I have recently been listening to Example, Professor Green, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Marilyn Manson amongst a billion other things. I mention these four particularly as I have got some ‘new’ stuff from each. The Example album was Playing in the Shadows which I got as Amazon’s mp3 album of the week a while ago – it starts off well and reminds me a lot of Calvin Harris. It seems to lose track after the first half but I’ll give it 4/5 if you like that sort of thing.
The Prof Green album was the follow up to the excellent debut Alive Til I’m Dead (with a track featuring Example and the two big hits with Lilly Allen) At Your Inconvenience which has many a guest vocalist but none of the big tracks that his debut had. I hope that it is a grower, but at the moment I was disappointed as it is not a scratch on his first album. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great beats and great rapping and I think he is the best UK rapper out there at present it just strikes me as a little low-key compared to his earlier stuff. (3/5)
The Chili’s album was Stadium Arcadium which I have had an mp3 copy of for some time but wanted to own on CD. In the past I have not given this as much listening time as Californication or By The Way, perhaps because it was a double album. I wonder over the wisdom of releasing the two disks together as opposed to doing what GNR did with Use Your Illusion. Perhaps it is because that each disk listened to separately does not have enough stand out tracks? The singles from the album are as good as any of their later stuff, but there does not seem to be any great over-arching theme to the release and instead it sounds like an anthology of stuff they had lying around the studio. A lot of songs are lyrically simplified to their older stuff and the sound of the album is a lot more poppy. (4/5)
And finally Mr Manson with Born Villain this one of this week’s mp3 albums of the week on Amazon… Unfortunately he seems to have lost his mojo since the triptych: Antichrist Superstar , Mechanical Animals , Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) and while it’s nice to hear him rocking out once more it all seems a little stale. The sense of humour exhibited in his older stuff seems to have evaporated and no amount of powerful guitar riffs can make up for weak lyrics, although some of the songs are quite catchy. There is also a good version of ‘You’re So Vain’. (3/5) You know what? While I’ve been writing all this I have been giving it another listen and I am already verging towards (4/5) he might just be back…
I may well change my tune on some of these ratings after a bit more listening. I remember absolutely hating Green Day’s American Idiot album the first few times I heard it and now it is one of my all-time favourites.