Album : ÷ by Ed Sheeran
Release Date : March 2017
My Favourite Tracks : New Man, What Do I Know?, Bibia Be Ye Ye, Barcelona, Supermarket Flowers
Well look at me, talking about an album that has only been out for eleven days! It’s almost as though I am cool or something. Except, of course, I’m not. I have no huge love for Ed Sheeran, as such; I like the odd single that he has released and I have heard on the radio, but I’ve never listened to an album. I only really listened to this one because I work with people who have an average age of around 23, and they had been talking about it.
All in all, this isn’t really my kind of music. I know that it’s very popular, and I’m not just saying this to be contrary. It’s just not entirely my cup of tea. That’s not to say that I don’t like anything on here; as you can see from my favourite tracks up there, there’s a few that I do like, and I like them a lot. I was surprised to hear what can only be described as a Bellowhead-style track with Nancy Mulligan, and ultimately I find the whole thing quite disjointed. We jump from Supermarket Flowers, which is a sad and poignant song about loss, to Barcelona, which is an upbeat pop song with (obviously) Spanish influences. But it’s an enjoyable enough way to spend 45 minutes!
Album : La La Land – The Soundtrack
Release Date : December 2016
My Favourite Tracks : City of Stars, Mia & Sebastian’s Theme, Someone in the Crowd, Start a Fire
I didn’t really want to include soundtracks in my weekly (or thereabouts) albums, because they aren’t properly albums. But last week, this didn’t leave my turntable. Just kidding – as if I can afford to buy this on vinyl? Spotify all the way.
I know La La Land, as a film, has divided film lovers. You either love it, or you really, really don’t like it. I completely understand why people don’t like it; if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t like it either, if that makes sense. But I do like it. I like it a lot. And a lot of that has to do with the music that has been stuck in my head for a week. It’s hard for me to describe just how much I like this music. It’s a bit like it’s always been in my head, and it took this film to come along and unlock it – that sounds totally pretentious, I know, and possibly as though I think that the score and songs are somehow derivative. But I don’t mean that at all, I just think they feel familiar in a really, really good way.
it’s City of Stars that has really been doing the rounds in my brain, and I do absolutely love it, but it’s the piano on Mia & Sebastian’s Theme that has really won my heart.
Album : 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Release Date : November 2016
My Favourite Tracks : 24K Magic, That’s What I Like
I really liked Bruno Mars’ first album, but I haven’t listened to anything he’s done since. I think he’s turned into an artist that I don’t really enjoy that much. A good rule of thumb for me tends to be if you make an appearance on The X Factor, your music probably isn’t for me. Unless you’re Little Mix.
So I feel like 24K Magic is really not my kind of album. It’s catchy enough, but it veers in a direction that I just don’t enjoy all that much. I like the title track, which got caught in my head, but other than that, there’s not much here for me. I particularly object to Versace on the Floor, which just upsets me on every level.
Album : Joanne by Lady Gaga
Release Date : October 2016
My Favourite Tracks : A-YO, Joanne, Million Reasons, Hey Girl, Angel Down, Grigio Girls, Just Another Day
I don’t really know what happened with my love for Lady Gaga. I absolutely adored her first two albums, and then I didn’t really keep up with what she was doing. But when I started my music challenge, I decided to take a listen to her latest album, Joanne, and I’m so glad I did.
What I love most about Gaga is her ability to jump between music genres, while ultimately making really good, emotionally loaded pop music. It’s fun and deep at the same time, and her voice is flawless. I found it really hard to narrow down my favourite tracks, hence the choice of seven of the eleven tracks above! Though if I really had to choose, the fact that I haven’t been able to get Grigio Girls out of my head for days should give you an idea as to how much I love it, and A-YO is another stand out. I’m now going back to rekindle my love for her first two albums, and I’m going to give the other three a listen too.
Album : We are King by King
Release Date : February 2016
My Favourite Tracks : Supernatural, Hey
Another album that has appeared on many ‘Best of 2016’ lists, making it perfect for my ‘Listen to an album a week’ goal that is part of my 35 Before 35. It’s variously described as ‘dream-pop’, ‘atmospheric’, ‘ambient’, among other such adjectives, and it’s just that. It’s floaty, and hazy, and listening to it in the week before Christmas is probably not the best time to appreciate it.
I like it, but in all honesty it’s not entirely my cup of tea. At least, not a whole album of these songs; I tend to prefer something a little more upbeat. Supernatural is far and away my favourite track from the album, but the rest of it just doesn’t rock my socks. Maybe I’ll go back to it in the height of summer and see if I feel any differently about it.