Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Eugene McGuinness - The Invitation To The Voyage (4.5/10)

I have been quite the fan of Eugene McGuinness, ever since his debut single 'Monsters In The Bed' I have followed his career fairly closely; something thats actually been quite easy as it's been 4 years since his last full length album release. 'The Invitation Of The Voyage' is his 3rd record after the excellent 'The Early Learnings Of' and the strong but flawed self titled that came out in 2008. I have always viewed Eugene as an  artist full of potential just waiting to come out and with 'The Invitation To The Voyage' once again we get glimpses of this but perhaps a more pressing issue we see lots of it being repressed in generic stylistic pop. I never thought I'd see the day where Eugene McGuinness would put out something as frightfully dull as 'Videogame' but lo and behold it actually happened. Having said that the are a few moments on this album which are actually incredibly strong 'Lion' & the title track 'Invitation To The Voyage' are both stellar moments and the final run of tracks is exactly the sort of thing I hoped for from Eugene but it doesn't really make up for the early body of the album, at least not enough to give it a whole hearted recommendation. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

Twin Shadow - Confess (8.7/10)

One could be said that I'd be bored of 80's inspired pop by now, but if it's done well & with a somewhat modern twise, it is easily one of my favourite genres of music being released at the rate that it is. 'Twin Shadow' is the latest album I've heard to provide me with such thrills and it does achieve the aim of both sounding positively huge and 80s but is also a cannon full of incredibly catchy songs. The first 4 track of this album in particular sound like would be classics with 'Five Seconds' simply being one of the finest pop songs I've heard in quite some time. This album isn't = in it's self a bona fide classic though, the album does to lose it tremendous momentum going into the final 3rd, but it's still a great album to check out if you're a lover of 80s inspired pop music such as myself.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Eleni Mandell - I Can See The Future

It's taken me a while to acquaint myself with 'Eleni Mandell', in fact this album is my first taste of here & after hearing some pretty great things I can't help but feel a slight bit disappointed with this album. It's not that it' bad, far from it, the opening track 'The Future' is a thing of beauty & 'Magic Summertime' more than makes up for this gaping Camera Obscura hole in my heart right now, but quite often the album sort of finds it's self stuck in a kind of aimless rut with many songs laying down the same foundations as 'The Future' but with a structure of a kind of slap dashed construction and end up feeling almost incomplete. I guess what I'm trying to say is whilst this album is a good listen on a sunny day, it just doesn't quite get me going in the way I thought it would; but I'm still glad I listened to this album as it introduced me to a couple of very good songs. 


Friday, 6 July 2012

Album Review: Shonen Knife - Pop Tune

Shonen Knife are the cult all girl punk band from Japan & by all accounts make the music scene a more fun place to be, the is simply no denying this. 'Pop Tune' is the latest effort from the trio and whilst it presents a handful of quality straight up punk tunes it has to be said I do feel it falls a bit short as a whole. The problem for me is that the majority of the songs are just plain out forgettable, the exclusion of the first few songs I didn't really take anything away from listening to this album, it left pretty much no impression on me. The high points 'Welcome To Rock City', 'Pop Tune' & 'Osaka Rock City' are worth getting a hold of as they prove the be the exceptions to the rule with strong song writing, memorable riffs and catchy hooks but I honestly really couldn't tell you anything about the songs past track 3. Whilst the is plenty here that hardened fans will enjoy; it just didn't quite thrill me enough.

Album Review: Port St. Willow - Holiday

Holiday but Port St.Willow is an album created with 2 very simple rules; Atmosphere & Falsetto. 'Holiday' is what I'd like to call a cohesive album and is something that really needs to be listened to as a whole piece and probably in solidarity with your eyes shut and preferably with headphones. Despite it's sparse song arrangements and atmospheric approach the is something really quite grandiose sounding about this album, it manages to pull off quite a large and urgent sound, and this gives some tracks a sense of umph about them that a lot of 'atmospheric' albums tend to lack, at least whilst not jarring the listen at all. Songs such as 'Hollow', 'Amawalk' & 'Consumed' are pretty great and have already become some of my favourite songs of the year, this album will be a nice tickle to the senses for fans of bands such as Sigur Ros and The Antlers, however on the whole I feel this album just doesn't quite tick all the boxes for me and as such falls just shy of being a great album. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Album Review: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives - Throw It To The Universe

This album just feels like a very traditional album, I don't know how to put it into words but it gives the feeling that this could have been released in any other decade and it'll probably fit. As a result this album does feel a tad nondescript and really does nothing to stand out but, if you give this a few listens, you will find a few choice moments start to come out and reveal themselves. For example the piano driven 'Solar Circus' is an incredibly beautiful song which just holds your attention with it's simple yet effective melody and sincere vocal work. The album starts off pretty strong as well with 'Throw It To The Universe', 'You Are the Beginning' & 'When We Fall' all jumping at you from the get go with their strong guitar riffs and strong song structures, that whilst nothing remarkable, do a good job at investing your attention into the album. However I have to say that fair share of this album proves that first impression aren't always wrong and the majority of 'Throwing It To Universe' does indeed just sounds a bit too safe and nondescript.