widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merlinpeen's Annual Hit Parade (five)

Don't Stop

Yes, it's the mucho delayed album by lazy Norwegian, Annie Strand, & not the latest work of the heliumed-up, perma-permed, midget Annie; which would hope-against-hopefully be called 'Stop! (please)'. It's been ten whole years since her Madonna sampling, uberpop single 'The Greatest Hit' & she's still only just this minute lethargically chucking out her second album. Still, that's one better than the parentless, ginger one.

To the rescue, the Prince Charmings to wake the Dozy Beauty, come the hallowed X-Men of pop production: Richard X & Xenomania, bringing along with them an all-star pantomime cast of cameoing nutters: Girls Aloud & Franz Ferdinand. Also on hand are Paul Epworth of Bloc Party/Futureheads/Maxïmo Park/The Big Pink fame and some bloke called Timo Kaukolampi, who has a funny name. With this abundance of shiny collaborators the whole thing could have swamped poor Annie in a turgid mess of clashing, spangly outfits; but no! Rising above the bleeping synths & chiming guitars comes the star of the show, with her too-cool-for-school vocals & her playfully witty lyrics; including this little couplet that would get Harry Potter even more moist with envy than he apparently is: "My kiss is wetter than your kiss, My lips are wetter than your trick, You know you’ll never have these hips, I’m so much better so eat this"

A large chunk of this record leaked out last year and, thusly, the first couple of aces singles have been skandalously (hm hm) thrown aside & some spanking new stuff added, but the end result is so strong that they're not missed at all, well maybe a bit, but not really. Not convinced? You shouldn't not be!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merlinpeen's Annual Hit Parade (must try harder)

Running late, again! I'll try & get this wrapped up before New Year, so that my typing fingers can once again get their much-unwarranted 51 week rest. So:

Animal Collective
Merriweather Post Pavilion

Miraculously appearing on so very many pleasing end of year lists after several years of general indifference from the chattering classes; I am goodly happy to jump on this most hummable of bandwagons and say, "Yeah, it's quite good in'tit? Have you heard of them before? No, well I think I spotted them on page 52 of Mojo back in 2007. Really? You do talk shite sometimes! Yes I do."

The Big Pink
A Brief History of Love

Hey Hey! It's 1993 all over again, the massive sunglasses & bleepy video-game tunes have made way for some honest to goodness, eyes-down, gazing at shoes, next to your soiled Betty Blue poster, as the slightly overweight warden of your student halls flies banshee-like down the corridor, screaming for you to hide your tellys, as the detector vans approach, waiting to take away your flapjacks. Maybe that was just me. Anyway, a classic 4ADish album, with a v23ish cover, and enough modern textural fun to almost fool you into believing they invented it.

Manic Street Preachers
Journal for Plague Lovers

I'm sure it's a little tricky to keep up the youthful nihilism when middle-age spread comes a-beckoning & slacks 'n' slip-ons seem a perfectly serviceable fashion choice, so why not take a few leaves out of the book of your youngest, deadest member, literally. Ah Richie, how we have missed your cheery disposition & sunny outlook. This is what makes the Manics great, unitelligble lyrics of despair, betrayal & bodily fluids, with the best song title ever (fact!) in 'Jackie Collins Existential Question Time'.

The Awkward Recruit

Jim Causley, a camp as a fishermans spoon folk singer from Devon, joins with Mawkin, a hairy bunch of Essex scamps, to fashion a record filled with creamily multi-lingual, sing-along songs. In the transfer from great live band to recorded noise the hip-wiggling & fruity stage presence may be lost in translation, but it's more than made up for by the clarity of sound & rhythmic energy.

Imidiwan (Companions)

A thirty year old collective of nomadic Touareg musicians from the Malian Sahara, this is their fourth internationally released album, and it's the rawest & best. There's none of that dreaded 'crossover' pandering to us heathen westerners that so many internationally acclaimed 'world music' artists fall prey to, just a relentless rolling rhythm that holds together these stark, dusty tunes in its sandy embrace.