Entries for March 2008

Articles

26
The Boggs 'Forts'
Review of The Boggs' album 'Forts' Review Snapshot: The sound of countless acts flows through the veins of the latest release from sometime Liar Jason Friedman, but no one utilises them in the same inventive way. This is a sonic brew, mixing ingredients of highlights from the last decade of music with the sheer irrepressible energy of The Boggs collective. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: The new rock revolution (TM) which was ushered in at the dawn of the millennium saw some fresh life breathed into a music scene bloated from dining out on unpalatable Nu-Metal. The likes of The Strokes, The White Stripes and their like brought some much needed vitality without doing anything new. As the years have rolled by and The Rapture (sometime tourmates of The Boggs) and Bloc Party have come and gone, it's clear that they're tapping into a period of music (1977-1981) and taking all the style, but none of the substance. ... [Read on]
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26
Erykah Badu 'New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)'
Review of the album 'New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)' by Erykah Badu Review Snapshot: Soul Queen Erykah Badu attempts to tackle black America's political woes and social ills as well as jump start the genre with an ambitious prog-soul disc, the first in a two part series. In the world of iTunes and .99c tracks, this is an old fashioned album harking back memories of Curtis Mayfield leading the listener to realise that the more the world changes, the more the problems remain the same. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: If anyone looks uncomfortable in the era they were born its Erykah Badu. She remains so firmly routed in the 70s her records sound like uncovered gems from back in the day, before R&B’s soulful grooves were replaced radio friendly, bass heavy club anthems. In a world where being an R&B artist usually means you’re black and you sing pop songs, singers who display that indescribable characteristic “soul... [Read on]
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26
Cass McCombs 'Dropping The Writ'
A review of Cass McCombs album 'Dropping The Writ' Review Snapshot: Cass McCombs' career up to now may point to someone whose attention span never focuses on one place, or thing, for too long. Thankfully this doesn't apply to his new record. 'Dropping The Writ' is a fantastic ragbag of various styles and influences, but they're all blended together to create a collection that is unique and deserves to be heard by a wider audience. The Cluas Verdict?  8 out of 10 Full Review: Music lovers tend to appreciate when their favourite artists invest a little bit of their life story into their work.Think of Leonard Cohen recounting his numerous romantic encounters at the Chelsea Hotel, or Bob Dylan soundtracking a marriage on the precipice on 'Blood On The Tracks' for examples of music that touched the listener because they conveyed the kind of real life drama everyone can empathise with. Californian troubadour Cass ... [Read on]
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18
A review of the album 'A Wretched Sinner's Song' by Songdog Review Snapshot: An ambitious album that deals with everything from talking crows to the mundane nature of relationships; A Wretched Sinner's Song is in equal measure creepy, sexy, scary and brilliant. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Albert Einstein once said 'Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.' Lyndon Morgan, however, would rather merely allude to reality than have you immerse in it; save to protect yourself from drowning in the depths of the alternative world he creates on A Wretched Sinner's Song. Morgan, who is also a playwright, constructs his cast of characters with the assistance of Karl Woodward and Dave Paterson, though it must be said that their efforts are at all times overwhelmed by Morgan's wry, wistful vocals. 'In their basement flat, Wendy's husband is humping her hard from behind, when he's not d... [Read on]
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13
David Turpin 'The Sweet Used-To-Be'
A review of the album "The Sweet Used-To-Be" by David Turpin Review Snapshot: A highly melodic, easily listenable work that creates a foundation for Turpin to work upon. The disappointing aspect of the album lies in a lack of experimentation or adventure. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: A visible trend in recent years has been the rehabilitation and adaptation of everything 1980s. From fashion (horrifically, in my opinion – big hair and legwarmers will never be my idea of style) to music, the once-reviled 80s are on the resurgence. Musically, this means for the most part the use of the ‘external aesthetics’ of music of that era. This means that the experimentation and theoretical concepts surrounding the music are all but ignored in favour of the trappings of the time. For example, when Kylie Minogue looked to Scritti Politti for inspiration in the early part of this decade, it certainly wasn’t due to an appreciation ... [Read on]
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13
A review of the album 'Correcto' by Correcto Review Snapshot: Just quite how a band can produce a record that, by their own admission, wasn't meant to be a masterpiece, and yet fall so short of even those paltry expectations, is beyond comprehension. The Cluas Verdict? 1 out of 10 Full Review: 'And you and get it right and you can get it wrong' suggests Correcto's second track, Do it Better.  Just how Correcto - made up of Richard Wright, Paul Thompson (Franz Ferdinand), Patrick Doyle (The Royal We) and Danny Saunders - get it so wrong is breathtaking to behold. Much like a sideward's glance at a car crash, repeated listens of this record are only to reaffirm that, yes, it really was as bad as you remembered.  Trapped in a hideous location on the musical spectrum - somewhere between post punk and alt rock - Correcto comes across as pure comfort zone pop.  There is a laziness and letharg... [Read on]
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12
Review Snapshot: At its heart this is a happy album, full of innocence and charm, with some excellent songs and catchy hooks. Everything you want in a disposable summer album, but little more. The CLUAS Verdict: 7 out of 10 Full Review:  Cute is not a word I’d often associate with albums, but it’s one that just keeps recurring when I think about My Brother Woody’s 'It’s A Long Way from That Sort of Thing You Were Raised'. I don’t know if it is how they were raised or something they picked up along the way, but this album is all honest charm and good nature. Even the long-winded title is apt… in a totally unusual and inimitable way. It’s all in the inescapable Irishness of this album: although gladly lacking in fiddles and faux-celtic-air melodies and although much has been made of it’s good vibrations, Californian overtones and ‘bops, oohs and aahs‘, lyrically and sentimentally, My Brother Woody&rsq... [Read on]
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12
A review of the album 'Carry The Meek' by Ham Sandwich Review Snapshot: We could say that Ham Sandwich's debut is filling while having no filler, but that'd be very laboured and boring and 'Carry The Meek' is neither of those things. It's catchy and confident, drawing on '90s US college alt-pop and featuring an impressive performance from co-singer Niamh Farrell. With several radio-friendly singles already to its credit, this is the first of 2008's great Irish albums. The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: Ham Sandwich, a terribly bland name for a band? Au contraire! What other Irish act is getting this much attention just for their name? And it's surely no worse than calling your group something lame and unoriginal like Nirvana or Oasis. At the other extreme, it's unfortunate that Podge McNamee's perceived wackiness has coloured many people's reaction to the band and their music. However crucial he may b... [Read on]
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06
Sebastien Tellier (live at the Centre Pompidou, Paris) Review Snapshot: An unusual location for, it must be said, a singular performer. The hairy, scary electronician brings his French lover routine to the famous Paris contemporary art museum. Unfortunately, his new synth-ballad material is nothing to get excited about. But the stripped-down version of 'La Ritournelle' was marvellous - and Tellier is always an engaging and entertaining live performer. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Have you been to the Centre Pompidou? You know where we mean. Wedged between naff Les Halles, sleazy Rue Saint Denis and ultra-hip Le Marais. Ugly on the outside, conceptually-arty on the inside. Music blaring on the plaza in front of it, either cutting-edge Tecktonik dancers or hitsville buskers. From the top, a great view of all Paris. No better location, then, for Sebastien Tellier to showcase his new album, 'Sexuality', on 29 February last. A mixture of naf... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, France
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