Sunday, 23 December 2018
Lointain, Sort Of
By sixth track The Winter Haze we are thoroughly riff-hooked, with every song pretty much panning out to wall-to-wall psychedelic-blues noise, fuzzed as one would expect from the band’s name, but also elasticated throughout with wah-wah.
Tipped into this mode from the off, closer Shake Your Mind is riff-rife too, more a pounding forward shove than a classic repeating pattern, and as on all tracks, vocalist Audric Faucheux is his own forward drive of energy in a constant near-yell, occasionally joined by MS20 electronics from the band’s drummer.
It is genuinely no criticism to state there are few nuances here. Laura Luiz is a stand-out on guitar, addicted as I am to the two generic rock effects already stated, and Thomas Hobeck on bass and Clément Gaudry-Santiago on drums bring up the rocket on pulsing thrusters of rhythm.
A French quartet from Toulouse playing the universal language of far-out.
Friday, 21 December 2018
A little different this year - no prelims, and initially a list in chronological order of reviewing in 2018 on the basis that if I reviewed I like a lot [and it is still a selection from all reviewed], then a small list of those releases I intended to review but didn't for whatever reason, and might still do. Perhaps a top 5 or so at end, but I haven't decided... Clicking on album titles will take you to their reviews:
Richmond Fontaine - Don't Skip Out On Me
Joan as Police Woman - Damned Devotion
Andy Sheppard Quartet - Romaria
Chris Smither - Call Me Lucky
David Munyon - Planetary Nights
Kurt Elling - The Questions
Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain
Ryley Walker - Deafman GlanceNigel Kennedy - Kennedy Meets Gershwin
Lamont Dozier - Reimagination
Al Swainger's Pointless Beauty - After & Before
Kamasi Washington - Heaven & Earth
Marcus Miller - Laid Back
Jimmy LaFave - Peace Town
Steve Tilston - Distant DaysBoz Scaggs - Out Of The Blues
Oh Sees - Smote Reverser
Paul Simon - In the Blue Light
Low - Double Negative
John Smith - Hummingbird
Connan Mockasin - Jassbusters
Paul Weller - True MeaningsDavid Crosby - Here If You Listen
Bruce Springsteen - Springsteen On Broadway
Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams - Vanished Gardens
Cowboy Junkies - All That Reckoning
Darryl Way - Vivaldi's Four Seasons In Rock
Gretchen Peters - Dancing With The Beast
Josh T. Pearson - The Straight Hits!
Kandace Springs – Indigo
Lucy Rose - Something's Changing (Remixes)
Marianne Faithfull - Negative Capability
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Sometimes Just The Sky
Neneh Cherry - Broken Politics
Paolo Fresu Devil Quartet - Carpe Diem
Public Image Limited - The Public Image Is Rotten Songs From The Heart
Ray Davies - Our Country; Americana Act II
Richard Thompson - 13 Rivers
Roger Daltrey - As Long As I Have You
Roxy Coss - The Future Is Female
Ry Cooder - The Prodigal Son
Soft Machine - Hidden Details
St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Young Sick Camellia
The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices – BooCheeMish
The Temperance Movement - A Deeper Cut
The Temptations - All The Time
Tim Garland - Weather Walker
Lamont Dozier – Reimagination: it’s the one I have played the most since first hearing, and though hard to separate these new versions from the greatness of their origins, I think Lamont does distinguish them through his own vocal and that of guests, for example Gregory Porter and, surprisingly [as I mention in review] Cliff Richards!
Chris Smither – Call Me Lucky: one of the greatest living singer-songwriters and superb guitarist, and I shall be seeing him again in January.
Low – Double Negative: I have become almost a complete softy in my overall tastes – my love of ‘pretty’ music – but I still do like it very heavy [the Oh Sees in list more than a token] and this album merges the beauty of harmony with the scorching noise of what accompanies it. Also probably my most apt review, inasmuch as what I 'feel' when listening is captured in what I say about it, this encapsulation I would be the first to admit I do not always achieve, though some music doesn't necessitate/warrent it.
John Smith – Hummingbird: probably the most perfect folk album that didn’t get produced by either John Martyn or Bert Jansch back in the day [and Ryley’s this year has a large jazz influence].
Steve Tilston – Distant Days: because he is one of our greatest folk artists as singer-songwriter and guitarist and this is as good as his first two gems, accepting the revisits.
David Crosby – Here if You Listen: I know, but he is like the secret track at the end of the album, and Crosby’s latest signals my leaning to the past and honouring those still producing their same excellence, as this does beautifully.