Tuesday, 22 December 2015

What we're listening to. Our Album of the year 2015.



As you know, each Friday throughout the year we post about an Album we're listening to and recommend it. It proves popular so thanks for that (you can register on this blog for an email alert too if you wish on the right under 'Automatic Updates'). 

They're varied across the years - Classics. Stuff we're loving.

And here's the full 2015 list should you be looking for something over Christmas: Bad Company Straight Shooter; Jackson Browne Love is Strange; Lou Reed Transformer; Steely Dan Aja; Stones Black+Blue; Stephen Bishop Careless; Nils Lofgren Night after Night; Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells; Neil Young Harvest; Led Zep 4; David Bowie David Live; Van It's too late to stop now; Wings Band on the run; Rod Stewart Atlantic Crossing; Ryan Adams Heartbreaker; Santana Essential; Bob Dylan Desire; Roxy Music For your pleasure; Bob Marley Legend; Stephen Fretwell Magpie; James Taylor Sweet Baby James; Deep Purple Machine Head; Springsteen Darkness on the edge of town; Leon Bridges Coming Home; Eagles Hotel California; Jungle; Aretha Soul Queen; Neil Young After the Goldrush; Zappa Overnite Sensation; Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Keith Jarrett Koln Concert; Doobies Southbound; Stevie Earle I feel alright; Tom Waits Closing Time; Pink Floyd Dark Side; Van Moondance; Eric Church Caught in the Act; Randy Newman Little Criminals; Elton John Madman across the water; Patti Smith Horses; Doobies Captain and Me; Steely Dan Can't Buy a Thrill.

But in April we came across Mr. Lamar and 'To pimp a butterfly'. Since then it's gone stratospheric - Rolling Stone/NME/New York Times one of 'the best Albums of 2015' and the highest number of grammy nominations (11) due for that announcement in Feb 2016.

Although 'Coming Home' Leon Bridges ran it close, but Kendrick Lamar's 'Butterfly' is our Album of 2015.

Here's what we said last April - 


Well we had to listen because it seems the whole world is listening too. 
So we were starting to feel left out.....

This will take a bit of getting used to but it IS worth it. 


His third album just released in March, with Dr. Dre and Pharrell Williams all playing a Production part. It's become/becoming a huge album (Billboard number one) with lavish, superb production values that need (like all good records) many listenings. Many are calling it 'a masterpiece'. We are, sorta, kinda.


It's a real mixture of jazz, hip hop, funk, pop....everything. 


The hip hop vinyl scratching on the track 'Wesley's Theory' is very 2 Pac (as is 'Momma'). 'For Free' is straight out of the Frank Zappa handbook (yes, Frank Zappa). 'King Kunta' is the single, pure rap, with the Michael Jackson 'Eddie are you okay?' reference. 'Hood Politics' starts as a Steely Dan tune. 


But go straight to the last few tracks and you'll know if it's for you. 'You Ain't Gotta Lie' which is very Erykah Badu and excellent as is 'i' (video below). 


But it's all a lot mixed up which makes it a lot...well, interesting. Beautiful even in parts and magnificently produced.


Nice for a change but you need to keep with it and it will reward you.




And all you Ad people, just listen to the sound mix and production on this....genius. Radio can work like this too y'know!