As a kid growing up in the 80s Kylie was my first musical love. I had all her tapes and spent many an hour dancing round the kitchen to her hits. Even as I became a 90s teen who listened to indie music Kylie came with me, releasing Confide in Me and then working with my favourite band Manic Street Preachers on her hugely underrated album Impossible Princess. When she went back to pop and had even more stratospheric success I couldn’t help but still love her and follow her career. So it feels strangely fitting that she has released the country-inspired album Golden now when I write a blog covering country music. Our stars always seem to align.
Album Review: Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
The clear blue sky on the cover of the new album from Kacey Musgraves signals a bright and hopeful new beginning both musically and personally. After getting married last year Kacey naturally began to write more love songs, leaving behind the wry humour of her previous albums. The songs on Golden Hour are quietly introspective, creating a comfortable hazy bliss to get lost in. Continue reading “Album Review: Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour”
Album Review: Gwen Stefani – You Make It Feel Like Christmas
We all need a little bit of festive cheer to get us through the rest of 2017, a year that somehow managed to even surpass the hell that was 2016. Every year I enjoy those few weeks in December when I can listen to any old cheesy Christmas song on repeat. I was looking for a new Christmas album to review this year and stumbled onto Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special on TV the other day and it had enough sparkle to cheer up any Scrooge. The accompanying album You Make it Feel Like Christmas is a flourish of festive fun from start to finish. Continue reading “Album Review: Gwen Stefani – You Make It Feel Like Christmas”
Favourite Female Screams
In Celtic mythology the shriek of a banshee was the sign of death approaching. Some women even worked as banshees, wailing laments for lost souls for a price. The sound of a woman screaming had power to strike fear, but at the same time it was also a howl of pain which was understood by all.
Researchers into use of language in literature identified that women invariably are described as ‘shrieking’ and ‘screaming’ while men are more likely to be said to be ‘shouting’. Therefore you could argue that screaming is seen by many as an expression of unwanted emotion, as though such outbursts are a sign of weakness or madness.
You’d think then that this would mean women would be known as the best screamers in music. Somehow the music industry bias means even this accolade is skewed in the favour of men. Quite a few publications have run ‘the best screams in music’ lists and women are poorly represented on them all. Paste magazine’s list included zero female screams, Pigeon and Planes had a few but nowhere near 50% and The Independent actually said: ‘Great female screams are quite scarce, it seems.’ That of course is totally wrong and insulting. Women have been screaming on record for a long time and they still are, just listen to the new Bully album.
So in honour of all banshees everywhere and since it’s Halloween here are my five favourite female screaming songs.
Continue reading “Favourite Female Screams”
2017’s Most Unlikely Chart Battle: Shania Twain vs Wolf Alice
For this week’s UK album chart battle we had two unlikely competitors: Shania Twain and English indie band Wolf Alice, fronted by Ellie Rowsell. It seems odd to think these two could become adversaries, the divide between them is so vast as to usually make such people invisible to each other. This wasn’t David vs Goliath or Blur vs Oasis this was more like someone’s mother versus the emo kids who stand at the side of the playground smoking. Continue reading “2017’s Most Unlikely Chart Battle: Shania Twain vs Wolf Alice”
Dolly & Miley’s New Albums Are A Double Rainbow of Delight
So the autumn leaves are beginning to fall, it’s getting dark earlier, and the world is about to end any day now. Enter Dolly Parton and her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, on a mission to spread love, light and colour in these end times. Miley’s new album Younger Now and Dolly’s children’s album I Believe in You are lollipops of sweetness and joy enough to make even the worst cynic smile. Continue reading “Dolly & Miley’s New Albums Are A Double Rainbow of Delight “
An Open Apology Letter to Kesha
I need to apologise to you. Firstly I was never a fan of your old music. To be honest I hated it, I despised the whole thing you had going on from the dollar sign to the obnoxious party tunes. Everything about your image and music seemed utterly hellish to me. Of course it was hellish to you too but I didn’t know that then. How could anyone? We see pop stars and we think we know them. We are cowards writing nasty things from behind screens and thinking it means nothing. What fools we are. Continue reading “An Open Apology Letter to Kesha”