Archive for the Music Category

Diana Krall – Wallflower

Posted in Music on February 2, 2015 by thecognitivekey

I like Diana Krall, maybe I ought to say I like the early Diana Krall, lots of bounce and energy. Later albums have failed in the energy stakes and things can sound a little bland. This album was due to be released last year but was postponed along with a tour because Ms Krall had pneumonia, luckily for all she has recovered and the album is now out.

The tracks are all covers of well-known modern songs. Unfortunately Ms Krall doesn’t add anything to them. As I write I am listening to her album All For You which is a great album and it throws this new album into great contrast. The energy which just pours from All For You is absent in Wallflower, what we have is an album which sounds as though the singer is just going through the motions, waiting for it to be over so she can go home. It’s a shame because she has a great singing voice and we know she can deliver beautiful songs. Was this album produced for contractual reasons? It has that sound, the I don’t care enough to put ‘me’ into the songs. A shame.

I may play a track or two from this album on the radio, but I think I am more likely to stick to All For You.


Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Dark

Posted in Music on February 2, 2015 by thecognitivekey

It’s been a while since I reviewed an album and I have listened to many since the last review. It’s been a little while since Dylan released a new album, three years in fact if we exclude the Basement Tapes. So maybe the time is ripe to start reviewing again.

Bob Dylan has written some great songs, he’s even sounded OK singing the odd one. I am not a great fan of his singing, it suits some records but on the whole I think they are few and far between. However, a new album is of interest, maybe another classic waiting to take the world by storm.

This is a new album, but it is never going to take anything by storm. All of the tracks on this album are covers, covers of Frank Sinatra songs which apparently were chosen for this album by Dylan himself. There are ten tracks, some I recognise but most I don’t, I think if you had to name 10 Sinatra tracks you might name one maybe two of these, but you’d probably be a Sinatra fan. Noteworthy they are not.

But that’s just part of the problem. The biggest failing on this album is the singing of Dylan. Barely known tracks would work if sung with passion and verve like Sinatra, but these are not. These 10 songs have been transformed into 10 dirges, not one is sung with anything like mild enthusiasm. I haven’t heard a more depressing album in quite a while. Not knowing the songs didn’t help as I didn’t know what the potential of these songs could be, but if Sinatra sung them then they must have something. What a pity that Bob Dylan chose to ignore that something.

I listened to all the tracks in the hope that just one would rise above the direness, not one did. I don’t really see what the point of this album is, all the songs are covers, performed dreadfully. I shan’t be playing any of this album on my radio show. The patients deserve much better than this poor fare.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes – Baby Caught The Bus

Posted in Music on June 2, 2013 by thecognitivekey

I have been rather neglectful in recent months on the music I hear. So many other things which have to be looked at, and work is a demanding mistress when it is shift work.

However here is an album which just demands to be written about. An absolute peach of a debut album.

The band are Australian, but the style is English. Immediately there are strains of Amy Winehouse, but there is more. They have absorbed Amy and added a quality unique to themselves. Stunning just doesn’t do them justice.

The music is great. Lovely catchy tunes delivered with their own style. It’s very infectious and it is impossible not to move with the rhythm. Even better, the videos show just what passion they put into this music. Wow! What style. A lot of humour and fun in this album, it’s a pleasure to listen to and even better I can play it on the radio!

This is one of the best albums I have heard for many years. Even better they have an image which will last a long time. I am looking forward to playing many more new Clairy Browne albums.

They have completed a tour of the US and are back in Australia, touring. If they ever come to the UK I shall make every effort to be there to see them. These are the early days of a great band…you heard it here first…


Various Artists – Return To Soul City

Posted in Music on November 2, 2012 by thecognitivekey

Wow! This is an album to savour…Soul as it should be played and heard. Great sounds of the 60s and 70s

Maverick Sabre – Lonely Are The Brave

Posted in Music on July 30, 2012 by thecognitivekey

It’s about time I said something about the music I play. I do a radio show on QARadio, the hospital radio station for the Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth, so I get to hear a few sounds now and again.

I’ve been playing tracks from Maverick Sabre’s debut album for a few months now. There are restrictions on what we can play on hospital radio, no bad language, or talk of death, dying and illness, so not every track on this album can be played on my show. But the whole album is worth a listen, some good radical talk here. Well worth a listen if you get the chance

Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones Disk 1

Posted in Music on May 10, 2012 by thecognitivekey

Wow – this is powerful stuff. It starts superbly with the excellent Eulogy which should be the anthem of today’s youth. Reminiscent of Billy Bragg, Frank Turner has a lot of say and says it with energy. Unfortunately most of the tracks are unsuitable for Hospital Radio. If his future albums are of this quality then Frank Turner will be performing for us for many years to come.