It’s a truth often acknowledged on this site that a stellar debut is often followed up by a less than earth-shattering second album. But have we explored a different pattern: a respectable debut, followed by a quantum leap forwards on the second album. The Arcade Fire’s debut Funeral saw them unveil a compelling sound, but one not always fashioned into memorable songs. Its the second album, The Neon Bible, that booted them into the stratosphere: to the sound they added memorable songs, a complete apocalyptic scenario going on lyrics-wise, and an album that held together as a start-to-finish listen. Second example: Leisure is a couple of singles, one an insanely catchy/annoying earworm, and not a lot else. Modern Life Is Rubbish instantly tapped Blur into a completely new depth of songwriting, mod-derived imagery and musical stylings and – well what became the Blur that would come to define Britpop and nineties cool Britannia. Your nominations for quantum leaps between first and second please.
Another first world problem – but this one IS music related. The shops are busy pushing an album for Father’s Day which in a wild display of imagination is called How it Works: The Dad: The Album. With a wittily ironic fake Ladybird book cover.
What irks me is the content: Foreigner, Meat Loaf, Journey, Rainbow, ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Jefferson Airplane… its all the 1970s/80s soft rock classics. I think the newest song is Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus (2000).
It’s all ok, and pretty good value if by some amazing chance you want some of these songs and don’t have them.
BUT, and you knew there was a but, the average father in the UK is 33, meaning he was born in 1983 and came of musical age in 1996. Post Nirvana, Post Grunge, post post-grunge, post Acid house.
So shouldn’t The Dad album be called the Grandad album? And more to the point, what tracks SHOULD the album have for fathers for whom the most significant era is 1990 to 2005? Oasis obviously. And Blur. What else?
(and yes I have teenagers, but lots of my contemporaries have grandkids so I’m not being ageist).
Aside from Lonesome Street and Ong Ong, it sounds like another Albarn solo album. Same sounds, some slightly downbeat introspection. Not necessarily “a bad thing” but not quite what was expected. Can’t hear much Coxon input there at all.
Anyone else given this a spin yet?
madfox on Britpop
AN ACCIDENTAL CONVERGENCE OF NOSTALGIA
How Suede, Blur, Oasis and Pulp came to define the UK’s youth-driven commercial music scene in the 1990s
“Britpop” is a term commonly used to group together up to a dozen musical acts which emerged in the UK in the early years of the 1990s and which would reach their creative and commercial peaks later that decade.
It’s tempting to regard these bands – chief among them Suede, Blur, Oasis and Pulp – as being part of some coherent movement. But this was not really the case: on closer inspection, there are significant differences in the musical and lyrical styles of each band, and in the social backgrounds, political interests and cultural fashions attached to them. Indeed, the key players could be seen to represent several of British popular music’s favourite genres from the past – 1960s beat, 1970s glam and pub rock, 1980s art-school pop – while a number of the also-rans dipped their toes in surf, folk rock and punk.
Britpop is a collection of divergent bands who just happened to become active or achieve recognition around the same time – when the extreme poles of grunge and rave » Continue Reading.
…apparently. It will be called Magic Whip. Good news if true.