On the record 2018, Part 8: Could really have done without all the chatting

I can’t quite believe we’re heading into the final stages of this year’s album journey. I don’t feel like it’s been anywhere near a standout year as 2017, but there’s still time and I know there are some good releases coming up soon, so watch this space!

With ten weeks to go, I’ve started posting what I’m listening to ahead of the week so you’ll get a sneak peek of what’s coming up from now until the end of the year. And I’ve got to start thinking about the end of year top five and top ten lists. Already! Let’s just get on with it, while I put that to the back of my mind again.

Week 36

  • Runaway, Passenger
    Lovely chill album, this one. I think I liked it more than the last one I listened to and there were no embarrassing “who does his voice remind me of” moments. It was just a nice, relaxing album with intense but reflective vibes. I feel like this is the kind of music you could have on in the background and never get bored of it.
  • It’s My Life, Sash!
    I used to listen to Sash albums by stealing them from my brother’s room, so this was nice and familiar. Encore Une Fois! Stay! Ecuador! Good nineties dance beats, but I think it’s mostly nostalgia for me at this point, and I’ll stick with the singles rather than indulging in the album too often.

Week 37

  • Language, MNEK
    I was really looking forward to this album coming out, having listened to a handful of the singles and loved them, as well as Julie Adenuga on Beats1 really bigging it up. I loved the album, but could really have done without all the chatting and interludes along the way. They’re fine(ish) once, but not necessary time and time again. Otherwise, it’s a brilliant album, love it.
  • Blue Lines, Massive Attack
    I loved Mezzanine, one of the early albums in this adventure of mine. This album didn’t really do it for me at all. Unfinished Sympathy is the best thing on there, and even that wasn’t exactly a favourite. The rest of it wasn’t memorable and wasn’t something I’d choose to listen to again.

Week 38

  • Cry Pretty, Carrie Underwood
    I was super keen to listen to this because I loved the last album from Carrie, but this one was something different. It’s clear that Carrie has been through a lot, and of course we’re in a different and more difficult world now, so it was a more contemplative and slightly more downbeat offering. Good album but not up there with Storyteller.
  • August and Everything After, Counting Crows
    I really enjoyed this! Weirdly, I thought I knew something about Counting Crows but I didn’t know any of the songs and can’t remember why I’ve heard of them. However, it was a good album, a genre of music I really like, and one I will likely to listen to over and again.

Week 39

  • Chris, Christine and the Queens
    This took a few listens to grow on me, if I’m honest. I’ve been waiting and waiting for the album to be released, and was superbly excited for it so expectations were high. At first, I wasn’t sure if I’d been let down – the songs are all great but did it live up to the previous work? I listened a couple more times though, and loved the Beats 1 special Chris did running through all the tracks, which has really helped open it up to me. I still don’t know which album I like better, but at the moment it doesn’t matter!
  • Different Class, Pulp
    Loved this. A bit of nineties Britpop to get the week going nicely. As always, I knew more of the songs than I thought, and although I was worried William Shatner would have ruined Common People for me, he absolutely hadn’t. So, fab work from Jarvis Cocker and his crew!

Week 40

  • Queen, Nicki Minaj
    I was a bit intimidated by this album, if I’m honest, but I really quite liked it. There’s the odd moment where Nicki goes into her weird voices mode which I’m not so keen on, but overall it’s a lot of fun. I don’t know if it feels like a body of work as opposed to a collection of songs, but they’re good so I don’t think it matters.
  • A Flock of Seagulls, A Flock of Seagulls
    Up until this point, Flock of Seagulls was just the punchline of a joke about Chandler’s hair, but this week I discovered I really enjoyed their debut album! The stand out tune is I Ran (So Far Away) obviously, but actually they all stood up to the test of time, and I really liked the pop from the first moments of listening.