From A(ir) to B(eck Jeff)

Library time. With a new phone/music player with very little music till I get my 64GB SD Card so it was CDs again. I’d just been to library so it all seemed to fit together nicely. Well here’s how it went;

Air - Le Voyage Dans La Lune
Air – Le Voyage Dans La Lune

Air – Le Voyage Dans La Lune

I have always wanted to really like Air but every time I listen to an album I come up short (and short this album is). In theory their approach to music should play right into my teacup. But it doesn’t. There are moments in everything they do that are magical but unfortunately they are too few and far between. Just like when I listened to the Tron soundtrack, it started well but then fell into annoying repetitiveness that showed little desire to either explore the sonic yumminess that synths can offer or the musical skill that it would appear that they possess (or had access to with Mr Orchestra on Tron).

I know that many records need a listen or two to open up but I need to want to listen again. Sorry guys. Maybe one day I will get it.

Daughtry - Break The Spell
Daughtry – Break The Spell

Daughtry – Break The Spell

I picked this up knowing nothing more than that I think they are an FM Radio band, maybe something like Nickleback. I loved FM Radio bands like REO Speedwagon, Journey & Foreigner and this seemed to start in this vein. I had high hopes. Sadly they soured as I went. Yes, elements of classic Stadium Rock but elements are missing. It’s the subtlety. The words might be ok but the melodies and hooks are weak or missing. I don’t remember a single guitar, or any other, solo. We all remember Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” riff but it’s like they don’t want to embarrass themselves with anything so cheesy (how I hate that term). Finally the Mastering is so over-Limited that every track feels like a brick with the breath slammed out of it.

Get over yourselves modern rock poseurs (and Idol contestants), dress like people we want to admire, like gods; Poison, Hannoi Rocks, David Lee Roth, Michael Jackson, Lady GaGa even if you have to. But don’t insult me by stumbling onto stage wearing clothes that you would wear to look safe at a bar. If you can’t go out on a limb for me then expect no adoration back. <<End Rant>>

Actually no I’m not over, I went out and my Lady had on a George Strait concert. He’s not a man who wears feathers in his Stetson but he is a wonderful singer, who is just captivating. He dresses nice and neat but it’s not the duds that make him so good it is the feeling that when he comes out he works to give us the best every time. He wants to make me feel special. That is the difference right there, as the modern performer seems to want to make himself feel special.

Addendum: it bothered me to be so annoyed with this record that I have given it a few more spins and I must say that I rather like it. May not be what many want to hear but reminds me of a lot of modern Country records (the ones that annoy the purists). I don’t know that it is on my buy list yet but is sure off my never listen again list .

Roger Waters - Radio KAOS
Roger Waters – Radio KAOS

Roger Waters – Radio KAOS

I’ve heard this before but forgotten. This is a good record. Many may say it is dated, maybe even for the time it was released, but who cares. If you want to listen there is an interesting story in here. Yep the story may be bitter and twisted but there is hope too and that shines through in the cracks.

You can’t help but hear the Pink Floyd, Dark Side/Wall in this. Not the music but in the turn of phrase Roger is so good at. The line starts to go in then it twists a little. Avoiding the cheap gory way but so you feel it and some of the rust stays behind. This is what makes this a good record and one I will own in time.

Jeff Beck - Emotion & Commotion
Jeff Beck – Emotion & Commotion

Jeff Beck – Emotion & Commotion

Now Jeff does know how to look like a musician 😉 He knows how to play too. I was so taken with Blow By Blow that I grabbed this expecting more of the same. I read that Trevor Horn sat in the production chair so knew it would be very tidy. And tidy it is but if you are expecting Yardbirds or Jazz Funk Rock fusion then you are on the wrong rowboat. This here record almost owes more to Acker Bilk (Strangers On The Shore) than to anything chunky. That said this record has it’s moments and is worth a spin or two at least.

The last track “Elegy For Dunkirk” is worth a lot in my book. The singer really lifts this to where it needs to be.

Cold Chisel - Circus Animals
Cold Chisel – Circus Animals

Cold Chisel – Circus Animals

I own this on vinyl already as any self-respecting Australian music fan probably does. It’s not my fave Chisel record but there is more than enough great stuff like “Bow Rover”, “Forever Now” and “When The War Is Over” to allow a bit of leeway on the messier cuts.

This is the record where Chisel had tried to crack America and failed. The lead song, “You Got Nothing I Want” says this and the ambiguity of that shows too in the tracks like the Bluesy Rockabilly “Houndog” that doesn’t quite come out right.

If you haven’t heard of Cold Chisel then you really need to do yourself a favor (yes Molly) and get some as they are Oz Rock at it’s most special. The easy way in are the hits, especially “Flame Trees”, “Saturday Night” and then just about anything else; maybe even Jimmy Barnes’ solo EP “For The Working Class Man” with the song from the film of the same name.

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