Carosel: Star EP
A new sound but the right direction…STAR, is the latest release from French bound band Carosel. Hailing from both sides of the pond, Ireland & France, these pair really know how to take a tune and popify it. They kind of tick all the boxes too; good looking, great image and most capable of writing great radio songs, all = very marketable. They are also quirky enough to be intriguing. This rel date was originally penned for last year but with developments and a worldwide management deal plus a move to Paris, they changed it to Jan 28th 2011 to be released in both France and Ireland.
Following the massive success of their debut album Kaleidoscope in 2008, which has seen them be embraced by radio, all the broadsheets and guest appearances on National TV shows such as The Late Late Show, Two Tube and RED TV, CAROSEL will digitally release STAR in early 2011 as a special edition EP on iTunes.
Pete Mc Grane’s vast and impressive array of melodious instrumentation along with front woman Michelle Phelan’s ‘crystal clear vocals (slightly similar to FEIST & Karen Carpenter- but she gets away with it) set the bar instantly high for the EP. Their music ‘is what is it’- perfect simple POP music designed to get them a few steps up the International ladder. (Well that is their plan anyway – it’s a hard slog out there in the mainstream world, so I for one hope it works out for them).
Unlike their last release, with this one they slightly push the sinister boat out a bit, by way of lyrical means. With re-vamped songs like Take Me, Something I Need, Easy As It Flows and the brand new Star (written about Pete Doherty and Katie Price); it is quite clear to see that Carosel are ready to step it up a notch and are well on their way to gaining notable grounds on the International market. It’s also nice to see that the EP boasts new lyrics and more adventurous instrumentation and vocals.
My favourite tune on the EP is hard to pick because they each have their own placement. Some fabulous reworks and well-rounded reproductions show off this bands potential far better that the debut album which was rather shy at times, but none the less won over all the critics and landed them album of the week on RTE 1 and 2. Lets hope that this EP will signal great things to come for album no.2, but in the meantime and if you’re a fan, this EP will surely please. If you have never heard of them, go find them now. If you are into Feist, Kate Nash, Lily Allen or the likes, then sure enough you will ‘get’ what CAROSEL’S music is about.
Gentry Morris: Awake ‘O’ Sleeper
This sentence may be overused and unwarranted for some, but when I say that Gentry Morris in an insatiable and delectable song smith of the highest standard – I mean it! Gentry Morris’ third album, simply takes hold of you and refuses to let you go.
Hailing from South Georgia in the USA, Gentry moved to Bangor, Northern Ireland, in his mid 20s. Having honed his talent by touring the States for several years, including a stint in Nashville, he now calls Ireland home. The notion and possibility that Morris might eventually pull a Josh Ritter or a David Gray – both artists used Ireland as a starting base at the beginning of their careers – seems plausible when you listen to his music. It’s a simple heartfelt box of musical delicacies delivered in an original voice that commands attention.
Its not a country album and its not folk, its somewhere in the midst of commercially viable acoustic music. ‘Awake O Sleeper’ is a beautifully self produced album that uses acoustic instrumentation to the full, leaving you with vibrant soft lush sounds which blends with Gentry’s vocals. Guest Vocals come in from Our own Juliet Turner. Stand out tracks: Fools Gold, Lie, Dervishes. Truly a splendid array of songs. And excellent third album that can seriously place this musician on the map.
Take That: Progress
Bold as brass, the boys from Take That have progressed into manhood and the proof in in the pudding so to speak: by posing in their birthday suits for cover art that imitates the iconic image of evolution from ape to man and then naming the album Progress, the newly reunited Take That would love to have us believe that their sixth studio effort denotes the culmination of their 20 – year musical evolution.
It’s not really, as its their signature trademark sound, but it does find the group making fantastic strides in a new and unexpected direction. In drastically trimming down the humdrum balladry that has won them their scores of swooning teenage groupies, the album certainly indicates the newly reunited quintet are changing shape: Gary Barlow’s song writing leans toward some surprisingly dark bouts of synth-pop, which sound like a collection of postcards from a decaying futuristic dystopia. And while the group’s songwriter-in-chief doesn’t always seem completely comfortable in this new frontier, Progress’s stronger moments emphatically dispel any question marks over his song writing credibility.
The epic pageantry of lead single “The Flood” has enabled the band to re-emerge as strong as ever and successful as ever. Progress is by far the smartest record that Barlow and company have put their name to.
Thin Lizzy: Live and Dangerous
Its being the anniversary of the wonderful Phil Lynnott, we thought it especially appropriate to speak of a classic Rock album: Live And Dangerous.
LIVE & DANGEROUS truly represents the band’s supreme achievement. For devotees of the band’s stage prowess it’s a no-brainer: LIVE & DANGEROUS was, is, and always will be king of the mountain. Recorded at the height of the band’s creative powers as well as its commercial peak, the album offers energized performances of the band’s best-known material, reeled out in confident swagger. Even the more obscure material (“The Rocker”) and surprising cover songs (Bob Seger’s “Rosalie”) stand with sturdy pride next the band’s more celebrated material (the galloping “Cowboy Song,” the summer anthem “The Boys Are Back in Town,” and the tension filled “Jailbreak.” The ’70s may have been a decade too often filled with bloated and pompous arena rock, but LIVE & DANGEROUS is a reminder that there was ambitious and arresting rock & roll to be found as well.
Thin Lizzy: Phil Lynott (vocals, bass); Brian Robertson, Scott Gorham (guitar); Brian Downey (drums); John Earle.
Thin Lizzy are also set to release deluxe, expanded versions of three classic albums on January 24. The albums in question are: Jailbreak, Johnny The Fox, Live And Dangerous.
Each has been remixed and remastered by Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham, together with Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott. They’ll be double discs, containing the original album on one CD, a second CD with rare bonus tracks. Live And Dangerous will also have a DVD.
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