Falling Down Tony’s Awesome Loop like the walls of Babel – 03.10.12

Apologies I did miss a weekly update last week I think I finally got the balance right of fitting the blog in at uni so this weeks is going to count for two, hence the rather obtuse title but I am quite pleased with the finished result, although not 100% on whether it was the walls of Babylon or the walls of Babel that fell down but we’ll go with it. So, first post of last week was Down Terrace https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/down-terrace/ a review of Ben Wheatley’s debut who you may previously know for directing the awesome, Kill List. Next was a slightly late review for the main reason that I was late catching on to new band alt-j and here’s my review of their debut album An Awesome Wave https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/an-awesome-wave/. Then my final post of last week was review of the new Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD game available for download on pc, ps3 or Xbox, check that out here https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/tony-hawks-pro-skater-hd/.

Then this week I first looked at new sci-fi action movie Looper https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/looper/ which fell below my expectations, followed by the new Muse album The 2nd Law https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/the-2nd-law/ which exceeded expectations and finally I looked at the new Mumford and Sons record, Babel which kind sat just a tad underneath expectations https://musicmoviesgenerallifeandsuch.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/babel/.

Keep your eyes peeled this week for a review of the FIFA 13 and I’ll leave with a youtube of the entire new Death Grips album which you may have heard about online as it’s recently been the subject of a lot controversy, my review will also be on here some time this week, enjoy

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An Awesome Wave

 

A week, or so, ago you may have read in my xx review a mention of newcomers, Alt-J. Alt-J are a band that burst onto my radar not so long ago when I read an article that they are already the bookies favourites to win the Mercury Prize, and that some guy who’s high up at Ladbrokes has donned them ‘the next Radiohead’. Now while that is obviously a rather bold statement it’s one that would provoke most people, I hope, to at least give them a chance.

An Awesome Wave, the bands debut album in question, is an unusual journey through the many varying sounds of a band so diverse an different it would be quite hard to group them with any generic form of popular music. The main tracks are split apart by three musical interludes which show off some of the groups even more unusual skills while the named tracks manage to create what sound like new rhythms with quite a dance-y feel to most of them, not unlike Friendly Fires. The vocals are another talking point, lead singer Joe Newman’s voice maybe has an element of Thom Yorke but sounds a lot more like Dougy Mandagi of The Temper Trap. The lyrics seem to often veer off into words that don’t exist and that, I found, makes it a lot easier to get completely lost within the songs. Stand-out tracks if you want try a taster would be ‘Tessellate’ or ‘Fitzpleasure’ and both should give you an idea of quite how diverse the group are.

While it may take another ten to fifteen years to see if Alt-J really are the next Radiohead this album is certainly a very strong start. Go and listen my blog followers, go and listen now…

Coexist

Back when The xx’s debut was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2010 I decided to give the record a listen, since then the album has become one of my favourites of all time. Chilled, yet thought provoking, melodic and intelligent. The best thing about the album is its maturity, the band never give in to any inhibition to suddenly just burst into a bout of heaviness and instead bring brilliance in subtleness, and that ultimately is what sets them apart from any other band on the scene at the moment.

It was, in fact, in doubt whether The xx would even do a second album but I, as I’m sure most of you were, was very pleased to hear that they were. And this time their was a lot more hype surrounding it. Numerous articles, interviews and statements in the run-up to it finally being unveiled. The most interesting things being the claim that the album is heavily dance influenced and that Jamie Smith’s ultimate aim is to write a song for Beyonce. Both of which gave me the impression that Coexist might well be a world away from their previous effort.

When I first listened to the album, I have to say, I felt underwhelmed. I think I discovered for a short period of time that I was actually really hoping they had gone in a wildly different direction. They haven’t, and immediately I was disappointed. As I was listening I thought to myself, ‘My reviews are going to be the complete opposite of what I was expecting. I listened to Billy Talent and I thought it was going to be something to slate, it wasn’t. Then I listened to The xx thinking I’d have another album to gush about, but it wasn’t that good.’

Then, lo and behold, I gave the album another chance, and another, and another and it was on these repeat playings that I realised I was slowly falling in love with it without even fully knowing what was going on. In many ways now when I listen to it I find its actually so much better than xx. It is another masterpiece. They’ve taken everything they did on the first album and made it more defined and more profound creating another album that’s genius lies in its subtlety. This has got to be a shout for another Mercury Prize nomination although the win may not be quite so set in stone with newcomers Alt-J being the early favourites; but Coexist certainly deserves some recognition and it is definitely worthy of a high amount of praise!