pop gold, and the basslines keep many of the tracks bopping along. The band is also not afraid to get all a-capella on our asses, and to turn such barbershopping to soul standards.
The best tracks on here mock the British class system, the protestant work ethic, and everything you stand for… but in a way that your grandma would still might praise.
To make up for my slackness these past few weeks, and because these videos should be seen by all, here are three lesser known clips from the lads from Hull:
File under: An understatement