September 2011, Will I Ever See Heaven Again?

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1. Okt. 2011, 21:37

Firstly, an omission. Laura Marling's A Creature I Don't Know really should have been in my August journal, but hey, it's given me a cracking title for this month's so let's not fret. While I really liked I Speak Because I Can, I remember at the time that one track was so mindblowingly amazing (come on down, Hope in the Air) it cast an enormous shadow over everything else. Something similar happens here, but this time it's the twin towers of Salinas and The Beast that make it really hard to keep your finger off the skip back button. I'm guessing you could say that both tracks are signs of Laura stretching herself even further than before, and both are enormous: Salinas building to a heavenly conclusion while The Beast starts from a rumble and brings to mind very un-Laura Marling words like 'mean' and 'moody', before reaching a towering climax of something else you don't think of with Laura: noise. As with I Speak... I do like the rest of the album, but unfortunately the other tracks are dwarfed by these two monoliths that sit in the middle and get replayed more often than not...

The only contact I'd had with St. Vincent before now was a brief support appearance for The National that left no impression whatsoever, and then the rather lovely duet with that Bon Iver fella, Rosyln. Neither could have prepared me for Strange Mercy.It starts innocuously enough with Chloe in the Afternoon, but then Cruel follows with a Controversy-era Prince meets MGMT vibe, and you know something's stirring...Hope she didn't catch a chill when she saw America with no clothes on in the Goldfrapp goes indie-ish Cheerleader. Her dressing-up box gets even bigger to take in Fever Ray and Bjork on title track Strange Mercy, and galloping clubby stormer Hysterical Strength sounds like My Bloody Valentine and The National been taken to the disco experiment lab by Grimes.Mention must be made too of belter Northern Lights, and that moment at 2:34 which is even better than the bit with the sax in the M83 song.

Ladytron have been a firm favourite of mine for years now, surviving the leap from the very indie-ish (and patchy) first two albums into the sleek and polished (and fantastic) Witching Hour, and beyond. Newie Gravity the Seducer doesn't really move the goalposts too much from the last few albums, but it has proved a bit of an oddity in that it's a 'Tron album I've liked right from the get-go. Whereas normally there's a bit of getting used to before much clicks, this all just sounds 'right' straight away. Nothing really stands out, and to a certain degree it is like the edges have been taken off, but is all done in a rather lovely way, especially on the pretty Ambulances and pretty epic White Gold

I couldn't resist temptation knowing that the M83 opus Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. had leaked. It gets off to an almighty start with the intriguingly titled Intro, at once combining the later 80s synth sounding M83 with the old-school drone style, and it sounds positively HUGE. Follow this up with single-of-the-year contender Midnight City, and whatever came third was bound to fall flat by comparison, so there really was no need for Reunion to be given this task when it sounds like a Waterfront-era Simple Minds b-side.There are moments of true beauty in the 22 song, 73 minute epic, but I think Mr M83 may have just been a bit too ambitious, as it doesn't really hold the interest over the full course. Maybe more listens will reveal further gems, but for now nothing else on it can live with those first two tracks.

I'm also really hoping that something similar will happen with Loney, dear's Hall Music. 2009's Dear John is a huge favourite of mine, but so far the follow up is mostly leaving me colder than Emil's Swedish fridge-freezer. Largo bucks this trend in a gorgeous fashion, and lead-single-of-sorts My Heart is nearly very good. Trouble is, when you know he can be dazzlingly brilliant, being nearly very good is a disappointment. But maybe now that the winter's about to kick in it'll get better...

I'll briefly pop in the messy but excellent in places In the Grace of Your Love by The Rapture too, but think Ishould really come back to it later,and Never Trust A Happy Song by Grouplove is going to have to wait too!

Nevermind, have a top 20 chart instead:

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