Posts Tagged ‘Tellison’
WEEKLY ROUND UP 10/6/11: Kaiser Chiefs, Emmy the Great, The Wonder Years, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Tellison
This week’s surprise release was the Kaiser Chiefs’ fourth long-player, sneaked out with very little publicity on Friday. The Leeds lads have come up with a new level of “user interaction” for this album, wherein downloaders choose their own set of ten tracks from the band’s twenty; they can then create the artwork for their album, and sell it on for a pound a shot. This is all well and good, and certainly the idea of making your own album – like a pick and mix – is quite exciting; but the downside is that whatever the finished product you end up with, it will inevitably lack coherency.
Sadly, that isn’t helped by the fact that at least ten of these songs sound like filler – arguably more like fifteen, three quarters of their output. For every ‘I Dare You’ – dark, with a Cure-esque bassline – there’s three or four like ‘Child of the Jago’ – starts out as vintage Kaiser Chiefs, turns utterly forgettable within a minute and a half.
Tell you what – download any ten of these songs, sell it on to a dozen mugs, and use the proceeds to download Tellison’s album instead. You won’t regret it.
Download ‘The Future is Medieval’ now at www.kaiserchiefs.com.
Emmy the Great is a girl with a voice like honey. She plays an acoustic guitar and sings songs about love (‘Cassandra’), loss (‘Paper Forest’), and, erm, dinosaur sex (‘Dinosaur Sex’).
Alright, so Emmy’s not quite your average singer-songwriter. There’s a touch of wicked playfulness to even her saddest songs – and equally, her happiest moments are tinged with loss and darkness.
This album, produced by Gareth Jones (Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode), has a more sweeping sound than its predecessor, 2009’s First Love: it has an epic feel that goes beyond the simple, acoustic anti-folk of Emmy’s early days – ‘A Woman, A Woman, A Century of Sleep’ is the perfect example, with its dark fairytale-esque piano, but listen on and you’ll find a whole range of styles nudging coyly up against each other.
Track by track, Virtue only gets better. From the haunting ‘Cassandra’ to the stand-out ‘Sylvia’, every song is beautifully layered and wonderfully sung. Her ex-bandmates Noah and the Whale went stratospheric two years ago with Peaceful The World Lays Me Down; if there’s any justice, this will be the year Emmy follows them.
‘Virtue’ is released on 13/6/11.
I’m an English student, otherwise known as ‘the sort of nerd who gets really excited when pop-punk bands reference Allen Ginsberg in album titles’. So already, The Wonder Years’ third album has made me pretty happy.
The Philadelphia-based band are always reliable: despite its Ginsberg-promising title (and another reference in lead single ‘Coffee Eyes’ – that’s two!), Suburbia… doesn’t really move on much from previous release The Upsides. Still, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.Their music might be fairly standard pop-punk fare (power chords, lyrics about being ‘a fucked up kid’), but it’s always enjoyable in a guilty-pleasure sort of way.
They’re a bit angrier than your average cartoon punks – think Blink 182 if they’d named their albums after Beat poets instead of toilet-based puns. ‘Local Man Ruins Everything’ has overtones of early Fall Out Boy – before they started believing their own propaganda – whilst ‘Coffee Eyes’ is reminiscent of The Used, circa In Love and Death.
Nothing very exciting or original, then – but a hell of a lot of good fun for those days when you want to feel fifteen again.
‘Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing’ is released on 13/6/11.
Sophie Ellis Bextor’s been in and out of the limelight since Lady Gaga was just a twinkle in Stefani Germanotta’s eye. Her latest album, Make A Scene, delivers another set of the electro-dance numbers you either love or hate.
But the world’s moved on since Miss Bextor’s debut album. Indeed, on opening track ‘Revolution’, she sings ‘it’s murder on the dancefloor!’ in what seems to be no more than a desperate attempt to remind us who she is. What wasn’t particularly innovative in 2007 now sounds downright outdated, in comparison to the exciting zeitgeist-sound harnessed by Gaga and her ilk.
No, if it’s danceable pop you’re looking for, there’s at least ten women out there doing it much better. Download Rihanna’s album instead, and leave Sophie Ellis Bextor to the Noughties where she belongs.
‘Make A Scene’ is released on 13/6/11.
Hammersmith-based Tellison are 2011’s answer to The Fratellis: scruffy, fractured, anthemic.
From opener ‘Get On’ onwards, they deliver an album packed full of danceable beats and chantable choruses. Seriousness is often – wrongly – confused with musical talent, and there’s few bands these days with the sheer good humour of Tellison: they recall Franz Ferdinand’s early vow to make ‘music for girls to dance to’. You can certainly dance to this, and sing along, and raise your glass – and you ought to do all three.
Unquestionable album highlight is ‘Rapture’, a song about, er, the Rapture. You wouldn’t think it would make a good subject for a song, least of all a Biffy-tinged romp like this one, but somehow Tellison pull it off – and that alone is worth the album price. Fab.
‘The Wages of Fear’ is released on 13/6/11.