Saturday, 21 February 2009

All You Need is Moz?

Finally after a prolonged wait for his new album, Mr. Stephen Morrissey has finally released his new album, titled Years of Refusal. But after all this time, has the Pope of Mope still got it?

Morrissey: The next Madonna?

You'd think after 25 years in the music business that Morrissey's music may go through one of those ever so awkward reinventions that never really work: Madonna with her *ahem* rapping, Gary Numan with his whiny Goth phase and the vocoded mess that is Britney's new stuff, the years haven't ever been kind to those veterans of music. But no, Morrissey has never really strayed from his well worn path of self pity, irony and killer riffs. Just as well really, I don't know about you but the very thought of Moz turning all electro is enough to give me the chills.

Years of Refusal
is an album full of potential singles, each as attention grabbing and vibrant as the next. Something is Squeezing My Skull and One Day Goodbye Will be Farewell are both energetic anthems that show that there's life in the old man yet.

There is a definite feeling of progression from the last album, each track seems to draw in the listener, incrementally leading to a climax during the chorus which, for the most part, is just a splurge of emotion. There's the usual themes of death and loneliness in tracks
When Last I Spoke To Carol and You Were Good in Your Time, the ultimate line in the latter ("Are you aware, that you have just died?") being so haunting you are left somewhat surprised, even by Morrissey's standards. And the Mexican Carol.. song sounds oddly apt for this tale of suicide; the distant howls in the background conjure up images of this lady wandering through the valley of the dead, inches away from taking her own life. Or at least that's how I picture it, being a ray of sunshine and all.

The only track I am not so thrilled about is That's How People Grow Up. The live version of this track was released sometime last year and, in comparison to the studio version, had a lot more oomph. It's not often that I side with a live track, but I feel the album version of this track to be slightly too pristine for my liking.

Other than that though, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this new album, and I had to admit although a faithful disciple, I was somewhat sceptic about how his new album would compare to his previous work. Thankfully though, he failed to disappoint and his album has even beaten Frank Turner's on my most played list for the past 3 months. If that's not a sign of a good record, I don't know what is.

"You're gonna miss me when I'm gone" Morrissey taunts during the magnificently powerful All You Need Is Me- with recent news that Moz is contemplating retirement at the grand age of 50, I can safely say that we certainly will.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

1984: How Close Are we?

I know the title suggests that I'm deviating from the normal musical calibre of my posts and drifting into conspiracy theories, but don't worry there is a link to music, even if it it is somewhat tenuous.

I don't want to bring up the shambles that happened at the BBC during the latter part of last year again as I feel it has been pulled to pieces, only to leave a huge generational gap between the public on the matter of decency during public broadcasts. The issue I would like to raise however, is one of connecting the target audience of these radio broadcasts with the shows themselves. I was made aware earlier that two local radio DJ's have had their radio show that aired between 1 and 3 in the morning on the weekends suspended, due to a few expletives in some of the songs broadcast.

Now I don't want to be too hypocritical and judge this situation when I'm not a listener to this particular show, by that time on the weekend I'm either mindlessly rambling to people on MSN or sleeping- 24 hour party person is me. However, it strikes me as a little nonsensical that in the early hours of the morning when most people aged over 45 will be tucked up in bed or watching Taggart with a rich tea, it is unacceptable to air music that is unedited, when at 9PM you can pretty much say what you like on television. I mean honestly, the folk who do watch Taggart must be mortified if they accidentally switch over to Channel 4 on a Saturday, enough to give them angina I'm sure.

(N.B I know I'm generalising an awful lot, forgive me.)

I can understand that the last thing the BBC wants is more scandal, I almost feel sorry for how bad their year was press wise in 2008, but I don't see why swearing in songs broadcast can be deemed offensive at that particular time slot. People who listen to that show tune in to hear local musicians; the whole point of the show is to introduce new talent, so why should we censor it?

I've always had issues with censorship in music.

Maybe it's the purist in me, but I don't think music should have boundaries. It's at its best when it's raw, unadulterated sound; not something that has to answer to 'the man.' I think, when used sparingly, expletives can add impact to songs that may otherwise be deemed bland. I'm not a huge fan of the bitches and hoes rubbish that's spouted a lot these days, but it's all about subjectivity. If an artist feels it's necessary to say 'Shut up you twat' in their own piece of work, then that should be their prerogative. I agree that in the daytime swearing on all mediums of broadcasting is unacceptable due to the risk of young people being 'exposed' to it (as if they aren't already, have you ever been to the local comprehensive?), but during the late evening hours I don't see why there should still be such restrictions.

I hope I'm not the only one who still believes in artistic license. And for all who disagree- FUCK YOU!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Screw You Cupid!

Yes it's that time of the year again. The fated February 14th, when there's nought to be seen but sickeningly happy couples hand in hand and buying into the corporate monster that is the card companies (and florists to a certain extent). Where you are reminded constantly that everyone else has someone to make their day just that little bit more special, whereas you're sat at home watching Grand Designs with a pot noodle. Great.

So, in case you haven't gleaned already, I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day. Bitter? Maybe. Cynical? Too right. Point is, I don't see the necessity in expressing how you feel about a person on one day of the year, when you can get rejected every day of the year. Honestly though, I'm not too fussed, it's just another day for me, but I do realise that some take it more seriously than I.

If you happen to be one of those people (there's got to be some of them out there) then I have a treat in store for you. Hell, even if you think it's a load of tripe like me then give this a listen and it'll cheer you up. Or make you feel worse, whichever.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Franz for Glasto

Franz Ferdinand are the latest act to confirm they will be playing the prestigious Glastonbury festival this summer.

The Scottish group confirmed on their official website that they were playing the festival on the Saturday evening. This isn't entirely shocking as last year they played a secret gig at the Park stage, (yet another secret show I missed out on) as well as joining The Ting Tings at the annual Pilton Party for the residents of Glastonbury. I'm still undecided whether I will give them a look in at the festival, new single Ulysses is destined to be a chart success but whether that will translate onto a live setting well I don't know. Saying that though, saw them at Benicassim in 2006 and they were immense, so you never know..

Other acts to have confirmed themselves for this year's Glasto include Lily Allen, Bon Iver and- Rolf Harris. Oh dear God. The scary thing is, I'll know just where to find my parents when he's playing, if last year's Wurzels rave was anything to go by.

If you want to go this year but haven't got your act together, the second batch of tickets has officially sold out so in order to be in with a chance of getting on when the third batch are released (April 5th) you will need to have registered your details at before March 31st. See you in the Green fields!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Let It Snow..

I must apologise for being so sparse with my posts lately but with one thing and another I've been rather swamped (the trappings of a teenage life eh?). Still, there are a few things to look forward to on this here blog in the coming days/weeks:
  • A Morrissey album review-Hear my verdict of Mozzer's long awaited return.
  • Not one but TWO new bands that both sound rather good I must say in my very first attempt at feature writing.
  • Maybe a few MP3's too if you're lucky.
Oh, and if you're a new band looking for someone to write a piece about you and get your music heard by dozens of people (possibly more, I haven't checked the stats lately) then feel free to drop me an e-mail at and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Now, on to more important things: SNOW!!!

I'm not sure if the Arctic conditions we are experiencing here in good old Blighty have affected any other countries, but if you haven't then you're slightly lucky. I say slightly as I still love the snow just as much as I did when I was a kid but it still is a bit nippy. I don't know about you, but there's something so clean and simple about waking up to a snow covered landscape, even if that landscape is only dull suburbia. There's something more to the air; more magic, more excitement, more, well cold. So, along that vein, here's a track that is great for cuddling up to people to.