THOM YORKE - The Eraser
- The Final Word ambient musical stylings which sound like a the spiritual successor to half of the Aphex Twin s Drukqs create a oppressed suburban atmosphere of the big city And more This is Urban Music Music for exhausted scared commuters and bad tempered supermarket queues Not Oxide Neutrino or 50 Cent or whatever other rubbish that pumps out vaccously of loud stereos in white vans and boy racer cars and mobilephoneghettoblasters But it s more than just that it s paranoid It s the sound of people trapped in bunkers not sure if the world has turned to a permanent nuclear winter living on baked beans staring through telescopes at wastelands Distended piano melodies that are reminiscent of Life In A Glasshouse and lyrics that invoke the end times Atoms For Peace The Clock give us a clear image that Time Is Running Out Musically it sounds as if it might be almost completely without human input aside from Thom s ghostly vocals every sound could have come froma computer Drums rolls in the stuttering punctation of preprogrammed beats Bass squelches as buttons are manipulated And through it all the vocal drifts uneasily this is fucked up you re only being nice to me because you want something and other tokens of paranoia sit in the air The Eraser also never overstays it s welcome In these CD MP3 times albums become 80 100 150 minutes long Brevity is never a trait of themodern age Too much information Too much data Flying from all sides And in this The Eraser is almost a self fulfilling prophecy A curt 40 minute missive from a different world that looks just the same but is much more frightening The eyes of fear and the ears of terror And it sounds just like a Radiohead record
JOHNNY CASH : American V - A Hundred Highways
- The Final Word death of his wife and his own final exit A Hundred Highways is his last testament As another deceased Great American said Nothing here but the recordings Lacking perhaps any definitive moment of momentous import A Hundred Highways is instead a definitive high peak No single song leaps out as the definitive emotional shotgun like Hurt But every song ingrained with years of life decades of this world are clear Cash doesn t mean this he s lived this And staring down the barrel of his own mortality these raw emotional pleas to his Lord to come and save him are perhaps the most human songs ever recorded Much broo ha ha has been made over Like the 309 the last song he ever wrote But to me I Came To Believe the other Cash original is even stronger This is the sound of a man who knows who hopes for the greater in what comes after The choice of songs all wrapped up in the shroud of mortality of a near Hitch hikers style Total Perspective Vortex hang heavy over this The word Funeral wouldn t overdo it Each song is a concise stately elegy to passing and mortality
JAMES DEAN BRADFIELD - "The Great Western"
- The Final Word into quarters a castrated animal trying to walk on one leg Stepping into the solo arena first James Dean Bradfield Manic Street Preacher s songsmith virtuoso guitarist and vocalist in many ways the David Gilmour to Nicky Wire s misanthropic Roger Waters manages to stamp a distinct separate but clearly related personality onto the face of The Great Western Gone are the furiously articulate lyrics of his bandmates the wall of inarticulate guitars the abstract concepts and imagery In short all the things that made the Manics intellectually exceptional and interesting are missing Instead of lyrics that arrest the brain and force it to think the music feels its way through to the listener Emotions are the currency here and no not fucking Emo But The Great Western fails to compel It fails to pin the listener against the wall the way that truly great Manic s songs do It s impossible to just hear a song like Faster for example A song like Faster compels you to listen Much like an exorcism But here it s all too easy for the songs to just drift over the listener lacking the essential X Factor that made the Manics so essential to modern living On occasions the album breaks free That s No Way To Tell A Lie is as good as any Manics song of recent years Meanwhile the Beach Boys styled rock overload of Émigré excels a tense coiled snake of a song that strikes with the same kind of truth as someone who didn t see a UFO but BELIEVES he saw a UFO an emotional truth if not an intellectual one Aside from occasional high water marks such as the epic Still A Long Way To Go The Great Western overall lacks the compulsive essential lifeblood that
NICKY WIRE I Killed The Zeitgeist
- The Final Word debut as he wasn t good enough presents his first solo album and I Killed The Zeitgeist is at best a bizarre and interesting companionpiece to The Great Western both albums are rooted fiercely in the bands roots of the Welsh Valleys both offer a sense of the displaced and the hopeful melancholy that characterises their parent band both sound like the work of someone seeking their creative foil Musically Nicky Wire is the Graham Coxon to James Dean s Damon Albarn the rough spiky edges to the smooth surfaces the lo fi emotion verite Wire s singing voice and I use the word singing under duress is a blunt instrument lacking range or expression but somehow articulating the point more effectively for the inarticulacy of the voice After all we all know Lemmy s a better singer than Whitney Houston Not because of the ability but in spite of it The instrumentation of the album is clearly produced hovering at a sleek design ineffectively realised Bum notes abound Lyrics sit uncomfortably on top of sometimes primitive but heartfelt melodies and Nicky Wire the man who wrote far more of the Manic s canon of endlessly quotable lines than you
- The Final Word with no understanding of context style or taste I can always hit Shuffle on my black red etched signature 20GB U2Pod OK 3 Cover Art An old picture with some fancy warholian colours and a bizarre typeface That ll do it Forget the care and attention people use to put to designing a work of art knowin as an album sleeve CD is disposable transient a consumer product baked beans Just write U2 BEST OF on the front you ll do fine 4 Don t actually use the singles I already have the album versions of these songs why not the remix you did for the single After all if you want to lure in punters that s the one they know and love Did you know that Where The Streets Have No Name was re recorded for single release and aside from a 20 year old CD probably with PDO disc rot it s never been on a hits album Don t dare put the fucker out Let it rot Put the album version on it s less hassle that way 5 Ignore the stench of contractual obligation How much money do U2 need Even the Irish government is building the band their own skyscraper And you ve only released four singles since your last hits compilation So why not be money grubbing cunts and sell your dignity Treat your fans and the songs with the respect they deserve They ll buy any old crap sell it to them 6 Don t release a B Sides album In their career U2 have managed to hide new recordings on the flipside of all but 2 of their 45 singles put out a singles or b sides box set If you want to fleece us reprint all the singles as CD s in card sleeves and flog us a complete a s b sides 45CD box set for something ridiculous if you must At worst a 4 or 5 CD box set of all the 100 or so non album songs with a little book in Or why not 7 A Crappy Remixes Bonus Disc I thought a bonus was free Not anymore Your bonus disc can cost up to 9 for say a 20 minute DVD or a bunch of crappy generic listen just once and then destroy remixes If you re lucky the bonus disc has unreleased stuff for maximum fan fleeceage but whatever you do make sure it s in a non chronological order and only live versions or pisspoor demos Get yourself a clue Bono you haven t got a danceable bone in your skinny white rock body so stop trying to chase the latest club trend and admit that white saviours can t dance 8 The DVD Put some of your promo videos on a DVD slap on some deluxe limited edition content a couple of TV appearances an alternate video maybe an interview with the band s hairstylist assuming you re not suing them Whatever
MANIC STREET PREACHERS - "Send Away The Tigers"
- The Final Word a hidden cover of John Lennon A far cry from the lyric of 1991 I laughed when Lennon got shot In the space of 40 minutes the shortest Manics album ever fact fans Wales finest export run the gamut from the profane and profound to the ultimately pointless almost as if they are scrabbling around looking for reasons to exist There s moments of vital righteous fury in Underdogs and Rendition moments of seemingly purposeless rage Imperial Bodybags and some heartfelt immense melancholy such as the GNR style epic Autumnsongs The album opens with the title track which is well not all that Unlike other Manics album there are no instant stand out classics Lead off single Your Love Alone Is Not Enough a three way duet between lead singer James Nina from The Cardigans and bassist Nicky Wire is as confused and directionless as it sounds It s also catchy as hell but lacking in the typical purpose and motive Other Manics records seemed to exist because They Had To Because these songs were desperate for release needing escape and bristling with a righteous fury and divine purity of purpose This time around it s as if the record is bristling against its own apathy raging against its own lack of invention Send Away The Tigers is in every respect the nearest relative of The Manics Gold Against The Soul a polished economical rock record of widescreen vision and lacking in a vibrant earthy reality Attempts to produce a harsher sound seem almost like pale imitations of past work lesser facsimiles of The Holy Bible Indian Summer meanwhile cruises on a new identical imitation of A Design For Life whilst adhering to the law of diminishing returns It s not all pale imitations The Second Great Depression is an
THE MISSION - "God Is A Bullet"
- The Final Word level lyrics and pisspoor toilet wall poetry that is so inane it surely can never have been written down and finally the unexceptional almost lacking vocals of a Hussey who seems to have jettisoned his one redeeming feature at least in the old days he used to sound like he meant it whereas these days it sounds like he has one eye on something just over his shoulder Still Deep Water is at best aspiring to atmospheric Gdshrikera an unsuccessful attempt to copy Deliverance with diminishing returns akin to a sketch drawn from faded memory of what a good song could have been God Is A Bullet is the type of record The Mission could ve made sixteen years ago if they weren t that bothered Then they were far too busy making records that were at the least quite good in places Nowadays with dated production only the vaguest semblance of a band in place and a collection of awful meaningless songs God Is A Bullet is a load of rubbish from a band that exist only out of habit instead of actually being any good Don t buy this you re only encouraging them Wayne put this band out of it s misery Comments Load of rubbish Written by sichy on 2007 05 07 08 30 49 Mark Reed what do you know I really am not a person that would go and register for such web to write an opinion But your article is the most load of dribble I have red for years Seems you did not listen to it at all And comparing with SOM can anybody be more out of reality Written by markreed on 2007 05 07 13 52 39 What do I know I know The Mission well I ve seen them
PRINCE - Planet Earth
- The Final Word Is it only fit to give away Is it not worth paying for Well Planet Earth is OK Critics say as indeed they always do that this is the best Prince album since Sign O The Times They forget that Prince has never been particularly good at quality control His albums were always best viewed as a collection of songs with at least one duffer and that the albums were always too long released too often made of what seemed to be a random selection of songs in a nonsensical order Basically Prince writes great songs but doesn t have a clue how to make a good album anymore it was with Graffitti Bridge that Prince records started to get dodgy and he hasn t made a truly good record since Chaos And Disorder in 96 That s about 20 years of not very good albums Planet Earth won t buck that trend With a critical resurgence in recent years one would think that Prince has returned to form And in some ways he was Planet Earth has the best single song prince has recorded in decades Guitar Build from swooning U2esque chords and a wonderfully daft lyric Guitar is pop at it s best knowing the artificial construct of pop music playing with it and thoroughly thrilling at the same time Similarly the 1 U Wanna C is equally memorable and exciting Elsewhere though Planet Earth is a bit of a dirge There are generally two types of Prince songs upbeat slices of thrilling pop life and generic slabs of formless R n B Somewhere Here On Earth and Future Baby Mama are forgettable exercises in exploring the horizontal angles of love and lust that Prince has done better decades ago Mr Goodnight is actually possibly the worst song