Round up of my Christmas gift CDs
Øysrein Greni Forty Days
Øysrein is the main man in Norwegian band Bigbang. This is a 9 song collection of material previously pit of under the band moniker over the years. My son saw him doing a solo support of Rodrigo Y Gabrielle some weeks ago and thought I'd like it. I do! Think Crosby, Stiles and Nash with Tom Petty and Red Hot Chilli Peppers thrown in at times. So stuff that reminds you constantly of other stuff but in a good way. Spotify has most of the tracks off the original albums. Try it out
Ben Howard I Forget Where We Were
Every Kingdom was a terrific début. On his second full album (ignoring the Burgh Island EP) he seems to have leapt forward. Simply this is a stunning album, hypnotherapeutic is one word I'd use to try and capture it. He layers delay and effect laden guitar lines with sparse additional instrumentation and then the vocal delivery reminds me a lot of John Martyn. Cracking album!
Counting Crows - Somewhere Under Wonderland.
Like many people I was hooked when I heard Counting Crows début August and Everything After. I like some of the other releases but I felt they never recaptured the magic of that initial disc. Until now... Somewhere Under Wonderland is their best release in my opinion since August and Everything. Ever willing to push the boundaries the first track is an over 8 minute masterpiece almost a rock jazz anthem with superb poetry being read over the top! Counting Crows picked this as the lead single... nothing if not boundary pushers since there is a lost more obvious single material on the album but Palisades Park is without doubt the magnum opus on the album. But for Earthquake Driver and Elvis Went to Hollywood are where I love to hear the Crows. Terrific album for anyone who has ever heard them and liked them. I hope too it might win new fans too.