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Friday, 18 August 2006

The Friday Playlist 2

Here are a few albums which I just can't stop playing at the moment:

1. Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis

I have been looking for this album for years. It is the only solo album to date, by the singer from Talk Talk. The later albums by Talk Talk before they split up took them further into the avant garde and painfully beautiful yet minimal sounds. This album continues that journey. The lyrics are sparse, the arrangements stunningly unusual. The use of guitar and piano fragments is haunting. I can't stop listening to it - and continue to muse over the lyrics and the overall atmosphere which is evoked by this music.

2. Thom Yorke - The Eraser

This new album by the singer from Radiohead could almost be companion album to the Mark Hollis one. Except that, where Hollis has a clear focus on acoustic instruments, Yorke uses electronics and laptop for his pre-occupations. The lyrics are similarly oblique. The voice is beautiful. Great voices in modern music always push forward without any sense of the self-conscious. There are some beatiful melodies on this album. Try the title track or 'And it rained all night' to see what I mean. Love it!

3. Clap your hands say yeah - Clap you hands say yeah

I really like this album, in spite of the first track which sounds like some demented circus act. Sometimes I wonder whether anyone ever says to bands, don't use that as the first track, otherwise people might get no further. This is the case with so many REM records - they begin with a 'difficult' track! Anyway, this album settles down into a great sound, somewhere between Talking Heads and Pere Ubu. They also sound very like The Arcade Fire on some tracks, in the way that they wind up through a track, gathering momentum. At times the singer Alec Ounsworth sounds unnervingly like David Byrne. It's an album well worth a listen, and I particularly like the fact that it is about the length of an old vinyl album. Too many albums go on for too long these days...

Other albums I'm listening to, that I have already written about:

4. The Open - Statues

5. Sigur Ros - Takk

Click here for Friday Playlist 1

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