tirsdag 30. april 2013

Brand new Pet Shop Boys single - "Axis"

You know it's a good day when Pet Shop Boys release new music. Only a year after their last effort, the album Elysium, the British synth duo will return with new album Electric on July 15th, and first single "Axis" is out today. It's basically an instrumental, quite surprisingly so, an up-tempo dance track, sounding like a cross between Giorgio Moroder-style disco, DAF and The Prodigy, not at all what we would expect from these quarters. This also marks the first release on their own label X2 after staying with Parlophone throughout their entire career. The album will contain nine songs, one surprising cover among them, the Bruce Springsteen song "The Last To Die".

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Happy birthday, Willie Nelson! 20 favourites - old and new

Willie Nelson, a living legend if any, turns 80 today, probably smoking some weed, strumming a tune and generally having a good time. Ever prolific the country music icon recently released his new album Let's Face The Music And Dance, an excellent collection of (mostly) country standards, credited to Willie Nelson And Family. Below are a handful of Willie classics, to show just how important a figure he has been for popular music throughout his career, from writing the Patsy Cline evergreen "Crazy", through his "outlaw" years, and into old age where he's as good as ever. And he's as good at performing the songs of other writers as he's good at writing his own. Viva Willie!

Patsy Cline - "Crazy"

Willie Nelson - "Bring Me Sunshine"

Ray Price - "Night Life"

Elvis Presley - "Funny How Time Slips Away"

Willie Nelson - "Sad Songs And Waltzes"

Willie Nelson & Shania Twain - "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain"

Waylon & Willie - Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

Willie Nelson - "All Of Me"

Willie Nelson - "On The Road Again"

Willie Nelson - "Always On My Mind"

Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson - "Pancho & Lefty"

Willie Nelson - "City Of New Orleans"

Neil Young & Willie Nelson - "Are There Any More Real Cowboys"

The Highwaymen - "Highwayman"

Willie Nelson & Sinéad O'Connor - "Don't Give Up"

Willie Nelson - "Still Is Still Moving To Me"

Willie Nelson & Emmyou Harris - "The Maker"

Willie Nelson & Lee Ann Womack - "Mendocino County Line"

Willie Nelson - "Louisiana"

Willie Nelson And Family - "Let's Face The Music And Dance"

mandag 29. april 2013

OMD - Metroland

There are so many failed attempts by British synth-pop bands of the 1980's to reform and record new music. Ultravox, Blancmange, Human League and many others have released highly disapponting albums in the last few years, but OMD - or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark if you will - deliver. Their first attempt at a comeback was with the 2010 album History Of Modern, and with the new album English Electric and first single "Metroland", the duo consisiting of Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphries have really nailed it. They don't try to be OMD, they are OMD, and that's the difference. This is no attempt to alter their sound or really modernize it for that matter, it's just a very successful attempt at recreating the vibe from their 1980's heyday. Great song!

Watch and listen

Song premiere: The xx - Together

British minimalists The xx have written and recorded the song "Together" for the new film by Australian movie wizard Baz Luhrmann, his remake of The Great Gatsby. The soundtrack also includes songs by Jay-Z, will.i.am, Lana del Rey, Bryan Ferry, Jack White and others and is almost certainly good. "Together" is nothing less than beautiful, I'll say that for now.


Bøygard - Småsko

Den norske søsterduoen Bøygard - Tove og Anita - er aktuelle med sin tredje plate. I oktober. Det er jo en god stund til, men de har bestemt seg for å korte ned ventetiden med å slippe en vårsingle kalt "Småsko". Det er en nostalgisk liten country/bluegrass-trall som er dønn iørefallende, søt og catchy. Den er skrevet av Tove - som er så flink at hun også har gitt ut en soloplate, i tillegg til de to sammen med søsteren. Det nye albumet som har fått tittelen Blågras på Skrindo (Skrindo er bygda i nærheten av Ål i Hallingdal der søstrene er fra) er produsert av Jonas Fjeld, som for øvrig skal ha med jentene på turné til høsten sammen med det amerikanske bluegrassensemblet Chatham County Line. Verdt å få med seg, helt sikkert. Men inntil da, her er "Småsko".

Se og hør

Zaz - On ira

French singer Zaz (born Isabelle Geffroy in Tours) is about to release her eagerly awaited sophomore album, titled Recto Verso, in mid-May. Her self-titled 2010 debut album contained the happy-go-lucky hit single "Je veux" that made her a star in Beligium, as well as in her native country, and if the new single "On ira" is in any way representative of the follow-up album, she will further establish her standing. A good old-fashioned feelgood song in French with an irresistable melody. What's not to like?

Watch and listen

søndag 28. april 2013

Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is

More Foreigner, everyone... "I Want To Know What Love Is" was released as a single in 1984, becoming the band's biggest hit. It's simply one of the best and biggest power ballads ever to be recorded.

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Foreigner - Cold As Ice

"Cold As Ice" is a true 70's classic, lifted from British/American rock band Foreigner self-titled 1977 debut album. Although very far from being my favourite band, Foreigner have released some really good songs in their time, and my all-time favourite among them is "Cold As Ice". 36 years on, it's still an outstanding song!

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Eurythmics - I Saved The World Today

Their heyday was very much behind them when Eurythmics - Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart - found back together to record a new album after a nine year long break where they concentrated on solo work and other projects. Peace, as the 1999 album was called, sold pretty good, but wasn't enough to make much of a difference either way. The single "I Saved The World Today" however, can safely be said to be among their very best, a beautiful pop ballad where Annie Lennox really shines as a singer. Peace may be a forgettable album, but this single stands tall among the entire Eurythmics output.

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Electric Light Orchestra - Alright

An Electric Light Orchestra album in name only, 2001's Zoom was in fact a Jeff Lynne solo album, but in the name of his old band moniker. Richard Tandy was the only ELO member to appear on the record, on the single "Alright", that you can listen to below. It was the first ELO album since the 1986 release Balance Of Power, after Lynne had made the solo album Armchair Theatre in 1990. There has been no new ELO music since Zoom, but last year Lynne released a solo collection of covers, old standards actually, titled Long Wave. This is really a shame, as both Zoom and Armchair Theatre are excellent records, re-released this week with two added bonus tracks on each. May Jeff Lynne get his muse back one of these days.

Watch and listen

fredag 26. april 2013

R.I.P. George Jones

George Jones died today, 81 years old, after being hospitalized eight days ago. What a legacy he leaves behind though. Jones was one of THE country greats, with a voice you almost wouldn't believe. Read a short obituary here and listen to a few songs below. R.I.P.

"White Lightning"

"Good Year For The Roses"

"He Stopped Loving Her Today"

Gyllene Tider - Man blir yr

Hipp hurra! I dag er Gyllene Tider ute med sin første plate på ni år, den fantastisk titulerte Dags att tänka på refrängen. Her er 12 nye låter der popsmed Per Gessle har melket musikkhistorien for de beste melodiene, de beste harmoniene, de beste riffene. "Man blir yr" er den første singlen som kom for noen uker siden, og her er et playbackopptak fra svensk fjernsyn. Låter det ikke fett, så vet ikke jeg!

Se og hør

The Weeks - Brothers In The Night

I had not heard of The Weeks, a rock band from Jackson, Mississippi, until today. Having released four (?) previous albums, they are on the brink of releasing number five, titled Dear Bo Jackson. First single "Brothers In The Night" is a dead catchy little song, fusing hip hop antics, a fine horn section, youthful energy and punky intensity, all set to a fabulous melody. Thanks to Bjørn Hammershaug for alerting me to these guys.

torsdag 25. april 2013

Lianne La Havas - They Could Be Wrong

British singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas' 2012 debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? garnered far too little attention, although it clearly made her into a name to be reckoned with. But as good as some of her songs are she should have become a far bigger name. "They Could Be Wrong" is the stunningly beautiful closing track on the album. Is it pop? Jazz? Folk? I don't know, but it's so good it hurts.

Watch and listen

Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg - Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang

A gangsta rap classic, "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" is the first single off Dr. Dre's 1992 debut album, The Chronic. Understandably it was a big hit at the time of release, introducing rapper Snoop who made his first album Doggystyle the following year with the help of Dre. "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" is a rap song that's easy to like for anyone, and is just as much a pop hit as a hip-hop hit. The video depicts a big party, with a barbecue cookout, a volleyball game and lots and dancing, bumping and grinding. It's as laidback as the song itself.

Watch and listen

Sigur Rós - Ísjaki

"Ísjaki" is the second single from the forthcoming Sigur Rós album Kveikur, set for a mid-June release. Once again, it's a dreamlike, hypnotic and in every way fascinating piece of music. As opposed to the brutal-sounding first single "Brennisteinn", "Ísjaki" is Sigur Rós more like we know them, which is to say, atmospheric and, of course, fantastic. They also performed the title song of Kveikur live at Jimmy Fallon.


Ry Cooder - El Corrido de Jesse James

Ry Cooder's latest records have been undisputedly political in most every aspect, but no less good than what we have been used to expecting. The song "El Corrido de Jesse James" was one of several songs attacking bankers for exploiting the poor from 2011's Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down, as the title suggests a Mexican corrido in waltz time. It's a fantastic song, showcasing both Cooder's musicality and his humanity.


Louis Prima - Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody

When two songs become synonymous with one... Although "Just A Gigolo" and "I Ain't Got Nobody" are two seperate songs, they have in fact almost become inseparable. That all started in 1956 when Louis Prima blended them seemlessly together, helped by one hell of an arrangement and his trademark voice. Later it has been covered by many artists in this fashion, most notably by Van Halen singer David Lee Roth in 1985 when he scored a huge hit with the pairing. "Just A Gigolo" is originally an Austrian song written in 1928 by Leonelli Casucci and Julius Brammer called "Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo" whereas "I Ain't Got Nobody" was written in 1915 by Roger Graham and Spencer Williams.


Paul Simon - Gone At Last

"Gone At Last" is one of the prime songs on the 1975 Paul Simon classic Still Crazy After All These Years. Performed as a duet with Phoebe Snow and with backing from the Jessy Dixon Singers, it's a rousing gospel number which more or less hits the roof in all its intensity and joyfulness. If you're in a foul mood after hearing this song, there is absolutely no hope for you, at all!


R.E.M. - You Are The Everything

A rock band in more ways than one R.E.M. were a lot of other things too. They were masters of the acoustic folk- or country-driven ballad, at many times throughout their lifespan returning to this format. "You Are The Everything" (here in a live version) belongs on their Warner Bros. Records debut Green released in 1988. The group was signed for an at the time astronomical phee, also securing them creative freedom. Warner Bros. did cash in however, especially when the follow-up album Out Of Time was released three years later. But for now, let's hear the wonderful "You Are The Everything" with its beautiful mandolin and accordion. This is classic R.E.M.

Watch and listen

Green will be released as a deluxe 2CD edition in mid-May featuring the remastered album and a 21 track live disc with a 1989 show.

onsdag 24. april 2013

Shalamar - I Can Make You Feel Good

Ah, disco heaven! Shalamar's 1982 hit "I Can Make You Feel Good" almost sounds better than ever, a perfect slice of slick disco, that was actually released long after the heyday of New York's Studio 54 and the like. Still, it emulated any disco hit of the mid-70's with its trademark bass, smooth synthesizers, funk guitar and the suggestive voice of Howard Hewett. This still fills up dance floors everywhere. "I Can Make You Feel Good" didn't crack the Top 40 in the USA, but it was a big UK hit, making it to number 7.

Watch and listen

Frank Sinatra - Nice 'N' Easy

"Nice 'N' Easy" is a song written by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Keith and Lew Spence, and is the title track on a 1960 Frank Sinatra album. It's actually the only song on it not arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, simply because it was added to the album as an afterthought, replacing the originally planned "The Nearness Of You" that was left off the album. "Nice 'N' Easy" opened the album when it was released, and it's a true tour de force by one of the best singers ever to enter a recording studio.


tirsdag 23. april 2013

Rain Tree Crow - Big Wheels In Shanty Town

When the British band Japan reformed to make a comeback album in 1989/90, it soon became a vehicle for another David Sylvian solo project, as opposed to a real band effort. Although most of the music was improvised in the studio, Sylvian took more and more control as they went along, insisting too that they should not use the name Japan, but instead opting for the mysterious-sounding Rain Tree Crow. But whatever the circumstances, the album was pretty good, and "Big Wheels In Shanty Town" is the funky seven minute, mostly instrumental song that opened it. The self-titled album was released in 1991, becoming the last album the four members David Sylvian, his brother Steve Jansen, Mick Karn (now deceased) and Richard Barbieri recorded together.


Sean Rowe - Sings

American singer/songwriter Sean Rowe is a complete blank for me, although he's released three records so far in his career. I just stumbled upon the video for his song "Signs" off last year's The Salesman And The Shark album, and if that is anything to judge by - which it probably is - the man is worth checking out. "Signs" is a low-key ballad sung in a voice that's a little like Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies singing a Bruce Cockburn song, in other words, totally mindblowing. What a fantastic song!

Watch and listen

FINALLY SHE'S BACK! Janelle Monáe feat. Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N.

Yes, the world has been waiting to hear new songs from Janelle Monáe, and finally we have been rewarded for our patience. "Q.U.E.E.N." is the brand new single taken from her upcoming album The Electric Lady, and it's a funky, melodic and absolutely intoxicating song that threatens to rule dance floors everywhere. It's music for the groin as much as the brain, featuring guest vocals from Erykah Badu to lift it even further. Having listened to it only twice, I'm already completely smitten. Wooee!


Phoenix - Entertainment

I must admit that it took some time before the new Phoenix single "Entertainment" hooked me, but after several tries it did. "Entertainment" is a strange hybrid of a potential hit single, with its classic Phoenix-sounding verses, cut up with the big-ass Asian.sounding chorus. It's jubilant and fun with an enormous soundscape that almost threatens to drown the actual song. The video, shot in Korea, perfectly matches the song with its dramatic scenes that look like they are lifted from an actual movie. As for the entire album Bankrupt! that is out this week, it must be said that it too is a grower. At first it sounds pretty chaotic, but as you dig deeper and get to the levels below the surface, the album actually sounds great.

Watch and listen

mandag 22. april 2013

Caro Emerald - A Night Like This

Dutch pop jazz sensation Caro Emerald released her debut album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor, a fantastic record that spent a record 30 weeks at the number one spot in the Dutch album charts, in doing so beating Michael Jackson's Thriller with one week. No wonder the album was popular, just judge by yourself from one of its singles, the irresistable "A Night Like This" with its sassy latin rhythms. The good news is that Emerald finally is about to release the follow-up album, The Shocking Miss Emerald, in early May. Something to look forward to!

Watch and listen

10CC - Art For Art's Sake

How Dare You! (1976) was the last 10CC album to feature the classic line-up with Kevin Godley and Lol Creme on board, and therefore, in some people's opinion, the band's last important record. The single "Art For Art's Sake" off that album however, was written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman who soldiered on after Godley and Creme left, and shows how good those two really were. The follow-up album Deceptive Bends was indeed full of great songs, so there!


MGMT - Alien Days

American psychedelic band MGMT will release their third, self-titled album in June, and the first single is the brand new "Alien Days", a trippy, laidback, strange little gem of a pop song, that was released as a limited edition cassette single for Record Store Day on Saturday. "Alien Days" can also be streamed online and bodes well for the album release.


søndag 21. april 2013

Frank Sinatra with Count Basie & The Orchestra - Come Fly With Me

Imagine that! I just learned that Frank Sinatra's classic live album, his first in fact, Sinatra At The Sands, was released in July of 1966, the very month that I was born! No wonder it's so good! Supported by Count Basie and his orchestra, conducted and arranged by Quincy Jones, Sinatra was at the peak of his vocal powers, delivering a set that comprises what many regard as definitive versions of many of his most famous songs. The opener "Come Fly With Me", the classic that Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen wrote for Sinatra in 1958, is a case in point. Has it ever been bettered, before or since? Hard to say, but Sinatra and the band absolutely nails it here. It's a pure joy to hear!


lørdag 20. april 2013

Public Enemy - Can't Truss It

Hip hop classic from porbably the most important hip hop outfit of all time, Long Island's very own Public Enemy. "Can't Truss It" is militant-sounding, hard as a rock and at the same time very melodic, with a constant, insistant momentum that drives the listener forward and into the hypnotic beat. A true hip hop classic, lifted from the band's 1991 album Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Back.

Watch and listen

fredag 19. april 2013

HIT ALERT! Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams - Get Lucky

Are you ready for a monster hit? Today, after some false starts and teasers, Daft Punk finally released their new single "Get Lucky", featuring Pharrell Williams on vocals and living legend Nile Rodgers on his trademark guitar. Combined with the classic Daft Punk sound and an irresistable melody, "Get Lucky" will rule both airwaves and dancefloors around the world in the coming months, mark my words. Chances are this song will be played to death eventually, but for now let's enjoy it. The album Random Access Memories will be released in mid-May.


HIT ALERT! Empire Of The Sun - Alive

I'm pretty excited about the forthcoming Empire Of The Sun album Ice On The Dune, the eagerly awaited follow-up to 2008's debut Walking On A Dream. Supposedly the Australian duo has upped their game significantly, building on the foundations of their already massive sound to create something even bigger. If first single "Alive" is anything to go by, they deliver. It's a big, beautiful, rich-sounding pop song with an irresistable melody and a huge hit potential. The album should be out around the middle of June.


torsdag 18. april 2013

Everything But The Girl - Don't Leave Me Behind

Not only did Everything But The Girl change their musical direction dramatically when they embraced modern club music in the mid-1990's, they also did so from album to album for their first releases. Whereas debut LP Eden (1984) was a bossa nova- and jazz-flavored record, follow-up Love Not Money (1985) was a guitar-driven indie kind of record, very much of its time. Then their third album Baby, The Stars Shine Bright came in 1986, showing yet another aspect of the duo, full of big arrangements, and songs inspired by classic American country music, showtunes and more. The single "Don't Leave Me Behind" is still a joy to hear with its wonderful horn arrangement, Tracey Thorn's trademark singing and a killer melody. As so often is the case with an Everything But The Girl song, this too is a stone cold classic, at least in my book.

Watch and listen

Iron & Wine - Joy

Iron & Wine's (a.k.a.Sam Beam) brand new album Ghost On Ghost is a masterpiece, by a million miles or so his best record to date. It's a rich-sounding, innovative and immensely beautiful album filled with 12 songs, many of them guaranteed to be future classics. First single "Joy" is one of those, a pretty little ballad that slowly, quietly creeps up on you, creating... well, a certain joy in the listener. I'm absolutely certain that the entire album will stand tall at the end of 2013. It's probably the best new album to be released so far this year. Ghost On Ghost is the record that once and for all nails Sam Beam's reputation as a master songwriter.

Watch and listen

onsdag 17. april 2013

Da svart-hvitt ble til knallrødt - soga om The Colors Turned Red

Når The Colors Turned Reds klassiske, selvtitulerte debutplate fra 1988 endelig er gjort tilgjengelig igjen i anledning 25-årsjubileet for den opprinnelige utgivelsen, melder det seg noen minner. Ikke bare rundt albumet i seg selv – strålende som det er – men også fordi bandets og mine egne veier møttes noen år tidligere, i dager fylt av ungdommelig entusiasme, oppdagelsen av nye musikalske helter, og – i nostalgisk, rosenrødt skjær – latter, glede, moro og noen fine fester.

Da jeg første gang traff fire av de fem som noen år senere skulle bli til The Colors Turned Red, var da jeg var med en venn hjem til hans hjemby Haugesund. Her havnet jeg på fest med blant annet Johnny Hazard, Haakon Larsen, Bengt Olav Hansen og brødrene Pål og Morten Jackman. Disse fem kalte seg Im Nebel (Etter et dikt av Hermann Hesse – ”pretentious, moi?”) og var respekterte i den såkalte kassettbevegelsen. Tar jeg ikke helt feil hadde Im Nebel på dette tidspunktet nettopp gitt ut sin andre kassett, Mutasjon 7, en dyster liten sak som må kunne sies å være tungt påvirket av britisk postpunk av typen Joy Division/New Order og The Cure.

Vi skriver 1984, og samme år deltar Im Nebel på Langøyafestivalen utenfor Oslo, og ikke minst Sprø Musikk-festivalen i Arendal, sammen med band som YM-stammen, Famlende forsøk, Brød & Sirkus, White Lord Jesus og A Technicolor Dream. Utspringet er et levende og spennende undergrunnsmiljø hvor punkens gjør det sjæl-holdning lever i beste velgående. Det går i hjemmesnekrede kassetter og fanziner – og festivaler. Dette var band som i mange tilfeller var udiskutabelt skramlete, men Im Nebel hadde sakene marginalt mer på plass enn mange andre. Det låt rett og slett dødsfett, og de hadde en vokalist i Johnny Hazard som ga jernet. Det han måtte mangle i teknikk, tok han igjen i en iver du kunne tappet på flaske og solgt til høystbydende. Like fullt, musikken var dyster og melankolsk, med titler som”Monkanes sang”, ”Spurv i tranedans” og ”Blind ekstase”.

At disse tenåringsguttene – minus Pål, men med Ketil Torgersen som hans erstatter – senere skulle gi ut det som er en av 80-tallets fineste norske popplater kan synes oppsiktsvekkende, men er ikke så uforklarlig når det kommer til stykket. Det medlemmene i Im Nebel/The Colors Turned Red hadde i bøtter og spann var en stor interesse for all tenkelig musikk. De var og er fans av et bredt spekter artister som gjorde dem sjarmerende genreblinde, og sett i det perspektivet er det ikke så vanskelig å se hvordan et band kunne endre karakter fra å være et dystert og melankolsk depperockband til å bli et livsbejaende jubelbrus av et godt gammeldags, gitarbasert popband.

Albumet The Colors Turned Red åpner med ”The Big Balloon”,en Byrds-inspirert låt med lyden av en ringlende Rickenbacker-gitar, et fett orgel og Johnny Hazards lett frenetiske stemme som slynger ut frustrasjonen over å leve med at jenta han drømmer om ikke blir hans. Og selv om det var Haakon som skrev låtene, ville bandet neppe blitt det de var uten Johnnys betydelige påvirkningskraft. Han jobbet i platebutikk og hadde alltid med seg ny – og gammel – musikk hjem fra jobb.

Johnny var den store pådriveren med en utrolig smittende entusiasme for all musikken han elsket. Uten at han skal få ansvaret for å ha introdusert meg for alle de følgende artistene – langt der ifra – husker jeg uansett årene jeg var mye i Haugesund for all musikken vi hørte på, i alle slangs genre: Julian Cope og R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen og Prince, Everything But The Girl og Nick Cave, Lone Justice og The Monochome Set, Billy Bragg og Felt, Psychic TV og Jonathan Richman, motpoler hele veien som bare bidro til å gjøre gleden over den gode musikken enda større.

Denne allsidigheten er hørbar så det holder i The Colors Turned Red. Selv om albumet i seg selv er en rendyrket popplate, er den også en hyllest til store deler av populærmusikkens historie. Her er Motown-pop i ”Too Proud To Tell”, psykedelisk pop i ”Time Machine Ride”, og sangen ”The Colors Turned Red” er en stor og luftig popballade der du kan høre alt fra The Beatles til The Smiths, gjerne også via Elton John og andre låtsmeder fra 70-tallet.

Alt dette – med unntak av låta ”The Colors Turned Red” som er skrevet av Johnny – er kanalisert gjennom Haakon Larsens betydelige låtskrivertalent. Det var også Haakon som skrev låtene for Im Nebels to kassettutgivelser, Ut av tåkeheimen (1983) og Mutasjon 7 (1984). Som låtskriver etterstrebet han perfeksjon, og jeg husker hvordan den seriøse unge mannen krevde mye av dem rundt seg. Haakon hadde ambisjoner.

Så ble resultatene deretter. De to kassettene står seg godt fremdeles, selv om de sikkert kan kalles ”famlende”. Men det er gode låter, de er brukbart fremført, og du hører at det er en vilje om noe mer enn å være undergrunnshelter til stede. Im Nebels siste utgivelse var en single de også ga ut selv, der vi første gang hørte sangen ”The Colours Turned Red” (engelsk stavemåte, de endret den senere til amerikansk). Den var ganske så annerledes enn kassettutgivelsene og bar bud om en ny musikalsk retning.

Da platen The Colors Turned Red kom ut våren 1988 var det til DE anmeldelsene. Torgrim Eggen mente i BEAT at ”de spiser a-ha til frokost”, og Kjetil Rolness beskrev platen som ”den beste norske på engelsk” i Nye Takter. Sigbjørn Nedland skrev dette i sin anmeldelse i Fædrelandsvennen:”En mer perfekt og vellykket pop-LP enn jeg kan huske å ha hørt fra nesten noe annet band.”

Det var det for lengst avviklede danske plateselskapet Mega Records som ga ut platen som dermed ble spilt inn i København. Mega ga også ut Little Eden (Henning Kvitnes’ band på den tiden), danske D.A.D. og mye lokalt dansk ræl, og lisensierte blant annet Mel & Kim og De La Soul. Det var et merkelig lite selskap. Albumet The Colors Turned Red solgte ikke mer enn 4500 eksemplarer, fantastiske anmeldelser til tross, og det matchet på ingen måte bandets ambisjoner.

Det ble med den ene LPen. Kort tid etter ble The Colors Turned Red oppløst, og medlemmene gikk hver til sitt. Kanskje kan vi si at livet kom i veien? De var knapt fylt 20 år, og plutselig var det som om all luft gikk ut av ballongen. Man kan jo lure på hva vi ble snytt for da det ikke kom flere plater?

Men siste ord var ikke sagt. Noen som gir ut en så god plate som The Colors Turned Red og så forsvinner, har åpenbart en del ugjort. I 2004 ble bandet gjenforent, men da som et rent hobbyprosjekt. I 2006 kom sågar en oppfølger til debutalbumet, All The Way Up. Var det en ”verdig” oppfølger? Jeg skal la den diskusjonen ligge. Det er ikke den platen som normalt ville fulgt debuten, så det blir feil å være altfor kategorisk i så måte. Men at All The Way Up inneholdt mange gode låter er det ingen tvil om. Haakon kunne fremdeles snekre sammen en habil popmelodi.

Historien stopper heller ikke her. I 2011 albumdebuterte bandet Duel In The Sun der tre femtedeler av The Colors Turned Red var sentrale, Johnny, Haakon og trommeslager Morten. Og nå er The Colors Turned Red atter en gang gjenforent for å gjøre et knippe konserter i anledning 25-årsjubileet for sin klassiske debutplate. Kan det føre med seg noe mer? Det gjenstår å se, men det er iallfall godt å ha dem litt tilbake.

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Listen to the entire new Phoenix album now

Now you can listen to the new Phoenix album Bankrupt! in its entirety via iTunes. It's the French pop group's fifth album, following the highly successful Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009). Having listened to the new album only once, I have to say it's an album with a surprisingly big, stadium-friendly sound, but I think I like it. See what you think by following the link below.


Brad Paisley - Beat This Summer

Hooray for Brad Paisley's new single "Beat This Summer", a big, old American summer love song that reminds me of Don Henley's "Boys Of Summer" and songs like it. Imagine yourself somewhere in the American south, in a convertible with the top down, sunglasses on and your girlfriend (or boyfriend) next to you, the wind blowing in your hair and big smiles on both your faces. Then you put on "Beat This Summer" and every word Paisley sings ring true. I don't care too much for the "cute", puppy love video, but the song is an absolute knock-out!

Watch and listen

lørdag 13. april 2013

Magazine - Shot By Both Sides

Was Magazine the perfect post punk band? That could very well be so. Hot on the heels of the shortlived punk movement of 1976 and -77, Howard Devoto left The Buzzcocks, bringing with him "Shot By Both Sides", a co-write with former Buzzcocks colleague Pete Shelley. It sounds just as furious and intense today as it did 35 years ago, when it was released in January 1978. John McGeogh's guitar is what really sets the song apart, along of course with Devoto's sneering vocals. A stone cold classic!


fredag 12. april 2013

Sade - Slave Song

"Slave Song" is a song off Sade's 2000 album Lovers Rock, and this great version is from the following tour and the DVD Lovers Live that was released in early 2002. As is always the case with Sade, the singer and her band, the visuals are in the very best of taste, in perfect sync with the music. This is in every way classy - and of course really beautiful.

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Kacey Musgraves - Silver Lining

American country singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves has just released her first major label album, the gorgeous Same Trailer Different Park (what a title). Filled with 12 more or less extremely melodic and catchy pop/country songs that should make the competition blush, it's one of the most immediate albums I have heard so far this year. Included are of course last year's awesome single "Merry Go 'Round", but it's got some very good company in terms of quality. All the songs are co-writes, but I guess it's fair to say that Musgraves is a talent to be reckoned with. "Silver Lining" (written with Shane McAnally and John Osborne) is the wonderful opening track that starts with the killer line "Woke up on the wrong side of rock bottom". And Kacey will become a superstar, mark my words.


HIT ALERT! Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre - Waiting All Night

British drum and bass quartet Rudimental scored a number one UK hit last year with "Feel The Love", featuring guest vocals from John Newman, and now they are about to release their debut album Home towards the end of April. "Waiting All Night" is the group's latest single, a blatantly catchy and immediate dance track with a killer melody, some execeptionally cool sounding horns and the vocal prowess of one Ella Eyre, a soul singer who basically sings the socks off a lot of the competition in modern pop music. The accompanying music video tells the true life story of the BMX champion Kurt Yaeger who became an amputee after an accident but has since fought his way back. It stars Yaeger and his friends and it's a video that matches the uplifting song perfectly. This should become a huge hit!

Watch and listen

torsdag 11. april 2013

Sigur Rós - Brennisteinn

Kveikur is the title of the forthcoming Sigur Rós album, hot on the heels of last year's excellent Valtari. First single "Brennisteinn" is a dark, heavy, brooding piece of Icelandic prog rock that differs substantially from their earlier output. Having said that, "Brennisteinn" is absolutely fabulous and bodes well for the album that will be released on June 17th. The video is well worth watching too.

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Bryan Ferry - Don't Stop The Dance

Mr. Elegant himself, Bryan Ferry, released his first post-Roxy Music album in 1985, called Boys & Girls. It was his sixth solo album and by far the most successful, reaching number one on the UK album chart, and also becoming his biggest US success. The up-tempo "Don't Stop The Dance" was the second single to be released from the album, hot on the heels of the wonderful ballad "Slave To Love".

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Sirkus Eliassen - Fullstendig feilfri

Sirkus Eliassen-singlen "Fullstendig feilfri" ble opprinnelig sluppet i november i fjor, men nå har de satt sammen en musikkvideo til den supercatchy låta. Det kan virke som en fornuftig relansering. Om ikke den er noen monsterhit av typen "Æ vil bare dans" er den jaggu meg utrolig bra.

Se og hør

Knutsen & Ludvigsen - Eg ve te Bergen

Vi trenger kanskje litt godt humør? Da er Knutsen & Ludvigsen tingen, umiddelbar medisin mot mørke sinn og generell surmuling. "Eg ve te Bergen" er fra det eviggrønne albumet Juba Juba fra 1983 og er like herlig 30 år senere.