So, what have I bought and how is it are the two questions that spring to mind to the couple of people that read this blog. Well, Mum and Dad, just look below:
Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
"I know someone who is in love with this girl. This someone is a girl too. It's not like that though okay? You'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking. First listens suggest that she's onto something because it feels like a really nice record. Comforting even. 'Ramblin' Man' stood out when I listened to it for the first time earlier. First time listen standouts are always very impressive. That said the same did occur when I heard the Crazy Frog for the first time."
I wrote this paragraph last week but never published it. "...really nice record." Talk about being damned with faint praise! God, I'd give up the ghost (no pun intended) if I was Marling and read that. I'm sorry Laura, it was a first listen. Truly, it's a beautiful beautiful record. Has anyone said a fair few of these songs could slip onto Nick Drake's 'Pink Moon' with very little disguise yet? I'm sure they have but it's a strikingly obvious at times. That's a good thing by the way. 'I Speak Because I Can' is assured yet unassuming, beautiful without make up. If my car scrobbled to my last.fm, whoever is at the top of my charts would be under threat.
I swear never to write a sentence as boring as that last one ever again.
N.B. This girl is 20 ffs! I'm not much older and I've achieved nothing other than a couple of swimming badges I won when I was about 12. Since then it's been nothin' but plain sailing over an impossibly still sea where not much happens and the distinct smell of mediocrity hangs in the air.
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Wonder if Plastic Beach is about Blackpool? Littered with condoms, coke bottles and Manchester United fans last time I went."Had this for a couple of weeks in truth and it's ace. For the length it is, there's quite amazingly few dud tracks. That sounds like a really backhanded compliment (again!) but I don't mean it that way. Check out that fairground beat on 'Glitter Freeze' for example, it's absolutely MASSIVE. Lou Reed can stop sounding so cool too. Boy be showin' me up when I'm crusin' down the street sittin' on dirty hubcaps (only 3/4 intact)."
Again, written last week when Easter was still looming fantastically and everyone felt like it was going to be their birthday soon. Turns out nobody got nothin' but a bit fatter and then we all had to go back to work. Who knew? 'Plastic Beach' stands to be a BIG summer album I feel. Chock full of singles and my word do Gorillaz like singles. Cartoons that got more singles than a speed dating meet or a Star Trek convention. That's something to feel good inc about. Give 'On Melancholy Hill' a go. You'll be dancing like you've never been bitter and cynical.
Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
Southern Rock Opera/Decoration Day/The Dirty South. Look 'em up wimps. For those three records and those three only I will buy everything they will ever release."
This is, erm, fun. I think that's the right word. I use to really hate when this band was written off as being big, dumb or even worse as 'Southern Fried Rock'. They can do that, sure. Some of their tunes are just enormous with hooks like David Haye (oh! topical. you've got your finger on the pulse MMD!) but they're are band that rest on a very special fulcrum - Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. Two genuinely fantastic songwriters that you'd be hard pushed to beat. Shame the band lost Jason Isbell a few years back because with him as well, The DBTs had such a massive future ahead of them. Whilst in the band, Isbell also wrote one of my favourite songs ever, 'Outfit', btw.
Support the artists you love and buy their records and all that.