On the record – Full of the angst you’d expect (Weeks 46 to 50)

Here we are then, the final five weeks of albums for this year’s incredible musical adventure. It’s been a brilliant year, I’ve listened to 100 albums! How is that even possible. I know so much more than I did this time last year, but equally I know there’s still so much more to learn. It’ll come as no surprise then, to find out that this album fun will continue into next year.

Before that though, there’s just time to recap the final five weeks, and then I must knuckle down and start deciding on some top ten lists and 2016 awards. Watch this space.

Title Artist Year Notes
Week 46
24 Hrs Olly Murs 2016 Good, solid pop album, I’m not sure there are any stand out songs though, like there have been in previous years. None of it feels particularly fresh and original, but it’s still good to listen to. Although it really, really bugs me that the chorus to Private is exactly the same as Cake by the Ocean. I mean, exactly the same.
Full Moon Fever Tom Petty 1989 The album begins with two great songs, so it’s off to a fab start, and although I don’t know any of the other songs, the guitar work is a lot of fun. If you want to air guitar, I reckon this album could be a good choice. However, there’s a moment of chatter about CD users waiting for record listeners to turn over for part two… probably funny at the time, but hasn’t aged so well!
Week 47
DNCE DNCE 2016 I loved this group’s EP, so was looking forward to the full album, and it didn’t miss the mark! A good, solid, pop album – a lot of fun and with just a bit of the quirky edge that you’d expect from this band of cute misfits. Some tracks are better than others, naturally, but the good ones really make you struggle not to dance along. Or DNCE along, I suppose.
Take That and Party Take That 1992 A great pop album that takes you right back to where it all started. It’s easy to laugh at some of the horrific nineties tunes here, and some of the slightly dodgy singing (I’m looking at you How Can It Be), but there are some real classics tucked away on the album, and it’s great to hear boy band pop from its fledgling days.
Week 48
Glory Days Little Mix 2016 Another crazy good album from the successful girl group. I loved their last album and this one is just more of the same. It’s perhaps another step more grown up, more sexual references and that kind of thing, but it retains the beating heart of the album – incredible vocals over solid melodies with fun pop beats underneath.
Rio Duran Duran 1982 I really enjoyed this album, far more than I thought I was going to. They have such a distinctive sound and from the moment the first song starts, they’ve got you bouncing along. I love, as I’m sure most people do, Hungry Like the Wolf, and the rest of the album lives up to the high standards set by that song!
Week 49
This House is Not For Sale Bon Jovi 2016 Good album, perfectly pleasant to listen to, but there are some odd moments where it all feels quite familiar. Not in a rip-off kind of way, just in a ‘I’ve heard this idea before’ way. I like the mix of songs though, and the foray into country music – I didn’t know Bon Jovi did that kind of song, must check out more.
The Bends Radiohead 1995 I enjoyed listening to this album, although it did cause some consternation in terms of how and why I knew some songs and didn’t know others that I probably should have done. It’s a nice listen though, full of the angst you’d expect and quite heavy going but falling short of full out unlistenable rage. High and Dry is a favourite.
Week 50
Night Driver Busted 2016 This is plenty good enough as an album you could listen to as background music, but I found myself a bit disappointed. I know the boys took a new direction and it is far less reliant on rocking guitars, so I wasn’t surprised at the different sound, but it just didn’t quite tick the boxes for me. Totally listenable, but perhaps not as special as I hoped.
Rumours Fleetwood Mac 1977 It’s only fitting to finish the year with the album that started this entire process, and what an album! It’s stuffed full of brilliant songs, and even the ones that aren’t super hit singles are still great to listen to. The stories behind this album make it incredible but even standing on its own two feet, it’s a wonderful listen.