Tuesday, 2 August 2011

New Will Young song - and it's free!

Go to the link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005EOZ1U6?tag=discounter-21 (Amazon UK)

It's bloody brilliant!

Julia Fordham

Julia Fordham is a funny artist.  Her music varies between pop, jazz and soul - and therefore it's been difficult to categorise.  She's not particularly fashionable and she's never reached the heights of super stardom (although some would argue that she did in Japan and the Philippines).   However, there is a quality to Julia's voice which has interested for me for years.  It's rich and deep, and then, out of the blue she manages to hit the kind of high notes that could attract dogs.

She's also extremely lovely and funny (especially live). I recall meeting her briefly many years ago when I was pulled backstage by her sister Claire (now a successful writer and blogger for the Huffington Post).

Julia's been around for quite some time now.  She started off as a backing singer and then released her first solo album in the late eighties.  'Happy Ever After' was her first hit and it made the UK top forty.  Since then she has released many albums and worked with many producers such as Simon Climie and Larry Klein.  She's toured the world many times and managed to carve out a great career.  Interesting story - Julia was originally going to record 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)' before Bryan Adams - though the record company changed it's mind and Bryan got the song.

Her current album features actor Paul Reiser, and I'm going to be brutally honest when I say that it's not her best work by far.  Infact, it's a poorly produced affair and not even worth mentioning.

Julia's strengths can be found in 'Concrete Love', an album which includes the vocals of India Arie on the title track and Joe Henry (Madonna's brother in law) on the song, 'Alleluia'.  'East West' is also a good album.

The problem is that Julia often makes songs that are completely out of touch with current trends.  She's not a trend-setter.  However, if you seek out certain songs from her back catalogue, you will be touched by the emotional content and the range of her unusual voice.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Amy Winehouse RIP

It's been over week since the death of Amy Winehouse. RIP Amy.

(Apparently) taken at Camden Lock

Lost Gems: Pop Albums That Deserved Success *Part 1*

Made In London were a female trio that were tipped for success back in 2000.  Their debut single 'Dirty Water' reached number 15 in the UK charts and they recieved positive reviews in the press.  Things were looking up until the release of their follow up 'Shut Your Mouth' which reached a disappointing number 74.  Consequently their album, 'Perfect Storm' was pulled and I remember watching a particularly sad interview with band members on Channel 4's Big Breakfast after the news that they had been dropped by their record company.  At that stage they were hoping to be signed elsewhere, but sadly that didn't happen.  'Perfect Storm' is a great album and I have one of the many promo's had been issued, so if you are lucky to find one in a second hand shop, snap it up!  I'm particularly fond of the track 'Believe', but the whole album is a gem.  It's a soulful debut and it's a shame that it never surfaced.

Madasun were another all female trio from 2000.  They released 3 singles, all which made the UK top 40.  Unlike Made In London, Madasun's debut album did get a release.  'The Way It Is' was released in late 2000 and sadly the sales weren't there.  It's a shame because the album had some great tracks including the (perhaps TLC inspired) 'Walking On Water' which is lovely. 
Madasun weren't always this grumpy
I really thought that Madasun had potential. 

Dana Dawson - RIP.  I was so sad to hear that Dana passed away last year from colon cancer.  'Black Butterfly' is a pop gem.  All 4 of the accompanying singles are great.  The thing that stood out is Dana's great voice and her really great sense of style.  For example, she wears Vivienne Westwood on the cover (beyond fabulous!!!)  The album is a mixture of pop, soul and some really nice ballads.