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About Kieran Baddeley

Favourite Artists include: Björk, The Blue Nile, Brian Eno, Can, Cocteau Twins, David Byrne, David Sylvian, Elvis Costello, Fleetwood Mac, Goldfrapp, Genesis, Hot Chip, New Order, Orange Juice, Pet Shop Boys, Peter Gabriel, Roxy Music, Suede, Talking Heads, Talk Talk, The The, XTC.
Latest Posts | By Kieran Baddeley
Album Review: Steely Dan – Gaucho
10
2 days ago

Album Review: Steely Dan – Gaucho

Speaking about Aja, Steely Dan’s sixth album, guitarist Dean Parks said of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, “perfection is not what they’re after, they’re after something that you wanna listen to.” No other quote encapsulates the music of Steely Dan better. Indeed, on Aja, as evidenced by its sales, they really did find something you wanna listen to and, arguably, found perfection. It is what Parks said next that hits true poignancy in regards to Aja’s follow up: “… we would go past the perfection point until it became natural.” 1980’s Gaucho is evidence of what a Steely Dan album sounds like when it stops just before perfection- the sound of a band desperately striving for flawlessness but ending up with a finished product on the wrong side of their goal.
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Album Review: David Byrne – David Byrne
8
3 months ago

Album Review: David Byrne – David Byrne

In 1994, listeners got a tantalisingly brief glimpse at the real David Byrne, one they would have to wait a decade to witness again. On his self-titled album, Byrne raised the veil slightly; just enough to let his most personal song writing to date into the world.
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Single Review: Carly Rae Jepson – No Drug Like Me
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6 months ago

Single Review: Carly Rae Jepson – No Drug Like Me

2015’s stunning Emotion was one of the best pop albums of the decade. It was a perfect mix of breathless hooks, simple narratives and underhand bitterness, lifting to something of cult status amongst fans. Since then, Carly Rae Jepson has kept us fans waiting; teasing us with 2017’s Cut to the Feeling and 2018’s Party For One… she’s been playing a long game.
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Album Review: Scott Walker – Scott 3
10
6 months ago

Album Review: Scott Walker – Scott 3

There’s a beautifully mournful moment about half way into the first track on Scott 3, It’s Raining Today, which sums up the whole of Scott Walker’s career. The strings which envelop the song, subtly change down a chord or two and suddenly Walker’s words have added gravity:
“We go like lovers / To replace the empty space /
Repeat our dreams to someone new.”
The first line is hopelessly romantic: a vision of something complete, two people in love going through life together. The next lines however, send shivers down your spine. This is love that is trying to fill something that’s lost, a repeated vignette that has not yet succeeded. Someone who’s been hurt before but goes into every relationship with the same gusto, sure that this time will be the one. This flip from happy to sad in the space of a few words sums up the whole song, the whole album and Walker’s whole career.
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Album Review: Can – Future Days
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9 months ago

Album Review: Can – Future Days

At the bottom of the bed of sensuous purple that backdrops the cover to Can’s 1973 album Future Days is one of the ancient Chinese ‘I Ching’ symbols. Traditionally used as a way of telling the future, its inclusion is by no means a coincidence. Title aside, the similarities to Can’s discography are prescient.
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Album Review: Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion
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10 months ago

Album Review: Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion

Pop music, in recent years, has become slightly disillusioned to the masses. A whole article could be taken up explaining how streaming and other technological advances have led to the increase of talentless artists creeping into the charts and the consciousness of the masses. While this may hold some truth, it’s an extremely cynical world view. In many ways, Pop music is better now than it ever has been. It’s become such a broad term that myriad artists and genres fall into its scope. Naysayers may argue that truly original and worthwhile Pop music is dead. 2015’s Emotion is an album that refutes this claim.
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Album Reviews: Brian Eno – Ambient 1, 2, 4
9.7
10 months ago

Album Reviews: Brian Eno – Ambient 1, 2, 4

In the pantheon of rock icons, there remains no one as singular or influential as Brian Eno. His career is one that would have been chronicled on terracotta pots a couple of centuries ago. It serves my purpose just to mention a couple of the artists he’s improved due to either his presence or production: Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, David Byrne, Nico, U2, Laurie Anderson, Genesis, Paul Simon and many more. His run of four rock albums from 1974-77, is an unrivalled one in regards to innovation. But after this run came his greatest left-turn yet: Ambient.
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Album Review: Beck – Midnite Vultures
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10 months ago

Album Review: Beck – Midnite Vultures

“Hipster” is defined as a person who follows the latest trends that are usually out of the cultural mainstream. More recently, the term has become more and more ironic- as if those who identify as a Hipster are doing it in a hipster way. Granted, it’s a difficult logic to follow. The very act of being a hipster is even more hipster than ever. In 1999, the term had been around for a while, the earliest I know of it in music is on Orange Juice’s 1982 song Untitled Melody.
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Album Review: David Byrne – Look Into the Eyeball
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10 months ago

Album Review: David Byrne – Look Into the Eyeball

Before you go into this review looking for a objective, neutral and fair evaluation of one of David Byrne’s late-career albums, an album you’ve probably never heard of but are willing to read a decent appraisal of, in a fashion that lays out the facts bare and for all to see so that you, the reader, can form your own opinion as to whether to listen to it based on the review – before you’ve done all that, be warned:
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Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Behaviour
10
11 months ago

Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Behaviour

“It’s about the problem of being monogamous; wanting to be in a loving and monogamous relationship but being tempted away from it.” In a 1990 interview regarding their latest single So Hard, Neil Tennant just happened to fall on the best description of their latest album in the process.
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