And then, just like that, we’re over halfway through the year and the adventure. I feel as though the last few weeks have taken another dip wherein I haven’t enjoyed the albums quite as much as others, but then up popped George Ezra and the sun came out and the world was just a little bit better.
The rest of the albums vary in quality and in interest to me, but I’m still really enjoying the variety.
- Wildness, Snow Patrol
A good, solid album this one, but perhaps a little bit on the depressing side – whilst I quite like the defiance of Don’t Give In (a really good song), there’s also a track called “What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?” which really was a downbeat listen as you might imagine. Good album though, you just have to be in exactly the right mood for it.
- Pure and Simple, Hear’Say
I like this album because it’s familiar to me, I know most of the songs, and listened to it quite a lot when I was younger. It’s not good though. This is the pinnacle of manufactured pop, and that shines through from start to finish. I think Hear’say came too late in the pop cycle to really have any major success – they were more of a nineties band but hit in the early 2000s. Earlier, they might have done better, but as it is, we’ll have to put up with Monday Monday being the best they can do.
- High As Hope, Florence + The Machine
I’ve not always been a Florence fan, but the latest single Hunger had really turned me around so I wanted to check out the rest of the album. I’m not sure it lived up to the lead single, really, it was a mellow listen but didn’t really capture my attention as I’d hoped it might. Also, a couple of the tunes were so reminiscent of the music on Westworld that it was quite distracting. Hunger is still a winner though.
- Wanted On Voyage, George Ezra
George’s second album very quickly became one of my all-time favourites, so I wanted to see what the debut effort was like. I really enjoyed this too, although I think I prefer the second one as a complete piece of work. Loving Ezra’s relaxed summer-time feel though, it just fits the mood at the moment perfectly.
- Palo Santo, Years and Years
Really loved Sanctify when it was released, so was keen on hearing the rest of the album, and it loved up to my expectations. A really solid pop work, with many of the feelings from Sanctify spread across the rest of the songs. I think it didn’t quite get into my soul as much as it should have on only two listening, so I may have to listen a few more times, but otherwise a winner.
- The Fabulous Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash
Yay for the third album along my journey through the history of Johnny Cash. Whilst this is very similar to the previous two albums, I felt like I preferred it to the second record but not quite as much as the first. Good songs, great guitar work, and nice rhythms that keep you entertained. What’s not to like?
- mau5ville: Level 1, deadmau5
I quite liked the last album I listened to by deadmau5, it wasn’t my usual kind of thing but I really got on with the dance beats. This one was a bit of a departure for that and it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. Good songs, but they’re all the same thing and with the guest vocalists it wasn’t so much dance music as just one actual song done six different ways. Good, but not great.
- Out of Time, R.E.M.
I vaguely remember being disappointed by the last R.E.M. album I listened to – good songs, obviously, but not a cohesive work that I liked. This time, I really dug it. The singles stand out, as always happens with such classic songs, but the rest of the tracks fill in really well to make it a good listen from start to finish.
- Expectations, Bebe Rexha
This is a really good, strong pop album, some nice songs from Bebe, but I have to be honest, it wasn’t all that memorable. I’ve forgotten pretty much all of it only a day or two after the last time I listened to it. Also, it feels like she popped Meant to Be on the end begrudgingly, whereas it actually would have fit earlier in the track listing quite nicely.
- International Velvet, Catatonia
Mulder and Scully popped up on a radio stream I was listening to and I thought it would be fun to listen to a full album, but actually it turns out I was only really bothered by the two main singles. I had that weird feeling, too, when you know someone’s super distinctive voice for just one or two songs, when you hear them singing other stuff, it sounds really odd!