Thursday, February 7, 2008

That's How People Grow Up

Artist: Morrissey

Song: That's How People Grow Up

Release Date: 4/02/2008

Album: Greatest Hits
(Release 11/02/2008)

This is Morrissey's first release of 2008 and is the first single of his up and coming greatest hits album.
The opening introduction of the song features wailing vocals from Kristina Young, who has been Morrisseys support act on tour.

The rule of thumb is that it is important to capture the listener in the first 30 seconds of the song and this is successfully done, the introduction is a hook in itself and offers out an invitation to continue listening and is well backed up by a strong verse melody and throbbing guitar riff.

The melody leading into the chorus is extremely catchy and is the stronger melody throughout, which is delivered in a softer vocal than we expect from Morrissey. When listening to this song I get the impression that Morrissey is either tired or not enjoying the song as his voice sounds weak, tired and thin, definitely lacking the strength we are used to hearing. It could be argued that it is a conscious decision to perform in such a way, but seeing as the song is similar to "You have killed me" I am sticking with my first opinion.

The Chorus lacks the hook and 'sing along' element previously heard in the verse, this is a shame as the natural progression to take it up a notch is missing. The Melody has a 60's feel and is catchy in its own right but for me it is outdone by a strong verse.
The lyrical content is typical Morrissey and is as profound as ever, discussing selflishness, love and death in an autobiographical account, showing Morrissey hasnt lost his touch for the command of the english language.

The ending is sudden and fits perfectly, and for me a tight, focussed beginning and end to a song is important and this song achieves both. Leaving the listener in no doubt what they have listened to, its like adding a capital letter and a full stop and doing it unapologetically so.

Overall this song stays in the same vein as his others such as "You have killed me" and "first of the gang" which is no doubt influenced by the fact that Boz Boorer, Morrisseys lead guitarist and co-songwriter has been working with him for so long.

For me the only real downfall is the chorus melody and instrumental changes, it just feels a little bland and predictable.
In todays music world lyrics and content appear to not be on the adgenda, when you listen to Morrissey you get more than a music masterpiece, you get a commentary, a poem within music, and for that reason this song manages to scrape credibility.
If you can get over feeling unsatisfied by the experience and follow the lyrics and meaning, you will find some pleasure but other than that dont expect a 'new' sound or a song to knock your socks off.

***1/2 star rating

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Some People Have Real Problems

Artist: Sia

Album: Some People Have Real Problems

Release date: 14/01/2008

Sia is an artist that has been around for some time, building on and gaining adoration and respect from her loyal fanbase.

She first came to light after singing on all three Zero7 albums with her most notable performances on the hit singles "Destiny" and "distractions"

Some People have real problems is Sia's 4th album and is a charming and 'real' creation

Little black Sandals is an excellent opening song, traditional downtempo tune featuring a solid yet unintrusive drum beat coupled with an extremely catchy melody that is reminiscent of pop songs. Dont let the term pop fool you as there is nothing shallow about this song and the lyrics are example of that.You will find yourself singing "These Little black sandals....." all day

Lentil is a smooth and flowing song that will draw you in with its moving melody and unbeleivebly strong vocal performance. The vocal in particular oozes emotion and i defy anyone to not have the hair on their arms stand on end.
The ballads are perfectly contrasted with uptempo songs like "Girl you lost to cocaine" and "Academia", the latter having cleverly constructed lyrics matched with a playful verse vocal melody that pulls you through the song until an epic and floating chorus.

Over all this album has a fine balance of heartfelt emotional songs, that cant help touch some part of the listeners spirit and is matched with uptempo bouncy songs that lift and cheer.
Every song on this album has a strong back bone and defined sound from solid bass and ryhthm to unmistakable vocal hooks that are by no means predictable.

If this album is not nominated for at least one award it will be an injustice.
5 star rating *****