talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 813 – W/C 09.11.15

Chart Chat Edition 813 – Week Commencing 6th November 2015


For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 16 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Ben Haenow – ‘Ben Haenow’ (Album)

During the several months that elapse between X Factor series it can be easy to forget just who the previous years winner was. I confess I had to look up Sam Bailey’s name and she only won in 20131 The initial omens for last years winner suggest that he may struggle and lot will depend on the performance of this album. While his debut single ‘Something I Need’ topped the charts last year the follow up ‘Second Hand Heart’ only entered at no.21 though his performance on this weeks X Factor did see the track increase it sales. While Ben claims he decided against recording a full on rock album as it wouldn’t be what the fans who voted for him wanted to hear I would question that decision as I think his voice would sound better against such a backdrop. Ben is a talented performer with great energy and vocal talent but only time will tell if this album is enough to secure him a career in music.

Enya – Dark Skies Island (Album)

One of my favourite things about Enya is that she doesn’t churn out the same thing year after year.  Instead each album is considered and well crafted, and to illustrate this ‘Dark Skies Island’ comes some seven years after ‘And Winter Came’. Since ‘Shepherd Moons’ in 1991 each of her albums has been released in November or December and this album proves to be no exception – perhaps her music just suits this time of year. The album is described by Enya as having a theme of journeys, although she has been keen to point out that it is not a themed album as such. Once again we see snippets of Loxian language (which was created by her lyricist Roma Ryan) on the tracks ‘The Forge Of Angels’ and ‘The Loxian Gates’ and overall the results will be one which serves to delight her fanbase. With 75m sales to her name already this can only add to that already impressive tally.

Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames – ‘Swan Songs’

It’s always nice when an artist takes their own decision to bring the curtain down on their career rather than having that decision made for them.  That is the case on offer here with legendary jazz and blues star Georgie Fame who releases an album of twelve brand new songs to draw a line on what has been a phenomenal career. My favourite tracks on offer here include the Calypso led ‘De Carribean Way’, the brooding big band number ‘The Lurper’ and the closing song ‘The Ship’ which was written by Mike O’Neill. Although he achieved three no.1 hits during the 1960’s he has not appeared on the chart since 1971 when he teamed up with Alan Price on the hit single ‘Rosetta’. This is a fine collection of songs which will provide great pleasure to those who purchase and listener to it. His talent will certainly be missed in the years which lay ahead.

Kylie – ‘Christmas’ (Album)

Many artists have recorded Christmas albums over the years and now Kylie is set to add her name to that list. This collection contains an interesting mix of tracks ranging from a posthumous duet with Frank Sinatra on ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ to the rather questionable inclusion of James Cordon on her cover of Yazoo’s ‘Only You’. Iggy Pop also pops up with an appearance on ‘Christmas Wrapping’ while fans who pick up a copy of the deluxe format will also find her duet with Dannii Minogue on ‘100 Degrees’. It’s good to find less obvious covers such as ‘2000 Miles’ on her along with the more expected standards ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ and ‘Let It Snow’. So all in all credit is deserved for avoiding what could have been a cliched collection and producing an album which will keep Kylie fans happy until her next album which should land at some point during 2016.

Matt Berry & The Maypoles – ‘Live’ (Album)

Although he is better known for his acting and voiceover work Matt Berry and his band the Maypoles have carved themselves a reputation in music circles. Having released five studio albums he is now back out on tour during December and has this live album to promote as well. Opening track ‘The Innkeeper’s Song’ is packed full of funk while the popular ‘Snuff Box’ clocks in at over seven minutes. Other favourites to be found on her includes ‘Solstice’ (from his ‘Kill The Wolf’ album) which also passes the seven minute mark as does closing track ‘The Pheasant’.  He was the opening act for Steven Wilson at his Royal Albert Hall concert earlier this year and his popularity is illustrated by the kind of venues he is filling on this tour. In my opinion this is exactly the kind of CD that should be filling up peoples Christmas stockings this year!

Public Service Broadcasting – ‘Sputnik / Korolev’ (Single)

In my opinion it is much better to listen to the ‘Race To Space’ album in its entirety Public Service Broadcasting are releasing the track ‘Sputnik’ alongside ‘Korolev’ as a double a sided single. While ‘Sputnik’ initially existed a seven minute plus epic it has been shortened to a four minute radio edit for this release while new mixes of the track include the Peter Dundov Remix, the Eagles & Butterflies Remix, the Blond:lsh Remix and the Plugger Remix. The band are about to undertake an extensive tour of the UK concluding at Brixton Academy in London on the 29th November. The live show which goes with the album is bound to be spectacular and the growth in their fanbase over the past year suggests that they are on the verge of becoming truly big. For now this is an interesting set of mixes which should secure them some airplay over the coming weeks.

Queen – A Night At The Odeon : Hammersmith 1975 (Album)

This album celebrates the most bootlegged concert of Queen’s career and as the title suggests was recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon forty years ago. At the time of this concert it wasn’t known just how big Bohemian Rhapsody would be hence why it appears fourth in the set list with a reprise coming seventh. If the same concert had happened in 2015 it would surely have been an encore! The set contains their classic hits ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’ and ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ alongside a cross section of their early material and a cover of ‘Jailhouse Rock’.  There are various packages of this release to suit different fans pockets with the most expensive being a super deluxe version which retails at over £300. This will be a must for long term fans and collectors of the band while offering an interesting insight into the band during their 1970’s prime.

Roger Waters – The Wall (Album)

This set of songs began life all the way back in 1979 when Pink Floyd’s album topped the charts and it went on to form the basis of some elaborate stage shows in the two years that lay ahead.  However the shows only ever played in four cities and ‘The Wall’ was not seen again until 1990 when Roger played alongside an all star cast at the site of the former no mans land of the Berlin Wall. Then in 2010 the show returned once more to delight a whole new set of fans alongside the stalwarts who had enjoyed previous incarnations. Fans who enjoy the music should check out the feature film DVD / Blu-Ray of the same name which is released later this month along with a series of bonus features. Of course the music has been played and heard many times before but it still makes the hairs on the back on my neck stand up on end.

Next Week…

Other artists releasing new albums in the coming weeks include Adele, Fleur East, Johnny Marr and Train while repackaged releases come from Ed Sheeran, Gregory Porter, Olly Murs and Simply Red. Meanwhile in terms of singles we can expect to hear from Adam Lambert, David Bowie, Idlewild and Leona Lewis. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@ChartChatUK) and please keep an eye out for our next edition which will be with you very soon.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

9 November, 2015 - Posted by | ChartChat

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