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.
Where to start with The White Album? Even ignoring its historical significance, the sheer quantity of music it contains makes writing about it an unwieldy task. Consisting of 30 tracks clocking in at over 93 minutes altogether, The White Album is The Beatles’ longest by a significant margin. The word ‘sprawling’ might as well have been invented to describe this record.
In 2015, Björk was heartbroken.
Vulnicura was an album of pure heartbreak. Björk’s most lyrically direct and distressing work to date. It was the sound of an artist who could seem so God-like, crashing down to earth. Hard. It was a hard album to listen to at times as a result. But I have no reservations in saying it was Björk’s best album.
Nearly a Masterpiece
When Frank Ocean provided vocals on Tyler, the Creator’s She, a weird track about a guy dealing with his new girlfriend’s stalker, I never thought that the owner of those silky-smooth tones would go on to be the undisputed king of avant-garde R&B.
It’s hard to quantify the impact that Nirvana’s Nevermind album had on the musical landscape. My knowledge of popular genres and the time periods they belong to is fairly standard and if I hear a song, I can probably nail the decade it was produced on based on the tone of the instruments used. Nevermind and the grunge movement that sprung up from the album’s release represents an anomaly, and that’s precisely what makes it so important.
And Nothing Hurt, the latest album from space rock veterans Spiritualized, finds frontman Jason Pierce in a difficult spot. Unable to afford a studio to record the whole project, Pierce’s first album in six years was primarily completed within his own home. However, I’d argue these are the aptest conditions for a Spiritualized album to be constructed under.
In 2001, after their least commercially successful album Warning had been released, pioneers of pop-punk Green Day hit the studio again to record their follow-up album, with the working title of Cigarettes and Valentines. Sadly, towards the end of the album’s recording, all the demo recordings were stolen by an unknown culprit.
Despite their marriage and divorce, the dynamic duo known as The White Stripes has done it again! At London’s Toe Rag Studios in 2002, they worked hard to produce an album full of songs that would define the band forever. Whilst listening to this masterpiece, I was blown away by the immense variety of this incredible work of art.
I will hold my hands up now, I am by no means a Beyonce fan. This review won’t refer to her previous work because I’ve never really listened to any of it. The singles I’ve heard on the radio always seemed to encapsulate all the things I didn’t like about pop & R&B music. On the surface, it seemed overproduced, soulless, with a chorus cooked up in a boardroom to sink a hook into your brain and never let go rather than through genuine experience. Beyonce always had the talent to elevate its artistic standard, but there was none of her experience in the music. Lemonade changes everything I thought I knew about Beyonce.