jueves, 26 de agosto de 2010

Edwyn Collins - I'm Not Following You (1997)

Having found himself back in the commercial limelight with Gorgeous George, Collins followed it up with the equally -- possibly even more -- delightful I'm Not Following You. Trademark wit blended with passion intact and with key sideplayers drummer Paul Cook and bassist Clare Kenny helping out among many others -- including a wonderfully scabrous vocal cameo by Mark E. Smith on the very disco "Seventies Night" -- Collins tries all sorts of different things and more often than not comes up with the goods. "The Magic Piper (Of Love)" was the understandable lead single, catchy and with more than a little bite to it, drawing from finger-snapping hep-lounge Vegas sources and his own fun lyrics: "My girlfriend she got blotto/Half cut in Santa's grotto/It turns out he's a dirty old man." Add to that some just right flute and a clever brass sample that suddenly turns into an orchestrated sample from the Velvet Underground, and the man still has it. It's one of many joys throughout, with Collins showing a musical heterodoxy that would probably stupefy most other bands or acts. "Seventies Night," for example, is followed up by the sweet orchestration and quick acoustic fingerpicking of "No One Waved Goodbye," a regretful look at a relationship in pieces. There's full-on feedback and pounding drums, there's sly, compressed production touching quirky keyboards and Euro/cabaret arrangements, and even the self-explanatory Hammond-tinged "Country Rock." The hint of wistful nostalgia is often matched by the lyrics, with asides like "I'm going back to my old school/Cause to tell you the truth/All those songs of my youth/Move this old fool." Not many musicians so readily and easily allow for the hints of the passage of time. Leave it to Collins to find a number of ways to do just that. Source: [AMG]

Edwyn Collins - Adidas World

Track Listing
1. It's a Steal
2. The Magic Piper (Of Love)
3. Seventies Night
4. No One Wave d Goodbye
5. Downer
6. Who Is It?
7. Running Away With Myself
8. Country Rock
9. For the Rest of My Life
10. Superficial Cat
11. Adidas World
12. I'm Not Following You


sábado, 7 de agosto de 2010

Belle And Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1996)

Belle & Sebastian's second record, If You're Feeling Sinister, is, for all intents and purposes, really their first, since their debut in 1996 was not heard outside of privileged inner circles. And If You're Feeling Sinister really did have quite a bit of an impact upon its release in 1996, largely because during the first half of the '90s the whimsy and preciousness that had been an integral part of alternative music was suppressed by grunge. Whimsy and preciousness are an integral part of If You're Feeling Sinister, along with clever wit and gentle, intricate arrangements — a wonderful blend of the Smiths and Simon & Garfunkel, to be reductive. Even if it's firmly within the college, bed-sit tradition, and is unabashedly retrogressive, that gives Sinister a special, timeless character that's enhanced by Stuart Murdoch's wonderful, lively songwriting. Blessed with an impish sense of humor, a sly turn of phrase, and an alluringly fey voice, he gives this record a real sense of backbone, in that its humor is far more biting than the music appears and the music is far more substantial that it initially seems. Sinister plays like a great forgotten album, couched in '80s indie, '90s attitude, and '60s folk-pop. It's beautifully out of time, and even if other Belle & Sebastian albums sound like it, this is where they achieved a sense of grace. Source [AMG]

Belle And Sebastian - Me And The Major

Track Listing
1. The Stars of Track and Field
2. Seeing Other People
3. Me and the Major
4. Like Dylan in the Movies
5. The Fox in the Snow
6. Get Me Away from Here, I'm Dying
7. If You're Feeling Sinister
8. Mayfly
9. The Boy Done Wrong Again
10. Judy and the Dream of Horses


lunes, 2 de agosto de 2010

Pizzicato Five - Playboy & Playgirl (1998)

Playboy & Playgirl begins with the kind of collage-heavy imagined soundtrack that marked Happy End of the World; with that out of the way, they get back to the inspired, eclectic popcraft that is their strength. Hookier and more danceable than their previous album, this is a welcome return to songwriting for the dynamic duo. Think Burt Bacharach without the self-pity, with a smidgen of Motown and Stax. Keyboard timbres run the gamut of the Pizzicato imagination from faux-harpsichord to spacy funk. Singer Nomiya Maki puts her unpretentious stamp over everything from Sgt. Pepper's pomp to '60s R&B horns to symphonic dancefloor beats to introspective pastorals. While P5 may be in with the lounge crowd, they never feel superior to their cheesy predecessors; avoiding the sometimes smug, reactionary irony of the new exotica, Yasuharu Konishi's diverse influences are held together by his all-embracing love of the pop spectrum. A joyous record. [Note: Playboy & Playgirl was released in Japan in 1998 under the title The International Playboy & Playgirl Record; Matador's 1999 American release cuts the third track, "International Pizzicato Five Mansion," and substitutes "La Règle du Jeu" later in the album's running order.]. Source: [AMG]

Pizzicato Five - Playboy Playgirl

Track Listing
1. La Depression
2. Rolls Royce
3. A New Song
4. Week-End
5. Magic Twin Candle Tale
6. Concerto
7. Such a Beautiful Girl Like You
8. Playboy Playgirl
9. La Régle du Jeu
10. I Hear a Symphony
11. Drinking Wine
12. The Great Invitations
13. Stars