First the rules. 1) I am hopefully going to do 10 pop-up’s symbolising my 10 best albums of 2012. These will be in sets of two over the next weeks. 2) I am only going to spend a maximum of 1 hour on each pop-up because I have other things I should be doing. 3) The pop-ups can’t be any bigger than a place card (As I have 10 of these handy and its a challenge). 4) In the end it should be fun and these are my views (so I hold the right to be completely wrong and mad 🙂 ).By the Way these are in no particular order.
Album 1) Jukebox the Ghost – Safe Travels
I found this band after reading a review of their 2011 album, that said if you are still grieving the passing of Ben Folds Five a decade ago, then this is for you. They weren’t wrong the Empire album contained nuances of a three piece with piano up front and sublime songwriting. And Safe Travels continues this trend with the summer sunshine of ‘Somebody’ leading the way and then its track after track of quirky perfectly formed indie pop reminiscent of Crowded House/They might be Giants/Barenaked Ladies.
Key Track – Somebody : One of those catchy Summer tunes bathed in sunshine (see video) with the simple premise of wanting to find love again. For the pop-up the lyric “There might be somebody after me…” combined with the Jukebox ghost only could mean this 80’s classic
Other recommended :- Adulthood, Ghosts in Empty Houses, Oh Emily
If this had been any other time this would have been the best Ben Folds Five album of the year….. if it wasn’t for
Album 2) Ben Folds Five – The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
So after a number of on/off great solo albums and a number of joint works with Shatner, Hornby and Gaiman/Palmer, Ben Folds finally got the band back together. I was very excited but also a little worried, that I may have seen their best days over a decade ago. So, I was relieved that, the things that made BFF great, their tightness, rambling storytelling, a lot of fun, a bit of melancholy, a smidgeon of joy and superb songwriting are there in abundance on the album and also live on stage. They also seem to have grown up a bit except for….
Key Track – Draw a Crowd : This could be considered pure juvenile humour and the song could have a number of connotations. But it is a mind-worm of a song and turning into a live favourite. The Pop-up takes a lot from the chorus “Oh, If your feeling small, and you can’t draw a crowd, draw dicks on the wall”. Which I am sure Ben and friends mean Dick Van Dyke, Richard Attenbrough , Richard Nixon, Dick Emery and Richard III….
Other recommended :- Erase Me, Do it Anyway (see video with Fraggles), Sound of the life of the Mind, Michael Praytor
More albums to follow soon