(Catching up on music posts after my blogging break)
Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott – WHAT HAVE WE BECOME
The best Beautiful South album never made. In fact, it’s better than the last South album. Really energetic and inspired (electric guitar and drums more front and center)and it’s nice to hear Heaton and Abbott together again. Stand out tracks? – well all of them, seriously! Every song is excellent with the best perhaps being the last tune When I Get Back to Blighty which ends with a singalong of the phrase “Phil Collins Must Die” – An admirable sentiment! I think I would go as far as to say this is the best album released in 2014 that I’ve heard.
Morrissey – WORLD PEACE IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
Overall a triumph. Definitely better than his last record YEARS OF REFUSAL (which I consider his worst solo album). Morrissey is my favorite vocalist in all of music and his voice is in good form here. No signs of age. He is also one of my favorite lyricists of all time and the lyrics here are mostly witty, clever, insightful. Joe Chicarelli’s production is varied, detailed, and sympathetic. He tries a lot of things one doesn’t normally hear on a Moz record (handclaps, a whistle, synthesizers, all manner of weird sounding guitars). The “deep” album cuts (Neil Cassidy Drop Dead, Kick the Bride Down the Aisle, Staircase at the University ) are better than the singles and pre-released tracks ( Title track, Bullfighter Dies, Earth is the Loneliest Planet).
Bear in Heaven – TIME IS OVER ONE DAY OLD
Bear in Heaven's last record I LOVE YOU IT'S COOL was my favorite record of 2012. Their new record is a more relaxed, mellow set, less propulsive and urgent with more groove but still superb - very enjoyable. Best tracks – You Don’t Need the World, Demon, Memory Heart, Time Between