The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


Yes, I still live in the dark ages, emerging from my cave to run to the nearest music shop to buy the latest indie CD as opposed to downloading mp3’s. I just have to get the CD, with the booklet and plastic casing. I probably won’t ever get used to this modern music technology (temporarily ignore the fact I actually write for a music website) because mp3s just don’t seem real to me.

An issue I have with CDs is how deceptive they can be. You wander in to your nearest music shop, and you see the CD in the shop looking so endearing. You sample 1 or 2 songs - it’s amazing! But then you bring it home and all hell breaks loose when you realise it’s not what you thought it was, much like a drunken night in Bangkok, I’d imagine.

This is something I’m sure has happened to everyone at some stage (the decpetive albums, not Bangkok), not that it makes it any less irritating. Here are some prime examples:

Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
‘21 Guns’ was just about bearable before radio stations began playing it for every second of every day.  Admittedly I thought for the most part ‘American Idiot’ was pretty good, having loved their music from the release of ‘Nimrod’. So I somewhat reluctantly bought 21st Century Breakdown to find quite possibly the most boring and predictable CD of 2009 encased within its plastic shell. I actually can’t listen to this album anymore.

The Killers - Sam’s Town
Still a bit baffled as to why I bought this album in the first place, I’ve never really been a fan of The Killers. Well, I liked ‘When You Were Young’ and ‘Read My Mind’, but found that they were pretty much the only tolerable tracks on the whole album. I got caught up in the hype, only to realise this album is of about as much importance to me as a sock I lost when I was a toddler.

Jack Penate - Matinee
I bought this on the merits of ‘Second, Minute or Hour’ and ‘Torn On The Platform’.  Not the worst debut album I’ve ever heard, not the best either. I got my hopes up about this one expecting it to be packed full of catchy quirky indie music but instead it consisted of maybe 4 good songs and the rest seemed to be added filler just to make the collection of songs an actual album. Not all is lost though, I loved his latest album ‘Everything Is New’.

This is just a dip in the ocean, I could write about this for days. No really, I could. I don’t expect albums full of singles or amazing hooks, filler just irritates me in a way that can never be adequately expressed. Now, go and look at your CD collection or, for the really modern readers, iTunes library, and recall your disdain at purchasing that 30 Seconds to Mars album a few years ago. There’s a tenner you won’t see again!

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Nuggets from our archive

2008 - A comprehensive guide to recording an album, written by Andy Knightly (the guide is spread over 4 parts).