Monday, January 22, 2007


I’m tremendously excited about a brace of long player releases that are due to hit local (and distant) record emporia this week.

Field Music’s Tones of Town has been harvesting spiffing reviews for its atmospheric pop sensibilities, sumptuous harmonies and darned fine tunes. I adore the Sunderland collective’s eponymous debut; it is as quirky as a rooster on the moon, jumpy and angular enough to keep the listener on the edge of his (or her) seat, and packed with joyous, fabulously intelligent songsmithery. It is well known enough not to be hailed as the ‘great lost album of the noughties’ but I still believe that an insufficient number of hepcats are aware of it. Wise up, frères et soeurs.

Talking of eponymous debuts, I can’t wait for Damon Albarn’s latest project and album, The Good, The Bad and The Queen. Albarn strikes me as being one of those ‘love him or loathe him’ characters and yesterday’s Observer reflects this appraisal of the Blur frontman. Two reviews of the album adorn the journal’s pages. In the Observer Music Monthly, the recording is hailed as ‘one of the most surprising and magical records for which Damon Albarn has ever been responsible’ while in the ‘Review’ section, a mealy-mouthed Kitty Empire reckons that ‘like most of Albarn's output, The Good, the Bad and the Queen is not a bad record, it's not quite as great as Albarn thinks.’ Frankly, for me, Albarn can do no wrong. I liked the two Gorillaz albumz enormously for their wit and beaty bliss, the Mali Music project was full of character and rootsy charm while the entire Blur output, especially the astonishing last trio of recordings, Blur, 13 and Think Tank, remains the benchmark that all modern British beat combos should aspire to for invention, charm, musicianship, wit, ability to reflect the zeitgeist and, importantly, move, stimulate and engage the listener. I won’t have a word said against the geezer. I’m looking forward to owning this album enormously.

I sense that, in a way, I’ve just reviewed two albums that I’ve not heard yet. I just hope they live up to the hype!

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