It is pretty clear that unless I still want to be writing this episodic blog content in 5 years time, I’m going to have to get a move on. It’s not too tall an order to listen to an album or more a day, but then there’s the writing bit which given my own editorial harshness and my inability to type at any reasonable speed means that this is a hefty commitment I’ve taken on. Actually I can type quite fast, it’s just that spelling and punctuation will have to go entirely out of the window.
Heros a s entence I;ve writtne without going back to show you what I mean.
Anyhow, this is not getting the job done any quicker. The next two albums on the Q250 list are STANKONIA – OUTKAST (2000) and MELODY A.M. – RÖYKSOPP (2001). I am reasonably familiar with both artists, as they have both been far more likely to appear in my musical world than the likes of Slipknot. In fact Stankonia features the rather well-known ‘Ms. Jackson’ which got a lot of airplay at time of release and still features regularly on pop and hip-hop playlists as quite a classic.
My knowledge of Outkast was stimulated more by the later album(s) ‘Speakerboxxx / The Love Below’ which took the innovative route of marketing what was effectively 2 solo albums from Andre 3000 and Big Boi as a double album under the Outkast name. The great track on that release for me was ‘Hey Ya!’ which is not only a top song, but also has one of those great feel good videos with Andre 3000 playing virtually every part, musically and in character.
Listening to the Stankonia album reminded me that while I’m not typically a fan of hip hop (actually true of most genre music) but that there is usually something that I like or even love. I wasn’t particularly taken by Ms. Jackson at the time of release but hearing it now does give me that warm glow of nostalgia without having anything specific to relate it to. And the album as a whole is very listenable – I’ve actually gone through it 3 times while preparing this blog – and for me a lot of it was reminiscent of Prince, and on tracks such as ‘We Luv Deez Hoez’ there are some pretty strong pointers to where the likes of Eminem would end up – all be it his more bouncy stuff rather than the angry serious ones.
While I remember, the intro track really made me think of Will Ferrel as Mugatu, hypnotising Derek Zoolander. Must watch that film again. ‘What is this, a centre for ants?’
I travelled up to Worcester last week to visit my parents (and drop in to the Marrs Bar to catch Distorted Breed on their mini tour) and had Melody A.M on in the car on the journey up there. The Q 250 described this as a down tempo gem; and I guess I was expecting something in that vein anyway. What I discovered was great motorway driving music, helped a great deal by the crisp late winter sunshine that seemed to be perfectly in tune with the sounds generated from the Norwegian band.
While there is nothing on this album quite as gorgeously uplifting as the X-Factor staple Hoppipolla, I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a range of beats, rhythms and tunes to perfectly soundtrack my journey to the West Midlands, and that there was the occasional track – particularly ‘Poor Leno’ was not what I had expected from Röyksopp at all. Of course, I’m saying that from lack of experience of Röyksopp rather than that they’ve done anything very unexpected of them. I think.
The album does seem to drift off into sort of nothingness at the end. I’m sure that it’s a great chill out at the end of a long night though. Do they have a lot of those in Norway or not very many? I can’t remember which way round it is.