Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Kylie Minogue's 'The Abbey Road Sessions'

So the multi-millionaire pop starlet, Kylie, better known for perhaps her 80s cheese tracks including 'Better the Devil You Know', 'The Locomotion' and 'I Should be So Lucky'. Or maybe you're of a younger generation and are more acquainted with her dance era material including 'Can't Get You Out of My Head', 'All the Lovers', 'Slow' and 'Love at First Sight'? Either way, she's created a sixteen track album ranging in material but has twisted it all into altered, unheard versions of the tracks that made her a first-name sensation.

Aged 44 and arguably Britain's favourite Aussie, she's sustained her plateau of fame with a stripped down and instrumentally altered collection of her best hits. With a complete makeover, many of these tracks are completely unrecogniseable. You'll find yourself singing along, knowing all the words and still unable to put a finger on where exactly you know the song from until a signature line or melody from a chorus will alert you to the true nature and original sound of the track.

The swung version of 'On a night Like This' is something quite unexpected. The descending baseline is similar to that of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good' whilst the build in strings and vocals creates huge drama and maturity that gives it a completely alternative persona. 'Hand on Your Heart' seems to have taken on an adorable southern state style through the use of bushes on the drums, a quaint guitar and charming vocals. Meanwhile, 'Confide in Me' seems to have taken on a much darker and dramatic version of its earlier self. I much prefer this 2012 version as the all important riffs, melody and general attitude have been kept, but appears to have been sandpapered down to a much better tidier track. 

Other tracks on the album do have a limit in imagination or element of predictability to them such as 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' and 'Flower', but how many different sounds can you get out of one female artist?

16 tracks? One re-recording by Nick Cave? How much more exciting could it get?
Available from the 29th Oct.

Favourite tracks; 'Hand on Your Heart', 'On a Night Like This' and 'Slow'.

Like the review? Then why not try Emilie SandeLana Del Rey and The Noisettes?

Monday, 22 October 2012

Jake Bugg's 'Jake Bugg' album

So the sulky, Nottingham soloist rocker made it to number one this Sunday in the album chart. Not easy in a day of the disco disco, trancey dubstep world that we seem to be living in. As I speak, the X Factor weekend was themed on club classics and the top 100 DJ list came out via DJ mag. LUCKILY this Monday has seen a slight change in Radio 1's distinctly varied but perhaps favoured dance preferences move over to shed light on the rock scene as it begins its 'Radio 1 Rocks'.

 Although perhaps not as hard core as Wolfmother, The Blackout and Linkin Park which are currently being featured by Radio One. Jake Bugg certainly has a traditional (i.e., Beatles, with a bit of Dylan ('Note to Self') influence or even a tease of Arctic Monkeys) rock sound. With raw vocals, an excellent use of effects that highlight his genre and by no means overshadows the purest element of the genre and good rock music. Especially in tracks 'Simple as This' and 'Trouble Town' the effects truly pulling and pushing Buggs' musical creation in the right direction.

 Ok so a few of the tracks have similar sounds and directions. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the overall content of the album. The slower tracks 'Seen It All', 'Simple As This', 'Country Song', 'Broken' really shine. Whereas the faster paced, hyped tracks debut single - 'Lightening Bolt', 'Two Fingers', 'Taste It' and 'Trouble Town' serve well as anthemic tunes. The hard edge to his voice only adds grit to each and everyone of the tracks.

'Two Fingers' could easily pass as an early Beatles track, with jingly jangly guitar, an ascending bass in the bridge and sing along chorus. Similarly, the length of most tracks average just 3 minutes (or the majority less) which brings songwriting back to its traditional root. Less self indulgent riffs, progression or vocal gymnastics. Its to the point and crude. I like it.

 A brilliant, young talent who exceeds himself live.

Fave tracks: Lightening Bolt, Broken Note to Self and Trouble Town.

Like Jake Bugg? Then check out Marching Donald, Jack White and Ben Howard

Monday, 8 October 2012

Annie Mac's 'AMP 2012' album review

The queen of Radio 1 and the UK DJ scene returns with her latest neatly curated compilation album.

If you're a slave (as I am ) to her Friday night show or gigs then you wont be surpised at the line up. For those you dont follow her so intensely - with their tongues hanging out then here's a summary of the highlights contained on the album; artists as big as Avicci (Levels), Madeon, Porter Robsinson, Florence and the Machine with Calvin Harris, Rudimental and Eric Prydz (remix of M83's 'Midnight City') sit side by side acts as small as AlunaGeorge, MMOTHS and Kindness. This only highlights how the UK's first lady of the decks brings the very best of dance musc toagther and not by relying on tracks that sell in bulk but by the quality of the actual tunes.

The album divides into two where the first album contains all the essentials needed for a heightened night out. The second CD contains more laid back tunes including AlunaGeorge's 'Watching Over You', Drake's 'Crew Love' and MMOTHS' 'Over You'. The mixing on the most part is strong with much time, money and effort poured into the record. There are the occasional changes in gear as tracks move from one to another (eg - Aluna George into Major Lazer) , however, transfers from Joe Goddard's remix of Nneaka's 'Shining Star' into Para One's 'Vibrations' as well as TNGHT's 'Higher Ground' into Nas' 'The Don' into Netsky's 'Love Has Gone' is simply superb.

The artists brought to the attention of the public certainly gain acknowledgement, fame and almost instant success through Annie's curation. Artists for example which performed at her AMP night at Bestival this summer included Disclosure, Mele and Jessie Ware. Annie stormed the Big Top tent at Bestival which was quite deservedly her own tent for the whole of the Saturday night. As the warm up act for dance legends Justice it only seems right that her Friday night show grows in recognition and that her club nights continue to take off. An appearance on Annie's show for those under the radar or even recognised but not always acknowledged artists usually serves as a gateway to fame.

The AMP logo is really building a name for itself by showcasing the latest talent in upcoming EDM. The compilation makes brings to the surface a mash of dance genres, new faces alongside those of the old and manages to sustain a level of decent music. I would be quite content simply raving to this album all night or in prep for a night out.

Faves; Gemini's remix of Emilei Sande, Iggy Azealia, Azeali Banks, Nneka (Joe Goddard's remix) of Shining Star.

Like Annie?? Then why not try SBTRKT or TEED (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs).