U2 & Coldplay

Before anything, I would like to suggest that if you are in the Merton Area please take a look at my mates Loft Conversion company!

I don’t want to discuss a specific song or a specific album of U2, but let’s face facts. U2 is one of the greatest bands of all time and probably the greatest in the recent decades. There has been such a huge drop off not just in terms of talent for rock bands, but also a huge drop off in the quality of music that has been released by rock bands in this day and age. It is a genre that you could probably consider to be dying, especially since the mainstream has come to accept and focus on other music genres other than rock. That’s why I consider U2 to be one of the greatest or maybe even the greatest rock band of all time. They not only have a ton of greatest hits and obviously made quite a lot of money from it, there music still stands up to any other song to this day. Very rarely can singer or music artist stay so famous and still be a star for so long that their fame outlives their music career but Bono is one of those artists. But the fact is even just listening to their greatest hits, it’s clear that their greatest hit songs still stack up against any other bands greatest hits and are better for the most part.

I could talk about some of the albums they have made (greatest hits albums don’t count to be fair) but the obvious and best one was the Joshua Tree. I would actually like to talk instead about some of my favourite U2 songs that I have always loved. One of their earliest hits but also one of their best hits is “In The Name Of Love (Pride)”. It really is a great song and it is one of the songs that has really stood the test of time. To this day if you listen to this song it is really great. It isn’t the best song that they have ever made though. My personal favourite U2 song that they have created is most likely Sweetest Thing just because of how catch it is and also how smooth of a song it is too. But they really do have a lot of great songs that really you can’t say one is definitively better than the other. Some of the many songs that come to mind is “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “New Year’s Day”, “With or Without You”, “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “Desire”, “Electrical Storm”, etc. There are so many to still name. It really is hard to argue that U2 is one of the best bands ever to grace the music industry.

Another band that are on the same level of U2 in terms of music quality over a large length of time is Coldplay however. When I went to Thailand they were by far the most played musicians in the entire country and no matter where you would go you would hear a Coldplay song. It wouldn’t just be the new ones either like “Hymn For The Weekend”. They would play the entire album of Rush of Blood to the Head and others . It really did not only make the country feel like home at some parts, but you could also tell how much Coldplay has gotten around the world. They also in my opionion have created some of the best music of the last two decades when you look at some of the songs that they have released.

Again, my personal favourite Coldplay song is “Yellow” just because of how good it is. The lyrics aren’t anything that you can’t live without but it does sound really good. Another good example of an early Coldplay song that is really good is “Trouble”. The lyrics are good for the song but the piano is what really makes the song great. It sounds so much better than most of the music at the time and even to this day. But like I said, to this day they still release hits like “Hymn for the Weekend”. Most newer bands won’t be as good because these guys are the exception, but if there is to be a resurgence hopefully it comes close!

Black Keys – Brothers

 

Sorry about the delay in posting, been going through Freshers fortnight stuff! One of the nights was a Black Keys cover band in the bar (They were only ok), and I realised I’ve heard a couple of their songs before, but never heard a full album from them. So I decided to listen to Brother, which most critics say is their best so far!

Continue reading “Black Keys – Brothers”

Beck – Morning Phase

One of my flatmates (Rick) was listening to an album on his laptop in the kitchen the other day and it sounded ok, so I got what it was from him: Beck’s Morning Phase album. (sidenote, my flatmate’s really interesting, he’s doing this marketing degree with me, but also helps his dad run a Roof Repair company, is starting up his own online business while studying and getting involved in the Student Union. Don’t know where he finds time!). Anyway, Beck isn’t normally my kind of thing, but again, I’ve made a decision not to judge and try to expand my tastes! He’s very folk-rock nowadays, basically stuff you’d hear in a Wes Anderson movie.

The title morning phase works for this album, it’s all VEEEERY slow, almost like a slow sunrise, taking forever, almost not even moving until you glance away and look back again. It’s very mellow, fairly dark and bittersweet, a bit stoner-ish, almost like the morning after a long night (figuratively and literally). Some reviewers have said it’s because of the time he spent recovering from a spinal injury, which gave him a lot of time to get dark, insular and self-examining. This is now the “Morning Phase” because he’s woken up to having a normal life again. Either way, you won’t hear this in the club! Continue reading “Beck – Morning Phase”

The Weeknd – Trilogy

I heard “Can’t Feel My Face” in the uni bar the other day and I decided checking The Weeknd out might be a good idea even though he’s a bit too pop for my tastes. I did decide I’d listen to new stuff though so I decided not to judge until I’d heard some of his other stuff. I checked out what reviewers think is his best album and everyone seems to say this one.

So firstly I’ve gotta say, this album is really cool, nothing like the pop that Can’t Feel my Face sounds like. It’s really adult and all about drugs and sex. It’s very dark, gritty and sounds like something out of the 80’s. You can tell he’s talking from his own experiences in life and what he’s gone through. It makes the whole album real and unlike anything I’ve heard before, it’s almost a bit like if Nine Inch Nails went into hip hop instead. Continue reading “The Weeknd – Trilogy”

J Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

So after listening to To Pimp A Butterfly, I asked my friend Caleb (the one that introduced me to Kendrick Lamar) what else there is like it out there and without a beat he mentioned J Cole’s latest album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. So I checked that out and loved it!

Again it’s an album that talks a lot about the black psyche, experience and problems that face black people in the US. This album was released just before the black lives matter movement, so it’s also a victim of bad timing because he makes no reference to it, even though it becomes one of the most important things in black culture from late 2015. He tells a great story, though you can tell he doesn’t have as good technique as some other rappers like Kendrick Lamar. Continue reading “J Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive”

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

I think I’ll start this blog with the best album I’ve heard in a REALLY long time! One of the guys in my Photoshop class was listening to one of the songs – think it was How Much a Dollar cost on his headphones and I could hear it, asked him what he was listening to and he recommended the album.

Firstly WOW. He captures so much of the feeling in America right now of racism and all the institutional problems, and the reason why the #blacklivesmatter movement has become so big. He goes back to the roots of black culture both with the music that he’s using (Funk, Jazz and the Blues), the lyrics that he’s rapping/singing and the imagery used in the songs and videos.

Kendrick Lamar To Pimp A Butterfly

Every song addresses something to do with the life of black youth, discrimination, the trap of growing up in an urban ghetto, and so many other problems I’m lucky enough that I’m too privileged to ever feel. He’s really turned his eye against America and the problems everyone knows are there but the people in power fail to address over and over again. Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly”