Accidentally damning something with faint praise is easily done. Sometimes you just want to say something is nice without the negative connotations that are associated with being ‘nice’.
Nice means soft. Nice means harmless. Nice means benign.
Then again, nice also means politeness. Nice means kittens. Nice also definitely means biscuits.
To say that Fanfarlo's third album Let's Go Extinct
is a nice Saturday morning album isn't meant to sound the same as “yes mum, your new curtains are nice”, it’s meant to sound like “these biscuits are nice, mum, I’ll have 12 more”.
It's hard to find a comparable contemporary for Annie Clark
, either male or female, in terms of vision and evolving sound. Wendy and Lisa’s lost classic Eroica
from 1990 is the only benchmark I can think of.
With each album Clark has developed her own distinct sound, increasing the eccentricity yet somehow remaining accessible with every release.
For several decades we've loved a good diva-off. The 80s gave us... ahem... Elaine Paige vs. Barbra Dickson. In the 90s we had the definitive and sublime ‘Boy Is Mine’ by Brandy and Monica, as well as the dishwater-dull snoozefest between uber divas Mariah and Whitney on ‘When You Believe’. Similarly forgettable was Britney and Madonna grinding their way through ‘Me Against The Music’.
It’s become an infamous truth in the Popdin office how much I detest psychedelic pop, especially the modern stuff. Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foxygen. Oh God, Foxygen, bleugghhh. Modern psychedelic pop is the audio equivalent of stroking a terracotta pot.
Leon Barton called me out on my
level-headed, reasonable opinions in his review of Jacco Gardner’s album Cabinet of Curiosities
, so I figured I’d ask him why he thinks psychedelic pop is so great.
In many ways Maximo Park's Paul Smith will always be the guy who, upon having his gear stolen nearly a decade ago, took great pains to point out that his Marcel Proust books were part of the missing haul. Not wishing to sound like an anti-intellectual or anything but what a bell-end.
I thoroughly enjoyed Bombay Bicycle Club's unfashionable debut album I Had the Blues but I Shook Them Loose
. While critics proclaimed it as indie landfill of the most seagull-infested order, other listeners looking for an enthusiastic and emotionally engaging band to fall in love with and jump around to, ignored the critics and proceeded to do the two things critics specifically told them not to do.
Posted by The Ape
at 08:11 on 30 Jan 2014
After I listened to Actress's Ghettoville
I thought I'd check out a few of the reviews that were floating around the internets. I was quite astonished by some of the reactions out there and even more astonished by my reaction to them. I've attempted to paraphrase the whole episode into a fictional conversation between myself and the rest of the world, entitled Me vs. The Rest Of The World.
While listening to Dum Dum Girls' third album Too True
, I utilised my time wisely and researched various press shots of the band for the bit later in the review where I insert a photo and write a hilarious caption underneath it. For those of you who have never made it that far, this normally happens at the half-way mark and the captions range between 'mildly tittersome' to 'confusing'.
And what did I encounter during my research?
Posted by The Ape
at 11:42 on 23 Jan 2014
The first track opens with RZA's voice and closes with a sample from Darren Aronofsky's Pi. These days that's pretty much enough for me to think this is a good listen, but you're going to need more convincing than that because Alternate/Endings
... well I don't know how to tell you, um... oh gosh this is awkward, i may as well just come out and say it... is a drum & bass album.