Coming Soon on Crispian’s album reviews (May-June 2009)

Here’s another batch of new releases I hope to be covering in the next month or so

Jarvis Cocker: Further Complications
Tori Amos: Abnormally Attracted To Sin
Silversun Pickups: Swoon
The Hours: See The Light
Royksopp: Junior
Kasabian: West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Chickenfoot: Chikenfoot
Eminem: Relapse
Madness: The Liberty Of Norton Folgate
Eels: Hombre Lobo
Jason Lytle: Yours Truly, The Commuter

More suggestions welcome…

Depeche Mode: Sounds Of The Universe

This album has been on my review pending list for over a month now, but every-time I make the effort to listen to it, I can’t really think of much to say about it. There’s not a lot to get excited about and conversely there’s nothing worth getting too upset over, or ranting about as I am occasionally prone to do. The one track that retained a few reminders of their heyday (Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion), is “Wrong”, but now I’ve written this short review of it, I can’t really envisage myself revisiting it that often. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Depeche Mode fan than I’m sure you’ll like it, if not, this is probably not the album that will change your mind.

Doves: Kingdoms of Rust

4th studio release from Cheshire based 3 piece after a four year wait since “Some Cities”. I say 3 piece, I don’t know why their keyboardist is not afforded full band member status.

Like Elbow, Doves seem to resurrect a progressive rock resonance into their contemporary indie vibe, although for my tastes, Doves accomplish the task even more proficiently than Elbow.

There is scant evidence on display for their dance-floor past lives indeed the vocals on “Winter Hill” remind me more of Jagger singing “Lady Jane”.

“Compulsion” features a well defined funky bass line aping Blondie at their height.

“House of Mirrors” is one of the standout tracks with its hammering drums and rapid keyboards and jarring guitars.

I’m at a complete loss at to why albums like this don’t outsell the likes of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”. I propose too many people select their musical purchases based on band label popularity (like buying the current in-vogue designer label clothes), or perhaps marrying an actress means that you can make better music? There’s almost an argument for releasing all albums in plain white sleeves so they have to be judged purely on the merit of the music. No wait, the Beatles have already done that. Just listen to the music people, and then make your judgements. Music is art not fashion. That reminds me, does anyone else get really annoyed with young girls wearing Ramones T Shirts when they’ve clearly never seen them? Oh hang about I seem to have switched from review mode to rant mode. Best stop now.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: It’s Blitz!

There is one stand-out corking bouncy instant hit on this album in “Heads Will Roll”. It’s a likeable mixture of old school rock augmented with more clubbing beats than a beach full of seal pups. As Karen O sings out “Off, Off, with head, dance, dance till your dead” to a euphoric rhythm it’s hard not to get swept along with her. Sadly for me the rest of the album has looped around several times on my iPod and all the other tracks have failed to grab my attention.

With the exception “Heads Will Roll” I’m surprised that I’m not a little more enamoured by an album produced by Nick Launay whose previous clients include Talking Heads, PiL, Nick Cave and Arcade Fire. Maybe there’s just too much emphasis on courting the dance-floor instead of the mosh-pit for my tastes.

Connect 4

Following my list of unsurpassed debut albums, and my seminal tricky third albums, the final instalment of my list trilogy is the most prestigious.

In order to qualify, you need to release 4 consecutive superb studio albums. (Compilations and live albums have been ignored). Strict admission only, Oasis three great albums followed by “Standing on The Shoulder of Giants”, hence no admission.

So here’s my top 60 list of 4 sequential studio masterpieces:

60. Ramones

1976: Ramones,
1977: Leave Home, 1977: Rocket To Russia, 1978: Road To Ruin

59. The Clash

1977: The Clash,
1978: Give 'Em Enough Rope, 1979: London Calling, 1980: Sandinista!

58. Kaleidoscope

1967: Side Trips,
1968: Beacon From Mars, 1969: Incredible! Kaleidoscope, 1970: Bernice

57. The Black Keys

2003: Thickfreakness,
2004: Rubber Factory, 2006: Magic Potion, 2008: Attack and Release

56. Black Sabbath

1973: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,
1975: Sabotage, 1976: Technical Ecstacy, 1978: Never Say Die

55. ABBA

1975: ABBA,
1976: Arrival, 1977: The Album, 1979: Voulez-Vous

54. Siouxsie and the Banshees

1978: The Scream,
1979: Join Hands, 1980: Kaleidoscope, 1981: Juju

53. Savoy Brown

1970: Looking In, 1971: Street Corner Talking, 1972: Hellbound Train, 1973: The Lion's Share

52. INXS

1985: Listen Like Theives,
1987: Kick, 1990: X, 1992: Welcome to Wherever You Are

51. Jefferson Airplane

1967: Surrealistic Pillow,
1967: After Bathing at Baxters, 1968: Crown of Creation, 1969: Volunteers

50. Leonard Cohen

1979: Recent Songs,
1984: Various Positions, 1988: I'm Yur Man, 1992: The Future

49. Paul Weller

1992: Paul Weller,
1993: Wild Wood, 1995: Stanley Road, 1997: Heavy Soul

48. Status Quo

1971: Dog Of Two Head, 1972: Pildriver, 1973: Hello, 1974: Quo

47. Yes

1971: The Ye
s Album, 1971: Fragile, 1972: Close To The Edge, 1973: Tales From Topographic Oceans

46. Mike Oldfield

1980: QE2, 1982: Five Miles Out, 1983: Crises, 1984: Discovery

45. Radiohead

1995: The Bends, 1997: OK Computer, 2000: Kid A, 2001: Amnesiac

44. Blondie

1976: Blondie, 1977: Plastic Letters, 1978: Parallel Line, 1979: Eat to the Beat

43. Kings Of Leon

2003: Youth and Young M
anhood, 2004: Aha Shake Heartbreak, 2007: Because the Times, 2008: Only By The Night

42. Eurythmics

1985: Be Yourself Tonight, 1986: Revenge, 1987: Savage, 1989: We Too Are One

41. Rush

1978: Hemispheres,
1980: Permanent Waves, 1981: Moving Pictures, 1982: Signals

40. Cat Stevens

1970: Mona Bone Jakon,
1970: Tea For The Tillerman, 1971: Teaser and the Firecat, 1972: Catch Bull at Four

39. Roxy Music

1973: For Your Pleasure,
1973: Stranded, 1974: Country Life, 1975: Sirens

38. Kate Bush

1978: Lionheart,
1980; Never For Ever, 1982: The Dreaming, 1985: The Hounds Of Love

37. The Cure

1979: Three Imaginary Boys,
1980: Seventeen Seconds, 1981: Faith, 1982: Pornography

36. Roy Harper

1971: Stormcock,
1973: Lifemask, 1974: Valentine, 1975: HQ

35. AC/DC

1975: T.N.T.,
1976: High Voltage, 1976: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 1977: Let There Be Rock

34. Suede

1993: Suede,
1994: Dog Man Star, 1996: Coming Up, 1999: Head Music

33. Mike Oldfield

1973: Tubular Bells,
1974: Hergest Ridge, 1975: Ommadawn, 1978: Incantations

32. Queen

1975: A Night atthe Opera,
1976: A Day at the Races, 1977: News of the World, 1978: Jazz

31. The Police

1978: Outlandos d'Armour,
1979: Reggatta de Blanc, 1980: Zenyatta Mondatta, 1981: Ghost in the Machine

30. Iron Maiden

1980: Iron Maiden,
1981: Killers, 1982: The Number Of The Beast, 1983: Piece Of Mind

29. Neil Young

1970: After The Gold Rush,
1972: Harvest, 1974: On The Beach, 1975: Tonights The Night

28. The Beatles

1963: Please Please Me, 1963: With The Beatles, 1964: A Hard Days Night, 1964: Beatles For Sale

27. David Bowie

1977: Low,
1977: "Heroes", 1979: Lodger, 1980: Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

26. The Rolling Stones

1966: Aftermath,
1967: Between The Buttons, 1967: Flowers, 1967: Their Satanic Majesties Request

25. Simon And Garfunkel

1966: Sounds Of Silence,
1966: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme, 1968: Bookends, 1970: Bridge Over Troubled Water

24. The White Stripes

2000: De Stijl,
2001: White Blood Cells, 2003: Elephant, 2005: Get Behind Me Satan

23. Leonard Cohen

1967: Son
gs Of Leonard Cohen, 1969: Songs From A Room, 1971: Songs Of Love and Hate, 1974: New Skin For The Old Ceremony

22. AC/DC

1978: Powerage, 1979: Highway To Hell, 1980: Back In Black, 1981: For Those About To Rock

21. The Stranglers

1977: Rattus Norvegicus,
1977: No More Heroes, 1978: Black and White, 1979: The Raven

20. Dire Straits

1978: Dire Straits,
1979: Communique, 1980: Making Movies, 1982: Love Over Gold

19. The Doors

1967: The Doors,
1967: Strange Days, 1968: Waiting For The Sun, 1969: The Soft Parade

18. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

1997: The Boatman's Call,
2001: No More Shall We Part, 2003: Nocturama, 2005: Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus

17. Bob Dylan

1975: Blood On The Tracks,
1975: The Basement Tapes, 1976: Desire, 1978: Street Legal

16. Black Sabbath

1970: Black Sabbath,
1970: Paranoide, 1971: Master Of Reality, 1992: Black Sabbath Vol. 4

15. R.E.M.

1991: Out Of Time,
1992: Automatic For The People, 1994: Monster, 1996: New Adventures in Hi-Fi

14. U2:

1984: The Unforgettable Fire,
1987: The Joshua Tree, 1988: Rattle And Hum, 1991: Achtung Baby

13. David Bowie

1970: The Man Who Sold The World,
1971: Hunky Dory, 1972: The Rise And Fall Of Zigy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars, 1973: Aladdin Sane

12. The Who

1966: A Quick One,
1967: Sell Out, 1969: Tommy, 1971: Who's Next

11. Deep Purple

1970: In Rock, 1971: Fireball, 1972: Machine Head,
1973: Who Do You Think You Are

10. Roger Waters

1984: The Pro's and Cons of Hitch Hiking, 1987: Radio K.A.O.S, 1992: Amused To Death,
2005: Ça Ira

9. Bob Dylan

1964: Another Side Of Bob Dylan, 1965: Brining It All Back Home, 1965: Highway 61 Revisited,
1966: Blonde on Blonde

8. Genesis:

1971: Nursery Cryme, 1972: Foxtrot, 1973: Selling England By The Pound,
1974: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

7. Led Zeppelin:

1973: Houses Of The Holy, 1975: Physical Graffiti, 1976: Presence,
1979: In Through The Out Door

6. The Rolling Stones:

1968: Beggars Banquet, 1969: Let It Bleed, 1971: Sticky Fingers,
1972: Exile On Main Street

5. The Beatles:

1965: Help!, 1965: Rubber Soul, 1966: Revolver,
1967: Sgt. Peppers Lonley Hearts Club Band

4. Jethro Tull:

1969: Stand Up, 1970: Benefit, 1971: Aqualung, 1972: Thick As A Brick

3. The Beatles:

1968: The Beatles, 1969: Yellow Submarine, 1969: Abbey Road, 1970: Let It Be

2. Led Zeppelin:

1969: Led Zeppelin I,
1969: Led Zeppelin II, 1970: Led Zeppelin III, 1971: untitled

1. Pink Floyd:

Dark Side of the Moon, 1975: Wish You Were Here, 1977: Animals, 1979: The Wall