The Album Project – 9th July

The point of the album project is to widen my music experience and, hopefully, knowledge.
Every morning I select 5 years at random (using random.org) and then 5 numbers between 1 and 40 (again using random.org) and load up the albums that were at that position in those years.
Will I have a day of heavenly lost classics or will it be Ed Bloody Sheeran?

  • + ED SHEERAN
  • Unplugged ERIC CLAPTON
  • The Best Of OMD ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK
  • Escape ENRIQUE IGLESIAS
  • It’s Alive THE RAMONES

1. + – ED SHEERAN
I’ve managed to escape it thus far, 2 weeks into the project but here we go! Ed Sheeran, ever present, lovely lad by all accounts but just…
I don’t even know why I dislike him so much (I mean, “Galway Girl” is probably enough), I have the feeling it’s a Pavlovian reaction that comes from a dormant NME reader of the 1990’s.
So he’s dominated with three albums so far, this is the first one from 2011. The upside is that if he’s following a pattern (+, ÷, -) there’s only one album still to come.
“Drunk” – it’s the attempt at rapping/speaking staccato along to the bland acoustic beat that contributes to the rage.
“UNI” – yes! The rhythmic “rap” is f**king annoying!
From the album’s Wikipedia page : “The album is inspired by Nizlopi and Damien Rice” – another explanation for the reason my eyes are full of red mist!
From the album notes, the first “instrument” credited to Sheeran is “beat box”. You’re from SUFFOLK!!!!!
I’m disappointed with myself that my prejudice has probably led me to being bored and irritated by track 4.
“Wake Me Up” has apparently led to comparisons with Van Morrison! Obviously by people who have never head Van Morrison! Come on “I know you love Shrek because we’ve watched it 12 times” Piss off!
Right I managed up to “Small Bump” and it was too much for me. It’s not Pavlovian, it’s irritating, I want to slap the passion and balls out of him. It’s sanitised sludge, and I hate it. Hate, hate, hate it.
1993 – “Unplugged” – ERIC CLAPTON
Released in August 1992 it was still in the top 40 11 months later, hence it’s appearance here.
In the 90’s the idea that rock songs could be played acoustically was mind-blowing and MTV (which at the time concerned itself with music rather than pregnant or spoilt 16 year olds) came up with a format that spawned a number of these albums, most famously I would argue the Nirvana collection. I’ve not heard this album before, other than the version of “Layla”.
Now of course you can’t think about selling a sofa without getting some Chelsea songstress with an acoustic guitar to play a “chilled” version of a Dead Kennedy’s song.
But in 1992, it was still interesting and exciting and Eric Clapton was, and still is, a guitar God.
“Signe” sounds like the best warm up exercise ever.
“Before You Accuse Me” is pure Blues as it used to be. I love listening to people like Clapton doing the Blues because it’s obviously what brought them to music and playing their instrument and there’s nothing cynical about it, just enjoying spending time playing music and telling a story.
“Tears In Heaven” – already heartbreaking but there’s something more to this performance, just lovely.
“Lonely Stranger” is effortlessly beautiful.
“Layla” seems a lot sexier than the original but obviously the best bit (the piano ending) wasn’t included which I can understand.
This was the biggest selling “Live” album and I loved it.

 

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