Average User Score: 8.2Sep 16, 2015If 'Anthems for Doomed Youth' had come out a year or two after their self-titled second album it would not have seemed out of place; the bandIf 'Anthems for Doomed Youth' had come out a year or two after their self-titled second album it would not have seemed out of place; the band have continued their accomplished sound and chemistry into this record and it has really blown me away.
Time seems to have had no effect on the Libertines whatsoever and their songs still boast the self-unaware swagger and carelessness as before, but with an added maturity. Songs like 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' and 'Fury of Chonburi' do recall their previous album, but I feel this isn't the point of this new record, as time has been marching on and the band have changed as people and as musicians.
The album carries a delightful momentum even through the slower songs like 'You're my Waterloo' and 'The Milkman's Horse' which makes for an enjoyable listen from start to finish. It's clear to see the increased involvement of the rhythm section in not only arrangement, but also composition; the bass and drums are more together and crisp than they've ever been, and there is a light-hearted element in the music that makes it feel like a proper Libertines album - which it is.
At the best of times it recalls familiar pictures of London and various recollections over a backdrop of an inspired band, but at the worst of times it leaves the listener wanting more, as if some songs aren't quite finished yet.
There is a sense that the album was recorded very quickly, and it's possible that some compromises were made in order to throw some tracks in without meticulous work. However, that's not always necessary as even though some songs can seem recycled or formulaic at times, it is clear that there is more to come whether you're listening for the first time or imagining what the band will sound like in a few years after your tenth listen.
In all, I'm so happy that this was the album they released at this time, it could have turned out completely different and naff, but the Libertines have definitely pulled off their comeback album in predictable style while still surprising the listener with their seemingly undying energy and pool of ideas that they are so clearly eager to show us all.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Jul 11, 2014After the subdued and melancholic 'Rewind The Film' from last year, the Manic Street Preachers have released a carer re-defining album calledAfter the subdued and melancholic 'Rewind The Film' from last year, the Manic Street Preachers have released a carer re-defining album called 'Futurology'. The aesthetic of the album is evident upon looking at the cover and the album title; a definite feeling of grandeur is shown by the photo looking up at a woman dressed in all white, slightly elevated from the ground in front of a white and snowy backdrop.
The album itself continues this very well. 'Futurology' is packed with massive soundscapes and sonic surprises that will make any listener think differently of the band.
Driving rhythms and heavily reverbed effects contrast with each other to create a new -yet familiar- sound for the Manics; it seems to draw on the presence of the Holy Bible and Lifeblood as parts of their back catalogue, two looming presences from opposite peaks of their career, as if the differences between these albums have been compromised and brought together to create a shudderingly up to date and current sounding record.
'Futurology' delivers a lyrical and musical sense of war, nostalgia and ambition; with the lyrics and music in songs like 'Let's Go To War' almost emulating a battle march and 'Europe Geht Durch Mich' sounding like nothing that this band has done before.
This record both looks to the past and into the future, drawing influence from what the Manics know best to push them forward in a totally new direction. If you're a listener looking for this band producing a classic sounding album, you probably won't find it here, but you won't be disappointed, it's their best yet for some time.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Jul 14, 2013'Once I was an Eagle' seems to be a somewhat aftermath of Marling's previous effort 'A Creature I Don't Know' (an album which has grown to be'Once I was an Eagle' seems to be a somewhat aftermath of Marling's previous effort 'A Creature I Don't Know' (an album which has grown to be one of my favourites, not just by her). The overall production and style is reminiscent of her third album, but with a noticeably more minimal approach, notably in the first half of the album. The opening four tracks merge seamlessly together to create a 16 minute soundscape centred on her and her guitar, and this continues...throughout the whole album, with sparse instrumentation which continues and continues, in fact, this does not change until the 10th track 'Where Can I Go?' where we are introduced to a light drumkit and pretty organ.
Her lyrics on the other hand never cease to impress me, the way she takes characters form her own life and her own thoughts and reflects all these in her songs is unique to her and shows her influences from the folk greats. Her ongoing maturity as a songwriter is evident in this album, contrasted with her debut album 'Alas I Cannot Swim'. Not only her lyrics, but her voice has also grown up with the music she produces, and the way she presents her person through the microphone could not have been any different for this album.
The low point of the album for me is definitely 'Little Love Caster'; this seems to be a very tedious and almost self indulgent noddle on the guitar, strongly reminiscent of the previous album's track 'Night After Night'. Despite the interesting musical ideas and lyrics, the natural sound effects seem to be an overly pushed gimmick in my opinion.
My favourite track is definitely 'Where Can I Go?', where she explores the lyrical theme that suits her best, harkening to her younger past and acknowledging a 'curse' and constantly addressing the listener. The guitar plays few chords and is backed up by a beautiful organ part which swells along with the song to the end, but doesn't build to a climax.
I believe several tracks like 'Once' and 'Master Hunter' save this album from being a lackluster affair of banality, but it's the contrast between the near humdrum of tracks like 'You Know' and 'Devil's Resting Place' (seems more than just a reprise of 'Master Hunter') and these more interesting, adventurous songs that make this album the intriguing piece of art that it is, showing Marling's diverse guitar playing, captivating lyrics and her massively developed sound credit to Ethan Johns in the progression from Charlie Fink's stuck-in-the-world-of-just-folk production.… Expand