Future posts will be by special guests. A chance to share your current favourites – old and new; the albums that are really doing it for you right now. If you’d like to contribute a post to Five Albums I’m Loving Right Now drop me a line. I thought I’d get the ball rolling…
1 – Blur, Think Tank: I loved this album when it was released. In fact it very quickly became my favourite Blur album. Perfect bridge between the work Albarn had done and what he would go on to do – it plays out like a Damon Albarn solo album in many ways. And then I forgot about it. I lost the copy I had. I couldn’t find it for a while. Blur’s new reissue campaign means I’ve just bought the double-CD and the double-LP. A nearly perfect album. And I say nearly perfect because it’s one giant stinker of a track. All great albums should have one dud I reckon. It keeps you searching for the perfect album.
2 – Azealia Banks, 1991: Okay, so it’s not an album, it’s an EP. But it’s fantastic. It started with that song. Obviously. And nothing else could touch it. And while it’s still the standout the other tracks have really grown on me. It helped forking out for the vinyl.
3 – Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill: It’s very early days, time will tell. But right now I like this. And I want to keep listening to it. Crazy Horse is like an old pair of comfy shoes, maybe even some trackpants. Good to just lounge around with/in. There’s no new ground here – and that makes it better still. You don’t buy Neil Young with Crazy Horse and expect innovation. You expect a guitar that sounds sick, that gives the finger, that takes a hit and then crumbles, refusing to go silently, knocking everything down with it – only to stagger back up to its feet emerging from the rubble seemingly stronger than ever. Yeah, erm, anyway. There’s a new Neil Young and Crazy Horse album. The second for the year. This one a double. I’ve been playing it a lot lately. I think I really like it.
4 – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Damn The Torpedoes: My introduction to Tom Petty – in terms of it being the first full album I heard. My brother had the tape, I inherited it. Then bought the CD. Now I’m back on the vinyl – a second-hand copy that I bought some time ago. It’s been a friend for a long time, this album. Just so good. But it’s found its way back on to my turntable just recently after a long time in the crate. It knows how to wait in the wings, this album. It never dwarfs the competition; it makes other records feel welcome. Then you play it and you know who is boss.
5 – James Rhodes, Live In Brighton: I wrote a blog-post about James Rhodes, the man that is saving classical music from itself. And the record company contacted me and offered to send the new live album, a double. Yes please! And it’s as extraordinary as I expected, given the TV series, the YouTube clips and everything I’ve heard. A once-in-a-generation player and talent. And the material’s top-notch too. I’ve been listening to this a lot lately. I don’t see that changing any time soon. Also, I sent him the blog that I’d written. He wrote back saying he must visit New Zealand and that he’d buy me a coffee when he gets here. Nice one.