Category Archives: Music
So after all the hype, all the tweets, the Vine videos, the YouTube campaign, the viral videos and the build up Random Access Memories was released this week.
I didn’t listen to the streamed version on iTunes as I had preordered my copy of the new Daft Punk album and wanted to enjoy it.
Sadly I wish I had listened to the streamed version as I would have cancelled my order!
I have listened to RAM three times now and unfortunately for me it does not grow on me at all.
I cannot find a thread through the album and the eclectic style does not do me any favours as a listener. It starts off well enough but then dips to a slow melodic plod. Throw in the pointless interview with Girgio and I cannot but wonder what Daft Punk were trying to achieve.
I get it that the songs are a collection of memories from the robots, strung together loosely but it simply does not work.
On first listen I feel asleep during Get Lucky (which is much better than the radio edit) and when I woke up at Contact I honestly thought it was all one track.
There is an awful lot of repetition in the album and although this usually plays for Daft Punks strengths I just feel that they have over done it.
Some tracks are laboured and tired and just don’t seem to go anywhere.
Songs such as Fragments of Time really do try to get the party started but it just becomes a repetitive melody.
Contact is a nice idea but I feel it’s been done already by the likes of Lemon Jelly with Spacewalk and countless others.
Touch is the perfect example of where it all goes wrong – it tries to be a dance hit, it tries to be acoustic but it’s mix with acapella lyrics, odd sound effects distorted tones and random synth patterns. Daft Punk please decide what each track is and bloody stick with it!
I can see what Daft Punk were trying to achieve with the 70′s riffs etc but it feels like this was an experiment which never really got going. None of these songs are very dynamic and just don’t seem to go anywhere.
Of all 13 tracks I have only star rated two or three (Get Lucky, Fragments of Time and Don’ it Right) the rest I am sad to say will be confined to the great pop dustbin that already includes Human After All.
I so wanted this to be a great album but it’s not and I cannot see how I can make myself like it. I tried to listen to it all on the train home (well I did), but there were several occasions where I just wanted to switch it off.
Of course I’ll be flamed for my review and the twitterati are loving this but I hate to think it’s all young kids who have not heard anything quite like this before (see my post on the 20th anniversary of janet.). I really don’t find it at all encouraging or listenable.
A lost opportunity for Daft Punk and an album that has been marketed beyond its actual value.
For those who love it – good for you. I just hope you haven’t been sucked in on the promise of one track, the marketing and the fact that it’s “a new album by Daft Punk”.
Poor show Robots. Poor show.
I finally got around to putting my Woodkid videos together from Tuesday evening.
They weren't as great as I was expecting but you get the general idea…
Janet had broken her way from her family ties with Control and put the world to rights with Rhythm Nation 1814, by janet. was the album that would change everything.
I sit here and moan about how people dote on the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna, but truth be known if it wasn’t for janet. they probably wouldn’t be here.
She (with the help of production geniuses Jam and Lewis) defined a generation and brought a new flavour of music to the masses.
From the moment the world heard the opening bars of That’s the Way Love Goes we knew things would change for ever. Nothing as laid back or as soulful had hit the air waves and nothing like it had certainly never scaled to the top of the pop, R&B, dance charts.
In fact this was the great thing about janet., most struggled to pigeon-hole it as one form of music or another.
You had the infectious and raunchy if. The pop inspired and light Because of Love and the heart wrenching Again all spawned from the same album.
Other hits including You Want This were already pushing the envelope when released on janet.but the added rap mid section paved the way for listeners ears to tune into other great artists to follow such as Missie Elliot, TLC and Pink.
The content of the album was also very raunchy and risqué in places. I remember hearing Janet interview by Dave Lee Travis on Radio 1 (I still have this on cassette) and he quizzed her about Throb. Of course Miss Jackson insisted it was about “the throb of the music and the effect on you when you hit the dancefloor” but we all know that’s simply not the case.
Miss Jackson may have been innocent at the release of janet. but subsequent work prove that she is certainly nasty
If you have never heard the album please get onto Spotify or iTunes and give it a go. Forget any preconceptions about Janet and her family ties. Forget about Nipple Gate. (Still one of the best marketed music events of all time – beat that Madonna!). Just sit back, listen to the opening tones of Morning and let Janet take you through an escapade full of love, sex (safe-sex mind you remember to be a good boy), break up, heart-break and of course a healthy dose of voyeurism and PDA (anytime, anyplace).
This is truly one of the best albums of the nineties and one of my all time favourite albums*
Oh and what can you say about that Rolling Stone cover – now that was groundbreaking… I wonder if anyone would get away with all this these days. It makes me feel that the world has definitely gone backwards somewhat.
*although I may have to change that quote if you insist on including Whoops now, but let’s not go there!
During the Woodkid concert this wonderfully spontaneous moment happened when he was saying his goodbyes following the Run Boy Run.
We all started to sing the string section from the song (which I believe from Woodkids reaction on Facebook, this has never happened before) and then this happened…
I am so happy someone caught this on camera and really pleased that Woodkid himself posted this on Facebook stating “thank you London, this was a wonderful moment in my life that I will never forget”.
Brilliant. Truly the power of the crowd and the perfect example of what a fantastic concert we witnessed on Tuesday.
I convinced some friends to come along and I was worried they would be disappointed. Worried Paul, Enda and Bogdana would think I was mad.
I can safely say I am not.
Woodkid at the Roundhouse was fantastic. There was so much music filling the dome, the echo of the drums, the orchestra, the choir. What a performance.
I am not sure what stood out more, Woodkids enthusiasm, the electric light show or the thunder of the drums.
All the way through he engaged with the audience and genuinely seemed to be having a fantastic time in London. I've never seen a performer act so normally or humbled by the reaction he got and we were pleased for him.
I don't know where his music gets played so I didn't know what would stand out. This crowd knew their Woodkid though as favourites such as Conquest of Space, Iron (which we were treated to twice as he did a stripped down version with the orchestra during the encore) and favourites from the ep such as Brooklyn and Fireflies all got a massive response from the audience.
Run Boy Run was definitely the highlight but purely because the crowd made it so. After the extended rousing rendition the crowd alone started to hum the choral section. Amazed and please Woodkid and co joined in and the music continued on and on and on. I thought running to this track was hard work, dancing to it is even more so.
There were so many highlights in this monochrome cacophony of light and sound I really do not think I could do it justice.
Lets just say we will be booking for his return performance.
If you have not heard The Golden Age please give it a chance. Take the time to immerse yourself in the whole album and fill your head with this massive orchestral adventure.
Fenech Soler. Magnetic. Love it 😉
Looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.
And still the great summer of new music continues.
Who fancies some Jerk Ribs?
It’s back! The sun, the warmth (kinda), the ability to go out in my shorts.
I finally ditched the running tights for shorts and compression shorts (still not quite that warm). What a difference it made. It was 16 degrees and yes there were high winds of 26 mph but it didn’t matter. I could breath, I was comfortable and I wanted to continue with the run. The wind didn’t hinder me and I noticed my throat was filling up with crap and I managed to keep going..
It’s been so nice to finally get out in some good weather and to enjoy running again Not only have I been out running but I got to use the garden to do my cool down stretches – this is a first this year! I have forgotten what our back garden looks like!
I am trialling a new app called Gipis. It popped up in Apples currently promoted running apps (cause of the London marathon this weekend) and it’s one of the only ones I have yet to try.
I ran it in conjunction with iSmoothRun as I do not want to loose all my logs etc that I have accumulated there. Both apps seemed to work perfectly together and they seem to be pretty much in sync.
Gipis trains you so that you an tell it what you are running for and it comes up with a running plan, a calendar and some voice coaching to get you through each training session. The voices didn’t work for me today but I am not sure if this was because I ran it behind iSmoothRun. That said todays run is tagged as a general workout run so I guess there is no coaching at this stage.
It has my ability and it knows I am running the Richmond Park 10K in June (by the way I am running the Richmond Park 10K in June – did I mention that?). It then creates a running plan and guides me through each session, coaching me as I go an adjusting to what I actually achieve.
Early days for the app yet but it looks promising and it creates a new social network so you can follow and encourage (and compete) with fellow Gipis users. I have been talking to the team behind it using the app and they seem like a friendly bunch.
It of course connects with Facebook and Twitter but I like that it also connects with Run Keeper and has imported all my current run data from there (which was recorded on iSmoothRun).
I was recommended to run 7.71K today by Gipis and this wasn’t my plan when I left the house but once I got going I found my strid.e I did stop twice to take on water but carried on until I reached 7K and then walked back to the house. I was a little under 7.71K and Gipis has already adjusted my next run.
This is great as it gives me some incentive and something to work towards, something that has been missing from my running of late.
I also managed to capitalise on the fact I did not commute into London today. I decided to work from home to avoid the crowds at Margaret Thatchers funeral. My office is just around the corner and London was already heavily locked down with barriers, extra police and security gates which were slowing down my journey across London. As I write it looks like it all passed off peacefully but I am glad I didn’t have to do the commute today. I used that time to head out a little earlier and to take advantage of the sunshine and the peace and quiet around here.
I found todays run a little hard work, my legs are sore and I got pins and needles in my feet but I continued. I didn’t wimp out I simply got on with it and am really pleased with the 7K I clocked today. This takes me level with the Nike Flyknit run I participated in, in London. Todays run was quicker – but that’s probably because it didn’t involved impromptu raves, glow torches and flares!
I am trying to decide whether I need to replace my beloved Nike Lunarglide +4′s as the soles are starting to show some wear. I noticed some of the pads are definitely much lower than they were but I wonder how much wear I can get out of them? What do you think?
I don’t want to renew them now as I am on holiday next week and I plan to run in Spain along the promenade (which is a couple of kilometers there and back). Thinking about it the mild temperature and the wind was probably the perfect practice for running along the beach next week… I cannot wait.
Fastest track today was Alive by Empire of the Sun – and I certainly feel it after that run!
Someone did ask about what music I run too and I did post this running play list some time ago… It is a little different on Spotify as not all tracks are on there but you get the idea.
I have created a fresher list of tracks from current favourite artists and have uploaded this today. This is just the right tempo and length as the opening track is great for the warm up and cool down walk.
The selection may seem a little off the wall but trust me the tempo is just right. Why not download it to your device and take it with you next tie you head out running?
This great summer of music just gets better and better. I am particularly looking forward to:
Empire of the Sun
And this fabulous teaser from Janelle Monae (new album The Electric Lady out soon)
Not forgetting Neil and Chris…
Bring on the sun!
You’ll note I have not mentioned any of Princes new stuff – funny that!