Matt’s Music Spot: 2014.06.19

Coldplay-Ghost-Stories1. GHOST STORIES – Coldplay.

The Coldplay of 2014 is very different to the Coldplay of 2000. For a couple of albums now, they’ve been moving closer to a more electronic sound and “Ghost Stories”, their sixth studio album, takes them another step closer. It’s laid back in the way that Coldplay albums tend to be, with the track listing liberally sprinkled with sadness (“True Love” with its aching plea to “tell me you love me, if you don’t then lie”), some uplifting choruses and catchy hooks and occasionally a more upbeat or electronic arrangement (“Midnight”, “Magic”, “A Sky Full Of Stars”). Of course the Coldplay sound is still there – “Oceans” takes me back to 2002’s “A Rush Of Blood To The Head” for some reason. For me, it’s definitely the most old-school Coldplay sound in this collection.

Asgeir-In-The-Silence2. IN THE SILENCE – Ásgeir.

An intriguing album from nearly 22-year-old Icelandic singer/songwriter Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson. It’s often described as ‘melodic folk’ and features some incredibly lush sounds. It’s so chilled out and very acoustic in parts, more upbeat and almost verging on an electronic feel in others, thought it’s definitely not electronica. Across ten tracks, beautiful melodies float about all over the place. This guy has a voice – and a talent – that belies his youth and relative newness to the industry. “In The Silence” was released in January as the English-language version of Ásgeir’s original Icelandic release “Dýrð í dauðaþögn” – really glad he translated that into English, coz I have no idea how to pronounce any of that! “Torrent”, “King And Cross” and “On That Day” are my early favourites.

Kate_Ceberano_Brave3. BRAVE – Kate Ceberano.

This month’s classic pop selection. “Brave” was Kate Ceberano’s first truly solo offering. When it was released in mid-1989 the 23-year-old had already been a vocalist with Australian bands I’m Talking and The Models for six years. She was also no stranger to commercial success, amassing five Top 10 singles and four Top 20 albums 1984-1988. With “Brave” Ceberano achieved what few female Australian acts achieved at that time: it debuted and peaked at #2 on the album charts and went on to be the year’s 20th highest-selling release. It spawned five Top 30 singles, the biggest of which, “Bedroom Eyes”, also went to #2 and became Australia’s seventh biggest-selling single of 1989. The third single was a double-A side release of the album’s title track along with “Young Boys Are My Weakness” which was produced by Phil Harding and Ian Curnow of London’s then phenomenally successful PWL (Stock Aitken Waterman) hit factory. The album also featured covers of The Reels’ “Quasimodo’s Dream”, Aretha Franklin’s  “Since You’ve Been Gone” and Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground”, the latter having also been released as a single by Red Hot Chili Peppers earlier in 1989. Much of Ceberano’s earlier work (after I’m Talking and The Models) was jazz or jazz-influenced and this is what she’d come to be known for. “Brave” couldn’t have been a more appropriate title and it still sounds great 25 years later. It’s a collection of classy pop that benefits from a sound very much of its day, but different enough to not sound horribly dated. While she never hit the dizzy heights of the success of “Brave” again, somehow Kate Ceberano is always around somewhere. And somehow she hardly looks a day older than she did in 1989…

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