Poliça - La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris - 11 Jan 2014

The whole bloomin' show, no less.

00:00 Spilling Time, 04:00 Lay Your Cards Out, 08:10 I See My Mother, 12:40 Very Cruel, 17:30 Amongster, 21:40 Smug, 27:50 Tiff, 32:35 Warrior Lord, 37:05 Vegas, 40:45 Chain My Name, 45:10 Torre, 49:55 Dark Star, 54:35 I Need Money, 59:50 Wandering Star, 01:05:00 So Leave, 01:10:15 Leading to Death, 01:13:00 You Don't Own Me (J.Madara / D.White)

via Lost and Foundation

The War On Drugs - Red Eyes (2014)

A few years back I went to see The War On Drugs' set at the Latitude Festival, solely on the strength of  them being described as a cross between Springsteen and My Bloody Valentine.

In retrospect that sounds a terrible combo. A Shields shoegazey version of Thunder Road would be awful as would a New Jersey vocal on Soon. Inevitably, not only did the band fail to sound like this, I also found them a bit dull on the day and I haven't paid attention since.

This week though, on the strength of repeated mentions on my Twitter timeline I've been listening to their latest album, Lost In The Dream.

It's outstanding. There's some 80's rock in there - the guitars on some tracks like An Ocean In Between The Waves are very Knopflery - and there's plenty of Americana 'Classic Rock' influences. 

A male vocal rock band with an early candidate for my album of the year™. Who'd have thought.

 

Review - Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once (2014)

Spoiler: I don't like it. 

Kylie's last studio album proper - 2010's Aphrodite - is fantastic. It's in my top 3 Minogue LPs, and it's probably supplanted Impossible Princess as my favourite of them all. It is everything I love about pop and modern Kylie. 

This week she released her follow up - Kiss Me Once. It is awful.

It begins well though.

Into The Blue  - This is a very decent single and I liked the initial lyric video if not the video proper. There's an uplifting dance floor chorus. It's improves on multiple listens. It's great. A solid start. It doesn't last.

Million Miles - By the numbers hi nrg dance pop - instantly forgettable.

I Was Gonna Cancel  - Pharrell Williams wrote this and it sounds like a reject from Random Access Memories - which itself is rubbish. (Sorry everyone, but apart from Get Lucky I find your ‘best album of 2013’ boring).

Sexy Love - Terrible title. Terrible song.

Sexercize. - Inexplicably, this is the song being used to heavily promote the album in it’s release week. There’s barely a melody or anything resembling a song structure. Then there's the title. 

It tries to be a Beyoncé song. It doesn't work. It tries to be a Beyoncé video. It doesn't work. Look how she gyrates with the ball. At least Wrecking Ball was a belter of a song. 

Yes, hot pants, yes yes that cinema underwear ad, yes yes yes, the outfit in Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, yes yes yes yes the shorts in Some Kind Of Bliss. She's been there before. Those songs were exceptional. The underwear ad was funny.

I like Kylie's bum. This video is about Kylie's bum. But that's all it's about. It lacks class. It lacks the one thing it tries to portray - sexuality, because it tries too hard. 

People love Kylie because she is Kylie. People are watching The Voice UK because of Kylie. Surely she knows this. Surely everyone involved in her new management knows this. Yet, this thing exists, debasing Kylie.

I don't buy the argument that we don't allow Kylie to be anything other than a cheery fun sized fun bag either. 20 years ago, her eponymous Brothers in Rhythm inspired album was full of mature sass, swagger and sensuality from the get go with the sublime Confide In Me. 10 years ago, Body Language was all adult sexkylie, albeit with weak songs. 

Sexercize doesn't even qualify for the Sinead v Miley debate or Lily's mixed messages in Hard Out Here. It doesn't deserve to. 

I hate this song. I hate this video.

She's so much better than this.

Feels So Good  I’m so bored by now. It’s better than Sexercize. That’s the only positive to say.

If Only - By now, the album is in desperate need of some pop hooks. Something memorable. This isn’t it.

Les Sex - Another reference to ‘sex’. We get it. We don’t get a tune.

Kiss Me Once - Redemption. Classic Kylie right down to the SAW Hit Factory chorus. Fantastic.

Beautiful - A ballad featuring Enrique Inglesias. It’s not Especially For You. It’s not even a song. It’s just a low tempo noise with lush production.

Fine - The album closes with a track closest stylistically to it’s predecessor (Aphrodite) but, unsurprisingly, not as good.

2 excellent songs. 8 stinkers. 1 despicable abomination.

Kylie’s first two albums in the 80’s were largely terrible but did contain bona fide cheesy pop classics which have stood the test of time. Until this week 2004’s Body Language was my least favourite, and I didn’t care for 2008’s X much either. I prefer all of them to this though.

Kiss Me Once is by some margin the worst album Kylie has ever made.

So angry.