Archive for October, 2010

Album – Loneliest Generation – Harper Blynn

Posted by admin on 20th October 2010

I’m sure the band will not mind the comparison, but when I first heard the opening track, “25 Years” I couldn’t help but hear a strong vocal resemblance to Paul McCartney, very reminiscent of his early solo years, it’s the strong, belt it out style of vocal. For the top 40 of yesteryear, this would have been a certain hit record, fast paced and eminently memorable.

“Steal Your Love”, while shorter, actually feels like a longer track, but still very much in the upbeat style. “The Doubt” sees the album back pedal and relax a bit. It’s hard not to be seduced by the basic, but very clean vocals in this very simple, but elegant song. “Loneliest Generation” again swings back to the more upbeat, but I can’t help but feel “25 Years” would have been a better title track.

On “Love Struck Kitty”, the first thing that hits you with track, is the bass drum, a very pleasant assault on the ears. The second thing is the almost rhythmic lyrics. At first I was on the fence, but after hearing this track a few times, I really began to enjoy it. “Centrifugal Motion” continues with a driving beat and it was then that I realised, as an album it had me hooked.

Listening on head phones as I do the majority of time when reviewing, I loved ” All That Noise” with it’s wonderful acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment. The vocals also are very complimentary. Finishing off the album is “It May Be Late”, which has that wonderful, bringing an album to a conclusion feel. It reminds me a lot of listening to old vinyl albums, and hearing the last track and wanting to flip the album over and play it again.

Conclusion : The whole album in fact has a very balanced feel, not too dissimilar to Macca’s later works, especially Flaming Pie. There’s the up beat, stereotypical singles, the down beat, self reflective songs and that little hint of quirkiness. A very enjoyable album.

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Parlotones – Stardust Galaxies

Posted by admin on 18th October 2010

  • Band / Artist : ParlotonesmySpace
  • Genre : Rock / Pop
  • Sample Track Download : N/A
  • Buy CD : Amazon
  • Buy Digital Download : iTunes
  • Rating : 9.5 out of 10

Many albums come my way that I really enjoy. There’s a few that really capture my imagination. There’s a few however that totally blow me away. Needless to say, the Parolotones latest release Stardust Galaxies is firmly in the latter category. I kind of came across the band by accident. I found their past release in my in pile. but reviews had kind of ground to a halt. The podcast was still going stong, so I decided to feature a song from this album on the podcast. The song I chose was “Play On” which was never a single, but unbenowst to me was recently featured on the US TV show, Ghost Whisperer. Raphael from the band’s label, thanked me for including them on the podcast, and sent me a link to their new album, the very same one I’m reviewing here.

I really wanted to review this album the instant I heard it, but unfortunately I got it in February and the release date, if I remember correctly was in June. I put off reviewing it and, well anyway I’ve finally got around to reviewing it now.

The album opens with the amazingly strong “Push Me to the Floor” which is just one of those killer opening tracks.The vocals are very reminiscent, well to me anyway of the Killers. It’s one of those songs that cries to be aired on radio stations near and far. What excites me more, is the sheer creative genius that unfolds with each track. This is not an album driven by a couple of killer tracks, this is an album, where the band has grown, and forged forward. While their previous release “A World Next Door to Yours” was a pleasant album, it didn’t have that killer punch. I’m reminded of a couple of albums, of the recent past, like Oasis, “What’s the Story Morning Glory” and Blur’s, Parklife. The instant I heard them, I knew they were going to be considered classic and I very much had that feeling with “Stardust Galaxies”.

“Stars Fall Down”, slowly unfolds and kind of hits you in the gut with melancholy. It’s a hard thing to explain, but there’s a real beauty in the sadness. “Fight Back”, again slowly unfolds, and has that anthem quality, akin to Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger”. I can just imagine a packed to the brim stadium audience singing along. “We Call This Dancing”, at first felt a little like the odd track out, but it slowly works into it’s groove and then, that Parlotones hallmark slaps you in the face.

“Life’s Design” is a song, that again took a little while to get into it’s stride, but as soon as the chorus unfolded, bam it becomes an integral part of this albums makeup. In making this album, there are themes and idisyncracies that are used throughtout, “Fly to the Moon” being a case in point. It’s slow burner, but I can’t help but feel genuine emotion. This could very well be me reading too much into things, but this album feels like it was a labour of love.

“Remember When” sets it’s scene very quickly and as the song unfolds, a picture is painted very vividly in your head. “Welcome to the Weekend” features again the sound of kids voices and feels very much like a logical extension of the previous track. When ever I review an album, while zeroing on the best tracks, I can’t help but make a mental list of what I consider the worst tracks. “Brighter Side of Hell” kind of went straight into that list, but as the song builds momentum, I didn;t have the heart to relegate it to a list that so far was empty. Suffice to say though, I don’t consider this one of the stronger tracks, but by no means bad.

Entering the last quarter, I make no apologies for reviewing each of the 12 tracks, as I don’t feel anything less would do justice to the album. “Science” certainly slows things down a bit, and you kind of realise that the preceeding tracks have ripped by. “Fireworks and Waterfalls” has an interesting intro. When “Reaching your Destination” is mentioned, it’s profetic that it leads into the final and indeed title track “Stardust Galaxies”. For me this is a perculiar title track. It’s very downbeat and kind of out of kilter with the rest of the album. The female vocals make a welcome appearance, but I’m glad that they’re just on this one track, as for me, it’s the distinctive vocals and excellent songwriting that make this album.

Conclusion : When I hear an album this good, I want to tell as many people as I can. It sounds silly, but it kind of hurts to think of an album this good, not reaching the widest audience possible. I hope with this review, I further that reach just a little more.

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