Even though I was prepared for the start of this year to be a quiet one – they always are, not many people releasing straight after Christmas – I still think the music industry has taken far too long to get going. Even with a long list of albums brought forward from last year to catch up on, I still want new stuff!
It did start to pick up, with Ariana and Avril releasing new stuff. And Mr C’s choices are directly influenced by Carpool Karaoke each week, so it’s always a surprise what he comes up with.
- VIDA, Luis Fonsi
So I know of Fonsi from his work with Demi and, of course, Justin, and those songs as well as other collaborations are all featured on this bursting at the seams album. It’s good music too, great rhythms and some catchy beats. Some of the slower numbers weren’t really to my tastes but overall a solid album and well worth a listen.
- Savage Garden, Savage Garden
Ah, love Truly Madly Deeply so the rest only has to follow on from there. The album starts off with the most famous songs which gets things off to a good start, although then it does mean you’ve done the best by about track four. Nevertheless, the rest of the album is great and reminded me favourably of the late 1990s.
- thank u, next, Ariana Grande
I was surprised at the quickness of this album from Ariana after the last one, and if I’m honest, I wasn’t as keen. Sweetener took a while to grow on me but had a vibe that I quite liked. This one seemed to veer too far in the mean direction – 7 Rings has a hook that just annoys me, and the I’m Bored song is harsh. Thank U Next is great, but that may be the only one I take away from this album.
- Fore!, Huey Lewis & the News
I was aware of Huey from the Back to the Future soundtrack but I didn’t have much clue of his other work. Somehow, I had heard of a few more songs than I thought, and it turns out, I really enjoyed the whole album. It’s quite eighties but in a nice soft pop rock way that made me feel happy, and it’s always good when a record leaves you feeling like that.
- Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, Florida Georgia Line
Somehow I have nothing really to say about the songs on this one, it was just your regular country tracks. The thing I didn’t like, as always, was the handful of tracks that were some irritating guy leaving voicemails about random stuff. I just don’t want that kind of thing interrupting my music – it wasn’t funny but even if it was, it wouldn’t stand up to more than one or two listens.
- Road to Ruin, Ramones
I really liked this album! It’s punk but not too extreme, great tunes, a fab sound that grabs you by the elbow and sweeps you along to the end, rocking out all the way. I didn’t think I was going to be a fan but I really enjoyed the full album.
- Head Above Water, Avril Lavigne
I wasn’t expecting much from this, if I’m honest, Avril’s first album was so good and I’ve not really been too bothered about anything since. But actually, it was quite good. I don’t know if it was groundbreaking pop but Avril’s clearly moving on to slightly more grown up pop and taking a direction that had a few memorable songs, and a few less interesting. Worth a listen and may be a grower.
- Hello, I’m Dolly, Dolly Parton
This is Dolly’s first album, a collection of hard-core country songs in the old school style: short, snappy, thirty minute album but already showing Dolly’s take-no-nonsense rule-the-world attitude. I liked it, maybe not as much as some of Dolly’s later stuff but it’s a good start to the journey.
- 1Up, T-Pain
I wouldn’t normally have picked this album but Julie Adenuga was playing A Million Times over and over, sometimes back to back, and I grew to really like it. So I thought the rest of the album would be worth a look, and it was good. Not exceptional, but a good hip-hop album that does the job if that’s what you’re looking for. That song is a standout though.
- Something To Be, Rob Thomas
I love Rob Thomas’ single Lonely No More and his feature on Smooth, but apart from that I don’t know too much about him. I’ve listened to a Matchbox Twenty album as part of this adventure but this time it was Rob’s solo work under the spotlight. I loved it! Good songs, great voice, definitely adding to the library.
Weirdly, in week 9, both albums had a song on called Dumb Blonde – despite being completely different styles of record. Last time I talked of how I could now watch the Taylor Swift Reputation tour video on Apple Music now I had finally listened to the album. Still haven’t done that yet, and there’s talk about her having new music to release into the wild too. So much still to get through.