The Lonely Minotaur

Music & Concert Reviews

So This Was 2018…. — December 30, 2018

So This Was 2018….

I have to admit that with each passing year I find less and less albums that I truly love enough to listen to straight through on multiple occasions. I’m not sure if that is a reflection of the current state of the music industry or just my own personal listening habits. I still think there are tons and tons of fantastic tracks being made on a yearly basis. I’m just not finding a lot of them strung together on the same album release it seems. There are still rays of hope out there for the future of the album format. Rookie bands like Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever, Soccer Mommy and Foxwarren delivered the goods and have my complete attention moving forward.

Anyways, without further ado, here are 10 of my favorite albums of 2018 followed by 25 of my favorite songs from this calendar year. It is a pretty eclectic list that leans hard on indie rock but with a handful of hip hop jams sprinkled in. Also thank you to anyone who has read this site over the last few months. It is very much appreciated.

 

My Favorite 10 Albums

Kurt Vile – Bottle It In

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Sparkle Hard

Soccer Mommy – Clean

The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Bill Ryder-Jones – Yawn

Low – Double Negative

 

My Favorite 25 Songs

Kurt Vile – “Loading Zones”

Spiritualized – “A Perfect Miracle”

Arctic Monkeys – “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino”

Bill Ryder-Jones – “Don’t Be Scared, I Love You”

Bradley Cooper – “Maybe It’s Time”

Young Fathers – “In My View”

Childish Gambino – “This Is America”

Soccer Mommy – “Your Dog”

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – “Kite”

J Mascis – “See You At The Movies”

Interpol – “If You Really Love Nothing” (Reimagined by Petr Aleksander)

Thom Yorke – “Unmade”

Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever – “Talking Straight”

KIDS SEE GHOSTS – “Reborn”

Low – “Disarray”

Kanye West – “Ghost Town”

Conor Oberst – “No One Changes”

Foxwarren – “Lost On You”

The Coral – “Reaching Out For A Friend”

The 1975 – “Love It If We Made It”

Rostam – “In A River”

Parquet Courts – “Tenderness”

Iceage – “Pain Killer” featuring Sky Ferreira

Jonny Greenwood – Tree Synthesisers

Jeff Tweedy – “From Far Away”

 

 

 

Spiritualized – “And Nothing Hurt” Review — September 10, 2018

Spiritualized – “And Nothing Hurt” Review

Jason Pierce’s eighth album under the moniker Spiritualized is a super charged tour de force performance for the 52-year old singer-songwriter. Pierce composed most of the album on his laptop using Pro Tools, scrapping it once and starting over when not satisfied with the original results. Most of the album was visualized in Jason’s head as broadcasting messages from space back to Earth concerning matters of the heart. The idea of love is a big part of this record, love from the past, the present and the future to come.

Naturally the album contains many Spiritualized hallmarks: space jazz, garage rock, psychedelia, R&B, gospel and lush strings. Opening track “A Perfect Miracle” sounds like a spiritual successor to the young man who wrote “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” 20 years earlier. This time however, closure is found and peace of mind finally achieved. Life moves on constantly and sometimes love does too. Pierce is no longer chasing the perfect idea of love. These days he is just happy to find a girl who wants to dance to Big Star on the radio as illustrated in the lullaby shuffle of “Let’s Dance” or drive endlessly down the road hand in hand like on “Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go”. Elsewhere Pierce pledges on “I’m Your Man” that he is not going to be anybody’s ideal Prince Charming, someone free of vices or sin, but he will love you faithfully and that is all he is looking for in return.

Pierce has floated the idea recently that this will be his final album under the Spiritualized umbrella. With output this strong and inspiring, one can only hope he deeply reconsiders this notion of stopping. There is still a lot of meat on the Spiritualized bone to devour in years to come. This is a musical project in peak form after almost 30 years of activity. The only thing that will “hurt” is if the music stops.

Grade: A-