Saturday, December 26, 2009

nobody stands in between me and my man

Top 10 Albums Of The Decade

6. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (2006) (bedshaped)

She may be nuts, but when she lays down tracks like these, she's fucking brilliant. A wonderfully distinctive voice and vocal style, singing stories of drugs, relationship break ups, love and failure, delivered in a fantastic 'old sound' and yet, it sounds so damned modern too. Genius production from Mark Ronson.

Pretty much everybody knows the great Rehab, You Know I'm No Good, Back To Black and of course her version of The Zutons criminally underrated original, Valerie (later added as a bonus track on a re-issue, I think?!). And even the songs you don't know, all sound so bloody good. Catchy, uptempo and just generally groovy. With a capital G.

I hate to admit it, but this album would have been higher on my list, had it not been for the fact that I think Amy has got some serious 'issues' which I hope and pray she gets help for, and until she does, she continues to act like such a fucking idiot....and that kinda means I love the album still, but just a little bit less. Damn you Amy!

Best track? Me and Mr Jones. A great old school soul number. Jingly piano riffs in the background, horns up the front, and Amy's absolutely gorgeous vocals. She sounds completely dreamy on this track. She's sassy, sexy, verging on just a little bit naughty. You can't fail to nod your head along with this track. All the tracks are brilliant on this album, so I chose this as my fave track above the others, purely 'cos she sings the great lines; "What kind of fuckery is this?" and "Nowadays you don't mean dick to me!" Genius.

Oh and shexy! *Honk*

Listen to: Me And Mr Jones

6. Johnny Cash - American III: Solitary Man (2000) (Swisslet)

Even if he’d never met Rick Rubin, you’d imagine that Johnny Cash’s musical legacy would have been secure. Yeah, so the tail end of his career might have petered off somewhat, but how could the man who recorded songs like Ring of Fire, I Walk the Line and Folsom Prison Blues is hardly going to completely disappear into obscurity, is he?

But he did meet Rick Rubin, and between 1994 and his death in 2003, Cash recorded a succession of incredible albums, the American Recordings, that featured a mixture of covers of contemporary songs and a number of Cash originals. Suddenly, after decades of seeming irrelevance, Cash, by now comfortably into his sixties, found himself cool again. Perhaps cooler than he’d ever been....not bad for a man who once hung out with Elvis.

He’s probably most famous now for his cover of Trent Reznor’s Hurt, which features on American IV. It’s perhaps the classic example of a cover version of a song that has long since outstripped the original, and that video featuring Cash facing the camera and his demons as his soon-to-be-dead wife floats around in the background is still incredibly powerful. It’s a great song and it’s taken from a good album, but of those albums that Cash recorded with Rick Rubin, this is the best.

The covers on the album are again well chosen: Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man, U2’s One, Nick Cave’s The Mercy Seat….but Cash makes them all his own with staggering authority. Even a song as well known as One, in Cash’s hands has new life breathed into it. Nick Cave does a pretty mean version of The Mercy Seat himself, but his tale of a killer going to his death on the electric chair has never sounded more – ahem – electrifying than when sung by Cash. It’s truly Old Testament in its ferocity, with Cash’s voice sounding like nothing less than the voice of doom. Superb. Not cheerful, perhaps, but compelling.

Listen to: The Mercy Seat

6. The Feeling - Twelve Stops And Home (2006) (LB)

It's easy to dismiss The Feeling as second rate derivative pop but their debut album Twelve Stops And Home is one of the most fun, entertaining and listenable records I have ever bought.

Dan Gillespie-Sells has an incredible knack of writing great, jaunty pop records. The singles from Twelve Stops and Home were all hits, from the slower-paced charm of Sewn to the all-out 70s inspired pop of Fill My Little World, Never Be Lonely and the majestic Love It When You Call.

Even when the band are in more reflective mood - on Rose and Blue Piccadilly - there is still a real quality to the songwriting and whilst they might derive their influences from three decades of pop - from ELO to the Darkness - this brilliant debut album showcases their upbeat, radio friendly music perfectly.

Listen to: Love It When You Call

1 Discussions:

Blogger bedshaped said...

The Cash was a good album, but I found some of it uncomfortable listening.
As for The Feeling....Arrrrggghh. Don't get me started on them!

5:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home