Roxy Music (1972)

Categories: 1972 and Music.

On their debut, Roxy Music appear to have stumbled upon a unique take on art rock: it’s borderline prog at times but Ferry’s songs and croon are just way too rooted in popular music conventions (whether they subtly overturn them or not) for this to be mistaken as King Crimson or some Canterbury scene band or what have you. Read More

Electric Warrior (1971) by T Rex

Categories: 1971 and Music.

I understand why this was such a big deal and why people continue to celebrate it: at the very apex of complicated, weird rock music, Bolan went out and put out 11 straight-ahead, catchy rock signs performed by a band with two guitars, bass and drums, with an image that was pretty unique. It made a big impression on a lot of people. As a record, I think it holds up pretty well – Bolan is a decent songwriter with a really strong knack for melody. I am not one who loves supposedly “disposable” music, but I don’t particularly find Read More

The Runaways (1976)

Categories: 1976 and Music.

I understand why this is an important record to a lot of people: it’s an all-woman rock band, with a bit of a punky attitude and very much behaving like men (or, at least, not like women were supposed to behave). And I’m sure it’s been hugely influential. But the music isn’t all that great: it’s pretty generic hard rock for its day, with a bit of a punky attitude but which isn’t really matched by the music, and a little too much camp, of the not self-aware variety, for me (particularly in the final track, which basically turns into Read More

Destroyer (1976) by KISS

Categories: 1976 and Music.

I think you can regard Bob Ezrin as the “Phil Spector of the ’70s”; a man who focused on creating a dense wall of sound. And, though I don’t like this production style, I think it suits certain things. When Ezrin’s style matches the artist’s material, it works wonders (see, for instance, Berlin or The Wall). But when it doesn’t match the material, well…we get something like this. I don’t know what anyone involved was thinking here. I don’t know KISS beyond the singles  (this is the first album of theirs I’ve heard) but, beyond Ezrin’s work with Alice Cooper Read More

Siren (1975) by Roxy Music

Categories: 1975 and Music.

I only know one Roxy Music album, For Your Pleasure. I like it, I don’t love it. But one of the things I like about – perhaps the thing I like about it most – is the artiness of it, provided primarily by Eno and Manzanera (to my ears). I assumed that when Eno left the artiness did too, but according to reviews, it didn’t leave just yet. Not until this album. And that makes me sad. This is certainly as mainstream as art rock gets without ceasing to be art rock. It’s accessible (as these things go), its often Read More

RIP Lou Reed

Categories: Music and RIP.

Lou Reed died today. I am at a bit of a loss for words, simply because, as with the death of any songwriter who has an impact on my life, I always just assume he would be around forever, which is a ridiculous thing. He was only 71, but not that long ago, 71 was really old. It is only recently that it is “below average” and still it is only that for the “developed world. I am rationalizing; I did think he would be making more music. And I haven’t even been keeping up, which makes my surprise / Read More

Hymns for Strange Children by Rachel Stamp (2000, Cruisin’)

Categories: 2000 and Music.

There are a lot of cliches on this album (excluding the often horrible lyrics) but somehow they make these cliches seem less cliche. There is an underlying inventiveness that only occasionally rises above the surface but that still manages to distinguish it from so many other albums. The theatricality helps as well. The lyrics are mostly terrible and some of the songs make me cringe a little but it’s all arranged very well and the playing is better than competent. Though I hate to say it, this is better than a lot of what is on the radio. 6/10 Read More