The Dirty Dozen – January 2011
Iron & Wine – Walking Far From Home (4AD, 17 Jan)
I wouldn’t have known this was Iron and Wine just by this. I’m a big fan but this isn’t my favourite. It starts really well and it has a lovely sound, but it’s not the most melodically strong song they’ve ever done. I think I’ll give it a six though on the trust that it’s a grower. They have a good track record of that.
Rumer – Am I Forgiven (Atlantic, 24 Jan)
This is the kind of music you can drift off to. I quite like music that makes me feel like I’m meandering. It’s also old fashioned, and I like old fashioned things. It’s quite Christmas-y, which I like but it’s not out until January? In that case I’m going to give it a six, but I’m going to give it a Christmas bonus one to make it seven.
James Blunt – So Far Gone (EMI, 3 Jan)
This sounds like he’s just bought a Snow Patrol record. I can’t tell the difference between this sort of thing and stuff on The X Factor, I really can’t. I do feel bad that everyone seems to stab him in the back – or even the front, to be honest – so let’s give him one for effort, one for trying to do something different and one just out of sheer pity.
The Streets – Going Through Hell (679/Atlantic, 31 Jan)
This is like a London version of Walk This Way, just nowhere as good. I know it’s ‘rough and ready’ and dealing with his personal life but there’s very little left to the imagination. This is just shoved down your throat. It’s fun, although it’s probably not supposed to be fun. It’s probably supposed to be really hardcore and meaningful. I’ll give it a six overall.
Bruno Mars – Grenade (Elektra, 10 Jan)
I’m not a fan of this. I can imagine him doing that up and down thing with his hand as he sings and I really fucking hate that. If he took that away and just sang the song, it would be turgidly boring - which it is anyway. I’ll give him three-and-a-half just so that James Blunt is still last.
The Brute Chorus – Birdman (Tape, 16 Jan)
I’m not a massive fan of people putting too much affectation in their voice. Some people naturally have it, whereas this guy sounds like he needs a jobbie. He’s trying to do that Cramps thing but it sounds more like when Vic and Bob do club singing. The music is more interesting though. Can I give the music seven and the singer six?
Heathers – Slices of Palama (ADA Global, 24 Jan)
I like the feel and melody of this, but if I’m completely honest I find the accent they’re singing in slightly annoying. I really don’t have anything against Irish people but I find that harsh sound to their voices just grates a little bit. I think it’s a seven. It’s nothing new but I’d feel bad about marking them down on their accents.
HMS Ginafore/Iona Marshall – 10x10:07 (De-Fence, 16 Jan)
[On HMS Ginafore] It’s nice when you can just hear someone sing off the cuff. I’m a bit of a hater of all things modern but I do like the electro bits in this. I’m a big fan of the understated and it definitely falls into that category.
[On Iona Marshall] Lovely voice; a wee bit like Karine Polwart. I’m a big fan of this pastoral, picky acoustic music. It’s nice to hear something like that but with a modern edge. This one definitely stands out of the two. It’s melodically more interesting. I think I’ll maybe give them a seven out of ten. It’s the side of digital music that I can listen to.
The Vegas Fame Index – Square Eyes (Self released, 10 Jan)
They’re probably really young so I don’t want to be too disheartening - I mean our first record was shit – but people who haven’t found their own sound quite often emulate everything that they hear. It sounds like they can play but that they haven’t quite decided what they want to play. They’ve got some good ideas and there’s some potential there. I’ll give this a six.
Sunday Girl – Stop Hey (Polydor, 16 Jan)
Oh, sounds a bit modern straight away. Although it sounds like the music I had on my computer games when I had an Atari ST. I’m going to give it a five. I can imagine this is going to stick in my head. I’ll probably phone you up at 11 o’clock to tell you I want to give it one out of ten cos it’s been pissing me off all day.
Imelda May – Inside Out (Decca, 17 Jan)
I’ve got a bit of a problem with saxophones and I think I can hear a couple in the background. I know so little about this kind of music that I don’t know if it’s particularly good or bad but it’s not really to my tastes. It’s colourful though and they sound like they’re having fun. Without being mean I’m going to give it a five.
Evryone – Flamingos (Feraltone, 24 Jan)
I actually quite like this. It’s like it should be in some kind of stage musical. It’s very different; I could imagine it done with a whole orchestra and it would be brilliant. Maybe they just didn’t have the money, but then who does? I might use it for our intro music tonight. Roddy would love it. I would actually go so far as to check out their stuff so I’m going to give that an eight out of ten.