What an exciting month, I can hardly control my anticipation for the battle between these excellent artists and their new releases. What individual excitement held for each, and for all different reasons, yet all as important as the later.
Noel Gallagher is flying genuinely solo for the first time with an album pretty much full of the highest expectations of the last musical decade.
Whilst Zola Jesus latest could be seen as an attempt at the mainstream…will she be successful in her feat?
Florence and the Machine may have the toughest job of the lot…can she possibly equal the dizzy heights of ‘Lungs?’ who knows, but from what’s already been played on the airwaves, I’m not quite sure.
Having released ‘Everyday is a Waterfall’ Coldplay on the other hand made a genius move and most certainly geared us up for the rest of the album…Lets wait and see
New Album Releases Part 1
Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds- Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds
Release Date: October 13th
If ever we needed proof that Noel was in fact the genius behind Oasis then we have finally got it, and in bucket-loads as expected…I’m actually I’m going to make a brave call and say this is one of the best albums since ‘What’s the Story Morning Glory’.
So, it’s only right that I review track by track….
Track 1: Everybody’s on the Run– A very honest and raw acoustic opening number for the album; Noel Gallagher is laid bare which is fitting for such an amazing artist who needs no frills to announce his debut.
Track 2: Dream on– Nice, again pretty simple
Track 3: If I had a Gun– The musicality of this song displays a real Noel sound not unlike ‘Sunday Morning Call’ and I reckon this is going to be an epic tune.
Track 4: The Death of you and Me– Slightly reminiscent of ‘The Importance of being Idle’ the first release off the album certainly gave us a great insight into what we could expect…and we can keep expecting as this is just going to get better.
Track 5: (I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine– Very early Oasis sounding, pretty simple yet effective as an album track, although perhaps not as a chart release.
Track 6: AKA…What a Life! – This is clearly the standout tune from the album that will not fade into existence like some. Epic in all proportions (if you ask me, and yes challenge me if you will) AKA is one of those songs that will be featured on soundtracks and advertisements alike for years to come.
Track 7: Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks– Noel’s vocals certainly shine in this simple yet very catchy little ditty.
Track 8: AKA…Broken Arrow- Certainly with no complaint AKA part 2 continues on in the same epic proportions as the later…yes please
Track 9: (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach-A soft rock tune in which Noel lays himself bare again with poignant heartfelt lyrics, “Falling, I’ll see you on the way down…come and rescue me.”
Track 10: Stop the Clocks– Stop the Clocks, not too mind blowing although a nice one to wrap up a brilliant album.
Zola Jesus- Conatus
Release Date: October 17th
I believe with this more upbeat album than her last, Zola may finally achieve a slightly more commercial status and release her out there but beautiful tunes whilst connecting to more of the masses then originally estimated…
An acquired taste is Zola although I truly believe once you are a fan of this woman you just can’t help yourself be drawn into everything she does, even if it is way out there.
In this album Zola starts off with half open arms but by the end she is fully ready to let us all in…
Track 1: Swords– intro
Track 2: Avalanche– “No I don’t know who you are.” Zola questions, I’m not sure she knows where this is going, a slow first full track which glides us in gently to the album.
Track 3: Vessel– A slow burner although you can feel the presence of vessel right from the get go.
Track 4: Hikikomori– Nice easy listening chill out track, not much to it.
Track 5: Ixode– The beat pretty much hooks you from the start and descends into quite a lingering yet catchy dance number.
Track 6: Seekir– If I was to describe Seekir it kind of reminds me of an early 90’s dance classic mixed with Fleetwood Macs, ‘Dreams’, so if your into that then this is where it’s at.
Track 7: In Your Nature– Quite an infectious song coupled with some deadly beats.
Track 8: Lick the Palm of the Burning Handshake– contagious
Track 9: Shivers- “end of the war…I won’t be there tomorrow.” Shivers displays a distinct mixture of haunting sounds and transmittable beats.
Track 10: Skin– Nika, aka Zola’s haunting vocals coupled with a simple piano rift make Skin the epic balled we’ve all been waiting for….just beautiful
Track 11: Collapse– “it hurts to let you in.” Zola exclaims but I reckon this perfectly coveys her acceptance to finally let us all in…
At times Zola can be quite repetitive although always captivating with each separate song.
Coldplay- Mylo Xyloto
Release Date: October 24th
What Coldplay have created here is a wonderful infusion of up-tempo and poignant songs. It ain’t no Rush of Blood to the Head, although Mylo Xyloto, is in my books, quite alright.
I have to say the standout tracks from this album are funnily enough the two releases so far.
Paradise: A very catchy number indeed, Paradise infuses many elements of musicality together to make a quite beautiful and powerful song which I believe will remain etched in our minds for the near future. On first listen this track is a sure fire hit and I won’t be surprised if it’s used in creating many movie and sitcom scenes.
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall: What a great song, the first to be released from Mylo Xyloto ‘Every Teardrop…’is the definition of a feel good song. Every time I hear this now it will remind me of the Festival Season, clearly the best time of the year.
There is quite certainly no stopping the machine which is Coldplay and I believe this musical cog will keep chugging along for years to come.
Florence and the Machine- Ceremonials
Release Date: October 31st
When Florence burst onto the scene about 3 years ago, she was one of the most talked about and critically acclaimed artists of the last 10 years. Her debut single, Cosmic Love and follow up album Lungs became etched in the minds and hearts of many music fans from the pop genre, even managing to encapsulate the biggest of rock cynics. So has she done it again? Let’s see…
No matter how hard we try, comparisons to the debut album are to be expected, although if you’re looking for another Lungs masterpiece then you may forget it. The only real presence that matches that of Lungs on Ceremonials is perhaps Florence’s ever haunting beautiful vocals. This can hardly be enough though, is it?
Ceremonials- The Redeemable V’s The not so good
If you’re looking for a somewhat enjoyable listen then I recommend you can save some precious time by skipping a few and going straight for the good ones:
Worth a listen-
Only If For A Night: Only if for a night is a nice, but somewhat lacking beginning to the album as alas I was expecting to be hit with a freight train of goose-bumps for the opener. Could Ms.Welch perhaps be creating an intense build up to something great?
Shake It Out: Shake it out; but can Florence shake off the persona created with her genius debut Lungs that has followed her around for the past 2 years and 4 months. It ain’t no Cosmic Love although Shake it Out hits the spot, but perhaps only momentarily.
What The Water Gave Me: “Lay me down”, she exclaims…Has Florence perhaps laid down her machine on this one?
Never Let Me Go: Quite a pleasant little song, although ‘pleasant’ being the operative word as Never let me go does exactly what it says and never really lets go as such.
No Light, No Light: It’s a grand track albeit I would personify this one as a poor man’s version of Cosmic love.
Spectrum: “Say my name,” she howls, as if a cry for us not to disregard her on this offering. Miss Welch’s voice surely delivers, although just as Spectrum appears onto a winner it becomes somewhat indifferent.
All This And Heaven Too: Favourite track by far, All this and Heaven too is the personification of what Ceremonials should have been and I reckon at that, what we all expected it to be. This song should have at least been the starting point of the album, no? Ironically as she sings, Florence herself sums up exactly how I feel about it, “it makes no sense at all.”
Skip/I probably wouldn’t bother: Breaking Dawn, Lover to Lover, Seven Devils, Leave my Body and Heartlines
Ceremonials contains a few nice songs, although as a whole it’s seriously lacking in highly anticipated belters and as a follow up to such a cracker as Lungs falls pretty much flat on its ass.
Must See Gigs
Monday 3rd Gruff Ryhs
Friday 21st/Saturday 22nd James Vincent Mc Morrow
Sunday 23rd Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds
Monday 31st Will Young
Tuesday 18th Ash
Thursday 20th City and Colour
Saturday 15th The Minutes
Sunday16th The Joy Formiddible
Monday 3rd Rihanna
Thursday 6th Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler
Monday 24th Britney Spears