my itunes account has, look you see, been rather busy for the last week or so. it is an account which exists mostly so that i may purchase recordings off of The Stone Roses when they release them at 1 or 2 in the morning at random, so it's been quite interesting to use it in the direction of other artists.
the year this year, which is 2016, continues to be most curious, then, in terms of music. it would appear that we have some sort of trade off on the go, whereby we are allowed to once again have interesting and quality releases, yet the unspoken price is the passing of artists we around the world have loved.
in this respect, the year has already brought more quality releases that the last three or four combined, and we've had to say goodbye to more greatness than we have for quite some time. whilst one would hope that the year has now ceased to take musicians away from us, it still has some music to deliver yet.
what have i been spending coins of money on down at the local itunes in the absence of further Stone Roses releases? well, whilst we wait for The Stone Roses to formally announce Christmas With The Stone Roses as their third album, messers Robbie Williams and Metallica have some new stuff coming.
whereas once singles would have been released in anticipation of new albums, now we get the ability to purchase a track or two off the forthcoming recording. yes, it's a shame that proper singles have died, etc, and that the chart is now an irrelevance, but you can only play the hand you are dealt, whether you are the recording industry or a simple music fan.
let's kick off, then, with the lead single off of the new Robbie Williams album. or, at the least, what i thought was the "lead single" off of the new album.
that, assuming the video thing works for you on your browser of choice, is a snippet off of Heavy Entertainment Show, the titular track off the imminent album. as it was available for 99p i took as a given it to be the lead single. it isn't, strictly speaking - another one that i could (and did) buy for the same price was or if you like is. we'll get to that later, or right now if you scroll down.
first thoughts? quite a familiar feel. as in, if i am not mistaken, that opening piano is off of Feel, one of the more celebrated of the many celebrated pop songs that the cheeky lad has done in the past. and it's no bad thing that it does. familiarity is what people like these days. why? who knows. maybe it's just that (according to the record labels) there's not enough money in music any more to throw thousands at the time and talent it requires to make something groundbreaking. perhaps all great pop songs have already been written, or possibly no one cares enough any more.
anyway, on to Metallica, and their second theoretical single off of the imminent double album, Hardwired....To Self Destruct. which may or may not be a statement about what us lovers of music have done to the industry, but anyway.
much like the titular first single, which you can read of here, this new one called Moth Into Flame is an absolute belter of thrashed hard hitting metal. a lot of lazy, can't be bothered to check anything before writing (such as was the case recently) are claiming this is a "welcome return" to this sound by the band. i, and all fans of the band i have spoken to, have said, hang on, what about.......
.....the last album which the band did? Death Magnetic was also a "welcome return to their harder hitting sound", was it not? quality it was, too, if somewhat buried under the ludicrous amount of different special editions you could buy.
if anything, what we've heard of Hardwired thus far sounds like it carries on the band's revisitation of their intimidating original sound, touched by a smattering of the pop sensibilities of the "black" album which dragged them, kicking and screaming, into the mainstream world of massive sales.
a snippet of it? for those who can play back video on their browser off of this site - and i believe there are about three of you - then here you go.
i really would, however, suggest that you go and watch the official video for Moth Into Flame. just north of three million people have done so already, and you can join them by clicking here. the best part of it is that Kirk looks like some really mental, very scary witch in it.
yes, i do know that a lot of them three million will have done an "mp3 rip" of the official video, and i am just a small fraction that's actually paid for the song. hey ho.
a lot of people are saying that Moth Into Flame is better than Hardwired, mostly on the basis that it's longer and seems to have about twenty times more lyrics. i get where they are coming from, but to my ears both are outstanding, and bring on the album entire, i say.
i also say that Metallica have missed a few tricks here. firstly, if you are a heavy metal band and you're planning on releasing a double album, you should in fact totes release two double albums at the same time. it's just the way it is done. also, if the record is basically locked and loaded, why wait until the middle of November for a release? if you're the biggest, scariest, most intimidating and most awesome metal band left in the world today, wouldn't it be wiser to unleash a new album on the last weekend of October, when it's payday and when it is Halloween?
back to Robbie Williams, then, and indeed the one which is his actual single, which would be Party Like A Russian. but first this.
what's that? a sign recently posted, several times as point of fact, on a popular stretch of running area in New Zealand. this was taken by my sister as she did all that running stuff, and was the third such warning she passed on her run. not one to be scared of snakes, my sister. that said, she paused at the site of the third warning of a boa constrictor being around, noticed that she had not seen anyone else ignoring them for a certain amount of miles, and so turned back, so as to conform and not make everyone else feel as cowardly as they apparently were.
my sister is quite the fan of that cheeky scoundrel Robbie Williams, and so it's normal for me to buy all what he releases so as i might be able to send them to her. the last two releases - an unreleased song collection called Under The Radar and a live recording which busied itself with bad mouthing Jimmy Page (for his hindering Robbie's home renovation planning permission and not for any incidents involving 14 year old girls, as documented in Hammer Of The Gods and weirdly as not of interest to the current constabulary investigating pop stars) - were sold directly off his website. this new album, i believe, will be of a more conventional release, and i will be able to purchase it on day of release at HMV, funds pending. funds and indeed how cheeky HMV get with how much extra they put on the price for the "honour" of buying it off of HMV.
a snippet of the song? sure, here you go. although i believe the official video is quite spectacular, so you might want to search that out.
lazy journalism is at the fore again with this one. before i heard it i'd read reports that it "sampled the theme from The Apprentice", with The Apprentice being, i believe, that reality show with that angry shouty bloke who made the rubbish computers and owned some sort of football club. what it is in fact "sampling", or borrowing off of, is Sergei Prokofiev's Dance Of The Knights, and i would argue the reason, rationale, purpose and point of doing so is to reference if not evoke the infamous film Caligula.
most seem to point to this song being something of a pop or go at that Russian what owns the football club, Abramovich or something like that. why's he upset Robbie? no idea. perhaps he lives on the other side of him to what Jimmy Page does, and he's also got all uppity about planning permission.
anyway, both Party Like A Russian and the other one are smart songs. should the whole album off of Robbie Williams sound like this, then so much the better.
splendid days if this has been of any interest to you, fellow music lovers.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!