Album of the Week 013 ~ Evolve by Imagine Dragons

Imagine-Dragons

Album: Evolve by Imagine Dragons

Release Date: June 2017

My Favourite Tracks: Believer, Thunder, Walking The Wire, Yesterday

Album Notes: My Album of the Week posts haven’t been a raging success, as I started the series 33 weeks ago, and this number 13. I guess that’s a failure for that particular 35 Before 35 item! But despite the failure, I’m continuing with them and hoping to make them a little more regular, as I really like finding a new album to listen to every week!

The only prior experience I have of Imagine Dragons is their song On Top of the World – I think it’s been used on various adverts, and sports montages in the last few years. I haven’t listened to anything else they’ve done, but when I saw that they had a new album out, I thought it was a perfect contender for Album of the Week.

And I’m so glad that I listened to it, because I really like it. It’s been on repeat for a while now; it accompanied a full two days of proof-reading at work last week, and was the perfect soundtrack. I understand that it hasn’t had the best reviews, but who cares about reviews – when you like something, you like it.

It’s the kind of music that I like, I suppose. It has a slight 80s feel to it, which is no bad thing, and I like the voice of the lead singer. It might not be particularly sophisticated rock music, and it’s much more pop rock than it is hard rock, but it has given me an enjoyable few hours listening, and I’m certain I’ll be listening again.

(I feel as though I always have to apologise for my lack of ability to write about music; I have no words to describe what I like, I just know when I do like something! Perfect then, I suppose, for a series about music. Hey ho.)

 

 

Album of the Week 012 ~ Harry Styles by Harry Styles

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Album: Harry Styles by Harry Styles

Release Date: May 2017

My Favourite Tracks: Sign of the Times, Carolina, Two Ghosts

Album Notes: I love this album.

I can’t deny that I’m a bit of a One Direction fan. Not to the point where I’d go to a concert, but I can sing along with a fair few of their songs, and I think they make decent pop music. But I figured that when they all went their separate ways to make new music, they’d make the kind of stuff that is all over the charts, most of which I can’t stand (think Clean Bandit, Stormzy, Shawn Mendes, Bruno Mars et al).

I didn’t really account for the fact that there’s also quite a few male vocalists making music that I do actually quite like, and so maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised at the direction that young Mr Styles took. Anyway, I just really like what he’s done. Even as someone who doesn’t know a lot about music, even I can hear the influences at play here – Bowie, Queen, and lots of 70s classic rock. Whether they are genuinely his influences, or there’s a bigger picture and that’s just the sound that the record label decided to go for, is irrelevant to me. It’s just a good album that I’ve been listening to loads, and will continue to do so!

Album of the Week 011 ~ Freedom Highway by Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

Album: Freedom Highway by Rhiannon Giddens

Release Date: February 2017

My Favourite Tracks: Julie, Birmingham Sunday, The Love We Almost Had

Album Notes: I don’t know anything about music. I don’t have the words to describe the music that I like, I just know that I like it. That’s been the case the whole time I’ve been writing about the albums I listen to each (or not quite each) week, but it’s especially true here.

I didn’t know Rhiannon Giddens existed until about three weeks ago, when a former university professor (Dr Owen Robinson) with whom I’m friends on Facebook, and whom I hold in very high esteem, mentioned her new album. He described it as a ‘glorious blend of slavery-era folk, delta blues, Stax soul, New Orleans street music, and even hip-hop.’ Quoting him feels cheeky, but I would never have known that those words apply to this album. All I know is that I love this album.

Me not having heard of this astonishing woman before is of no consequence, and is no reflection on her extraordinary talent. This is music that draws on centuries of the African American experience, from slavery to civil rights to the current situation. As a white woman from Essex I can’t even pretend to understand the half of it, but music likes this gives a beautiful insight.

Album of the Week 010 ~ My Universe by The Shires

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Album: My Universe by The Shires

Release Date: September 2016

My Favourite Tracks: Beats To Your Rhythm, Not Even Drunk Right Now, A Thousand Hallelujahs

Album Notes

I’m off to see The Shires again next week, so I thought it was about time that I had a listen to their second album.

I first discovered them having heard them on Bob Harris Country on Radio 2 a few years ago. Since then, I have been to see them numerous times (I think I’m up to four), and I just think they are great.

My Universe is much of the same as what has come before, which sounds derogatory, but isn’t. It’s a great blend of the vocals of Chrissie and Ben, who make up the band, and the songs are a great example of UK country music; they sound like true Southern US country songs but with that something slightly different that comes from being from somewhere else.

I’m really looking forward to heading to see them again next week, as well as stuff from the new album, I’m hoping to hear my favourites from the first one!