The November Hitlist
- OLD, NEW, BORROWED and (ALMOST) BLUE
(Click on images or links to buy at amazon.)
(CDs rescued from backshelf ignominity at time of move and filed into softsleeve albums … whole iPods’ worth of entertainment for long car journeys. Yes, these CDs are all from the C-D album.)
Horror Head – Curve
Love (L.U.V.) – Julian Cope
All The Myths On Sunday – Diesel Park West
What Gives You The Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby? – Crazyhead
Say No Go – De La Soul
Out Of My Hands – Died Pretty
Charlie Don’t Surf – Cool Breeze
Now Is Tomorrow – Definition of Sound
No One’s Driving – Dave Clarke
Enjoy The Silence (15-minute mix) – Depeche Mode
TIM FITE – Gone Ain’t Gone (Anti-)
Downhome country Brooklyn white man’s angry rapping blues. Pigeonhole at your peril. And let’s come back to it in more detail: this, as they say, is the shit.
THE ORANGE PEELS – Circling the Sun (Parasol)
Lightning Seeds and Lilac Time go Californian dreamin’ in this shamelessly melodic Byrds-based pop.
DELIA GONZALEZ AND GAVIN RUSSOM – The Days Of Mars (DFA)
Artfully crafted textural electronic compositions for the inordinately patient.
THE CORAL – The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
Prolific eccentrics’ fourth solid album in as many years – and still could not hail from anywhere but from the Mersey.
Anjunabeats Volume Three – Mixed by ABOVE & BEYOND (Anjunabeats)
Trance as it should be – uplifting, euphoric, melodic and mood-enhancingly mindless
TIMO MAAS – Pictures (A&E)
Timo and Martin Buttrich provide contemporary electronic grooves; Kelis, Neneh Cherry and Brian Molko supply complementary vocal drama and tension.
INFUSION – Six Feet Above Yesterday (Thrive)
Aussie trio run gamut of electronic dance rock: fans of Faint, Depeche Mode, Underworld and NIN will all find something to love.
THE WARLOCKS – Surgery (Mute)
Monolithic back-to-mono guitar rock set to Spectoresque grandeur. Title track rules the roost. Turn it UP!
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN – Siberia (Cooking Vinyl)
They can never again be Bunnies of legend, but on ‘Stormy Weather,’ ‘Of A Life’ and ‘Make Us Blind,’ Mac and Will offer renewed glimpses of past pop glories and hopes of continued relevance.
WARREN SUICIDE – Warren Suicide (Fume)
Berlin-based electro-trash goth-industrial multi-media groove machine gets it on
THE JUAN MACLEAN – Less Than Human (DFA)
Inventiveness does not equal accessibility on this frequently minimalist new (york) disco – bar obvious stand-out, ‘Give Me Every Little Thing.’
SINEAD O’CONNOR – Throw Down Your Arms (That’s Why There’s Chocolate And Vanilla)
Contrary to a certain ‘cool’ Radio 1 DJ’s bizarre on-air statement, Sinead O’Connor’s album of reggae covers is not unexpected, unusual or unwarranted in any way, shape or form. Not to anyone who loves her work with Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart, nor who knows that a dub consciousness has constantly permeated her work. Recorded at Tuff Gong in Kingston with Sly & Robbie on drum and bass, and aided by an authentic (albeit commercial) production, Throw Down Your Arms then juxtaposes O’Connor’s eternally Gaelic voice as it breathes fresh air into classics like Burning Spear’s ‘Marcus Garvey’ and Lee Perry’s ‘Curly Locks.’ Given her exclusively pro-Rasta choice of covers, you could cast aspersions about a lost Catholic girl still searching for salvation, except Sinead admits as much in praising these composers for helping teach that “god and religion are two very different things.” In the process, she’s made the best reggae cover album since UB40’s first Labour of Love. (iTunes shoppers get three short documentary videos and the 12-page full-color album artwork for your $10.)
SIGUR ROS – Takk (Geffen)
The Sigur Ros sound remains stunningly unique but, two albums on, the sublimely surreal majesty of Y2K’s Agnaetis Byrtun seems increasingly like a one-off.
STELLASTARR* – Harmonies for the Haunted (RCA)
THE MAGIC NUMBERS – The Magic Numbers (Heavenly/EMI)
Not disputing the Brit-based sibling couples’ country-rock appeal – much of this acclaimed debut has a mournfully melodic beauty. But in America, just about every town has a band like this.
HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT – Achtung Bono (ProbePlus)
Love Nigel Blackwell for relentless humourous toiling in relatively midlife obscurity, but Achtung Bono still feels like a retread of old ideas – and the double entendres are becoming tired.
GANG OF FOUR – Return The Gift (V2)
You understand why the group wanted to re-record all their old classics; you just don’t understand why they thought the public would prefer them.
THE DANDY WARHOLS – Odditorium Or Warlords Of Mars (Capitol)
Certain brave acts mar(k) their careers with an astonishingly uncommercial album at the height of their popularity. Dandy Warhols are now among them.
SUPERGRASS – Road To Rouen (Capitol)
Whoever thought we would accuse Supergrass of album length mediocrity and tedium? Damn.
DEEP DISH – George Is On (Thrive)
One cover version an album indicates imagination (‘Flashdance’), two looks like a liability (‘Dreams’ featuring Stevie Nicks), and three (Deep Dish vs. Dire Straits’ ‘Flashing For Money’) reveals a lack of one’s own ideas. The hour-long bonus disc of ‘Flashdance’/’Say Hello’ dance mixes does little to answer the question: What happened to Deep Dish the actual artists?
AUDIO BULLYS – Generation (Astralwerks)