Black Kids have the most consistently enjoyable album this week. N.E.R.D. had some good songs and UNKLE disappointed. Dennis Wilson is a cool re-discovery and Oasis are back, but not with a bang.
This week, most of you’ve probably heard the new Oasis track ‘Falling Down’ from their forthcoming album by now. If not, check Youtube. It’s actually quite an OK tune, but why does an ‘old’ band enlist the help of ‘old’ remixers?
Oasis remixed by the Chemical Brothers? That just doesn’t make sense to me. If Oasis wanted a proper makeover, I would have picked Various Productions. With a quiet song like that, I’d probably would have knocked on Burial’s door for a slick, bass heavy remake. It’s not too late, the album’s only due in October.
There are some big ones coming up in the next couple of weeks, including a Primal Scream album and a ‘DJ-Kicks’ mix album by Burial. Watch this space.
And here’s the weekly album round-up:
Black Kids - The Secret Offspring Of The Cure And Madonna?
Did you ever wonder what a fusion of The Cure and early Madonna would have sounded like? Black Kids are the answer. The splendid ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend (How To Dance With You)’ is the obvious hit on ‘Partie Traumatic’. A singalong pop record with witty lyrics and a sunny sound that reminds me a lot of the Cure in their ‘Lovecats’ period.
Black Kids are struggling a bit to hold that level of songwriting over the rest of the album. Not every song is a winner, but the sheer energy is infectious. The standout tracks are ‘I Wanna Be Your Limousine’ and ‘Listen To Your Body Tonight’. If you are looking for a bit of uncomplicated fun, you’ve come to the right place.
Listen Here to ‘Partie Traumatic’ and download the album from iTunes.
N.E.R.D. Fuse College Rock And Jazzy Hip Hop
Outkast have gone there before and arguably with more striking results, but N.E.R.D. have hidden a few gems on their new album ‘Seeing Sounds’.
The hits on ‘Seeing Sounds’ for me are the rocking ‘Windows’, which makes more than a passing nod at The Knack’s rock classic ‘My Sharona’, and the mad ‘Kill Joy’. The latter is a Beastie Boys style jazz funk vamp with a touch of Latin Rock thrown in for flavour. The ballad ‘Sooner Or Later’ has a strong hook and benefits from its minimal arrangement.
On the rest of the album, N.E.R.D. are alternating between chasing that Outkast sound and playing with a bit of jazz funk. At the end of the day, ‘Seeing Sounds’ is a pretty mixed bag of tricks. As an album, it sits in between the catchy debut ‘In Search Of’ and the less consistent follow-up ‘Fly Or Die’.
Listen Here to ‘Seeing Sounds’ and download the album from the iTunes Store.
Lost Balearic Classic By Beach Boy Dennis Wilson Awaits Discovery
Brian Wilson might have filled his living room with sand to get the right vibes for writing songs about surfing, but his brother Dennis was the only Beach Boy who actually surfed. Dennis solo debut ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’ may be marred in parts by dull boogie rock, but for the main part, the songs are spacious, often far out and on occasion truly visionary.
At times, Pacific Ocean Blue mixes touches of William Orbit style ambient music, soft rock, weird synthesisers and some tight disco funk. It’s the kind of music that would have not been out of place at an all night disco session in Ibiza back in the jet set 1970’s. In other words, it’s Balearic Disco at its best.
Listen Now to Dennis Wilson’s ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’ and ‘Bambu’ on iTunes.
UNKLE Disappoint With Excursion Into Film Music
What you get on UNKLE’s new album ‘End Titles… Stories For Films’ are 10 vocal tracks featuring guest vocalists interspersed with 12 instrumentals. Two of the vocal tracks are real stunners, ‘Open Up Your Eyes’ featuring film director Abel Ferrara (’Bad Lieutenant’) on vocals and ‘Clouds’ featuring Canadian Alternative Rock band Black Mountain. Especially Abel’s Bob Dylan style ’stream of consciousness’ rant is worth a listen.
‘Against The Grain’ featuring Gavin Clark is a strong track with a slight hint of indie rock a la Radiohead. The remainder of the tracks on the album is torn between trying to create an ambience and delivering conventional songs with hooks and all. Rarely does ‘End Titles’ hit either of these two goals.
Listen Here to ‘End Titles and download tracks you like from iTunes.