Raph's January 2004 Musical Overview

I have high hopes for 2004. The first month has already given us some fine releases from some underdogs and some respected players. Scottish art-rockers Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut has already earned them a legion of fans and a top 3 single, but they have entered themselves in a market that is quickly becoming over-saturated in the wake of the Strokes craze. A few of their tracks are worthy of merit, but as rock stars they are so goddamned boring.

The Coral’s “recorded-in-a-week” mini-album Nightfreak & The Sons Of Becker has with one deft blow decreased their fanbase whilst simultaneously regained their credibility, as it's an eerie homage to the joys of all things Syd Barrett.

Gary Jules disappointed most with his album Trading Snakeoil For Wolftickets, purely because they hoped it would be ten or so rehashes of his brilliant Tears For Fears cover Mad World, which stole the Christmas number one spot from The Darkness. Jules' album is a nice blend of acoustic chill, but slightly underwhelming for most.

Savath & Savalas' Apropa't is an interesting blend of Catalonian chill with an added dose of cinematic eerieness. It's designed to sit in the background of some stark, apocalyptic nightmare, and yet you'd expect nothing less from Scott Herren, more commonly associated with the name of Prefuse 73.

Weezer drummer Pat Wilson and ex-Rocket From The Crypt drummer Atom Willard release Land, Air, Sea... through their moonlight sideproject The Sprecial Goodness, and it's a fun forty minutes of college power pop.

January 2004 Album Of The Month

Album of the month for January however has to go to Air for their masterful return to form which is Talkie Walkie. Finally, Air are back to their Moon Safari best, and rather than sit in a seat solely occupied by the lounge/chill-out mould, they employ Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich to stir up the production values.

A good month, but February promises to be better....

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