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Minirambledump

11/09/2011

I’ve not really had the chance to sit down and write about things because of the usual start-of-autumn rush, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped listening to music. The last few weeks have been downright insane in terms of new releases, awaited, unexpected and slightly delayed, bombarding me with their presence. Here’s a thoughtdump about what sorts of new things have been going through my player. Some of these might get extended versions later on, but for now there’s these paragraphs.

BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB – A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIX

I didn’t really care for the first few albums by BBC. The stuff from the debut was okay but nothing particularly interesting, the second one passed me by completely. The lead single from the brand new third album, “Shuffle”, has on the other hand been nagging in my brain ever since I first heard it. It’s one of those insane earworms that latch into your mind and it’s all okay because it’s so brilliantly upbeat and bouncy and frolicy and lovely that its sheer presence makes the whole world feel a bit better. And it’s pretty ingeniusly built, from the shuffly (hur hur) piano riff to the vocal melodies. It’s pleasing enough to tell that the rest of the album is quite nifty as well. It’s got a delightfully airy feel and a great lightweight production style that compliments the jangly, bouncy songs perfectly. Is it an album that’s going to be a future masterpiece? No, but it’s sure as hell going to be a frequent accompaniment to the breezy, fresh and sunny autumn morning commutes to come.

ELECTRIC SIX – SWITZERLAND

This is more-so acting here as a bit of a news information PSA kind of thing. I think E6 are a great, fun band. Did you know they’ve been chucking albums out nearly every year since around 2005 or so? Probably not, seeing as their public presence has equalled zero after Fire and its ubiquitous hits. They’re also releasing a new album this year buuuuuut in all likelihood it won’t be mentioned here or make it into the top 10 list at the end of the year. The reason why is that I’ve accidentally ended up getting E6 albums in a chronological order and I’ve decided to continue getting them in said order for fun and fancy. Problem: I’ve only just reached album #3 out of couple million, and unless I binge on all the albums between 2006’s Switzerland and this year’s newcomer in these next few months it’s rather unlikely that Heartbeats and Brainwaves, out next month I think, is going to appear in my player any time soon. And this is why E6 won’t appear in my top 10 list this year even though they might have a chance to do so. Not that it matters in the end as those things tend to get outdated after a month or so but YOU KNOW.

Also Switzerland is a bit of a disappoinment after the fantastic one-two punch of Fire and Señor Smoke. It trades away the ridiculous attitude, ridiculous fun and ridiculously stompin’ hairbangin’ groovin’ dance-rock to something more straightforwardly rocking. Which isn’t really what they’re all about. But we shall see.

(this one’s a good one, mind you, though still far from the peak moments of the first two albums)

LAURA MARLING – A CREATURE I DON’T KNOW

Actually, I can’t say this has really been in my player as I’ve only heard it once through a webstream. But, if I’m honest, I doubt it will make a large presence in my listening habits anyway and it’s really doubtful I’m ever going to say much else about this on this blog. See, I love Laura Marling: a fantastic voice and a brilliant charisma. However, it seems her ideas of her musical path greatly differ from my expectations. Alas I Cannot Swim, her debut, was a fantastic slice of quirky, whimsical folk pop that sounded like nothing else. And I hate to be That Sort of Guy, seeing as I do my best to fight them, but it seems her path is going downhill ever since the beginning, with her decision to abandon the whimsy and move onto serious, moody acoustic mumbling that all sounds rather samey. Her last album was ok but really disappointing and A Creature I Don’t Know walks along that same path but even less impressively. It’s just musical wallpaper, gently guitar-picked elevator music. She still sounds gorgeous but her songs have lost the touch. What a shame.

TV ON THE RADIO – NINE TYPES OF LIGHT

Hi, I’m late to the party! Although with an excuse: outside digging “Golden Age”, I’ve not really been listening to much TVotR. The combined greatness of the singles off the latest one made me give it a gander and it is very, very good indeed. Based on what I’ve been reading I think I’m getting the entirely wrong impression from this band by hearing this laid-back, sentimental album first but tough. I’ve got into bands through the ‘wrong ways’ before. Considering I’m still a newbie to this band who have been going for a while, I’ve a limited amount of things to say as I can’t compare this to any of the previous works,  so apologies for the short paragraph. Currently the album I’m most addicted to, however.

WILCO – THE WHOLE LOVE

Pretty good stuff. Probably will grow to a great one. Will make proper opinion in future, will write proper ramble in future. Good stuff.

MICHAEL MCCANN – DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION OST

Time to shift gears to gaming blog mode here again for a few minutes. The original Deus Ex is one of the greatest games ever made (fact) and one of my personal favourite games of all time (opinion), and some weeks ago the world saw the release of the prequel Deus Ex: Human Revolution. And it was good. Amazing, even. Deus Ex finally got a sequel worthy of the Deus Ex name and it’s easily one of the best games in the last several years. Brilliance. The score is also quite brilliant. It mixes together orchestral and ambient into a suitably futuristic mixture, perfect for accompanying the gold and black shaded near future of DXHR. I haven’t met a game in ages where I stopped on my tracks just to listen to the background music. The only downside? Currently the only OST release is the one that comes with the special edition of the game, and that’s a truncated version that lasts for 12 songs and 29 minutes, which is nowhere near all the music in the game. WHAT A SHAME. There’s some unclear rumours floating around that they’d eventually release the full soundtrack on iTunes or something, and we can but hope that’s the case.

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