Category Archives: pop

Suuns ‎* Images Du Futur (cd 2013)

Well well, so now also Deezer starts to recommend music to me? I got a recommention for Suuns because I listen to Duchess Says. Now Suuns have little incommon with Duchess Says save the fact that the two bands are playing two shows together. And of course they both play guitar pop with electronic elements, but the results are very different. I also knew Suuns because I ran into them when looking for shoegaze that is interesting. Not that this band makes very typical shoegaze, but there certainly are elements to be found (not so in Duchess Says). The album that Deezer thought I should listen to was the previous album “Zeroes QC” from 2010. That album is indeed somewhat interesting, but mostly because it contains pretty experimental pop music, very soft pop, dreampop perhaps even. There are some nice songs, I especially like the songs with more electronics than guitars. The album is a bit slow, melancholic maybe even. “Images Du Futur” starts off with more tempo and nice, screaming guitars. Most of the songs are a lot slower though with some electronics, sometimes a little bit of rock, sometimes a noisy guitar; mostly soft pop though. Like on the other cd there are a few nice songs, but most of them I am quite indifferent to. I would not turn it off when I heard it on the radio, but I do not think I will play Suuns very often.
Link: Secretly Canadian

David Lynch * The Big Dream (2013)

Recently Lynch is more active as a musician than as filmmaker, “Crazy Clown Time” is hardly two years old and in between he rereleased the “Mullholland Drive” soundtrack and released a live cd. “The Big Dream” is (even) more tranquil than its predecessor. It opens with some nice, bluesy tracks, but the larger part is soft, sometimes electronic, somewhat jazzy or just a simple rhythm on the drum with minimalistic guitar playing and Lynch´s voice.
“The Big Dream” is another nice album. I do not like it as much as “Crazy Clown Time” and the Bluebob project is even better, but this latest release is certainly a very nice album to play.
Links: David Lynch, Sunday Best Recordings

These New Puritans * Hidden (cd 2010)

DiscogsSo you wanted to hear something different? My brother took a shot, not entirely in the dark, but our musical tastes do not have all that much incommon. These New Puritans (or TNPS) is a very strange “indie” band, very strange indeed. “Hidden” opens with chamber music, nice and soothing. After a while couple of loud beats disturb the peace and George Barnett’s experimentational mind sets in. Initially I have to think of In The Nursery with drumming over orchestral music, but later the IDM-electronics take the lead some more and in combination with the orchestral music, memories of Venetian Snares’ masterpiece “Rossz Csillag Alatt Született” bubble up in my mind. Still the music is basically “indie rock” (somehow) and the poppy music and electronics make me think of Dream Into Dust more than once. Sometimes there are disproportionate loud beats, a corny choir-sampple as if you are listening to some old electro album, but there are also real choirs. The music is mostly slow, but sometimes a bit more lively. It is all hard to describe. Weird popmusic with (seeming) references to music that we know and one of these cds that I do not have a definate opinion on after one listening. Interesting, certainly!
Links: These New Puritans, Domino USA

Amy Winehouse * Lioness: Hidden Treasures (cd 2011)

Before she drank herself to death, Amy Winehouse nearly finished her new album. Fortunately the family thinks it is as good as “Frank” and “Back To Black” otherwise we might have never heard it. I do not agree with the family, but I am glad that the album is released anyway. “Lioness” is different in style from “Back To Black”. The new cd is softer, more soul and jazz and a lot less recalcitrant than her previous album. I suppose Amy matured in her music. There are two songs that we already knew, “Tears Dry” and “Valerie”. I tend to dislike new versions of songs that I already know and also this time the alternative versions are less interesting than the versions that I first heard. The other songs are soft and soulfull, one unfortunately has a rapper. The songs are nice, but they do not grab me like the troubled-lady songs of her previous album. For a pop cd “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” is not bad, but I think “Back To Black” will find its way into my player a lot more frequently than this post-mortem album.

Links: Amy Winehouse, Island Records Group

David Lynch * Crazy Clown Time (cd 2011)

Lynch has been putting preview snippets and complete tracks on his Facebook page for a while and last week there was a pre-listen of the entire album. Yesterday the cd itself fell in my mailbox. “Crazy Clown Time” is written, mixed, produced and played together with Dean Hurley, a man whom Lynch has a musical history with. This mostly shows in the musical collaboration of the “Ghosts Of Love” cd-single (2007) which is musically not unlike “Crazy Clown Time”. The new album opens with a blues-rocky song. Further you will hear some techno-trance sounds, Lynch’s vocals with heavy effects and more very slow bluesrock. Some sounds we know, at other times Lynch’s tootache caused him to create a strange track with a simple rhythm and varrious minutes of Lynch’s “Strange and unproductive thinking”. The result is nicely weird, sometimes more interesting than in other tracks, but overall “CCT” is a very nice album.
Links: David Lynch, Sunday Best Recordings

Rome * Nos Chants Perdus (cd 2010)

Rome continues in the direction which has been apparent since the earlier albums. “Nos Chants Perdus” is almost purely a “singer/songwriter” album, again more minimalistic in sound. Unfortunately for the first time, there are songs that do not really appeal to me, but there are also again very nice songs. Towards the end of this 43 minute album come a few unexpected sounds, such as the slightly ‘cabaretesk’ “La Rose et la Hache”. Reuter remains a gifted song-writer, but I am afraid he is drifting in a direction away from my musical taste. This album is already a bit too much popmusic. If this continues, I might not like a possible next album any longer. But of course musicians should not take much heed to that!
Links: Rome, Trisol

We Are Wolves * Invisible Violence (cd 2009)

On their 2005 debut album (“Non Stop Je Te Plie En Deux”) and the great second album (2007 “Total Magique”) We Are Wolves wonderfully balanced between punkrock and electropunk with here and there a bit of electropop and some other experiments. Catchy, uptempo songs with a lot of guitars. The only thing is that I am not greatly fond of are the vocals (relatively high-pitched male), but they are not really irritating. This new album goes more in a normal poprock direction and the songs are not what they are on the previous albums; they are not as crazy anymore and less catchy. There are still some nice songs, but I highly prefer the second album.
Links: We Are Wolves, Dare To Care

JW Roy * s/t (cd 2008 monkeyman)

JW RoyDon’t worry! I am not planning on changing the focus of this music reviews section, but I do think that any style of music can be featured here if it is worth mentioning.
JW Roy comes from the same village as myself, so of course I have been aware of his musical career for many years, not in the least place because my father is a big admirer. Starting in a few bands, JW Roy developed himself as a “singer/ songwriter” with a mixed “Americana” style. Slowly but surely the recognition grew and he got to tour the Netherlands and abroad. About two years ago he was played on the radio and then things speeded up. The previous album was recorded in Eindhoven (Roy has lived in Amsterdam for many years) and sung in a ‘light’ version of the dialect of his birth. Instead of losing following because he changed from an American to a local approach, his fame only seemed to rise and for the new album he even managed to work with great names from Dutch popmusic and the style became more poppy as well. However the main focus still lays on melancholic (too melancholic sometimes) “singer/songwriter” music, this untitled album also contains some poppy (too poppy sometimes) songs, but also there are more jazzy influences, poprock here and there and many other styles making this a varried album and enjoyable enough even for someone who usually doesn’t listen much to popmusic.
Links: JW Roy, Moneyman
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Amy Winehouse * Back To Black (deluxe edition) (cd 2007)

Back To BlackBecause I don’t listen to popmusic, for a long time I only knew Amy Winehouse from hearing that she is a troubled teenager that drinks too much and uses too much drugs. A while ago I heard “Rehab” played in the gym where they only play hiphop and cheap dance music and I wondered what would make such a weird and wonderfull song being popular enough to be played in the gym, when I noticed that it was sung by Amy Winehouse. Later I heard to other songs of Winehouse which I also liked, so I decided to have a better listen to the young woman. I think I downloaded her first and not too good album and left Winehouse for what it was. Now there is another nice song on the radio, so I figured she must have a good and new album, only to find out that she has made only two cds yet. “Rehab” is on the 2006 album “Back To Black” which has now been rereleased with an extra cd with some other tracks. For the better too, since the album itself is below 35 minutes! Anyway, I don’t suppose I would have to review this album for listeners of popmusic, because if you know the hits like “Rehab” or “You Know I’m No Good”, you know the style of Winehouse well enough to know if you like it. But my normal audience may -like me- have ignored Winehouse for being a popstar, so just a few things. The music goes from soul to jazz and blues with a little triphop (or whatever), ballads and crazy cheerfull songs. Most songs are rather melancholic or relatively dark in concept for popmusic at least. I still don’t know what makes Winehouse so popular under the larger audience that only wants simple music, but I can only say that I love her weird style and concept and this album is surely something else that I can put in the player when I don’t feel like playing my usual kind of music.

About * Bongo (online album 2007 cock rock disco)

I know this band from their brilliant contribution to the free Cock Rock disco compilation. It was not until last week that I started to ‘Google’ the band, found out that they are from Amsterdam and that there is an album available. Like all Cock Rock releases, this is an online album. Whereas “Think Niles Drink” is a very ‘rocky’ and energetic track (with a great video), the rest of the album goes from weird poppy ADHD to more tranquil tracks. It all is not completely unlike Jason Forrest (see elsewhere) who also runs the label. In any case, something new seems to be happening, a mix between techno/breakcore and lollypop (catchy melodies, simple lyrics) completely with guitars and background vocalists. I haven’t decided if I like this album better than Forrest’s own “Shamelessly Exciting”, but “Bongo” sure is a wonderfull album if you like some weird (and happy) pop music every once in a while.
Links: About, Cock Rock Disco
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