On the record 2018, Part 5: A little bit warbly in places

With the exception of James Bay, my choices in this collection of albums are all about fab females doing their thing. Kylie’s new adventure, Jorja’s debut and Lily Allen’s return. I’ve got mixed feelings about most of them, but it was still a fun journey devouring them all.

Meanwhile, Mr C’s selections proved just how eclectic this album adventure business can be – from a Latin goddess, to the King of Pop, including rock and… well, whatever words can be used to describe Madness.

Week 21

  • Electric Light, James Bay
    I really enjoyed the previous album by James Bay so was looking forward to this – it’s a good follow-up, although I don’t think it quite lives up to the great poppy-folky standards of the last. The intro and interludes don’t really seem to add anything to the story, but the songs stand up and it’s an easy-listening endeavour.
  • I’ve Been Expecting You, Robbie Williams
    Ah, great times with Robbie. He’s hit and miss and has a career as varied as you could ask for, but this was early solo Robbie and probably when he was at his best. Some strong hits in here, mixed in with other good songs, there’s no real dip in quality and there’s a variety of tempos and sentiments to enjoy. Top work.

Week 22

  • Love is Dead, CHVRCHES
    I really loved this, which was a surprise as CHVRCHES have only really appeared on my radar recently. But it’s a really strong album, all the songs are solid rock although it’s worth mentioning that they all get quite samey towards the end. Love their work though.
  • Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Gloria Estefan
    Saw Gloria promoting the musical about her life and realised I haven’t listened to any of her stuff, although I know some of the songs, obviously. I quite liked this album, although at this point in my musical journey it felt a little cheesy. She’s got such a good voice and a personality that comes across in every song, so it’s a lot of fun.

Week 23

  • Golden, Kylie
    I was dubious about this one, really, and probably wouldn’t have listened except I really liked Stop Me From Falling. Unfortunately, the rest of the album was kinda what I was expecting. It’s listenable but it suffers from not being one thing or the other – not really proper country and not really pop either. It didn’t quite stack up for me but I admire Kylie for constantly trying new things.
  • A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, Panic! At the Disco
    We suddenly realised that most of the Les Mills tracklists are propped up by Fall Out By and Panic! at the Disco so it was about time I listened to one of them. Opted for the debut album by P at the D, and whilst I enjoyed the songs, I sort of couldn’t get over the titles having absolutely nothing to do with the content within. Good fun rock, but not something I can get on board with!

Week 24

  • Lost & Found, Jorja Smith
    I was really looking forward to this debut release from Jorja, as the huge coverage she’s had on Beats 1 has hyped me up as intended. I was really impressed with the album, it’s very mellow, chilled out and easy to listen to. I thought it went a little bit warbly in places, but for the most part a really great album from Jorja.
  • Bad, Michael Jackson
    Really loved this, obviously, some of the great songs from the great man all packaged up in one neat album. I actually knew a few more of the songs than I thought I did which made it even better. But really, marching along the streets on a sunny lunchtime walk, with Bad blaring in your ears is basically as good as it gets.

Week 25

  • No Shame, Lily Allen
    I’ve only recently realised how much I like Lily’s work so far, and this album is another great addition to her body of work. It’s slightly different to what has gone before, though, and has a much more mellow quality than the rest. It’s also quite depressing, if you listen to it all in one go, very much instilling the loneliness and restlessness that Lily must have been feeling at the time throughout the tracks.
  • One Step Beyond, Madness
    In stark contrast to the low-key Lily Allen I listened to the same week, Madness are just a barrel of fun. A lot of it sounds the same, it all has the same reggae beat underneath and you just go along for the ride – great fun.