Wolf Jaw – The Heart Won’t Listen

Liked then as Bad Flowers, wonder if that early in the career name change will alter their style? They have the greasy guitars of many others to open with ‘Hear Me‘, but Tom Leighton is trying an Elvis via Stiv Bator, which provides all the interest for this track, then ‘Choke‘ opens the bass and gets all over excited and the beat alone of ‘I Ain’t Ready‘ makes that a lie, there’s a showcase sassy chorus too, but they also dabble in Goth Indie, the tight pop of the drums in ‘Piece Of Me‘ provide the basis for them to do their Mission thing.

You’d better believe they can do the classic Rock of The Cult too, ‘Open Your Eyes‘ is pretty wonderful, colour ‘Beast‘ that way too and ‘The Fighter’ must be a frenetic 3 rounder. And then stuff likes ‘Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda‘ comes off the production line, exactly what others are doing with quiet/loud, souped up Blues, all that.

Is this better than the debut? It is, slightly, ‘cos that was good too. Is it different? Its more full throated Rock, just listen to the huge chorus on ‘I Lose My Mind‘, a little darker maybe, less Indie intention, more Cult classic.
The Heart may not Listen, but I hope the fans do.

Out On Listenable

Remedy Rating: 4/5 New Treatment, Similar Results

Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka

He’s coming. Hang on. Here he is! Has Muchael Kiwanuka arrived yet? Ballyhooed from the off, he’s struggled personally and sought to find his own way through, which is perhaps the reason for this self referred title, an ending and beginning.

The music has the Mayfield Soul gorgeousness of before though, ‘You Ain’t The Problem‘ shows a dancehall feel, rough mix, organic groove, faintly toasting vocal and ‘Rolling‘ follows with a more expected retro Soul feel but some 60’s spy film breaks to pique the interest. You’d expect introspection and those small moments, like piano searching ‘Another Human Being‘, can resemble 70’s Jazz Fusion and indeed he can seem like a sound cuddler, the 70’s Motown lovers like the Spinners and Platters pastiched in ‘Living In Denial‘, which is a danger of rushing to music you love.

He does what we’ve heard 70’s Funk and Soul icons do, there’s nothing here that Isaac Hayes hasn’t delivered before, but he does it with reverence and real emotion. Just have a look at this sad but flying ‘Hard To Say Goodbye‘, but the grandiose nature and easy roll is very Hayes. It’s messy, very 70’s, extraneous voices play with the music, but he doesn’t ignore the expectation of the Soul lover, so ‘Interlude (Loving The People)’ might takes flights of fancy, but it’s followed by the dusty, organic, heavy Soul ballad ‘Solid Ground‘.

It’s more of the same for Kiwanuka, but with an even more 70’s vibe and less to hold onto, when he wants to go places, he sets off with no map except a Soul primer. That takes confidence and songs; he has both, just, but this inner muse stuff will become boring soon…

Out On Polydor

Remedy Rating : 4/5 Patchy Results

Jeff Lynne’s ELO – From Out Of Nowhere

This should be exciting. A new ELO album should do that. But recently, on ELO stuff and solo releases, Lynne has showed his love of Roy Orbison too much and poured syrup all over his music, killing any energy and excitement. What is exciting is Lynne’s surprise and delight at so many bothering about the band coming back live, but that must be tempered with the reminder that its the 70’s/early 80’s stuff they’re expecting.

Stakes are high for the new stuff.
And so the big guitars and drums of the title track are an nice remembrance of ‘Time‘, the 1981 album, Lynne’s keening lilt perfect for a sense of sadness, the harmony jabs taking us back instantly. And yet ‘Help Yourself‘ does the same thing really, a bigger feel but pretty pedestrian, but ‘All My Love‘ has a the matey feel of a Paul McCartney solo track.

Even when they pick it up, as on ‘Sci Fi Woman‘, it doesn’t seem grand enough, despite the splashes of guitar in the chorus, it has the sense of Lynne beavering away on his own in the studio, pleasing himself and only himself. That works when it produces something we haven’t heard before, this is more of the same. He can still deliver that big, stately ballad so beautifully, ‘Losing You‘ is pristine, but those ’50’s pastiches like ‘Goin Out On Me’, are so old hat, even when they jive a bit like ‘One More Time‘.

It is great to hear ELO again and there are flashes of that 70’s odd excellence, but it’s all rather grown up and as I am too, I don’t now need them to be. Much better then the last, ‘Alone In The Universe‘, less Jeff and more ELO here, but it’s still ‘Zoom‘ rather than ‘Discovery‘.

Out On Columbia

Remedy Rating: 3/5 Old Treatments Can Lose Their Potency

Kanye West – Jesus Is King

It’s no good to just say it. If you decide there has to be someone you bend a knee to, Jesus will do as well as anyone; remember though, you create that deity in your own image, preferences and needs, you have Gods and Devils in you (if you agree with that description by those who wish to use it for social control) and they are yours. Which, considering some of the pronouncements West has apparently made about talent and output, works well for him.

This is an opportunity to go back to a blank slate for him perhaps, an agreement to forget the materialism, the comments. But the music? ‘Selah‘ bangs away in the background to show, you know, he means it, but it’s mainly a standard issue gospel choir and some standard issue modern rap.

There are also interludes piggybacking on modern church songs with raps laid over, ‘Follow God’ works through sharpness of delivery, but really this is a collection of bits, it doesn’t really seem all in, an issue West has had recently musically. When listening to ‘Oh God‘, the Hammond swirls are hackneyed, as is the declamatory rap, the shuffling backing to ‘Everything We Need‘ and ‘808s And Heartbreak‘ vocoder ho hum. At least ‘Water‘ accesses a 70’s Soul vibe late on.

That camel/eye of a needle interface? West is reported to have over $50 mill, but now that will all be given away, won’t it?

That reported Jesus openness to others? He’s a supporter of a Pres who describes others who don’t look like him as animals.

That ego? You can’t ask Jesus to absolve you just so you can keep doing it, that’s what buying indulgences was to the Catholic church in the 16th century.
In the end, this doesn’t seem to be about religion. It seems to be about the religious right. And that’s about politics. Which is a mix of belief and capitalism, economic and social; why does that seem to chime with West’s world view? Well, the apparent comments about his wife wearing clingy clothing and the keeping score on curse words may hint. As would the comments about his talent. And yet he’s finding his way through a life in which he made it, was deufied and fell into that, he’s made some open and unfiltered comments, the ones after the New Orleans disaster are worth looking at again and again, powerful and personal, but he’s remarkably confused, blaming others for using him after putting himself in that position.

This album musically is ho hum, it sounds like so many other modern Rap albums, despite it’s chattering class subject matter and gospel hints; at the end the best thing here is a sudden Kenny G sax break and a hard tounged from Clipse in ‘Use The Gospel‘, showing us the dichotomy in West trying stuff which shouldn’t work and his place in the Rap world in 3 minutes 33.

Confused, annoying, in personal turmoil. Money and false adoration don’t bring you peace, do they Kanye? A glimpse at those so called 10 Commandments might be a good place to start…

Out On GOOD/Def Jam

Remedy Rating: 2/5 Placebo Effect

Manchester Malcontent

Storm v Panthers
Stormshelter, Sunday 3rd November 2019

It’s not all been bad. OK, it has mostly been bad very recently, but widen out that view and we’ve had some great wins and what’s better, played well and with heart. There’s that word mercurial again. We can’t keep it up. Not saying we’re impotent, that would be the majority of Steeler and Fife fans and players (some say), but we need consistency with excellence.

There you go Ryan, sell that in the changing room.

Streaming tonight, Sunday games are tough to get to, so jerky pic it is. National anthem ignored. Let’s do this! Etc…

Good fast pace to start, pretty open, both teams struggled to find any smoothness, Cody Thompson drove well, almost knocked it in, end to end though. Panthers looked familiar with our paint. Nice play to see, if you don’t have a preference. Panthers went closer than leave.eu will be to the courts (allegedly), Ginn equal to all. We didn’t seem to have any energy upfront, a need to sharpen up and make some changes. And then we did, open net, we couldn’t get it in; ‘minder glove or cow’s arse/banjo, not sure.

First PP, this might be better for us, but it’s not our forte. Hughesman had a go, Ehrgardt too, screamer!

1-0!

We stroked that puck around well, we built it, it was actually good!

Good to watch, lack of excitement, then a goal. I’ll take that. I’m off for a coffee and a filled Yorkshire pud. Tata…

That was tasty. Now Storm, match it. They tried from the off, good shot by Fawcett, at it early. Several shots, in fact. Faster link up play up front, question answered. Panthers had a go, making Ginn scramble, but a holding call stopped their progress.
PP. We know what happened last time…hard work but less patience this time, they were at it too, closing us down. And then they showed us how to do it, skated through and and put it high.

1-1.

Bit of afters, no penalties, good to see. Simple pass in front, Carr saved, Critchlow took the puck, Carr saved again, good ‘keeping. Concerted pressure here from both teams, open, fast, physical. ‘M’ Balmer tried a long one, Carr equal again, Hope knocked one in, then knocked a punch in too, first fight, big one too, honours even.

And then the PC restarted. For no reason. It just did. Hang on…

Oh, down by 1-2 I see. Glad the PC crashed now. My Yorkshire pud was repeating on me. And Hope sat for 10, he did appear to be the instigator.

3rd period. Commentators not back in their seats yet? Tea? Sausage roll? Belgian bun? Silence. Eerie…

Someone put the plug in at the 17 mins. And they can’t give us other scores as can’t get a phone signal; the joys of the stream. Sullivan had a long shot, stinging, Carr got behind it, mopped up the rebound, we made ourselves a nuisance, Bulmer looked for his third, Ginn gloved away, Panthers had the time to slow it down and build.
Dallas had a go, but there wasn’t much to report. PP was nicely done with patience and lots of shots, but no success. Puck was free in their paint a minute later, no goals. There was a bloke on the ice; is it Derek Roehl? Gi.n pulled, we know what that can mean…

Flattering to deceive, sat in their paint, guess what? Empty net goal.

1-3.

That wasn’t really good enough, one period was OK, albeit with 2 goals shipped, 1 sluggish, one lacking ideas. We needed the win. Did anyone tell the team? It’s only the challenge cup, no one says…

Remedy Rating: 2/5 Bad Results

The Mike Della Bella Project – One

It could be just another West Coast project. It’s shaping up to be when the background is read, timeserved leader groups others around him to work on his songs and finally finds some traction.

But the size of the songs, which snuggle up next to you on the sofa and make you move up change that, ‘Turn You On‘ is sunny Soft Rock and seems like an 80’s friend, ‘Until A Better Day‘ slinks in, all dry ice and chiming guitars, or take to the gentle bounce of ‘It’s Just Desire‘. And look at the big US offer on ‘Challenge The Sky‘; it aspires to with its sexy strut but then realises there are better things to do.

But look, this has a lounge party going on too, the daiquiris are flowing in laidback piano and sax something ‘She’s A Dream‘, in fact ‘Hot Stuff‘ can seem almost too effortless; it works so well in the Soul dripping from the keys and frets of tightly marshalled, 70’s clubland ‘Time‘. God, those horns putting ‘I Won’t Follow You‘, synth and real, well judged on the funky side.

One? Yes, amongst many. The One? Close…

Out On CisumbdEkim

Remedy Rating: 5/5 Bed Rest

Christopher Holland – Golden Hour

This is named to perfectly describe the music, the sun bathing your skin, calming you, as you lay on cool grass, listening to Soul inflected,completely undemanding music, nowhere to go, nothing that can’t wait. This is what calm retro Soul ‘Hotter Than The Sun‘ with judicious piano and synth plus Katy Shotter warm vocal gives us, but quite a lot of this is Yacht Rock of the electric piano and laying back with a cocktail type, ‘Escape Into Happiness‘ does this to a tee or 80’s Rupert Holmes stuff, ‘My Dog And Me‘ with thay bouncy joanna at the centre of things and surely ‘Christmas Time‘ is so 70’s smooth it could be a yuletide smash.

But he has audacity too, listen to that Carpenters melody on ‘Follow‘, then get a load of the Karen C lilt of Sumuda Jayatilaka’s delivery; strangely, it really works.

As brother of eponymous Jools, Christopher is often away with the Big Band, but glad he’s found the time to do this. It’s a catchier, more coherent set of songs than he’s produced before and by boarding the Yacht, he avoids any mawkishness; unaffected and very optimistic, don’t listen to this if you feel a hint of cynicism, but its just what we need as a general election looms and the winter chills our bones.

Play it and get your own Golden Hour.

Out On Cosmic Harmony Records

Remedy Rating: 4/5 Bed Rest