Thursday, March 26, 2015

A to Z - X is for Xylophone (also has Y's, Z's and 0's)

We don't hear enough of the xylophone in modern music.

Create a new cause ! Bring Forth The Xylophone Bands !!!

So what have we got in X ? I am going to cheat too. There will be Y's, Z's and Number Albums here too because we're that close to finishing off.

First up is Coldplay with X and Y. Another good album from them but their main problem is that so much of their stuff just sounds the same as the last track. Which is sad. Great individual tracks, bit of a bore of an album. But still very listenable to.

Next one up is a game soundtrack, this time from Xenonauts. Very creepy soundtrack, rather fitting to the game, which is an Aliens Invade And We're Not Ready game. It's set in maybe 80s time and typically for these, you're outclassed at the start and racing to catch up and then keep up with the technology the aliens have to play with. If you'd like to see more, there's an excellent playthrough from Scott Manley (linky).

The XX are a group that emerged a few years ago. They quickly stood out with a fairly unique sound, with the two vocalists blending in with the instruments in a way that was inspired and sublime. Their self titled album is a cracker to listen to. Highlight ? Crystallised was the track that introduced me to them, it was a freebie from iTunes single of the week.

And we're quickly into the Y's with Franz Ferdinand's You Could Have It So Much Better. This one's a great one to listen to as well. I've been listening to several Kings Of Leon albums too, their Y is Youth And Young Manhood. Again, a decent album but ... it's not that female soaring vocal archetype that gets me sitting up and listening.

No Z's ? That doesn't seem right for a Sleepy Person. Must see if I can find some Z albums.

The Beatles have always been an incredible band and I picked up their 1 album quite a few years ago. Still enjoy it, it's loaded with cracking songs like Eleanor Rigby, Yesterday, Something and Let It Be. They made some very sweet music in their time.

I picked up Air's 10,000 Hz Legend which is another decent album but none that really stand out sadly. Still worth a listen if you can find it cheap. Air are different enough to be very interesting :-).

In seeking to expand my classical collection, I picked up the 40 Most Beautiful Classics album. Classical can benefit from collections. With vocal music, I prefer to avoid collections and get the main albums but classical collections cut out the filler and just have the excellence.

Kasabian's latest is 48:13. Again, a really good album but the songs mush into each other. It doesn't have the character of Velociraptor. Another mushy together album was Kate Bush's 50 Words For Snow. It's a shame Kate Bush reached her zenith with The Sensual World, the rest of her albums were missing that early brilliance. (Must listen to The Kick Inside again soon).

One album of sheer brilliance is Suzanne Vega coming in with 99.9 degrees F. This one is loud, tuneful and showing off some unusual ways of making the music. Possibly her best (after Solitue Standing) and the highlights just keep on coming, including Blood Makes Noise (which makes impressive use of stereo) and the sad songs like Blood Sings and Bad Wisdom. Highly recommended.

Last one for the A to Z's :

2001 was a great movie. Ok, perhaps it was a little slow in parts but it still stands today as one of the best movies ever made. In my opinion :-). The special effects still stand in excellent stead in today's era of computer graphic animation. And what ties it all together is a soundtrack that shows off some of the best classical music. I'd thoroughly recommend watching the film and listening out for that soundtrack.

That's it for the A to Z's ! I may do another at some point for all the music that's appeared since I started these. All those albums that missed out the first time around. I think The Staves with Dead and Born And Grown was one of those. I'm enjoying working my way through listening to their new album but I'm listing it here just so I get an excuse to listen to the amazing Wisely And Slow. Great harmonies.

Great music.

I hope if anyone's been reading these, they've been introduced to some new music they've taken a liking to. That's the main reason I do the music posts, to expose people to new stuff that I hope they enjoy.

As I hope you enjoy this one ! (Listen to the Staves ...)

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