On the record – Both familiar and brand new at the same time (Weeks 41 to 45)

We’re mid-way through November now, and I’m starting to think about how this album adventure challenge will end. It was intended to be a year-long mission to expand my album horizons, but gradually, as the year has gone on I have learnt two things. 1) I love it and 2) There are a lot of albums out there!

So the answer is, it’s not ending any time soon. I’m going to keep listening to albums into 2017 and goodness knows how long. But I’ve also made plans for how to wrap up the year. I’m going to 50 weeks, rather than the full 52, leaving the final two weeks to review what I’ve listened to over the previous 11 and a half months, and evaluate the good, the bad and everything in between.

I’m even tasked with creating a proper, definitive, top ten list of the albums I’ve indulged in so far. Now I understand what pains Mr C goes through every single year for his top fives.

Anyway, on with the latest update – as there are just ten weeks left to cover, I’ll make it two posts of five each, rather than the four you’ve seen previously.

Title Artist Year Notes
Week 41
Oh My My OneRepublic 2016 Love this album. It’s maybe not got quite so many instant classics as the previous album, but it’s stacked full of good songs, and they span quite a variety – from looping Bieber-style pop, to more gospel choir piano tunes, plus bonus Peter Gabriel! And if you don’t like that stuff, there’s enough OneRepublic anthems to get you through. Quality.
Club Classics, Vol 1 Soul II Soul 1989 They must have been really confident that these were a) classics and b) just the first volume. Luckily, it is a great album, and so although the title makes it look like a compilation, it is actually a solid body of work by one group. It makes for some relaxing listening, especially starting with Keep on Moving, and ending up with Back for Life.
Week 42
WALLS Kings of Leon 2016 This was a pleasant surprise for me. I thought I perhaps didn’t like KOL because they were overplayed or something like that. However, this album was brilliant! Some of the guitar riffs felt familiar but then the songs developed in a completely different way so it was fun to listen to something that felt both familiar and brand new at the same time. Great stuff!
Taylor Swift Taylor Swift 2006 Mr C is obsessed with Taylor so he’s planning for me to work my way through all the albums, starting at the beginning with baby Taylor. This is a cute album, so very country in places, but with good heart and good songs and just a nice start to what has become an incredible career. Particularly enjoy how very country Our Song is.
Week 43
Version of Me Melanie C 2016 Enjoyed this more than I thought I would, it’s not like Mel C was ever my favourite Spice Girl but I quite like what she’s done here. It really feels like grown up pop, like a Spice Girl album that has gone through puberty and now has actual problems to deal with. Pop but with just a bit of an edge, I like it.
The Joshua Tree U2 1987 Good album, from start to finish, but the problem I have with it is that it starts with Where the Streets, Still Haven’t Found, and With or Without You, so you have to ask yourself, what is the point of the rest of the album? Those three songs are incredible, and whilst the rest is fine, they are overshadowed by such an amazing start.
Week 44
The Wave Tom Chaplin 2016 In places, you can hear the Keane-ness of the album shining through, but it’s not as close to the band’s music as I expected. There’s more production to it, more instruments and actually more upbeat songs as well. That isn’t always a good thing, it’s missing that wistful edge of Keane music. Some of this you can tell is influenced by Tom’s personal struggles but it’s an overall positive experience.
Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morrisette 1995 I love Alanis so I sort of can’t believe I haven’t listened to this one all the way through before. It’s so good, full of angst and rage but a real sense of self belief. Some great songs, even if you can’t take Ironic seriously anymore. But You Learn gets stuck in my head in the best possible way. Great job, definitely one I’ll listen to over and again.
Week 45
HERE Alicia Keys 2016 Alicia’s debut album was one of the first and few that I bought and listened to in full over and over. This one is stacked full of wonderful songs, feel good music that is inspirational and uplifting – desperately needed this year! I wasn’t too bothered about the interludes but the songs themselves are great.
The Script The Script 2008 Great album, I like The Script. Good songs, fresh perspective, slightly Irish lilt and (more than) a hint of U2 in places. I feel like it’s not their best work, but half the songs on the album were singles so it can’t have been too bad a start for their career!