The Tab’s Album Round Up

This week, GEORGE OSBORN and CHRIS BANNON kick Kei$ha and man hug Massive Attack

Animal Chris Bannon George Osborn Heligoland Hot Chip Kei$ha Massive Attack Odd Blood One Life Stand Yeasayer

Heligoland – Massive Attack

The return of Bristol’s trip-hop pioneers following the rather nothingy 100th Window, Massive Attack must have known that this album was going to be their benchmark for the next decade. Fortunately for everyone, Heligoland represents a return back to the dizzying and darkened heights of Mezzanine that few of us thought possible. Pray for Rain sets the tone with the rolling drums, foreboding piano and lucid vocals driving through the darkness and throughout the album the oppressive shroud of the foreboding beats is broken by moments of wonderful clarity. The ferociously flashing, clean cut, electronic riff and sultry vocals of lead single Paradise Circus drives through the cluttered beats and handclaps, while terrifying beats and sounds seize control of Splitting the Atom before subsiding into a faintly haunting chorus that dominates the track. But it’s the fantastic Flat of the Blade that really sets the tone. The group seem content to let Guy Garvey’s vocals be little more than another instrument blended to the wonderfully textured mixture, until the perfectly weighted vocal “the weight of the steel, the flat of the blade” blows open not only the track, but the whole album as a work of absolute genius. This is a Massive Attack album with all the beats, all the samples and all the darkness that made them so tastily claustrophobic but dressed in a way that is wonderfully refreshing and definitely new. Heligoland, as a result, is a phenomenal middle finger to the naysayers who thought they were done ages ago, including me. Taxi for Osborn….. GO


Yeasayer – Odd Blood

Yeasayer’s second album Odd Blood is as equally bizarre as it is utterly brilliant (odd blood one might say…).  The nine tracks of the album give a tour of world music as well as any other sounds they unearthed along the way.  Single Ambling Alp’s contains several different effects carefully entwined together, but through this comes the simple but pensive chorus, “You must stick up for yourself son, never mind what anybody else done.”  That’s not even the best track though.  That award goes to O.N.E which has hundreds of brilliant ideas combined together, along with a chorus that would have MGMT fans worshipping them.  The extent of their brilliant experimentation is shown on Love Me Girl, where synths are combined with a large range of sound effects extending as far as bird chirrups.  It’s just such a shame though, that the only track where their audacities backfire is opener The Children.  The electronic effects on the vocals are far too strong, so much so that the singer sounds like he’s drowning in a swamp.  Other than that it’s a solid album.  Just start at track 2. CB

8 out of 10

Ke$ha – Animal

Sigh, where to begin.  I’m not entirely sure what differentiates Ke$ha from all other pop singers like Alexandra Burke and Pixie Lott (well I suppose she has a dollar sign where the s should be in her name…).   Anyway$ I $uppo$e $ingle TiK ToK is where I $hould $tart the review (OK I’ll stop that joke now).  30 second snippets of it are regularly played in Cindies, in which where she describes herself as some form of hardcore party animal (as if).  It is vaguely listenable though, and she can actually sing so I suppose it’s a highlight.  That’s the only one though.  Other single Blah Blah Blah is as infuriating as every other single that 3OH!3 has contributed to.  Good choice of single title though; I thought it sounded like that as well.  The rest of the album is horribly manufactured and with song titles such as Hungover and Party at Rich Dude’s House there is a severe lack of originality here.  Maybe I’m being harsh – I mean this album isn’t meant to appeal to me.  Why?  Because it’s aimed at 14 year olds, that don’t possess a Y chromosome and only require one VK to get tipsy.  How Varsity’s reviewer gave this 4 stars is beyond me.  They are either deaf or match the description above. CB

3 out of 10

Hot Chip – One Life Stand

Electro-pop group Hot Chip showed they were most definitely Ready for the Floor of the mainstream with last album Made in the Dark.  Their fourth album One Life Stand is good, but like their others is slightly lacking and the making of an epic still escapes them.  Opener Thieves in The night shows off the skills of Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor’s laptops, before the crisp and cool falsetto of Alexis echoes “Thieves in the Night”.  Single One Life Stand is possibly one of their finest.  It’s packed full of great ideas: various fantastic effects and melodies including one that is almost calypso in sound.  But after this there is a severe lack of anything memorable until final track Take it in.   Greater consistency is needed if they are ever going to create the classic that they crave. CB

7 out of 10