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Old 05-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #1811 (permalink)
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Another section I've neglected for what seems like, and probably is, months. Always nice to hear a well-played instrumental, so here are three more I've enjoyed recently.

The first is from an album I listened to and reviewed for the Prog Rock Album Club (come and join us!), the new one from Polish super prog group Riverside, called "Shrine of new generation slaves", and this is the additional track stuck on at the end, over twenty minutes of "Night sessions". I personally prefer just part one: too much sax in part two for me, but this is the only video I could find.


From my recent triple review of Virgin Steele, this is the closing track to the first album, and basically the title. This is "The marriage of Heaven and Hell".


And closing with something from the double album released last year by Genesis alumnus Anthony Phillips and his composer friend Andrew Skeet. The album is completely instrumental, and a great one to listen to if you're looking to relax. It's called "Seventh Heaven", and this is a track entitled "Forgotten angel." Quite a Tim Burton/Edward Scissorhands feel about this.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:23 PM   #1812 (permalink)
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You did a really great review of Scoundrel Days and the first paragraph was spot on and summed the band up perfectly. We've discussed a-ha before and Scoundrel Days is in many ways the odd album out in the first three classic albums. It has the poppy singles like the other two, but its best tracks as you say have Morten Harkett sounding urgent on several tracks and he never quite sounded like that on the other albums. This album always has a great sense of nostalgia for me and the fact of the matter is, that few vocalists could pull this type of album off anyway, as not many are as gifted as Morten Harkett vocally.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #1813 (permalink)
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Thanks man! I appreciate your input. SD has always been my alltime favourite a-ha album, though it sort of seesaws between that and Analogue. Still, I've been listened to Scoundrel longer than Analogue so perhaps have managed to capture the nuances of it more in my mind. I believe if this had been the debut a-ha album one of two things would have happened: they would have been more accepted as a "serious" band and gone on to be really super-famous or, conversely, the pop fans would have frowned at the more mature tracks and relegated them to the status of one-hit wonders... oh, wait...

Honestly, though, I do wonder what would have happened had Scoundrel Days been the first the world heard of a-ha? With or without ToM, would they have been as successful, less, or more? Of course we'll never know now, but I love that album to death.

Apart from "Maybe, maybe...."
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #1814 (permalink)
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Wow, this is a really extensive journal. Good job Trollheart. I was reading some of your very early posts in here and everything is so well written and you go into so much detail about things. I noticed you have a couple of other ones too so I'll be looking at those ones as well.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:23 PM   #1815 (permalink)
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Thanks Kid! Always nice to get a new visitor, specially someone who comments. If you're into TV or movies, you'll probably enjoy "The Couch Potato". Be sure to let me know if there's anything you want to see, like or don't: comment and debate always welcome.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:36 PM   #1816 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Thanks Kid! Always nice to get a new visitor, specially someone who comments. If you're into TV or movies, you'll probably enjoy "The Couch Potato". Be sure to let me know if there's anything you want to see, like or don't: comment and debate always welcome.
Sure I will go and check it out I like the way you write, it's really good. I'm not all that good at writing in English but I try, haha.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:42 AM   #1817 (permalink)
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Those who know me and my musical tastes know that there's little I like better than a good love song. I'm very much into slower stuff and I listen to a lot of it. Some of it really effects me, and more than once I've been moved to tears. This song doesn't have that effect on me, but it is a pretty amazingly well written song. The subject matter deals with a woman who has to choose between staying with the man she has now, or going back to the one she used to be with. It's written from the point of view of the guy as he listens to her taking a telephone call from the old flame, and wondering what she's going to do: is she going to leave him and go back to her ex, or is she going to realise she has things so much better here and stay with her current lover?

The one you love (Glenn Frey) from “No fun aloud”, 1982

Music and lyrics by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin


It's an interesting little song that explores the pull an older relationship can have on a newly or recently-established one, and the fact that in some ways we often never get over the one we may see as having been the love of our life, even if it didn't work out, and sometimes all it can take is a call or a chance meeting to bring those old feelings flooding back, and make us wonder if we made the wrong choice, or if we should give it one more try? It's of course unfair to the guy or girl we're with now, as here the lyric asks ”Isn't he the guy/ Who left you crying?” as the singer tries to understand why his girlfriend would consider going back to the man who hurt her.

It's also in many ways a very empowering song for women, as the singer realises that there is in the end nothing he can do; if she wants to go back to her old flame, then she will and there's no way he can stop her. Nor, more importantly, has he any intention of doing so: this must be her decision. But like two people waiting for the same prize, he is fully aware that ”Someone's gonna cry/ When they learn they've lost you/ Someone's gonna thank/ The stars above”. We're not told what decision the girl makes in the end, but it's a tender yet bitter little lovesong that I think really showcases the ex-Eagle's songwriting talent.

” I know you need a friend,
Someone you can talk to
Who will understand what you're going through.
When it comes to love
There's no easy answer:
Only you can say what you're gonna do.

I heard you on the phone:
You took his number;
Said you weren't alone, but you'd call him soon.
Isn't he the guy
The guy who left you crying?
Isn't the the one who made you blue?

When you remember those nights in his arms
You know you've gotta make up your mind:

Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you?
Or are you going back to the one you love?
Someone's gonna cry when they learn they've lost you;
Someone's gonna thank the stars above.

What you gonna say when he comes over?
There's no easy way to see this through.
All the broken dreams,
All the disappointments:
Oh girl! What you gonna do?
Your heart keeps saying it's just not fair
But still you've gotta make up your mind...”
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:37 AM   #1818 (permalink)
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Yeah, yeah, I'm dusting off all the old sections and shaking them out in the garden, giving them a good airing. Ain't you never had a spring clean? Anyway this one comes about for other reasons too. Allow me to explain. Some time back now someone in Music Banter recommended to the community at large William Shatner's (yeah, that one) 2004 album "Has been", and asked that we put our derision at his lambasted debut effort out of our minds and give the guy a chance, because the album was interesting. I downloaded it but never quite got around to listening to it until yesterday, when, I must say, though my mind wasn't quite blown I may have had to replace a few fuses. It's not the most incredible album ever recorded --- but then, you surely never expected that, nor did I --- but it's a long way from the worst. In fact, it's really ... what's the best word that describes this ... oh yeah ... interesting.

So where's my review of it, you ask? What? How dare you demand reviews of me! Okay, it's coming, probably sooner than you might expect --- probably sooner than I might expect! --- but not today. For right now I want to introduce you to the opening track, which is a cover --- the only one, you may be surprised to hear, as was I, on the album --- and it's of Pulp's wonderful classic. You probably know by now, if you have any sort of passing familiarity with Shatner's musical work (using the term loosely) that he can't sing. He speaks the lyrics, almost like poems, but it's undeniable that he has a very arresting and unique voice, so this makes it more interesting (there's that word again!) to listen to than, say, a spoken-word album by Clint Eastwood (perish the thought! No, no, Clint! You're all right! You've given us years of fine films, and directed some. No need to get into the music business. No, really. Please. Go on, make my day...) and is actually akin to listening to a poetry reading set to music.

But all of this will be discussed in my upcoming review of "Has been". For now, have a listen to his version of "Common people", and as ever I've included the original for comparison. Or just because you should never need an excuse to listen to this song. Incidentally, the chorus on the Shat's version is sung by the one and only Joe Jackson.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:55 PM   #1819 (permalink)
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Not really a new section, not reviews or anything, just a quick look at the albums I'm listening to at the moment. Some, indeed all, may end up being reviewed at some point, some may not, and some will undoubtedly make it to the journal before others. So why am I bothering with this? Don't know, really, just thought you might be interested. But if that's how you feel about it I'll just take my albums and go .... hey! Wait a minute! This is my journal! I pay the rent here! Why should I go? What do you mean, think of the children? I don't have any ...

Okay look, let's just start over shall we? Have a look at my list and let's forget we ever had that conversation. What conversation? I like your style...!


The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger --- Le carotte bleue (2011)

Not so sure about this one yet. The collaboration of Sean Lennon and his girfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, this is an EP that only relatively recently became available to buy (or download) as up to 2011 it was only at their gigs you could purchase it. Kind of mix of hippy psychedelic with folk and the obvious Beatles influences. Some tracks, to use the parlance of the time it tries to recreate, I dig, some are bummers (no, I would never have made a hippy, you're right) but I have only given it two or three spins so far so it's still in rotation. I bought it for the odd name and once I heard Lennon was in it my curiosity increased. Will it continue to sustain me through what is slowly becoming a less-must-listen album, or will the novelty effect wear off? What do you think I am: able to tell the future? Let's just wait and see, shall we?


It Bites --- The tall ships (2008)
Reviewed by us lot down at the Prog Rock Album Club a month or more back, and suggested by the all-knowing Anteater, this album has impressed me so much that it will soon feature in the return of the "Gobsmacked!" section. It's just that good. I've always been a fan of It Bites, but their debut and third albums failed to impress me as much as "Once around the world", and I was left to ruminate upon whether that was the best they had in their canon. This album proves that this is very much not the case, and I must have listened to it straight about twenty times. And that's without the listens for the review! One of the best albums I've heard this year, that hasn't been released this year.


Rod Stewart --- Time (2013)

I'm no huge fan of Rod's, but this album has just completely blown me away. I absolutely love it. There's not a bad track on it, almost, and even the ones I don't particularly love I'm getting to like now. For a guy as long as he has been in the music biz to turn out an album of this quality, well, it just restores your faith in music. Top-notch album, definitely getting a review in the near future.


Ice Age --- The great divide (1999)
The debut album from a band who only lasted two years, then changed their name and lasted another five before calling it a day altogether. I just grabbed this as a "better listen to something for Bitesize" choice and was completely astounded by how perfect it is. Every track just gets better and by the end you're left with a feeling that the world really missed out when these guys disbanded. With only two albums under this name and two EPs as Soulfractured, there are bands still going today that deserve success less than Ice Age, who never achieved it. A true mystery. Already "Bitesized", I'll be doing a full review of this in due course, because it simply deserves nothing less.


Blue Sky Riders --- Finally home (2013)

Remember Kenny Loggins? If I sing "Footloose, cut loose, everybody cut footloose" does that ring any bells? Yeah? Well forget that, because the man who made the likes of "Caddyshack", "Footloose" and "Top gun" soundtracks rock is back with his new band, and they're, well, nothing like his older work. Basically a country trio, Blue Sky Riders have the most amazing vocal harmonies I've heard in a long time, and they also seem to take turns on lead vocals, which keeps this album really fresh and interesting. It's their debut, as you may have gathered, and if it isn't already huge then it should be, and hopefully will be. Get in on the ground floor now. Even if you're not a country music fan, I think you may enjoy this. I've been listening to it nonstop for the last few days, and it's still top of my playlist. Don't see it slipping any time soon.


William Shatner --- Has Been (2004)
I wish I could remember who recommended this, cos I'd sure like to thank them. It's not the greatest album I've heard but it's damn interesting, and if you look above you'll see I've featured Shatner's version of Pulp's "Common people" in my "Run for cover" section. With great instrumentation backing his spoken-word poetic vocals, and guest singers like Joe Jackson, Aimee Mann and, er, Henry Rollins (yeah), you really have to hear this album before you die. Oh yeah, he sings about dying on it too!


Headspace --- I am anonymous (2012)
Another one listened to for the PRAC, this is Threshold vocalist Damian Wilson and Adam Wakeman, son of who else, who between them have crafted one hell of a progressive rock album. A concept loosley runs through it, though it's a little hard to follow, but that doesn't matter. With song titles like "Daddy fucking loves you", what more do you want?


Riverside --- Shrine of new generation slaves (2013)
And another one. This album impressed me so much that I even missed the obvious acronym the title makes up: SONGS. This being my first full album to listen to from Riverside, I'm reliably informed by those who know the band that this is a much more commercial, even poppy venture for the Polish prog rock giants, but I loved it. Well, apart from the additional bonus tracks on the second disc. The first one was great, the second I could have lived without. I also don't like the opener and title track (they're one and the same) but other than that I find this a solid album, and will be reviewing it in the future.

So that's what's currently spinning on my ipod, Zen X-Fi and computer. I'll update this on probably no more regular than a monthly basis, depending on what I find myself listening to. As the announcer says at the start of "Another brick in the wall, part 3": thought you'd like to know. Though maybe not.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:13 PM   #1820 (permalink)
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As for the Album Name Quiz thing...

Bon Jovi - Bounce (2002)

The Who - Who's Next (1970?)

So obvious that I'm not gonna say it.


In any case, I really enjoy the reviews you got going here. Keep it up, my friend.
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