Three albums I’ve been really looking forward to all got released in the last two weeks….
Midlake’s The Courage of Others. If it had been on vinyl I would have worn out my copy of their last album (The Trials of Van Occupanther). While the last one was influenced by the likes of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, and early Fleetwood Mac (music I have to admit to loving) this latest one is influenced by Pentangle, Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span (music I have a real aversion to). Because of my love of the last album I’ve given this new one more listens than I normally would, but have come to the sad conclusion that it’s just a dreary derivative folk album. Fairport Convention lite at best. One down, two to go
Hot Chip’s One Life Stand. Some of the tracks from Made in the Dark and The Warning are stone cold classics. Live even more so. Again I really wanted to like the latest album. Initially I liked the more direct approach – the dance tracks are more straight down the line, ballads (for want of a better description) are more ballady. By the fifth listen, though, I’ve come to realise that what I thought was deliberately more direct is actually knowingly poppy. This is their attempt to break through. I really wouldn’t be surprised if every track ended up on an advert. And those lyrics about the XBox really can fuck off. Two down, one to go.
Yeasayer’s Odd Blood. Hah! This one really is awesome. A genuine move forward from the equally fantastic All Hour Cymbals. Right now I can’t imagine liking another album more this year. At least one purchase was worthwhile.