Random Album Review – Foo Fighters Greatest Hits

I seem to be having a bit of a creative dry patch at the moment, and so that this blog doesn’t just die, I have decided to start writing about other music. I have recently subscribed to Spotify, and have decided to listen to whatever the number one album is each week, and one other, and write something about them. So I asked Siri to pick a random number between one and one hundred (somewhat predictably she chose one, so I had to ask again) and she gave me fifty five. The number fifty five album this week in the Official Album Chart is Foo Fighters Greatest Hits. I have to confess that I could not name a single song of theirs before I started listening, and indeed was not aware that this was a post Kurt Cobain project by one of the members of Nirvana. As I listened to read up on the band, and on the individual songs.  All My Life, a song about cunnilingus, is a delightful way to start the experience. I have to say that this is not my genre, but I have very odd tastes, and often well written lyrics or something that gives you something to think about can sway me. Or even a delicious and unexpected chord change (Texas, I’m looking at you!) And apart from a seeming obsession with ropes and hanging it was not until the fourth track, The Pretender that I started to get it. The lyrics here are infectiously repetitive and awesome, especially the chorus, although I did spend quite a lot of it fantasising about that it would be like as a soft dance track. Learn To Fly has a lot going for it as well, as has Wheels (which all their hardcore fans hate apparently!).

As I said this is not my genre (it’s a little shouty for my taste!) however there are some great tunes and lyrics in there, and I do get appeal thankfully, I have to be honest after the first two tracks I thought I was going to hate every minute of it. I don’t think I will listen to another album by Foo Fighters any time soon, but I do have some genuine respect for Dave Grohl for picking up the pieces after the death of Kurt Cobain and creating something new. It seems like he initially assumed that he did not have the talent to carry on after that tragic event, well twenty three years and several massively successful albums have clearly proved him wrong.

Out of interest I looked up a couple of cover versions of The Pretender but they were both presented in a similar way – Cherri Bomb and Infected Mushroom, both fast tracks with screams vocals. I would love to hear a slower, pop version. Sacrilege I know!

I’m not going to get into the habit of rating these albums, because in this case the fact that I don’t like the genre would clearly reduce the score of what is obviously a great talent with a huge fan base, I will just say that it’s not really for me with a couple of notable exceptions.

I have created a Spotify playlist that contains the full album and the cover versions that I listened to:

Enjoy!

Advertisements

New Remix of “Eighties Retro Party”

Hi everyone, sorry it’s been so long, the creative side of me seems to have been taking a holiday!

What I offer you today was kind of inevitable.  In the eighties, someone thought of the idea of the twelve inch single, and soon everyone from Pet Shop Boys to Shaky were producing over-long versions of their singles to fill up the extra five inches of vinyl.  These extended mixes often added little to the original track but, if they got it right, were really cool (Blue Monday I’m looking at you, though that’s a bad example as I don’t think there was initially a seven inch version!)

So, here is an extended mix of Eighties Retro Party.  It does have an extra verse and I enjoyed putting it together.

As for new songs, I do have a new track, called “Our Last September” which was written as a duet however the person who I wrote it for does not have the free time at the moment to record it, so until she does (or I find someone else) it will have to remain in a creative limbo, which is s shame as I love the demo and the second voice will just finish it off perfectly.  I’m sure that is causing the creative block, and hopefully once that is done service will resume as normal!

Anyway, cancel your plans for the afternoon, as here is the Twelve Inch Extended Mix of Eighties Retro Party.  Like proper extended mixes from the era it does go on a bit, sorry!

Song: “Eighties Retro Party”

Eek, haven’t updated this in a few weeks sorry!

Today I am going to talk about my favourite track of the current batch, Eighties Retro Party. It’s the track where I had the strongest ideas about what I wanted to do. It actually came about whilst I was trying to sleep on a long haul flight, and the “let’s have an eighties retro party” sung on a vocoder just came into my head. I quite often have these ideas when trying to sleep, and I usually wake up knowing I had an idea for a song but with no recollection of the detail. So I noted down the words, as well as a couple of others, then forgot about it for a couple of weeks.

I then opened my song ideas file and remembered my sleepless night on the way to Johannesburg. I was very clear what I wanted the song to sound like – as well as the vocoder I wanted to use an Orchestra Hit sample – a very Eighties sound that is almost never used now. So I trawled the internet until I found one that I liked (I rejected the first five or six I tried) and as soon as I found that sound, I recorded the intro (including the first verse) then worked on a chorus. What is now the chorus was meant to be a bridge to a different chorus (I have another song that I wrote that is just bloody awful, too awful to show you here, but there are two bits in it that I like. One is part of the chorus, which almost made its way into this song, and the other is the Middle 8, which has become the middle 8 in another song, Our Last September, which I was hoping I could put out there this month but I am waiting on some female vocals). Anyway, when I listened back I realised that the song was lovely and simple if I ignored the bit lifted from the other song and just used the bridge as a chorus.

The song is full of eighties references (from AIDS to Dangermouse and Doctor Who, the line “we all remember when Adric died” was originally “we all remember when Lennon died” but after I had written it I realised that the death of someone who sung in a band that I was tortured with in Mum’s car on the way to school meant a lot less to me than the fact the Cybermen killed Adric, which really upset me a lot. I have an excuse. I was ten.)

Obviously I don’t dislike anything I have written, but this track is clearly my favourite at the moment, and I reckon currently my strongest. It has the feel and sound that I wanted (the vocoder isn’t quite perfect but it does the job) but the Orchestra Hits are sublime – I’d use them in every track if they didn’t sound so bloody dated!

So, here are the lyrics to Eighties Retro Party. Apologies to Adam Ant.

Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.

It seems like yesterday, remember when
we had the Iron Lady at Number Ten.
It was a good time to be alive,
we all rode bareback ’till 85.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
The New Romantics failed to enchant,
We were slightly troubled by Adam Ant.
We grew up with Penfold and Danger Mouse,
then graduated to Acid House.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.

Let’s relive those mad times,
Forget that it was thirty years ago,
We’ll have an eighties themed party,
Let’s forget and let ourselves go

Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Your Dad loved wearing his cotton slacks
which did not go with his Filofax.
And no one regrets the tears they cried,
We all remember when Adric died.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.

Let’s relive those mad times,
Forget that it was thirty years ago,
We’ll have an eighties themed party,
Let’s forget and let ourselves go.
Let’s relive those mad times,
Forget that it was thirty years ago,
We’ll have an eighties themed party,
Let’s forget and let ourselves go.

Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.
Let’s have an eighties retro party.

It seems like yesterday, remember when
we had the Iron Lady at Number Ten.
It was a good time to be alive,
we all rode bareback ’till 85.
The New Romantics failed to enchant,
We were slightly troubled by Adam Ant.
We grew up with Penfold and Danger Mouse,
then graduated to Acid House.
Acid House. Acid House. Acid House. Acid House.

Follow Friday – “D-Day” by The Time Apart

I actually should have shared this track last week on my first Follow Friday, and there is a reason for that: this is the first track that I heard on SoundCloud that genuinely generated feelings of joy in me.

There is a reason for this.  I love listening to SoundCloud and there is some amazing talent out there.  However this was the first artist other than myself that I found that is doing actual songs rather than music tracks, lyrics not just sounds.  I actually feel ashamed writing this and trying to make out that I am in the same league as this guy because I’m clearly not, there is so much raw talent in this song that I am extremely envious.  Damon Twen (the name of the chap behind The Time Apart) approaches things exactly the opposite way that I do – I have an idea and it’s usually recorded and finished within 48 hours.  Damon is not, from what I can see, all that prolific, but he clearly takes his time to make it sound exactly how he wants it to, and the result is all the better for it.

“D-Day” is currently my favorite thing on SoundCloud.  It’s beautifully constructed and performed and, from this example, I don’t know why a record label has not come calling.  Take a listen and let me (and indeed him) know what you think by commenting and sharing.  Thanks!

Song: “Not At Home”

So today I am going to talk about the first song that I wrote and recorded during this phase of creativity.  “Not At Home” started off as a song about a recent change in circumstances my family has undergone, however it was a very emotional subject and the lyrics ended up being just bitter and horrible.  However I liked the medody I had developed and, as a demo, had already recorded the middle section where I sing “you’re not at home”over and over again.

In the end the song became about a relationship that never happened.  It’s based on a true story, although I have fleshed out the reality of what actually happened to make the song more coherent, in the song its suggested that the relationship failed due to cultural differences between me and her, whereas the reality was they actually prevented anything from happening in the first place (as far as I could tell, I’m not actually sure what the hell happened!)

Anyhow, here are the lyrics to “Not At Home”:

I met you several times before and I knew I that liked you,
You gave me indications that you felt the same way too.
If words were left unspoken, its because I didn’t dare
to expose us to the truth in case you didn’t care.
You say I’m not your normal type, it would have to be explained
to all your friends and family who you have sort of trained
a certain expectation of what you are longing for,
so I’m kept at a distance and I’m feeling kind of raw.

It’s always unrequited but is it love or is it not?
Have we both got too much to lose too scared we’ll lose the plot?
I dream that we we’re together and our hearts will never roam,
But when my eyes are opened I see that you are not at home…

I feel a kind of energy buzzing every time we meet,
But I’m too scared to take your hand as we’re walking down the street.
I’m still not sure it’s what you want, because I’m too scared to ask,
I’d rather have your friendship still than have you take me to task…

It’s always unrequited but is it love or is it not?
Have we both got too much to lose too scared we’ll lose the plot?
I dream that we we’re together and our hearts will never roam,
But when my eyes are open I see that you are not at home… not at home…

You’re not at home, you’re not at home.
You’re not at home, you’re not at home.

I know the time is coming where I will have to decide
The things I want to say to you, the things I’ve tried to hide.
To expose all my feelings is it really worth a kiss?
Is it better unrequited or will you just take the piss?
Will you ever lie in bed with me with our limbs intertwined
A two part soul in ecstasy our human flesh combined.
Or am I modern London and you just Ancient Rome?
Who’ll never be together, who’s never coming home.

You’re not at home, you’re not at home.
You’re not at home, you’re not at home.

Here is a link to the finished song on SoundCloud:

Follow Friday (24.3.17)

So I have decided, in the spirit of Twitter, to recommend another user to follow on SoundCloud every Friday.  So my recommendation this week is a band called HuBBul who I follow on SoundCloud.  This track, called Timing Is Everything, is only a couple of weeks old, has a compelling beat and is hugely enjoyable, even before the vocals kick in which really then takes it up a notch.  So far it’s one of my favourite things I have found on SoundCloud, I hope you guys like it as much as I do…

Three Word Title: An Explanation

So you may have noticed, if you have visited my SoundCloud page, that the collected tracks that I am working on at the moment are filed in an album called “Three Word Title”.  This came as a coincidence, I noticed that the first two songs that I wrote both had three words in the title.  When looking for an album title I decided to call the album “*Three Word Title” so that, if I ever produced hard copies of it (well, I can dream can’t I?!) it would look like the title was a working title that was meant to be updated before the album was released but that was somehow overlooked.  It was meant to be a kind of joke.

Fast forward to now, although there are only five tracks available (not including alternate mixes) there are actually six written, I am still waiting on some female vocals on what will hopefully be the next track, “Our Last September” and they all follow the three word title pattern.

However, with the latest track I struggled.  You will have seen it listed as “45 and Out” which actually makes it sound like it is something completely different!  So today I have renamed the track “Forty Five” which is what it should have been called all along, the links on SoundCloud all still work however the tracks are no longer all three word titles.

So I guess at some point I will have to come up with a new album title!

Here is a link to the full album playlist:

Enjoy!

New Song: “45 And Out”

Okay, so this was not planned.  I was messing about with some samples and then the lyrics started coming into my head.  Although as a person I am very interested in politics I don’t often let that spill over into my music, I thought that “Build That Wall” would be the only political statement on the album.  Not only was it not, but “45 And Out” draws inspiration from the same source.  Here are the lyrics:

Forty five is dangerous, Forty five is bad.
Forty five will kill us all, Forty five is mad.
Forty five’s a liar, Forty five’s not cool.
He thinks that he’s invincible.  Forty five’s a fool.

Forty five’s a monster, Forty five’s not brave.
Forty five will send you out into an early grave.
Forty five just hates you unless you’re straight or white
Forty five will let you die, you have no human rights.

Forty five hates victims, Forty five loves cash.
Forty five will kick you out, abandoned in a flash.
Forty five hates terror, he has a cunning plan.
He’ll bend your constitution, but it’s not a Muslim ban

Forty five loves twitter, Forty five can’t spell.
Forty five will rape the poor as he buys his next hotel
Forty five won’t help you, he’ll let you crash and burn
Forty five will celebrate when he gets his third term.

And yes, the “cunning plan” reference was deliberate BlackAdder fans!

Here is a link to the track on SoundCloud, please let me know what you think!