Albums: Goldie and James Davidson's Subjective produce an electronic masterpiece
Goldie And James Davidson (Subjective)
Act One: Music For Inanimate oObjects
ACT One: Music for Inanimate Objects is a new collaboration for Subjective, comprised of Goldie and James Davidson. If you were one of the shamefully few people to enjoy Goldie's last (albeit epic in length) release Journey Man you will be aware of the step away from jungle and drum & bass that the genre's pioneer favoured, and a definite change in direction from Davidson's Ulterior Motive days. This is a more mellow outing. The bassline beats and breaks are still there; however, this is essentially a more grown-up affair, the party as the light is breaking after the hard dancing of the night before. Stunning in its stripped-back nature, with a familiar feel similar to French electronica, there are also echoes of Goldie's past. It's inspirational in its euphoric tone and is both energising and relaxing. An electronic masterpiece.
Heard It In A Past Life
AFTER nearly two years since becoming a viral sensation, 24-year-old singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Maggie Rogers is dropping her first major-label record. Rogers, known for her folk-tinged electro-esque pop, famously left Pharrell Williams speechless when he heard her song Alaska during a music masterclass at New York University in 2016, where she was a music student. The moment went viral, and the song – and Rogers – became a sensation. In Heard It In A Past Life, Rogers deftly tickles the boundaries between folk, pop and electronic music, tied together with her powerful yet falsetto-friendly vocal. Alaska is experimental and beautifully powerful, Rogers' voice in the chorus otherworldly. Past Life has a distant whiff of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams about it, and The Knife has a dirty 1990s groove. Say It is another track with a 1990s homage, feeling old-school R&B in parts. The folk theme runs throughout in a truly innovative way, and Rogers' voice miraculously suits everything.
Please Remain Seated
SOME bands, when they have been going as long as Thunder, can sit back and put out a Greatest Hits package or a live album from a recent tour. In contrast, Thunder have gone away and looked at their back catalogue with something else in mind. By deconstructing a bunch of songs and then reassembling them in a different way, they have an album that gives them a whole new dimension. In this collection, their blues element is strong especially on tracks like Empty City and Loser. Then again the opener Bigger Than Both Of Us wouldn't have sounded out of place in an episode of Nashville. Yet another contrast is very jazzy Girl's Going Out Of Her Head. There's a funky twist to their dig at gutter journalism, Fly On The Wall, too. This collection shows that not only are they good musicians but also not afraid to try something new. They have good reason to be proud of the outcome.
Fun Lovin' Criminals
HOW have Fun Lovin' Criminals survived this long? Since 1996 the rockers-cum-rappers have released six albums of increasingly dreary lounge-rock. And now Another Mimosa – 12 covers ostensibly recorded to ease the band into the studio before work starts on their seventh album. Come hoping for the secret to FLC's astonishing longevity and you will leave disappointed. It's a depressing cavalcade of neutered rap-rock – more Limp Bizkit than Beastie Boys. Their take on Freddie King's Going Down has a faint funk to it but an exhausting guitar solo bludgeons any kind of groove into the dirt. Likewise, a misjudged reimagining of Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade Of Pale sees frontman Huey Morgan ramble disjointedly over a soft-rock groove that robs the song of its psychedelic swing. Sunset – the only new material on the album – sounds like second-rate Madness plonked poolside with a Campari and soda. It shows how much urgency has ebbed since their 90s heyday.
Red Rum Club
FOR anyone who was nostalgic for 80s and 90s indie music, but also disappointed by that genre's general lack of Mariachi trumpets, Merseyside's Red Rum Club have arrived at last. Debut album Matador offers ten artfully crafted rock songs, all of them intriguingly augmented with the under-appreciated brass instrument. This isn't pure gimmick. Every track is packed with memorable hooks and soaring choruses. Although several songs, such as Calexico and Casanova, exploit their Tex-Mex inspirations, others are pure slices of Liverpool pop. The witty lyrics and pop sensibility of TV Said So and Would You Rather Be Lonely could easily launch the group into the mainstream. At only ten tracks, none of which exceed the three minutes 30 mark, Matador is a short sharp shock of a record, and just like a trip south of the border, a whole lot of fun.