Friday, May 05, 2017

dandy day of release

howdy pop pickers

and so it goes with another new album of vibes released on the day today, look you see. something of a delayed one, as it happens. well, yes it is and no it isn't. when this record was announced the release date given was April 28, but then they went right ahead and moved it to May 5. just as well i checked on the evening of April 27 before heading off.

what, or if you like which, year? we will see below, don't you worry. a more relevant question is, perhaps, which record was released today. that would be Kasabian, releasing their sixth album entire as such, and doing so for the second instance of me being able to go down to HMV and get it on its day of release. or go up, i suppose - not sure which way is north and which is south.

For Crying Out Loud is what the album is called, or possibly For Crying Out Loud (2017) as that what the full title seems to read as. and yes, quite, the above does look rather smart and stylish in Commodore 64 mode, doesn't it?

why have they stuck the year on the title? who knows. this is Kasabian. it might have been with bitterness, resentment and sheer jealousy that he did it, but when Billy Bragg claimed that Kasabian were, after naming their last album after its running time, "all Spinal Tap", he was not entirely incorrect. maybe Kasabian have, to simply simplify things, decided that any and all future albums shall now all be called For Crying Out Loud and differentiated with the year of recording and release.

and who is to say that it would not work if they did that? not me, not at all. naming albums after years or ages has worked out for quite a few people, Adele in particular. if they want to embrace an approach to albums and the names of them which is "like Adele, but more rock and roll", then bring it on i say. go for it, boys.

yeah, the above is indeed the display in the window of HMV, the shop i shall always go to as and when there's a day of release to be had. no matter how much they tend to up the price, and so long as they remain open, of course. indeed yes, clinging to going to HMV to buy records in a physical form is me clinging to the way it was, the way i know things, the ways of my youth. i am happy.

something of a dilemma posed by the above, then. no, not the fact that Blondie also had a record out; i was there for Kasabian. my intention was to consider the special edition of the new record, but then the boss deal above presented itself. buy a special limited edition 7" single off of Kasabian and get the regular version of the album for £2 south of what it would normally cost.

it would not have been fair, right or proper to make such a decision in the doorway of HMV. and so off i went, inside the store, to inspect prices and content before making a decision.

weirdly, encouragingly and strangely, the special edition of For Crying Out Loud or if you like For Crying Out Loud (2017) was only £12.99. i had assumed that HMV would stick a couple more pounds on that, as happened with things like the Depeche Mode release, where i spent some £3 or more with them on the "special edition" than i would have if i had bought it elsewhere.

although the special edition looked smart, coming as it did with a bonus live disc of them in concert last year, i really wanted the single. beyond the Bowie No Plan EP i had not gotten a single this year, and i'm not sure if any shall be released. thus, i elected to take advantage of the offer in the window, and resigned myself to having just the standard edition of the album, along with a 7" single that most likely wouldn't get played any time soon.

then the nice bloke at the till asked if i was sure i didn't want the special edition. i said i did, but i really wanted the single and it was a good deal. he said don't worry about what it says on the poster, for the £2 discount applied no matter what version of the record you bought.

and so this happened, then.

result, is how i would imagine that's best described. at least in this instance Kasabian elected to release the special edition at the same time as the standard one. the "SE" of the last album, 48:13, came out a few months later and no i did not double dip.

so all in, double CD "deluxe" edition of new album and a splendid 7", all for £15.98 or £16.03 as for some reason i insist on getting a bag every time i go to HMV. this represents a somewhat better deal than the £17.99 i felt obliged to hand over for the deluxe version of the Depeche Mode album not so long ago.

anyhow, you are possibly wondering or interested in if the album is any good or not. briefly yes it is, should you quite like Kasabian. but i have uploaded a load of images here already, so i need to pad them out with some text.

the above is a poster what i found in my copy of the album. the reverse is a really shiny gold colour, which is lovely. indeed yes, graphic icons (i think the kids of today call them "emoticons") have been fashioned to represent each of the 12 songs on the album. a different, perhaps bolder, approach to simply calling them after their running length.

i am not sure if the above poster came with the standard edition too, but i am very certain that it would not have come with a "digital download" of the record, legal or otherwise.

what does the 7" look like? pretty conventional, really. but vinyl records are as lovely to look at as they are to hold and play, so here you go.

that's the ostensible a-side of the single, with the graphic or emoticon representing the title of the tune otherwise known as Comeback Kid.

over on the b-side is Good Fight, which is another album track. and happy days that this is the case. it would have been a bit of a downer if they'd elected to put a song on that wasn't available on the album or somewhere else, as many would not have had the chance to hear it.

so, the album. For Crying Out Loud is, after one play, pretty good. decent, if you like. by this stage - some 20 years on the go, north of 50% of that time being rather well known - Kasabian have most decidedly found a groove and style that all quite like. this does not mean it's the same formula done in an ever so slightly different way, though.

the emphasis of this record, on the whole, is fun. it's still got that killer rock edge to it (most of the time), make no mistake, but it all seems somewhat more relaxed than the last album. by the same standard, nothing in particular leaps out from the record as being a standout track. all of them pretty much meander on, leaving one - or at the least, me - with a sense of "this is pretty good".

look, i know the above is pretty much as close to useless as can be in describing a record to you, but there we have it. with no overt play to try and attract new fans with this record i would bravely if not boldly speculate that the target market for a new Kasabian album exists, and knows what it is.

as for the bonus or second disc, it's not at all bad, to be sure. titled Underdogs or to be precise with their new way Underdogs (2016) it brings together a near complete set from the two "homecoming" gigs they did in their home town of Leicester. these gigs were arranged partially if not ostensibly to celebrate the quite remarkable Premier League win by the team of the town, Leicester City, at odds of some 5,000-1. not really a "Spike Island for the Millennial generation" but perhaps as close as they shall ever get.

but of course in between tracks you get the odd shout out to the magnificence of what the football team achieved, but not in an excessive way. Kasabian have shown that they are very much capable of cutting it as a live concern (refer to their Glastonbury headline set, 2014) and so Underdogs reflects a decent set of performances of some much loved tunes. and a lot of swearing.

and where oh where shall this record chart? Kasabian may well be proof that rock is most decidedly not dead, but i think the idea of people buying it or other such proper music in large volumes has more or less gone. the lead "single", available as a download or stream thingie, in the form of You're In Love With A Psycho, didn't make it into the top 40.

one quick look at the album chart shows Ed Sheeran still locked in at the top, presumably down to all of this "streaming" business and the difficult to comprehend popularity of Galway Girl and Shape Of You. Gorrilaz, a band that started as a joke but for some reason got taken seriously, managed to get to number two with their new album; a release which might explain the delay in the Kasabian release. using the Depeche Mode album as a guide, if this cracks the top five then they shall have done well.

right, of you go - check it out, give it a spin and dig it, man. i appreciate that this has given you more insights into the constructive relationship i had with a chap in HMV than it has into the new Kasbian album. sort of sorry for that, but then again there's nothing stopping Serge or Tom or whoever doing their own blog on the subject.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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