Now and then when an album comes out from an artist I really like it usually takes me a while to come round and listen to it. Why this happens, I’ll never know. Anyway, this is what I’ve been playing recently.
I absolutely loved their debut ‘Fever to Tell’ it was angst ridden, aggressive and Karen O’s energy can’t really be matched especially on the live stage. With their third release they seemed to take a more electronic route and express a softer side but the singles that were released ‘Head Will Roll‘ and ‘Zero‘ never really caught me like say, ‘Maps‘ or ‘Y Control‘ did. Now while this album was released in 2009 and I have had it since around about that time it mainly just has sat on the shelf It wasn’t until I heard ‘Dull Life‘ and ‘Skeletons‘ on a TV show I was like ‘wow, those are good songs’ so that in turn got me interested in the record again. It’s a good album very consistent, though not as edgy as their previous stuff is has a more of a pop sensibility and that’s not really a bad thing..
Another album from 2009. Folk singer Marissa Nadler has been a favourite of mine for a few years ever since her 2007 album Songs III: Bird on the Water with her cover of the classic Leonard Cohen song ‘Famous Blue Raincoat‘ and the exceptional single ‘Diamond Heart‘. Again, sifting through my album collection I came across this and to be honest I totally forgot that I had it, in fact it was still in the shrink-wrap, that’s the perils of being a compulsive record buyer you forget you have things. Anyway, I don’t know what it was about 2009 but everyone seemed to be making poppier music, not that Nadler would ever be that way but this album is a lot more polished than her previous releases especially with the song ‘Mary Comes Alive’ with Kate Bush style drums and even has a catchy chorus. So yes, if you like folk-y singer songwriter music then Nadler is your girl.
Through my Marrisa Nadler resurgence and her cover of Famous Blue Raincoat, I went back to the man who can reduce me to tears, Leonard Cohen. I’ve always liked his music and love his albums ‘Recent Songs‘ and ‘Death of a Ladies Man‘ but for some reason ‘Songs in Love and Hate’ just seemed to pass me by recently it has occured to me that this must be his best album. Songs like ‘Avalanche‘ and ‘Joan of Arc’ are absolutely stunning. The only thing that was a bit of a question mark was the need to put a live version of ‘Sing Another Song, Boys‘ or even state that its a live recording you can’t really tell apart from Cohen talking but anyway. If you are a newbie to Leonard Cohen maybe start hear first its the best way to summerize his overall mood and feel.