Monday, February 28, 2005

Electric Six LIVE

The kings of irreverance put on one hell of a show. There is no mistaking the fact that their new album is nowhere near as good as their classic debut, but there are enough good songs knocking about in the Electric Six cannon to make for a wonderful hour and half of stomping entertainment.

And let's face it. It's worth the price of admission alone for Gay Bar, Dance Commander, Danger! High Voltage, Vibrator and Radio Ga Ga.

Snotty critics may scoff, but sod 'em. Just get your dancing shoes on and have a bloody good time. I sure did.

Friday, February 18, 2005

KT Tunstall LIVE

Well what a way to kick off the 2005 concert season. This was, quite simply, absolutely bloody fantastic. This girl isn't a star yet, but she soon will be.

The entire audience was captivated from start to finish by this superb singer-songwriter, who played virtually all of her debut album, Eye To The Telescope. Technical problems didn't faze her, and didn't detract one iota from the concert.

KT can do the fast songs and the slow songs with equal aplomb, and never hits (or sings) a bum note throughout.

To be honest, I think I'm in love with her.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Electric Six - Senor Smoke

As great as their debut album "Fire" was, there was always the danger that the joke would wear thin long before a follow-up could ever be released. And whilst "Senor Smoke" doesn't live up to it's predecessor, either in terms of tunes or hilarity, there is enough good stuff on it to render it worth a listen.

Internet-only single "Vibrator" is an instant sing-a-long classic, (who could resist the lines "she don't need no Vibrator, no electric genetalia tonight") and rocks out as much as anything we've heard from them before. "Boy or Girl", "Devil Night's" and "Rock and Roll Evacuation" all display the irreverence one would expect and all have laugh out loud moments contained within, and all have the ability to get you dancing.

Sadly there is too much "by the numbers" filler on this album to make it really stand out, but there's enough quality to make it a worthwhile addition to Fire.

Icon's View - 3 out of 5

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Emiliana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman

Call my cynical but when an unsuccessful artist completely changes direction after their debut album I have to wonder whether its the artist themselves or the record industry who make that change. 1999's Love In The Time Of Science is the polar opposite of this second album from the delightful Emiliana. Where as that was electronically based music, albeit of the "chill out" variety, this album is pared down to the bare minimum, with acoustic and gentle songs.

The problem is, it is perhaps too gentle and quiet to really grab the attention over a whole album. There is no doubting that Emiliana is a talent, and there is no doubting that the songs are good, but listening through the album all in one go is not ideal. Fact is, if you were to listen and fall asleep, when you woke up you would be hard pressed to know which track was on. They all kind of blend into one another.

All in all though, this is not a bad album. In short doses it is worth a listen, but at times it's just too anonymous to really stand out from the crowd.

Icon's View - 3 out of 5

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous

What could be worse that a band fronted by a former teen movie starlet, which also includes her (ex) boyrfriend? Not much you would think, but ignore all that (although do watch Plesantville, in which lead singer Jenny Lewis has a part - that is a quality film) and instead just sit back and listen to one of the most pleasantly pop albums in quite some time.

One listen through is all it takes for most of the delicate melodies to lodge inside you brain although it takes subsequent listens to appreciate the lyrical venom that sometimes lurkes behind the calm veneer. This juxtaposition only adds to the band's appeal, giving the music heart and soul.

Stand out tracks include, "It's A Hit" (which it certainly should be), "I Never" which seemingly adds a cast of thousands to the group and lead single "Portions For Foxes" which deserves to lodge into the top 10 on a permanent basis.

Occasional lapses into schmaltz mean the album isn't perfect, and the collection does peak rather early, but if Miss Lewis really is "Bad News" as she suggests she is, then long may the bad news continue.

Icon's View - 4 out of 5