well, to be honest, i probably should be right now getting on with some monumental sorting of "things". i was kindly reminded, however, by one Jonathan Granville that i owed him a review of his most recent album, Everything Has A Sell By. that is a good a reason as any to do some shirking, allowing me to listen to some quality music and do a spot of writing.
yes, Jonathan is a dear friend, so if you wish to go right ahead and say this review is biased, do not let me try to convince you otherwise. rather let his music do that - follow the links that will feature here and you can hear for yourself how good his stuff is!
his enthusiasm for appearing on this blog is because, he tells me, it's his own version of "being in Smash Hits". for those kids of today who do not understand what that means, well, once upon a time we had ace music magazines as well as music you could hold; it wasn't all "internet". it looked something rather like this
on to the album, then. on a broad level, it's an 11 track album that pretty much does what it says on the box. not, however, in the rather apt way The Rolling $tone$ should have called their current tour "Everything Has A Sell By", instead it does it in regards of the song themes. it finds JG picking things up, whatever they may be, reflecting on them and then shoving them into the box that is this album.
i was at some point going to write here that i cannot do a Sixth-Former "meta" piece of writing as it's been over 20 years since i was a Sixth-Former and the only person who writes like a Sixth-Former 20 years after ceasing to be that is Paul Morley and i am no Paul Morley, but i think i might have just done that. whoops, here's the album artwork to distract you a little bit.
of the many outstanding songs on this album i am delighted that a "final" version of the excellent Candahar St has made it on. somewhere on this blog you can find a post all about it. it really is an amazing track.
the album shows off an eclectic mix of original music that shows JG has a flair for composing a catchy, popular tune, backed up with sensational lyrics. his ability to match music and lyrics is dazzling, certainly leaving me in awe.
lyrically, one has to adopt "the rule of There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". that rule relates to one of the rather more infamous songs by The Smiths, featuring as it does lyrics that are divisive to say the least. some take the song as evidence just how "depressing" The Smiths are/were, others hold it up as a sign of both the observational skills and dry wit of the band, Morrissey of course in particular. the same is true here, really - if you probed a bit there's undoubtedly a smattering of personal pain in the songs - there cannot be anything but in something like Remember To Forget You - but the intention here isn't poor, poor pitiful me at all. no doubt this song in particular will generate an amount of empathy from some listeners, but it's far from a call for people to be sympathetic. it's just a great song, the humour in it making it bittersweet.
i'm not doing something where i compare JG to Morrissey, but since that came up in the above, here's another magazine cover for those who quite like pictures with the words.
what of the other songs on the album? well, Too Young To Die.... starts off with a cheeky bit of a riff borrowed from The Edge out of U2, but unlike The Edge one finds that JG goes off and does different things with the music rather than repeat the riff again and again. on a similar note the opening of The Man In Grey would appear to borrow the opening off U2's So Cruel before diverting into a thundering song that showcases the previously mentioned great lyrics and amazing music.
elsewhere on the album and The Who, The Where, The Why And The How is somewhat heavy and angry, yet doesn't go anywhere near the border of melancholy. it kind of suggests going towards that border every now and then, but doesn't move in that direction. the opening, Lets Watch The Satellites, and the closing, Satellites Fall, are also outstanding moments. well, the album is like a huge outstanding moment.
another magazine cover? sure.
there isn't a great deal further that i can add, really. i've had it on the stereo last night and for most of today and i've not got bored of it. it must be good, then - if you're just being polite to a friend then about two listens is the maximum, i imagine the unwritten laws on such things say.
you can follow JG and hear some of his tracks over on his facebook page, and indeed one can buy Everything Has A Sell By (as well as his other albums) over on his download store thingie.
should you follow the links and give his music in general and this album in particular a try, all i can say is thank you and i do trust that you will enjoy what you hear!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!