60 Bruce Springsteen: High Hopes
Essentially a stopgap throwaway that combines studio recordings of old live favourites such as the brilliant American Skin (41 Shots) with extremely decent covers of songs such as Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream. As such make-do projects go it’s not bad at all, even if if includes a version of the previously classic Ghost of Tom Joad with extra Tom Morello fret-wanking ejaculated over the top that if it were a cover of another artist’s song you’d accuse Bruce of misunderstanding it shockingly but since it’s his own song you can only put the whole horrific exercise down to early onset dementia.
Ah Mark Lanegan, the guy whose voice provides some much appreciated recognition of the benefits of smoking (it seems to get such bad press in other areas, so it’s nice to have some balance). ‘Phantom Radio’ is more of a straight ahead rock album than a lot of his more recent releases, and it’s actually more when Lanegan actually attempts to widen the vocabulary such as The Killing Season– Mark Lanegan discovers trip-hop??- that it loses its way slightly. Too few genuine highlights to be considered one of the best in a very impressive career, but extremely good in places.
Sinéad O’Connor is unarguably a very good thing, unless perhaps you’re looking to her for advice on the best tattoos to get. The brilliant title of ‘I’m Not Bossy I’m the Boss’ (if this list were based solely on such things you could expect this to be much higher) reflects an absolute confidence in herself, there’s nothing apologetic here and her distinctive voice is layered so it can occasionally sound like you’re confronted with an entire choir of Sinéads, which is certainly no bad thing. There’s also frequent bursts of humour (Kisses Like Mine‘s brilliantly cheeky chorus of ‘I’m special forces/ They call me in after divorces/ To lift you up’ a particular highlight) that you might not have previously associated with her, and the record is just generally shot through with a great sense of a woman happy in herself. There are certainly songs you’ll want to skip, and the second half of the album is markedly the stronger side, but it’s still a generally brilliant collection of songs.
57 tUnE-yArDs- Nikki Nack
One of the great enemies of ease of typing- I mean look at the state of that fucking name- return with another example of brilliantly inventive and unashamedly odd music. TUnE-yArDs’s (does that first ‘t’ need to be capitalised after a full-stop? This is a fucking nightmare) music however remains strangely distant and easier to appreciate than fully love, perhaps its slightly too self-conciously concerned with sounding ‘weird’.
56 Fucked Up: Glass Boys
Yes yes, if you’ve never heard one of the World’s least firewall-friendly bands (there’s much worse coming up, stay strapped in) you’ve already seen that name and quickly and definitely decided that the music is most certainly not for you. Give it a listen though and I guarantee you’ll be surprised how much you’ll love it, it’s almost like Fucked Up have chosen their explicitly profane name after becoming scared of being possibly considered (spit) mainstream- their commercialism is actually a closely guarded secret. It’s only Damian Abraham’s rasping metal shriek that stops Fucked Up sounding really no less mainstream rock than the Foo Fighters. These songs really should become karaoke standards.