Okay, so here’s the thing – I’ve been pretty distracted musically by all the cool stuff I have never heard on Spotify, so while I have been carrying on with my musical marathon it has been going rather slowly and I have only just finished with ‘P’. the other thing is that, even though I got through the PWEI bottleneck relatively unscathed, I haven’t written about Prince or The Prodigy yet. It might take a while to get up to the first floor depending on how much I ramble on about the ground floor P’s. Anyway let’s give it a go and see how long it takes (TWSS). Without any further ado, in no particular order…
I used to have This is Hardcore on CD once upon a time but for some reason I don’t have it anymore. Moving on. His N’ Hers is the first album I bought and I love “Do You Remember The First Time?”, “Babies” and “Lipgloss”. Jarvis Cocker lay the groundwork for geek chic before it was even a thing typically without even trying, and god bless him for his antics on the Brits – slapping his arse at MJ. The album has a lot of sexual tension and gives me the same kind of vibe as early Suede material with a little less pomposity.
Different Class has the clue in the name and is a undoubted classic which sounds great now despite the Brit Pop bubble having popped a long long time ago. There really isn’t a bad song on the album and apart from the obvious contenders for best track (1,3,5,8 and 10) I have to go for track 7 “Something Changed” – it’s a brilliantly written and poignant love song and exemplifies what Monsieur Cocker is so good at – making you really feel things through his story telling expertise.
Yes, really it is going to be that brief because the other thing I didn’t mention in the preamble is that I am unsurprisingly listening to Queen now and absolutely flippin’ lovin’ it.
I like a bit of hip-hop and rap (not sure what the difference is; don’t really care) and I like modern takes on classic records so ProGre is right up my alley so to speak. I also like Lily Allen (despite hating her dad) and so the first album Alive Till I’m Dead is my favourite as it features her on “Just be Good to Green” and “I Need You Tonight”. Being a big INXS fan helps too. For me ProGre is our (the UK’s) version of Eminem and I really like the sound of his voice, his accent and his lyrical method. It’s also nice to hear someone rapping about stuff that isn’t particularly American.
At Your Inconvenience was a slow burner for me and the only track I really remember when I listened to it a lot after buying it was the cover of The Pixies ‘Where is my Mind’ contained within “Spinning Out” featuring Fink. However “Read All About It” featuring Emeli Sande has really caught my attention during the replays and “How Many Moons”. Of course “D.P.M.O.” is dangerous to drive to, but not typical of the album which to me seems a lot darker than the debut with ProGre bemoaning the negative aspects of his fame while worrying about his mental health. It might sound like he’s whinging about being famous but it doesn’t really come across like that he qualifies every moan with the statement that he knows things in his life have changed for the better.
I’m sure he can be an obnoxious dick at times and that might explain why he got glassed a while back, but I’d really like to meet the chap. He seems to have a good sense of humour and appears to be quite down to earth. For me he fills an urban hole left in my music with the demise of the The Streets.
I mentioned The Pixies so I guess they can come next given that I’m just randomly blasting through these. I bought Doolittle and Death to the Pixies (a greatest hits collection with a live bonus CD) pretty much at the same time. They used to get played every now and again between The Smiths records in our sixth form common room back when I was a wee bairn but I didn’t really get into them until university where they were required listening among the certain ‘set’ that I hung around with.
Death to the Pixies is a great primer and has some really awesome tracks on. “Wave of Mutilation” appears on both albums and I love it along with “Where is my Mind?” brilliantly used by Fincher on the end of Fight Club, “Monkey Gone to Heaven” and “Velouria”. Doolittle is slightly harder to listen to and has definitely had less plays than the compilation. I also have to admit that The Pixies are probably the most skipped band for me when iTunes is randomly playing stuff – I prefer to listen to an album in its entirety rather than scattered tracks. That’s my excuse anyway. I guess I don’t wake up these days and think to myself ‘you know what I really need to listen to The Pixies’. Moving on…
I really think I should give Primal Scream more of my listening time. Every time I listen to the one CD I have – the compilation Dirty Hits – I discover I like them more and more. Yes I was aware of them as I was growing up and they appear on a lot of indie compilations I own but they just didn’t really feature in my pantheon of musical gods back then. “Loaded” is an obvious old skool indie classic but not really typical of their sound in much the same way the “just Can’t Get Enough” isn’t typical of Depeche Mode. They moved on developed their sound and produced some great hits. I love “Kowalski”, “Kill All Hippes” and “Swastika Eyes” but I’m really not a huge fan of “Rocks” – perhaps because it was everywhere at one point – a victim of overplay if ever there was one. Suffice to say that I have loaded (scuse pun) them up on Spotify and will be having a damn jolly good listen in between Queen albums.
The Presidents of the United States of America
From the sublime to the ridiculous. The Presidents operate in the same freaky surreal rock zone as There Might be Giants imo with maybe a little more rock in their roll. The eponymous debut album is a masterpiece of crazy-ass stories mostly about cats, frogs, chickens and bugs basically anything the writer can spot from his back porch while getting drunk or stoned (or both). All cat owners should listen to “Kitty” as it pretty much sums up what little shits they can be. “Lump” was the big catchy hit and stands the test of time just as much as Pulp’s “Babies”.
The second album imaginatively entitled II (if it’s good enough for Led Zep then hey why not) is pretty much more of the same crazy shit that was on the debut album and for me perhaps the joke feels like it’s worn thin. There’s no doubt they can bang out a good rock tune but I can’t really listen to a whole album of comedic songs no matter how good the music is. That said “Lunatic to Love” is a great track.
Hmm… so that’s the peripheral stuff done, only Prince and The Prodigy left to do. Guess that’ll take one more post if I keep it brief. Part of me regrets starting this series of posts to be totally honest and it seems a bit odd to be talking about my CDs when I have far much more stuff stored digitally and now an almost inexhaustible cloud of stuff on Spotify to listen to. But I’ve started so I’ll finish as they say on Mastermind. Hopefully I can improve people’s listening experience along the way so it’s not totally self-indulgent (says the blogger).