The year is certainly picking up bit by bit and I’m starting to love more of the albums than I’m not. Having said that, there are still a couple in the list below that I was hugely looking forward to but then found myself disappointed by. That happens, I guess!
In other news, I discovered new-found fondness for Manic Street Preachers and Depeche Mode, two very different bands. Read on for more!
- Resistance is Futile, Manic Street Preachers
My first pass through this album left me thinking ‘pretty good, sounds just like what you’d expect from the Manics.’ Apparently that hasn’t always been the case for the last few albums, so that’s a start. On the second pass through, it all started growing on me. The first three songs are brilliant, and the rest stacks up pretty well too. Definitely one to re-listen to a few more times yet.
- Get Rich or Die Tryin’, 50 Cent
I was quite excited to listen to this but actually it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Solid hip hop and the singles are good but it didn’t blow me away. A bit too much Eminem, as well.
- 44/876, Sting & Shaggy
You would never put these two together, would you? What a weird partnership but it totally, totally works. This is such a gentle but good album to listen to. It’s clear and open, honest and simple. From the UK to Jamaica, criss-crossing styles all the way. Nice and relaxing and probably perfect for summer.
- Misplaced Childhood, Marillion
I only know the song Kayleigh from this, played as the last song of series two of Car Share, but I can’t say I particularly liked this album. It’s okay as music goes but I really don’t like the way the tracks all blend into each other and nothing particularly stood out for me even after two listens.
- Speak Your Mind, Anne-Marie
I’ve loved pretty much all of Anne-Marie’s singles, so this album was a long time coming and delivered exactly what you want – more of the same! Fun pop with the occasional serious edge, but lots of catchy choruses that draw you in from the start of the album to the very end.
- Speak and Spell, Depeche Mode
Well this was a revelation to me. I loved the album, and the band that I am now calling The ‘Mode, much to Mr C’s disapproval. I’d never realised it before but am suddenly growing to understand that synth music is right up my street and Depeche Mode are one of the key bands in this genre. Good stuff.
- Cool Like You, Blossoms
Having recently discovered a love of synth it was brilliant to find that Blossoms are basically a modern synth band. I really enjoyed the album, although I’m not sure it’s quite as strong as the first one – I’m going to have to listen to that one again now!
- All Saints, All Saints
All Saints was my first ever album purchases, and so I know it quite well. I really like the funky nature of it, the kick-ass attitude of these girls who were trying to be the antithesis to the squeaky clean pop acts out there. It seems a lot safer compared to more recent artists but it still holds a fond place in my heart.
- Voicenotes, Charlie Puth
I’ve been looking forward to this one and was disappointed when Charlie pushed the album back to make sure it was finished to his own high standards. Eventually got to listen though, and enjoyed it. I’m not sure it’s better than the last album, and the Boyz II Men song, whilst good, brings the mood right down in the middle where it would be better at the end. But otherwise, a good solid set of songs.
- The Weight of These Wings, Miranda Lambert
I did not enjoy this. I’ve enjoyed some of Miranda’s other songs, but this one was back to the roots country, with slide guitar and crazy Southern accent and all. Not only that but it’s a double album, so lasts about 90 minutes. It was a bit of a slog to get through it twice, I’ll be honest.