Favourite (rock) albums- Jan 2017

I know it’s been a long time since I last posted, but I needed some time for myself, to figure things out in my life, to see what causes the sadness I’ve been feeling for the last 3 or so months. I am still half-way through, because I’ve become such an introvert- I hardly ever talk about things of my concern or feelings with my friends and family, I’ve become so shy around boys and so fearful of everything. As a person that has fought with anxiety disorders and depression most of my life (especially in my teen years), the realisation that some of the norms (feelings, habits etc) that I thought I had overcome the past two years, came back, terrifies me. So, I try by myself to repeat the whole “process” of therapy, because it was such a helpful experience for me, in hopes that I can overcome this dark place I’m in at the moment.i_love_you_honeybear

I think it would be a good idea to talk about my depression history in a next post, but for now, something a little more cheerful- My favourite rock albums at the moment, or to be precise, what I listen to at this time period. Some of the albums are new, some of them are not- but all of them are pure gems.

So, here goes the list:

  1. The Pale emperor Marilyn Manson (2015) : Against to popular belief, I think that The Pale Emperor is one of the best (if not the #1) albums that MM has brought out. The lyrics are still cynical and provocative; he’s still the antichrist superstar, but he’s not a repetitive caricature of himself anymore. Before TPE, you knew what you’d expect from MM: something almost pretentiously provocative, but musically mediocre. In TPE, his vocals are way better, the tunes are sooooo sexxxy, his lyrics seem honest and relatable. The album as an ensemble is great, very coherent, but my favourite songs are the ‘catchy’ “Third day of a seven day binge” and “The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles”.
  2. Skeleton Tree- Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (2016): Well, I’ve raved about the first single from this album, “Jesus alone”, on how much emotion it brought to my poor heart. The rest of the album didn’t let me down, it was what I was expecting; a way darker version of ‘Push the sky away’ (2013), which I love. Every time I play this album I start crying (yeah, I’m not OK- I know), so I can’t get into technical details. My favourites are the ‘heartbreaking’ “I need you” and “Girl in Amber”.
  3. Pretty on the inside&The first session – Hole (1991& 1997 [originally early 1990’s]): I got into that grunge/ punk rock phase in late July- August. I started listening to Nirvana and then I ‘hopped’ to Hole. BEST DECISION EVER. How underrated was this band (at least in Greece, where I live)? Raw lyrics, true ‘in-your-face’ poetry, edgy, harsh tunes mirroring Courtney Love’s dark stories. Her vocals are not the best in the industry, that’s true, but her screams tho- I live for them. I could go on and on about Hole and Courtney Love, but this is not a post about them. My favourite songs: a. from TFS:”Retard Girl”, “Turpentine”, b. from POTI: “Teenage whore”, “Loaded”.
  4. The LHI years: Singles, Nudes and backsides(1968-71)- Lee Hazlewood (2012): Another underrated artist, mostly known for his collaboration with Nancy Sinatra (‘Summer wine’, ‘some velvet morning’ etc). In my opinion, it’s much easier to bring psychedelia and incorporate ‘liberal’sex scenes into rock music, like ‘the Doors’, for example did, than into country music, that is known for easy- catchy melodies and surfaced lyrics. Lee Hazlewood was the badass of country- either combining the atmospheric melodies with erotic scene- like lyrics or by changing the tempo during some of his songs among with surrealistic images: he was making art, playing with the audience’s senses, introducing them to his world. My favs: “The night before” and “Bye Babe”.
  5. Sexual harassment Turbonegro(2012): Turbonegro’s satirical lyrics, accompanied with great vocals by Duke of Nothing and good tunes – their use of bass suits so nicely the vocals. The nihilistic jokes get me all the time. Nothing more about it. It’s a great album- listen to it if you haven’t already. Favourites: “Shake your shit machine”, “Tight jeans, loose leash”.
  6. Everything you’ve come to expect- The Last Shadow puppets (2016): My ‘guilty’ pleasure (although I don’t feel guilty at all about liking it) is a great album. This baroque pop/ alt-rock gem is everything I’ve come to expect. I don’t know why many said it was shitty compared to ‘the age of the understatement'(2008). It was not. It was a much more coherent album both musically and lyrically than their previous one. Kane&Turner’s collaboration brings out two faces of seduction and erotic behaviour: Kane is the rough one and Turner the soft(-er) one, something visible by both the songs that each of them leads and their vocals. Catchy tunes, poetic lyrics and (finally) an album that Alex Turner sings with his actual voice. Miles Kane is always great both in the album and live (I saw them @Rockwave festival, Athens 2016). Fav songs: “Aviation” & “Everything you’ve come to expect”.
  7. I love you, honeybear- Father John Misty (2015): Not a huge fan of Tillman but when I first listened to ‘I love you, honeybear’ on Spotify, I said to myself that I need to hear the whole album. So, I did. And I’ve stuck with it. The lyrics are OK- nothing really innovative or poetic, but those melodies brought me to another place. It’s like getting high minus the substances. I somehow dream of myself being somewhere really hot, with pink skies, sandy beaches with campfires and lots of booze. Great vocals too. He sings so effortessly and his voice has no harsh lines, it’s so clear, atherial. Favourite songs: ‘When you’re smiling and astride me’ & ‘Nothing good ever happens at goddamn thirsty crow’.
  8. M3L155X- FKA Twigs (2015): I was introduced to Twigs by accident- actually her single ‘Good to love’ (2016) was in my suggested videos on YouTube and I clicked on it and then I clicked on to watch M3L155X music video. The strange avant- garde background sounds and her excellent singing on her falsettes bring out something strange but erotic. She’s like a an alien nymph-siren or something. The visuals that directs herself have the same vibe too. She is an amazing artist that has her own aesthetic and is not afraid of innovating. M3L155X is an ensemble act, so I have no favourite songs. It’s a great audiovisual piece of art.

Hope you liked my list! You can leave your favourite albums in the comments below!

 

Advertisements

Jesus Alone by Nick Cave&the Bad Seeds : Review and its contribution to rock industry

16 hours ago, “Jesus Alone” was released by the Australian band Nick Cave &the bad seeds, which follows the same musical narrative as “Push the sky away”, the band’s previous album.

In the beginning of the song I was drawn to the thought that it was going to be something really dark and haunting, creating an atmosphere like of that in “Murder ballads” & “I let love in”, but Cave’s vocals afterwards and the entrance of the piano in the track, made it clear that it is the darker, more melancholic “sibling” of PTSA.

His voice is so soft and smooth, yet cracks at some points giving a pinch of theatricality in his every word. Especially, the central lyrics “With my voice, I’m calling you”, bring you to tears.

“Jesus Alone” is a musical key that opens some kind of door full of feelings for all of us that have at least one time dealt with grief. It’s not just the lyrics; it’s the vocals and the music that harmonically take you to a 6-minute- long drive thinking about someone you’ve lost.maxresdefault

Cave doesn’t try to lift himself up in the song, and that’s what really makes him a great artist. His feelings are raw and pure, because this is how you deal with grief: You over-analyze your pain and your emptiness, you are in a spiral full of question marks about what happened, what have been unsaid, how lonely you feel, the people dying and those that kill others.

The great thing about this song (although I’ve said it like a million times in this post, but I’d like to say that again), is how close to the audience it is, which is super-rare in the music industry. Rock music has become either a faceless, “rock n’roll”- like, sexy(-ist) tune or a superficial political or social message piece. Rock lacks personality, but thankfully there are people like Nick Cave that bring us emotion, tears, thoughts, and most importantly, truth.

Jesus Alone is on Spotify & YouTube

The album “Skeleton Tree” is out on 09/09

The movie “One more time with feeling” is out on 09/08