Archive for July 19th, 2006

July 19, 2006

JAMES DEAN BRADFIELD – That’s No Way To Tell A Lie (2x CD & 7″ Singles)

That's No Way To Tell A Lie CoverColumbia 82876861592 / 82876861582 / 82876861587: 10th July 2006
1. That’s No Way To Tell A Lie
“So we crawl from the water’s edge, returning to dip our heads again, and back to where it all began”
2. Don’t Look Back
“Sing another song, as long as the words don’t break your heart, have another drink, as long as you don’t fall down again”
3. Kodachrome Ghosts
“Pictures cling to my mind, 1980’s Christmas day, you we’re younger than I am today, now I’m here in this room, with your life on my knees, a shoe box full of memories”
4. I Never Wanted Sunshine
“I’m just taking it slow today, just waiting for the wind to change, to blow away the blue skies”
5. Lost Again
“Stretching out to a different place, I’m finding pieces of your crown, and it breaks my heart to say, I’ve looked but never found”

I’m a massive fan of Manic Street Preachers and I love pretty much everything they’ve done. I love their much maligned second album and I also love their criminally underrated last album. I’m not one of those stupid people that resent the fact that they didn’t split up after the first album like they promised. So my initial disappointment with James Dean Bradfield’s first solo single came as a surprise. But after the sixth or seventh listen of ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’ something just clicked and I loved it. The lyrics seem to be hinting at the image of Jesus rising from the dead. It nicks the shimmering Synth from ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and adds handclaps and the trademark Guitar work. But whether or not you grow to love the A-side, you’ve got to buy this release for the quality of the B-sides.

‘Don’t Look Back’ is an anguished bid to escape a past full of regret. The opening line of the Pet Shop Boy’s classic 1990 single ‘Being Boring’ was “I came across a cache of old photos” and ‘Kodachrome Ghosts’ expands this image to a whole song. His voice slips in and out of a graceful Falsetto as the pain of his memories become more acute. James’s first ever lyric ‘Ocean Spray’ was about his recently departed Mother. This is also about somebody who is gone, but it isn’t made clear whom. The Guitar solo is another James Dean Bradfield masterpiece and it’s so tear stained you can just about taste the salt. ‘I Never Wanted Sunshine’ has a fiercely angry sound that is matched by a bitter lyric. ‘Lost Again’ seems to be about James’ feelings towards God, which connects it with ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’. He’s surveying the state of the world today and wondering, if God exists why doesn’t he do something.

These are songs that deal with faith, regret, loss and confusion as befits a man who has only found his voice in his late 30s. Hopefully this will come out as a 5-Track Japanese release like some of the Manic’s singles did, because these songs deserve to be heard as a whole. Only a week until the album comes out, I can’t wait.

Here are links to watch the videos for ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’, ‘Émigré (Acoustic)’ and ‘Ocean Spray’ on YouTube.

Click here to pre-order ‘The Great Western’ CD album from HMV for only £8.99.

James Dean Bradfield Website / James Dean Bradfield MySpace Page
Manic Street Preachers Website / Nicky Wire Website

July 19, 2006

GET CAPE. WEAR CAPE. FLY – Call Me Ishmael / I-Spy (CD & 7″ Single)

Call Me Ishmael & I-Spy CoverAtlantic ATUK032CD / ATUK032: 10th July 2006
1. Call Me Ishmael
“And fatigue’s soon ignored, as your feet hit the board, or as the beat hits the floor, these are the moments that we’re living for”
2. I-Spy
“I don’t care, that this song has a melody, or that the beats are not complex, I’m just trying to make you sing and not be perplexed”
3. To Have & To Have Not
“At twenty-one you’re on top of the scrapheap, at sixteen you were top of yer class, all they taught you at school, was how to be a good worker, the system has failed you, don’t fail yourself”
4. The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager: Part One (Live)
“We broke our backs on floors of stone, but I’d rather wake there any day, than wake up here alone”

At last, here is the follow up to Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’s split EP with Dave House. Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is Sam Duckworth, who sings songs backed by Laptop Electronica, Violins and Brass instruments. I first heard him at a Love Music Hate Racism night at the Bush Hall in London that Sam had arranged. Since then he’s signed up to Atlantic and it’s always good to have such a politically committed guy riding high in the charts.

‘Call Me Ishmael’ is like the thoughts of Billy Bragg channelled through the music of Patrick Wolf and The Polyphonic Spree. The bit where Sam sings the line “The one little moment where our dreams still feel alive” and the Cornet comes in, makes me want to wave my hands in the air, dance out into the street and hug everybody! At 2.40 it reminded me of ‘Lisa, It’s Your Birthday’ from that episode of The Simpsons where they cast Michael Jackson as a white mental patient (Wait, that’s MJ in the real world too). I’ve included a link to download it, you listen to it, am I mad or what?

‘I-Spy’ was on Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly’s self-titled first EP and it appears here in a superior new version. It’s about throwing any notion of complexity out the window in favour of a good old sing-along, because it can bring people together “Lalalalalalalala”.

‘To Have & To Have Not’ is a cover of a Billy Bragg song from one of the finest albums ever released, ‘Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy’. Wisely, Sam doesn’t try to compete with the savage anger of Billy’s original, so he goes for a mournful acoustic interpretation. Instead he lets his anger be felt through his aggressive Guitar playing at the end.

The 7″ comes with a 3″ CD with a live version of ‘The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager: Part One’. It comes attached to the 7″ by a specially designed metal clip, it’s so cool. The track was recorded at a Love Music Hate Racism concert in Trafalgar Square. It ends with a speech by Sam about the BNP and the need to vote. This has been the BNP’s most successful year, but as Billy Bragg sang “Cynicism’s such a cop out” so click here to register to vote.

Lisa, It’s Your Birthday mp3

Here links to watch videos of ‘Whitewash Is Brainwash’, ‘Call Me Ishmael’, ‘The Making Of Call Me Ishmael’, a clip of the Bush Hall night and ‘The Making Of I-Spy / the I-Spy video’ on YouTube.

Click here to buy the first EP for £6.

Click here to buy A Gravity Dip label sampler that has an exclusive Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly track for only £2.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly Website / Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly MySpace Page
Love Music Hate Racism Website / Billy Bragg Website