Hop on board the new release express, next stop Judgement Central. Whose album is a First Class seat with a glass of champagne and who is an overpriced egg mayo sandwich from the buffet car?
Even before I listened to the debut album I'm Yours by Pixie Geldof, I knew that she could not avoid becoming a poster child for nepotism – the only question was whether it would be for or against. The answer is that she veers towards the former, mainly because the apple has fallen a decent distance from the tree. This is not a Daddy issues wannabe album. It is a solid record. Pixie's voice may not be perfect but there is something endearing about its simplicity, especially on title track I'm Yours which is a fine pop song with more than a hint of Enya when it comes to the chorus.
There is an understandable undercurrent of sadness, most notably on the beautifully poignant Twin Thing. Peaches Geldof passed away in 2014 and sister Pixie's wish that, in the last days of her life, they had shared the heightened connection purportedly experienced by twins is a heartbreaking sentiment. I would say that more songs fall wide of the mark than not. Having said that, there is an obvious talent here and the album has clearly been released on merit which did surprise me. Unlike many other celebrity children, Pixie has evidently picked a vocation that she has an aptitude for and does not need parental favours to flourish.
A curiosity that crossed my path this week was Older Terrors by Brighton trio Esben and the Witch. Initially dismissed as an EP, the album actually consists of four lengthy tracks. Fluctuating from dreamy to aggressive and powerful, the wispy float of singer Rachel Davies' voice is dangled tantalisingly throughout as a guide through the wilderness of the songs. The biggest instrument that the band rely on is your imagination. What they are generating are musical worlds and inviting you to roam free. Not exactly an album that you'd want coming on shuffle at a party but lock yourself away in a darkened room and see where it takes you.
Canadian band The Silver Hearts are certainly not a household name but I implore you to check out their new album 'Golden Favourites'. What started out as a duo quickly expanded into a quartet and now boasts over a dozen members. The music is a mixture of originals and covers, ranging in style from country to blues to jazz but always played with a rustic charm. For some reason, the whole time I was listening, I kept picturing them in a town not dissimilar to the one Marty McFly finds himself in during Back To The Future 3.
They deviate from the sublime to the ridiculous to the downright macabre with such delightful ease. A particular favourite of mine was Letter To The Editor, a wry sideways glance at small town life which had more than a touch of Garrison Keillor about it. The Silver Hearts are clearly true musicians, talented individuals who would no doubt be playing even if nobody was listening. Luckily for me, I decided to listen and I really hope you do too.
Finally this week, we have This House Is Not For Sale by rock legends Bon Jovi. With the band having released twelve albums before this one, I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear that it is a collection of rock anthems and ballads, much like everything that has gone before. The band have an incredible energy and if you have a particular affinity with Bon Jovi's style then you will not be disappointed. This is upbeat and signals a return to a more rock sound for the band but that really is just the equivalent of saying that the apples purchased from the supermarket are a little bit rounder than they were last time.
This House Is Not For Sale is really one for the purists, those clockwork individuals who buy every album and attend every tour. For the casual Bon Jovi listener, this really is not trying anything different and there are plenty of earlier albums that are better. The process of releasing an album now for Bon Jovi appears to be as a way of selling tickets for a tour. They released The Circle in 2009 and then played 85 shows in 2010 and 59 shows in 2011. Then they released What About Now in 2013 which coincided with a 102 date tour. There is already a 2017 tour planned which currently stands at 29 dates. No wonder they're not planning a musical overhaul anytime soon.
Then again, I might be wrong. I am a Musical Moron, after all...
Silver Hearted glee
Bon Jovi's at it again
Pixie carves a niche
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