Friday, 10 May 2019

Prefab Sprout ‎– Steve McQueen (Legacy Edition) (1985)

Style: Indie Rock, Pop Rock, Synth-pop
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: CBS, Kitchenware Records, Epic

Steve McQueen
1-01.   Prefab Sprout - Faron Young
1-02.   Prefab Sprout - Bonny
1-03.   Prefab Sprout - Appetite
1-04.   Prefab Sprout - When Love Breaks Down
1-05.   Prefab Sprout - Goodbye Lucille #1
1-06.   Prefab Sprout - Hallelujah
1-07.   Prefab Sprout - Moving The River
1-08.   Prefab Sprout - Horsin' Around
1-09.   Prefab Sprout - Desire As
1-10.   Prefab Sprout - Blueberry Pies
1-11.   Prefab Sprout - When The Angels

Acoustic Versions
2-01.   Paddy McAloon - Appetite (Acoustic Version)
2-02.   Paddy McAloon - Bonny (Acoustic Version)
2-03.   Paddy McAloon - Desire As (Acoustic Version)
2-04.   Paddy McAloon - When Love Breaks Down (Acoustic Version)
2-05.   Paddy McAloon - Goodbye Lucille #1 (Acoustic Version)
2-06.   Paddy McAloon - Moving The River (Acoustic Version)
2-07.   Paddy McAloon - Faron Young (Acoustic Version)
2-08.   Paddy McAloon - When The Angels (Acoustic Version)

Lead Guitar – Kevin Armstrong
Saxophone – Mark Lockhart
Instruments – Martin McAloon, Neil Conti, Thomas Dolby, Wendy Smith
Instruments, Composed By – Paddy McAloon
Producer, Mixed By – Thomas Dolby

This is one of the greats. Some may complain that the 80s was a poor decade for music, but this record destroys those ignorant moans. Re-mastered by original producer Thomas Dolby, Steve McQueen sounds terrific. There is no escaping the 80s-ness of the synth sound and the breathy super-cool voice of Paddy McAloon, but why escape? What was happening here in 1985 was happening for the first (and perhaps the only) time. 
This was the second album from Prefab Sprout, a band consisting of two brothers (Paddy and Martin), Wendy Smith on keyboards and backing vocals and Neil Conti on drums. The name is one Paddy made up when he was 14, they released many albums over two decades and their biggest hit was ''King of Rock and Roll'', you know: 'Hot dog, jumping frog, Alberquerque…'.

What really matters is the music. Really. If you have never listened to this album then I urge, no, demand that you do. And I am not caught up in the reverie of yesteryear; I was told to listen to this a few years ago when slagging off the '..jumping frog..' lyric. What I heard was a record full to the brim of wonderful ideas with an unapologetic singer flitting from heartbreak to sugared-out bitternes to all-out love with such deft lyrical brilliance that I was reminded of Cole Porter or Lorenz Hart. He sings surprising melodies flung about almost off-hand around killer hooks, never letting a song get predictable. Dolby’s bloops and grinds learned while forging his own proto-electro pop career are crucial. 
Paddy's lyrical skill lies in his honesty and humour which is sometimes oblique but never hard to understand. 'I'm turkey hungry, I'm chicken free and I can't breakdance on your knee' from ''Movin' The River'', or 'Sweet talk like candy rots teeth’ from "Hallelujah". 
Everything else on this album is born of rigour and attention to detail. The stuff that lead Paddy to proclaim himself as ‘probably the best songwriter on the planet’. Taking effervescent invention, playfulness and intelligence and corralling it into songs of an unusually high caliber is what both made their name and limited their success.

The acoustic versions of Paddy’s favourites on disk 2 (which took twice as long to record as the original record) are quite different. Paddy’s guitar playing is still sharp and maturity has not dulled his irony or his expressive, knowing tone. He is older, so is his voice, and lyrics that meant one thing 22 years ago now have a new slant. When he sings ‘they were the best times, the harvest years’ on '‘Desire As’' it all becomes much more personal. It even rivals the original. Essential stuff... 
Greg McLaren  / BBC Review

Boozoo Bajou ‎– Satta (2001)

Style: Downtempo, Dub, Trip Hop
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Stereo Deluxe

01.   Yma
02.   Camioux
03.   Night Over Manaus
04.   Divers
05.   Bakar
06.   Down & Out
07.   Yoruba Road
08.   Under My Sensi
09.   Lava
10.   Satta

Written-By – Florian Seyberth, Peter Heider, Tony Allen
Producer, Acoustic Guitar– Florian Seyberth
Producer, Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Bass, Electric Piano, Programmed By– Peter Heider

During many trips to South America, Boozoo Bajou were busy collecting sounds like old Jamaican 45's to work into their debut album and you might recognize the name from the "Under My Sensi" single or their remix of "Chocolate Elvis" for Tosca. Satta is quickly becoming a downtempo favorite fusing dub, hip-hop, jazz, and wacked out electronics with a traditional music from South America. No worries, this isn't an ethnic-techno Deep Forrest vibe but a memorable and dub drenched album of organic sounds that will appeal to fans of Rainer Trüby, Theivery Corporation, the Doors and maybe even the Buena Vista Social Club. While they may incorporate familiar instrument or vocal sounds, the arrangement and use of effects make Boozoo Bajou's work stand out. Statta is a vast album that you could disguise as a compilation yet the tracks work seamlessly together and it doesn't sound like a tired neo-bossa nova album.
Justin Hardison  / Hybrid Magazine

Big Black ‎– Songs About Fucking (1987)

Style: Post-Punk, Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Touch And Go, Blast First, Torso

Happy Otter
A1.   The Power Of Independent Trucking
A2.   The Model
A3.   Bad Penny
A4.   L Dopa
A5.   Precious Thing
A6.   Colombian Necktie
Sad Otter
B1.   Kitty Empire
B2.   Ergot
B3.   Kasimir S. Pulaski Day
B4.   Fish Fry
B5.   Pavement Saw
B6.   Tiny, King Of The Jews
B7.   Bombastic Intro

Credits: Bass – David Michael Riley Guitar – Melvin Belli Guitar, Vovals – Steve Albini Recorded By – John Loder