Me: So, with the first six months of 2013 almost over it would be good to look at some of the music that we have been listening to that's impressed us or for that matter not impressed us.
Myself: Ah yes indeed, so many good things we have heard.
I: In no particular order, apart from Alphabetical on our iTunes, I will begin with the great Aaron Neville and his album 'My True Story'.
What I really love about this album is two things, first the voice of Aaron Neville. There's such a soulful vibe to it and even at times it seems tinged with an unexplainable sadness that melts your heart when listening. Otis Redding and James Carr are probably the only two other soul singers who have that effect.
And secondly, it's going back to his roots of Doo Wop music. Just listening to the album made me go and dig out some of the great old Doo Wop albums from the 50's and 60's. I love albums that do that kind of thing.
Me: Adam Ant's 'Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar Marrying the Gunner's Daughter' was a bit of a major disappointment for me. Besides have an awkwardly long title, the album itself was a bit over long as well. Seventeen tracks in just over 68 minutes, value for money no doubt when purchasing the CD but the quality of the music is pretty patchy in places. He could of got away with at least a ten track album and we wouldn't have got on his case so much because he's one of those guys who we grew up listening to back in the days of John Peel (The Peel Sessions are still some of the best stuff he's ever done).
Myself: 'The Journey' by Big Country was another that was a bit hit and miss I think. There's some tracks on it that I really like but overall I wasn't totally thrilled. Mike Peters has done a great job fronting the band but I have to say that at times on the album it was a little too Alarm like and not so Big Country like. Friends of mine think different and totally love it from front to back. Love the title track though and although still puzzled why they re-recorded 'Another Country' for the album (the single version is way way better) I still like the song.
I: My favourite reissues of the year so far have been The Boys first two albums.
Those two albums first came out when I was 14 and 15 years old and are loaded with brilliant songs. The band should have been bigger and had more success than they had because between them they crafted some mighty fine tunes.
Me: Talking of reissues, but in one sense it wasn't really a reissue because it was the first time that it has been released in full - Eddie and the Hot Rods 'Live at The Rainbow 1977' was another cracking release this year (just in time for my 50th Birthday!). Another of those great underrated bands who people are prepared to write off as just another Pub Rock Band. But they put out loads of great singles and a couple of fantastic albums in their time and showed that they were more than a Pub Rock Band. The setting for the album is at a peak in the bands' young career as they play material from the excellent 'Teenage Depression' album to a packed house in North London. The DVD that comes with it as well is fantastic to see and shows the band with all it's energy pouring out these top songs.
Myself: Next up Edwyn Collins. 'Understated' sees him back to his best. In total agreement with Noel Gardner of the NME who said, "Musically, the Scot still delivers a choppy take on ’60s-vintage soul and guitar pop, as he did fronting Orange Juice three decades ago. Time and circumstance have not blunted his abilities, and ‘Understated’ is lyrically empathetic, musically emphatic." They gave it 7/10 but that's clearly not enough, it's at least a 9/10.
I: Last one to end part one is 'Tape Deck Heart' by Frank Turner. He's one of those guys whom you either love or totally hate and very little inbetween. My only gripe about his music is that I wish he didn't swear so much because sometimes to me it seems totally uncessary and he comes off as the annoying schoolboy who thinks it's cool to use the f-word just to shock people. The album has some fine moments with songs like 'Recovery', 'The Way I Tend To Be', 'Four Simple Words', 'Polaroid Picture', 'Tattoos' and 'We Shall Not Overcome'.
Part Two will be coming soon.