Category: Tunes

Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue – AOTM July 2019

Music has the onerous and often overwhelming power to move us. Call it a primordial instinctive response or learned appreciation, we all have the potential to truly appreciate music for what it is: a great gift. I am moved to tears more often than I’d like to admit by the awesome beauty of music and how fortunate we, in the developed world, are to be able to enjoy it so effortlessly. To that end, I will attempt to describe this momentous work, Little Girl Blue, and hope that you, too, shall be awed by the never ending talents of...

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Kate Tempest, The Book of Traps and Lessons – AOTM June 2019

This is a difficult album to listen to. I should say so immediately. St Nick’s brilliant album of the month review of Five Leaves Left goes some way to explaining why: Great art has the power to change us, or so they say. But sometimes with our favourite artists we find they have not changed us, but rather that they have acted as a mirror, reflecting back to us an undistorted image of ourselves. Five Leaves Left Review, St Nick The Book of Traps and Lessons is the fourth studio album of spoken word poet and Ted Hughes Award...

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Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left – AOTM May 2019

On 3rd July 1969, Nick Drake’s debut album, ‘Five Leaves Left’, was released . It sold poorly for the times, sales totalling about 6,000 records. A combination of Drake’s reluctance to tour, bad luck, and perhaps the complexity of the music meant that he was far from an instant hit. It was only after his death, at the age of 26 from suicide, that a substantial following began to grow. As the lines of the penultimate song on the album had so eerily predicted: ‘Fame is but a fruit tree So very unsound. It can never flourish ‘Til its...

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Stevie wonder, Innervisions – Album of the Month, March 2019

When I first read about this album in the Rolling Stones Best Albums of All Time, I was skeptical. Stevie Wonder for me, then, was just ‘Sir Duke’ and ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’. I didn’t know the depth with which Wonder crafts albums. Innervisions is a wonderful insight into the views of one of the original musical iconoclasts. Wonder, who was previously more than content to allow his lyrics—both bitter and sweet—to apply to simple love scenarios, had discovered a desire to tap into a larger reserve of collective emotion: in this case, the disenfranchised...

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John Maus – We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, AOTM March 2019

Whether he’s evoking Joy Division’s Ian Curtis or Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy, Maus opts to abstract the genre, inserting noise into unexpected places and walking the line between sincerity and surreality. Pitchfork From the first time I heard this album I was hooked. Listening to it on one commute to university, I cannot but recognise its magnitude. As one ought to know by now, my albums of choice are numinous. There is something great about this album. The wonderful sweeping soundscapes which Maus creates are flabbergasting and thoroughly affecting. Maus has a full set of songs whose architecture is just...

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