Meliora is Latin for ‘the pursuit of something better’, although Swedish occult rockers Ghost would be hard pressed to top 2013’s Infestissumam. That album was a masterful blend of seventies rock, heavy metal and theatre, and sky-rocketed the band to international superstar status. Delivering a proper follow-up to that is a tall order for any new band, but Ghost manage to do so, and with relative ease to boot. But is Meliora actually something better? Let’s find out.
Something, something, something Dark Side…
We should talk about Roger Waters’ Amused to Death for a bit. Well, perhaps we don’t actually have to, but I want to and it would seem the new reissue of his masterful 1992 record would be a good opportunity to do so. Here’s what I thought then, and here’s what I think now.
The tree of life of jazz grew strong from blues, swing, bebop to cool and branched out into various directions like funk, fusion and free jazz. Today it still stands tall. Adding something fresh to this one-hundred-year-plus history isn’t quite an easy task. However what is fresh? Something truly new and innovating or finding your place within this history by means of your own creative terms? Kamasi Washington chose the latter path and released a three-hour sprawl called The Epic which takes you deep into the heart of jazz.
In 2013 Modest Mouse disappointingly cancelled their entire European tour to continue working on their new album which we today know by the title of Strangers to Ourselves. The album did compensate for the band’s absence yet a live appearance to come along with that would truly make up for past events. During their current North-American promotional tour Modest Mouse also made room for a three week ‘make up visit’ to Europe. Last friday it was the turn for the Dutch to re-embrace Brock et al in an overheated and Tour de France-minded Utrecht.
‘Summer, summer, summertime…‘ Yep, we’re both huge fans of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Especially at this time of the year. For that exact reason these are our best releases of 2015 until today. Continue reading
Kyle Field, frontman of Little Wings, is what you might call a postmodern balladeer of rural and urban landscapes. California’s wonderful natural surroundings, youth culture and the big city congestions issues were a source of inspiration for his hymns. Only somewhere during the course of time he expanded his horizon and started residing in landscapes of half truths. Luckily this was just the right place to bring together his fragile poetry and wobbly folk pop. Continue reading
The voice and guitar of Dire Straits, the label on the record proudly states, and you have to wonder if Mark Knopfler will ever truly get out from under that gargantuan shadow he himself cast all those years ago. My guess is he won’t, although I applause the man for trying. Tracker is his eight solo album, and it’s not bad. Not bad at all.
Under the banner of Excelsior Recordings the Dutch alternative rock scene has been blooming for almost twenty years now. Only on rare occasions Excelsior’s artists achieve some kind of success outside The Netherlands, thus keeping most releases under the radar of the international press. Non-Dutch who are always looking for the best kept musical secrets of tomorrow should therefore watch this label like a hawk. One of those very nice Excelsior secrets I’m gonna review today is a band called Alamo Race Track, that recently brought out their fourth album called Hawks. Ahem, sorry about that…
Basically, I believe the singer-songwriter scene is overcrowded at the moment. Arguably, the ‘genre’ has always been pretty full because of its vague definition. However today it’s almost like anyone who’s has the hipster look and possesses a guitar is eager to make this stereotype their own. That’s reason enough to not take the scene too seriously, yet every so often the mediocrity is broken by someone new who appeals to my need of just listening to simple and small songs. Continue reading