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On the record 2020 - wrap up

Published January 3, 2021

On the record 2020 - wrap up

Hooray for the dreaded time of year where I pick out the top five albums I’ve listened to over the past twelve months. Each week for 50 weeks, I listen to two albums. One is a new one (this year or the previous year) and one is an older one (from any time previous to that). So I can’t promise to have listened to every album that was released last year but of those I did, I’ve managed to narrow down five of the best.

Rocking the boat

Published November 28, 2020

Rocking the boat

This week the 2021 Grammy nominations were announced and immediately two things stood out to me: firstly, I get very confused by the categories at awards shows and secondly, by far the more important fact, women are having a really good showing this year! For the first time ever, all the nominees for best rock performance are women, and the same can be said for the best country album (sort of - if you see Little Big Town as being fronted by the two women, which I do.

Learning from the best

Published May 25, 2020

Learning from the best

The ongoing lockdown continues to evolve and I have found it fascinating to see how the creative types have been trying to keep themselves entertained. Plenty are trying to keep doing what they usually do just in a different way. Some are providing distraction for others, and there’s another subset who are using their time to try and impart wisdom to others. I missed this at the time, but Radio 1 have been getting artists to give music lessons, sharing an insight into how to play one of their songs.

A driving hazard

Published January 27, 2020

A driving hazard

The background: I love Peter Kay’s Car Share, I truly believe it to be one of the best TV shows of the decade. When I shared the show with Mr C, he was also on board - comedy and music aren’t too hard to argue with. On the flip side, one thing we argue about more than we probably should is the guilt of the protagonist of Richard Marx’s song Hazard.

Welcome to the club

Published January 22, 2020

Welcome to the club

You’ll know by now, I’m sure, that I’m obsessed with Oprah’s Book Club. The interactivity between online books, the show, the guidance, the discussion with the author, all of it appeals to me. We recently saw the latest episode of the TV show, where Oprah talked to Elizabeth Strout about her latest work, and it was another good show - another, in fact, that Mr C enjoyed despite not having read the book.

Twenty years apart

Published January 19, 2020

Twenty years apart

James Corden’s latest riff off sees him take on Camila Cabello in a slightly fake debate about which is better for music - 1999 or 2019. You can see the results below but I’m pretty sure they came to the wrong conclusion. Even within the video itself, the older songs are so much better! Camila is a far superior singer to James, I’m sure he’d agree, but even she can’t make Old Town Road sound better than Smooth.

On the record 2019 - wrap up

Published December 27, 2019

On the record 2019 - wrap up

It’s that time again! A whole year of music listening gets distilled down to a choice of five top albums and seeing if any of them can break into my top ten of all time. I don’t usually enjoy this process and this year hasn’t been any different, although if I’m honest, the choice was slightly less inspiring than usual. It felt like the year was very top heavy in terms of stand-out albums, and as I was reviewing my shortlist, none of them were really jumping out.

Don't get out of the river

Published December 27, 2019

Don't get out of the river

If you’ve followed my adventures, you know I’ve gone back and forth on the whole album thing, but I think getting to the end of my fourth year of listening to two albums a week (400 albums!) means that I’m on board. So I was surprised when I first heard that Sheryl Crow wasn’t going to make any more records after her latest release Threads. At the time the album came out, she talked of how happy she was that it would be her final release because the album features so many incredible guests and songs, and it was a good one.

Baby, it's middle-of-the-road outside

Published December 21, 2019

Baby, it's middle-of-the-road outside

I had heard that a new version of Baby It’s Cold Outside was going to be released, with updated lyrics, but I hadn’t heard it until recently. Kelly Clarkson and John Legend have rewritten the old classic which has come under fire for some difficult lyrics that could be considered to fall on the wrong side of consent. I do get why the old song is problematic for some people. That line “what’s in this drink” can absolutely be taken out of context and if you read the lyrics at face value, it does sound like a guy trying to coerce his date to stay longer than she really wants to.

CMA's celebrate women

Published December 14, 2019

CMA's celebrate women

Whilst we’re on a roll with female representation in our entertainment spaces, the Country Music Awards this year were an incredible show of women’s strength. Hosted by Reba, Carrie and Dolly, the show kicked off with a medley of songs from many, many, many women from throughout recent country music, including many I’d never heard of and need to know more about. (Who knew Delta Dawn wasn’t just the song Monica sings in a see-through shirt?