This Week's Best Album Streams: 31st October 2012
What have you been up to this week fellow 405ers? Because I just got back from seeing Skyfall and I have to tell you it was incredible. Honestly, the best Bond film of my lifetime (to be fair, that list does include Die Another Day). Not sure I want to do anything else for the rest of the week except for marathoning my way through the rest of the series, in chronological order, skipping most of the Roger Moore ones. Except maybe The Spy Who Loved Me - even then I might just listen to 'Nobody Does It Better' and watch Alan Partridge's re-enactment of the opening scene.
Anyway, I'll set aside the Carly Simon for the time being, 'cos you're probably wanting something newer, eh? (Philistine). Luckily for the both of us, it's been another banner week for album streams, so let's get down to business.
Lindstrøm - Smalhans (FACT)
A lot of people describe Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's output as "dance music for people who don't like dance music," which is exceedingly silly because A - it suggests fans of dance music don't "get" good music, and B - it suggests non-dance fans don't "get" good dance music. And Lindstrøm is most definitely good dance music. Those more familiar with the excellent Where You Go I Go Too might be surprised that this one is a little more disco than spacey, but it's still an intelligent and four-to-the-floor-friendly instrumental electronica record.
Andy Stott - Luxury Problems (NPR)
It's been an especially good week for electronic music, it seems - I guess it's the time of year for those that spend a lot of time inside, tinkering obsessively with samples and drum loops and other things that are as beyond my comprehension as alchemy. Mancunian producer Stott continues to explore the low-end theory with this LP, which is a little like James Blake's debut, shot through with a bit of estrogen - ghostly female vocals float about abandoned soundscapes, occasionally being rudely interrupted by some bass-heavy two-step.
West End Motel - Only Time Can Tell (Paste)
If analogue's more your speed, you could do a lot worse than West End Motel which is... well, I'm not quite sure. There's some warm-toned lead guitar and organ, there's a little programmed trip-hop beat in the background, and then there's some mariachi band-style vocals basting the whole thing. It's pretty brilliant? I think?
Brian Eno - Lux (Q Magazine)
Looking back at the man who paved the way for the likes of Hans-Peter and Andy, electronic music pioneer Brian Eno has popped up with his first proper solo album since 2005's slightly underwhelming Another Day On Earth. Like that record, LUX is almost an extension of his early ambient albums, all wide open spaces, treated piano and synth notes held until the end of time. Prosaic yet pretty.
Calvin Love - New Radar (Paste)
Mr Love uses similar instruments to Messrs Eno, Stott and Lindstrøm, but is clearly on a much tighter budget; rather than lush, sweeping electronic ambiance, New Radar makes its home in simple, lo-fi pop songs that aren't a million miles away from Casiotone for The Painfully Alone (or Advance Base), albeit a little more complex - but no less heartfelt.
Rod Stewart - Merry Christmas Baby (USA Today)
If you find any good album streams this week, Tweet me @tennis_everyone. Hey, I didn't mention Halloween once in this! Dammit.
It's been a week of feuds. At The Great Escape it was whether electro-pop or the good old guitar affirmed their place as 2012 dominant force; with phenomenal shows from The Black Bells and Haim matching NZCA/Lines and Aiden Grimshaw –yes the X Factor one - it's a draw. [read more]
So I guess iTunes is the proprietary platform for streaming albums now? Last week it was the place to hear the new Bowie, and this week it's holding an exclusive listening party for that guy from N*Sync's comeback record (which maybe isn't quite as anticipated as The Next Day, even if they both the performer in question turned out to be pretty good actors and have both had terrible haircuts). You know Justin Timberlake owns MySpace as well, right? [read more]
This afternoon more than any other, I truly need some good music to listen to. Because last night - for reasons that now escape me, and wouldn't excuse me regardless - my girlfriend and I sat combing through YouTube for the dregs of mid-00s scene kid music. The stuff that exists in the darkest recesses of your memory, the bands with names whose inherent awfulness is rivalled only by the songs themselves. I've had 'Shake It' by Metro Station stuck in my head for about twelve hours now. [read more]
Oh, hello! I didn't see you there. I'm Tom, and I'm going to be your new guide to the hottest/coolest (delete as applicable) album streams that appeared online this week. So why don't you pull up a chair, make sure you've got a working internet connection - oh you have? Or you wouldn't be able to read this in the first place? Fair point. You're a perceptive fellow and/or lass. [read more]