When I actually stop to think about it, I hear and listen to music everyday. I hear music from alerts on my iPhone 7, from adverts on the TV, from the iconic intro to Eastenders to the BBC news and even the birds tweeting. When I listen to music, it is more of a conscious choice. I might choose to put on Radio 2, put a record on or choose a recently downloaded track on Spotify. How exciting – music is everywhere!
Take today, I have been listening to an album by the Banderas, ‘Ripe’, on vinyl (1991) and streaming Harry Styles’ self-titled debut solo album on Spotify (2017). The Banderas, according to Wikipedia:
“…were a female music duo of the early 1990s who were signed to London Records. The band was an offshoot of Jimmy Somerville’s band The Communards, and featured two of his female backing musicians Sally Herbert and shaven headed singer Caroline Buckley.
The duo are mostly remembered for their hit single “This Is Your Life”, which peaked at #16 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1991. The track was co-written with songwriter Roger Swallow and contains samples of the song “Crack Attack” by Grace Jones from her 1989 album Bulletproof Heart. The duo appeared on BBC One’s Top of The Pops on 21 March 1991 to perform the song.
The duo’s album, Ripe, peaked at #40 in the UK, and featured further singles “She Sells” (#41) and “May This Be Your Last Sorrow” (which did not chart).”
And so to Harry Styles and the eagerly anticipated new album. I have to confess to not being a huge fan of One Direction – sorry… However, when I heard that he is now being compared to David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, I thought it would be worth a listen. The first single released was ‘Sign of the Times’ – absolutely excellent, moody with strong lyrics and melody. Tim Jonze, in the Guardian, described it thus “Styles has revealed his first solo single to be a bombastic slice of bombastic piano pop that builds bombastically to a bombastic ending.”
So to the album…I have listened to it twice and would say that it is a grower. Some of the tracks don’t work, in particular for me would be ‘Sweet Creature’ which was chosen as his second single. Other tracks such as ‘Meet Me in the Hallway’ and ‘Only Angel’ are stronger. Alexis Petridis, again in the Guardian, gives a very fair review of the album. I’m already looking forward to his second album.