Sunday, 28 February 2010

New Music Review: Katie Dean

Katie Dean is a singer/songwriter from Preston, UK, who has only been gigging since August 2008. She's recently finished recording a full-band EP, and below I've reviewed a track-by-track guide.

She'll Be Alone - The word that hits me in the first 20 seconds of this track is 'now'. The vocals remind me of Katy Perry, but when the full band comes in there's a real Taylor Swift country-pop feel which sounds great and very radio-friendly. The second verse is rich with overdubbed vocals and a cool synth riff sitting below the relentless drums and the production sounds great; a lot more professional sounding to what I honestly expected. In what I think is the bridge section, there was a little too much going and I was slightly distracted by the swaying synth sounds in the background, but overall I love the arrangement and think the track is perfectly suited for a young-teenage fanbase and would sit great within a Radio 1 playlist.

Breaking Your Heart - The next track starts similarly with gentle acoustic guitar and vocals; the vocals sound tender yet confident and assure the listener of their place and Dean's right to be where she is right now. The song has another cool pop-groove to it and a memorable if slightly predictable structure. This isn't a criticism though; nobody gains radio airplay unless they stick to what the average music listener expects them to. The track has a great and uplifting feel to it and really shows us what Dean is all about.

My New Story - It's a similar tempo and sound but this is what works for Dean and suits her style. The verses push along hard and I'm confident that an entire album of Dean's current arrangements would settle nicely without any arguments between Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Ok, it's not ground-breaking music or breaking any moulds but you have to hand it to Dean; she knows what is current and what is popular and is playing to this. The difference is her age; there aren't many young female singer/songwriters with such professionally sounding tracks that aren't either vocals and acoustic guitar or small band arrangements. Dean's tracks really do sound like something a Major record label might be pushing and that's great. Anyway, back to the song, it's fast and fun and wants you to take notice; the vocal melodies fit perfectly and sound great. I was thinking a short subtle stab of guitar solo over the last part of the last chorus would really be the icing on the cake, and then it came. Simple yet effective; it's exactly what I, as the listener, wanted to hear and I was granted this which can only be good.

Go Find Yourself - The last of Dean's tracks is a little calmer on the intro which works well in her favour, I'm not sure if the track listing on MySpace is the correct order for her EP but I welcomed the break from relentless drums and polished electric guitars. The song feels like less of a single, although for only one out of four tracks to not strike me as a single isn't at all bad! The drums are more interesting in this song and are given a little more freedom and I really like the backing vocals on the choruses. The ending is cool and different, providing both a singalong aspect for live performances and the possibility of rousing a crowd by going back around the chorus with a big snare fill into the full-band arrangement one more time.

I think Katie Dean is one to watch; her songs are impressive and highly polished and I think it's only a matter of time before the name becomes more familiar. Of course you can listen to her tracks for yourself on her MySpace page; she's young, enthusiastic and talented and I really hope this gets her somewhere.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Birthday Celebrations

Last night I had a wicked night out with a few close friends to celebrate my Birthday, which was earlier in the week. We went out for a really nice Italian (which, in retrospect, left us feeling very full for a very long time, next time we'll eat earlier!) and then went on to a pub and then a cool rock club near me. Thought I'd share some pics below:

All of us a little more sober early on

Me and Kirsty

The 'Jon Bon fish pose'!

Ian Watkins (Lost Prophets) was DJing

I, for some reason, ended up dancing beside this guy...

Surprise Birthday cake at the restaurant!


I've finally given in and joined the Twitter revolution. You can follow me here :)

Friday, 26 February 2010

The Joe Public: Free Download - Solution

Remember The Joe Public from a couple of weeks ago? Well, if you click here they are offering you a free download of the track 'Solution' from the Skin EP (scroll down to see my review of the individual track!). If you like what you hear, search for The Joe Public and download the rest of the Skin EP.

Am off out tonight for Birthday celebrations, which include seeing a DJ set by the Lost Prophets at a small rock club near me!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Happy Birthday from Bon Jovi

In my inbox today, I received the above message, plus a picture of Jon with balloons photoshopped in which for some reason I can't share here. I think I had the exact same email last year... anyway this must mean that today is of course my birthday. The e-mail also asked if I 'got an iPod today? If so, click here to buy some Bon Jovi music' ... ever the chance to sell huh?!

Unfortunately I have to work today, and the hours are even longer than usual which is typical. But I will however be celebrating on Friday, allowing Saturday of course for recovery time!

So, 20 today. No longer a teen, I guess I'd better start growing up. Have a nice day :)

Monday, 22 February 2010

There's something fishy going on...

I just had to share this photo of Jon [Bon Jovi] on the last night in Seattle; it's rare we get unposed photos from the man and it made me smile!

Am rather busy with Uni stuffs right now; have an aural theory test tomorrow and a theory paper to hand in on Wednesday (my birthday) when I also have to work. I'd much rather be watching the Chelsea game at home :(

Friday, 19 February 2010

Watch Bon Jovi LIVE in Seattle

Courtesy of the band, for immediate release: You can watch the 1st 15 minutes of tomorrow's show LIVE from! Log on at 8:30PM PST to watch Bon Jovi kick off The Circle Tour live in Seattle!

So that's tomorrow, Saturday 20th February; you'll need to work out the time-difference with wherever you're reading from :)

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Lady GaGa

Hmm. Maybe I'm about to put my head on the chopping board, and perhaps I'll lose some readers as a result. Perhaps. But this blog's all about music; new and old, major and unsigned. So, in keeping with that theme, I must divulge a soft spot for Lady GaGa. Let me explain. There's not a lot of music I don't like. Personally, I'm not a fan of the new-age electronic pop courtesy of Florence, La Roux and the likes, but I can appreciate the inspiration from the huge 80s movement and bow to their overtaking of the British charts. Really I'm all about rock, in it's purest and simplest form. Whether it's hair metal or nu-metal, if it's got driving guitars or huge anthemic vocals I'm there. And inbetween, of course there's jazz and folk and blues and... well the list is long.

I've never been a fan, however, of the current music charts; the modern rappers and pop princesses; preened boy/girl band outfits and indeed a lot of the slightly older indie stuff along the lines of The Kooks, Kasabian, Razorlight etc. This is purely my opinion. But mainly, it's the girls. Sure, the videos are fun to watch, but if you're not writing your own music and really putting something into it, then it's not for me, and indeed a lot of 'real players'. I believe that the music industry in general is in a dire position and those of you who read my post on Rage before Christmas will know that only too well. However, in my opinion, Lady GaGa, although on the surface perhaps seemingly not much different (other than to look at of course) is in fact a real pioneer for pop music right now. Ok, the videos are the same as the rest, the albums are over-produced and the singles over-played. However, when stripped down to her roots and singing whilst accompanying herself on piano, I love what she's doing. She writes her own songs (and indeed for Britney and the Pussycat Dolls) but the difference is she can actually sing live, and in fact sounds better when doing so. Her voice is raw and always passionate, her arrangements exciting and never true to the radio-edits and I'm glad she scooped three Brit awards tonight in her respective International categories. Many similar popstars would wither in front of a festival crowd without their safety nets of auto-tunes and backing tracks, but there is something special about Lady GaGa. She can play a lot of instruments and grew up surrounded by music; now evident in the passion her live performances exude. Of course, the quirkiness and fashion sense only add to her mysterious persona, creating for herself an even more original being that can only add to her appeal. She dares to be different and, unlike Lily Allen or Kate Nash who have wowed festival crowds in their own rights, I think last summer she proved to a lot of people that she is in fact more than just another female popstar beside her cousins Rihanna, Beyonce and the rest. Ok, her music isn't as ground-breaking as most of the 'real' bands of past and present, but for her status I think she's due a lot more credit than perhaps her underrated stereotype is deserved.

So there, I said it. Lady GaGa is cool.

Bon Jovi Tour Rehearsal Snippets

It's no secret that the band are delving into the archives for The Circle tour, playing tracks from their first two albums - some of which haven't been played for a good twenty years! Fellow blogger Blame It On The Love has posted some great videos from the opening nights in Hawaii, and the band have now posted snippets for 'Only Lonely' and a personal favourite of mine, 'Hardest Part Is The Night' here on their website; the short samples are available to the public but fanclub members can hear the tracks in their entirety.

The songs are taken from the band's rehearsals in Seattle for the now-underway Circle Tour.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Review: Mudslideslim - I Hate My Better Half

Photo by Laura Knight

Mudslideslim describes his music as experimental and progressive rock. An independent artist from Glastonbury, UK, Mudslideslim is a versatile artist, "playing what music feels at the time". This week I got my hand on his track 'I Hate My Better Half', which you can find reviewed below.

A pulsating crash cymbal introduces a cool and infectious guitar riff; it's carrying a real dirty-rock feel but certainly isn't dark. The vocals are in quick, there's no hanging around and I'm reminded of a Chili Peppers/Faith No More style voice with an overall taste of Muse. The track is built cleverly, not staying on one idea for too long, and the harmonising backing vocals really compliment what's going on. I love the busy guitar, with the riff kicking through constantly with really tasty licks thrown in behind the mix. The lyrics are angry; spat with a real grungy-rock undertone and the chorus is full of intent and angst. A real split-personality is built throughout both the lyrics and vocal performance, a nod to the title of the track as the story unfolds and the guitar work overall is fantastic. What I'm assuming is the bridge section after the second chorus really shows this off, as the guitar solo takes centre stage in an extended and passionate episode that I can really see being developed live and going on for twice as long, as the track ends suddenly and without warning. A cool tune and an artist well worth checking out.

For more info, please check out Mudslideslim here or at his Myspace page.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Mike Rew's Backstage Bon Jovi Tour

Check out this video to see Mike Rew, Bon Jovi's backline crew manager for The Circle tour, as he shows us round the backstage arena set-up. The robotic video-screen arms are particularly cool; I love how Bon Jovi are always at the forefront of all live music audio and visual technological advances.

From what I understand, the arena set-ups will feature an 'in the round' stage, although the band won't be stationed in the centre of the arena. Guess it's a way to sell more tickets behind the stage!

Kid Rock was this week announced as the support act for the two latest o2 shows in London, although personally I hope he's not there on the 13th June when I will be! When I first saw the band in 2005, Nickelback opened up for them at the City of Manchester Stadium which was wicked. Most recently at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton in 2007, The Feeling were supporting the UK leg shows, although my show was the only one without a major support act! Although Biffy Clyro was rumoured, I had to make do with a local radio DJ playing Alice Cooper records and a teenage competition-winning band!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Album review: Simone DeBlasio - Rolling With Thunder

'Rolling With Thunder' is Simone DiBlasio's fourth album since her debut 'Ablemarle Ave.' in 2001. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, DeBlasio describes her music as 'Folk/Americana songs with a pure storytelling essence'. Below is a track-by-track guide to Rolling With Thunder.

Rolling With Thunder - Cars are rolling past and an eerie, crawling tone is stepping into the mix. The harmonies are almost dissonant, clashing slightly but in a good way before merging nicely into the opening acoustic guitar riff. It's a strange composition, especially for a title track let alone the first track, as the riff fades away into nothingness and it's more of an instrumental prelude. A little disappointing for song number one, as I'm eager to hear DeBlasio's voice from the off.

Remember You - My faith is soon restored; the vocals are almost child-like but in a cutely naive way and the lyrics match this vulnerability. The guitar arpeggios are equally delicate in the background as the song slowly eases along. It's short and sweet, ending with tweeting birds in the background, making me feel just summery enough to forget the cold reality outside.

Gone - DeBlasio is a fan of the sound-effects, and once again I hear footprints and a car engine starting before the guitar kicks in; it's adding to the 'story-telling' dimension. The guitar is this time busier and the vocals more intense, and I love what the second acoustic guitar is doing, dancing up and down the neck. The backing vocals really add something, which is nice because such a minimal track is crying out for some texture. As predicted, the track ends with tyres screeching; "I'm already gone, gone."

Longest Ride - I'm not sure if I like the passing cars sound effect; it feels slightly over-used but is different at least. The slide guitar in this track is cool and the wailing harmonica beside it really drags at some deep-Southern blues outfit. I can't help feeling that the vocal performance is slightly weaker than on other tracks, but this is saved by the guitar work.

Last Thing - A splatter of conversation introduces the next track, again adding to the story-telling themes evident in DeBlasio's songs, creating a sense of mystery. The music is much the same; Folk-style riffs and a vocal line without much depth but I do really like the addition of backing vocals. The track is sandwiched between sound-effects, ending this time with a bottle smashing and some distant wooping/chatting. Maybe I'm missing something, but it doesn't really strike me as a busy, party song and the smashing bottle slightly confused me, as if DeBlasio is trying to place the listener at a party or gathering although the lyrics don't really lend to that. It's a nice song, but I'm not sure the sound effects fit.

Calling - Coins are dropping into the pay-phone; the dial-tone is slightly audible as "Do you hear me calling" rings out in the vocals and this seems more appropriate. The acoustic guitar in the background is gentle and I like the chord progression; it's simple but effective and the layered backing vocals again add a certain depth. When the strings sidle into the mix it's something I wasn't expecting at all, and was a pleasant surprise. This is a favourite off of the album for me; the track shows signs of rising and falling and has been written with thought and a lot of attention.

One Night - The acoustic guitar work in this track doesn't sound as professional as it could do, perhaps the part needs to be simplified or a more experienced player brought in for the record. It fits really nicely alongside the vocals and overall feel of the song, however I felt it wasn't quite up to the standard that DeBlasio is pushing for. Now I've had a taste of the cello in the previous track, I'm dying for it to creep in at the beginning of the second verse and I'm sensing an emptiness that could so easily be filled as in the track before.

Final Call - The penultimate track on the album begins with falling rain and windchimes rattling gently in the breeze, before the acoustic guitar fades into the mix. The vocals sound more believable and with a lot more passion which is nice. I'm teased once more with the promise of strings at the beginning of the second verse, and was almost disappointed when they disappeared as quickly as they came but, having delved deeper into the song, can really appreciate their sparse presence. The spacing is really nice and really makes the track. The guitar-work on the ending is cool too.

Remains - I've arrived at the final track of the album and, although I haven't been blown away, can really see a stage for DeBlasio with a small, appreciative audience really captivated by her folky-story-telling ways. The riff is cool and upbeat, the vocals equally so, and I like the second guitar's subtle picks at the end of each line. There's not a lot of establishment between the verses and the choruses musically but the vocals ensure I know where I am and they are again more believable in this track. It's a nice ending to a simple, quiet and narrative album.

If you enjoyed my review and would like to hear more from Simone DeBlasio or to find out where she is playing next, please check out her Myspace page. 'Rolling With Thunder' is available at CD Baby, or you can follow the links on her website.

Monday, 8 February 2010

EP Review: The Joe Public - Skin

Before I begin, I have to admit a slight biased towards this particular EP. I grew up with the Joe Public lads, having played in a band with one of them for a few years. That aside, I was very pleased to finally get my hands on Skin, their debut release. Having moved from Somerset, their central hub, I haven't seen them live for months and months but had lots of fun listening to their EP. The guys are young, talented and, most importantly, keen as hell, and their live shows are packed with more venom and energy than...well a place with lots of venom and energy. I guess an angry snake pit. Alas, I digress.

Skin - It's a busy intro; the guitars are killer and sending me into a bit of a warp but the equally-quick rhythm section tie everything down as the vocals drop in. They are excited, almost rushed but in a good way, it's almost blink-and-you'll-miss it with all the ferocity and bustle of a busy highstreet somewhere in downtown NY, and it sounds like Incubus are playing somewhere close by, or at least Brandon Boyd. Beneath all this however, it's grooving really nicely, and chilling wonderfully into a teasing pre-chorus (nice backing vocals), before dropping the chorus-bomb. And boy, does it drop. With all of the ferocity of the verse times ten, it's a hook you'll be humming long after the CD is finished playing. The vocals are strong yet different, unlike anything really out there at the moment, I sense there's something special here. The bridge establishes slightly calmer ground but not for long; this song's all about the chorus.

Take What's Yours - A piano driven ballad not in compound time? Already it's different, it's interesting, it's something new once more. The track is gentle, far gentler than it's predecessor, almost soothing with warm, floaty keyboard sounds but the guitar stays true; I can sense the slight John Mayer influences if you dig really deep, but Mike Einziger and John Fruiscante are closer to the surface. The track's almost a musical interlude; the vocals are sparse but heavily layered which fit the style perfectly and the drums are brilliantly tight; each fill a quick snatch and always there back into the groove deliciously. It's a short song, but there's nothing I would change.

Stumbling - Another piano intro, this time with the edition of strings. It's like wandering into a dream, stumbling into someone else's fantasy. This fantasy belongs to Jake Meeking, but I don't feel like I'm intruding. The vocal performance is sublime, and it's just perfect when the acoustic guitar picks it's way delicately alongside the keys. I feel the urge they've resisted in delaying the drums' big introduction; it would have been too easy to sidle in at the beginning of verse two but, through holding back, this just makes the track. And when the drums do come in, the groove is a hand-picked delight. If I close my eyes I can picture this as a soundtrack to a crucial farewell/self-realisation type scene in a movie. Wonderful.

Solution - This is the last roll of the dice for the Joe Public guys, the final track on the EP, the lasting memory as the CD stops spinning. I love the delay on the lead guitar, with the obscure tones of the second guitar sliding easily in the background. With all the angst of Skin, I'm surprised that the other three tracks have lacked in such bite, but this isn't at all to take anything away from the rest of the EP; it's a work of art that everyone in The Joe Public camp should be very proud of. This is almost a power-ballad, the rhythm section this time more driving in the choruses with the guitars divulging in some really cool and funky guitar licks pre-verse. The track has come alive now and I realise it's a perfect ending to the EP, there must have been a lot of thought into the track order but I think they've got it right. Coming out of the second chorus, the lead guitar picks us and takes us round the riff, branching out further and further into a solo almost in desperation, I get the feeling it's tied down slightly, with just a little less space to really go for it than is required. The track has a cool ending too; the chorus fades away as the piano is left to seal off a great track and a really great CD.

If you enjoyed my review and would like to hear more from The Joe Public, please visit their Myspace page or, alternatively, catch them live:

18 Feb 2010 -  Moles Club, Bath
4 Mar 2010 - Hope & Anchor, Islington, London
5 Mar 2010 - The Patriot, Newport
11 Mar 2010 - Fleece, Bristol
12 Mar 2010 - Corn Exchange, Devizes
13 Mar 2010 - Guildhall, Gloucester
15 Mar 2010 - Cavern (TBC) Exeter
18 Mar 2010 - Perfect 5th, Taunton
19 Mar 2010 -  Champions, Bournemouth
24 Mar 2010 - Rifleman’s Arms, Glastonbury
25 Mar 2010 - The Lock Up, Frome
26 Mar 2010 - Teenage Kicks @ The Furnace, Swindon
22 Apr 2010 - Powers, Kilburn, London
11 May 2010 - Perfect 5th, Taunton
14 May 2010 - Avenue, Newbury

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Album Review: Derek Toomey - Kiss on the Wind

Kiss on the Wind is the debut album from the very talented Derek Toomey. Toomey grew up in central Louisiana, and describes his album as a "pinch of pop, folk rock and swamp thrown in". The musician's that feature are all great players and really lend something special to the album, helping to create something Toomey should most definitely be proud of. Below is a track-by-track guide to the album.

The first track immediately jumps out of the speakers; 'Oh Yea! (Beautiful Day)' is a happy, folky fiddle-driven record of good times and big dreams. I love the female backing vocals on the choruses; they sit brilliantly behind Toomey's great tone and really add something special to the mix. The drums are busy, demonstrating a really tight funky groove which feels almost latin in places. There's a great country feel on the electric guitar, and the whole track reminds me of Sugarland; a really happy and positive outset to the record.

Second out of the blocks is 'Alice Jane', with it's immediately infectious driving acoustic guitar and drum pattern giving way to down and dirty low vocals telling a cool story, reminding me of Jace Everett. The chorus is simple yet memorable, cementing the track in a real dingy blues club. The underlaid electric guitar work is subtely brilliant, and I love the call and response solos between the fiddle and the acoustic guitar.

The title track, Kiss on the Wind, is definitely a stand-out of the album and rightly deserves it's title-track status. "Happiness is just a kiss on the wind, pass it on and it will find you again" tells us all we need to know about this grooving track; I'm used to the cool fiddles and slide guitar by now and the drums sound great on this track. I felt the track lacked slightly at the end - finishing on a low rather than a high - as I felt the whole track was building and building towards a big finish but don't let that take anything away from the song.

'On and On and On' dims the lights and changes course, taking a much needed step in a slower and gentler direction. This track is just really nice, there's no other way to describe it; the passion in Cindi Hall's voice is perfect and the composition is wonderful with Toomey sharing the vocals. The verses establish themselves with a rim-shot and really careful acoustic guitar work; the candles are most definitely lit now and I'm really listening to this song. It has presented itself to me as a great love song with a really cool ballad feel and the layered vocals at the end with the shaker cap it off beautifully. A real treat.

'Stuff' doesn't let me sit back for too long, but doesn't hit me like a freight train which is perfect; you don't go from lying down into a sprint and it's slowly helping me to my feet with a really great tempo for a track after a ballad. If you're not digging this song there can't be much feeling inside of you; my head is really getting into this one, nodding away as I type. I love Toomey's song-writing and this track shows it off in all it's greatness.

Tribal drums greet me at the beginning to 'Footprints in the Water' and, although the vocals feel a little weaker in this song, again it's all about the feel and Toomey has got this nailed to a tee. He's really captured the essence of the song and bottled a whole load of feeling. The drums are the stand-out performance of this track; they're different to what we've heard up to now and drive the track in a really lazy way. I wanted a really huge wheeling guitar solo and so was a little disappointed when I felt I was being led into one, and think this would have really added the much-needed finishing touch to this track.

'Jesse' is an interesting and quirky song in the latter stage of the album. I find myself really listening to the lyrics; the vocals have got a lot of space at the beginning and I want to hear the story unfold. As soon as the electric guitar comes in in verse two I'm sold; the scratchy chug is a tease at the beginning and I almost feel like that's all I'm getting until the licks come out and really show us what we've been missing. This song lifts me back up and leads the listener into a faster-countrified tempo with a great marriage of blues-rock guitar, although it does end a little abruptly.

'In God's Eyes and Mine' is, on it's own, quite a nice song, but feel it is the weakest within the context of an album. There are some great passages of playing; I like the gentle approach each instrument has taken when performing it's respective part but the track didn't strike me much whilst embedded by stronger songs.

No faith is lost yet though, as 'Paupers Grave' promises another busy country-rock sound. The drums really know when to play and, more importantly, when not to be smacking the snare and instead sitting back waiting for the right moment, demonstrating a really cool knowledge of the building of a song. Toomey's vocals are almost Springsteen-esque; I'm thinking of his acoustic record 'Devils and Dust' and I love Hall's harmonies on this song. The fiddle shouts 'remember me' and I certainly do; it's once again the icing on the cake.

'Evangeline' is something different once again which is what's great about this album in general; it's unpredictable and doesn't pigeon-hole itself. The blues are only remembered perhaps in the vocals and with the most subtle of guitar licks rarely in the background, but folk's taking centre stage here with the extrememly cool and underrated accordion. It fits the feel of the song perfectly and I'd challenge anyone to listen to this song without stamping their foot.

Reading the sleeve notes, I get the feeling that 'Happy Cry' strikes a chord with Toomey, a nod to someone close loved and lost, but never forgotten. The track itself crawls along nicely, showing off the talent of the musician's enlisted on this record. I love the slide guitar and the highs and lows of this track; it's a rollercoaster in more ways than one, rising and falling at a great pace. And as the distant drones of slide guitar and cymbal hang on for as long as they dare before fading into the abyss, the album ends. And it couldn't have been more beautifully.

To find out more about Derek Toomey or to purchase the CD (besides on iTunes, CD Baby, Digstation and more), please visit his website or Myspace page.

Friday, 5 February 2010

New Music: Julian Shah-Tayler: Un Ange Passe

An obscure electro-pop/rock EP to wrap your ears around; you can listen to all six tracks and download them for free here (the artwork looks cool) and is also available on iTunes.

Alan McGee of Creation Records (Oasis/Primal Scream/My Bloody Valentine) says: "Wetter is massive. It will make [Julian] a star."

Anyone that buys the special edition EP from the Impossible Things Records website will also recieve an exclusive bespoke recording from Julian.

This is Julian's debut solo release after being a member of 'Whitey', plus he has also performed with Siobhan Fahey (Shakespear's Sister) and Joaquin Phoenix.

You can hook up with Julian at his Myspace page or on Facebook.

Happy listening :)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Bon Jovi Latest

I didn't want to lose touch with my roots, and so decided on doing a quick Bon Jovi post because, after all, they are why I'm here and doing what I do.

The video for Superman Tonight is now officially available to view, and I love it. It looks great; it's quite a mesmerizing and pesonally perspective video, and is probably the best song on the new album so I urge you to check it out. I'm so psyched to be seeing them again in London this year I can't tell you!

Also, I had a listen to the Helping Haiti song. On first listening it sounds far too over-produced but I guess that suits the pop artists on the record. Perhaps biasedly (is that a word?!) I think Jon Bon Jovi's American sneer sounds awesome and adds a little depth and realness to the song.  James Blunt's voice also sounds great; I never got why people gave him so much stick.

I hope you're enjoying the latest flurry of reviews, remember to email me if you'd like me to review any of your work! And many thanks to all those who again voted for me as a finalist in the Bloggies 'Best Weblog About Music' category, the results are being released over the next month.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

New Music Review: The Vinyl Project - Come And Get Me

A teasing blues piano trickles into the speakers; haunting vocals follow closely behind, swaying softly as I'm transported to the deepest, darkest blues club in Bath; smoke billowing towards the rafters as if it were still legal underground. As the lead vocals begin, I'm reminded of Nina Simone, as they croon wonderfully along to the rising and falling piano arpeggios before the full band come in and the soothing brass swells cement themselves rigidly in the mix. The vocals are high and beautiful; there's a really special quality about them as the instrumental breaks stumble in like practiced falls, first the trumpet and then the sax, oozing real passion. I felt that the interval between the lead and backing vocals in the choruses could have been a little further apart creating a more carefully spaced harmony but love the loose groove and overall feel of this section. The piano rises and falls once more, and I feel lost and almost confused before I'm brought back into the second verse; stabilised once more by the soothing vocals. I really like this track; it's a really breezy, free-falling sort of affair which ebbs and flows wonderfully and is definitely one to check out for any blues and jazz fans reading.

The Vinyl Project will be performing at Moles Club, Bath on February 14th and at St James' Wine Vaults, Bath on March 26th. For more information and to hear 'Come And Get Me', among other tunes, please visit the band's Myspace page.