Album Of The Week, Confetti [Universal]

Column: CD Reviews   |   Date Published: Tuesday, 19 May 09   |   Author: Rory McCartney   |   8 years ago

     Little Birdy

 With their third album the band’s intention was to capture earlier sounds from the ‘50s - ‘60s and give them a modern flavour.  This approach comes across strongly in the lead and backing vocal treatment of songs such as Hairdo and Into My Arms. Katy Steele’s high voice is well suited to this style of delivery.  Most of the album consists of low key pop-ballads and it rarely takes off into something more lively.  The main exceptions are Summarize (which with its “Kiss-Kiss Bang-Bang” lyrics is up there with the band’s best) and the part ballad, part country stomp of opening track Brother.  The secret track at the end, an instrumental number with a beautiful blend of keys and cello, will appear if you keep Confetti running for nine minutes. Stay Wild with its poignant tones backed by string arrangements is another great song. Katy’s diction sometimes makes the lyrics hard to understand, but there is no mistaking the emotion invested in this record that runs through every song. The plaintive vibe will pull at the heart strings even if the words aren’t clear.  Fans of the band will love this latest effort.

[Independant]: Goodnight Owl Goodnight Owl

The man behind the charming Owl moniker, Eddie Alexander, grew up in Alice Springs, and the central desert’s ancient expanses; sleeping dinosaur lying eternally dormant hills, winding dry riverbeds and striking ghost gums now make up his dreams it seems as he currently resides in Melbourne. Longing for this country runs deep beneath his pocketful of five comforting gems, as do the delicately delivered themes of love and loss. Each song is a collection of curious images and experiences so heartfelt it’s easy to share in Eddie’s catharsis, and though the undercurrent is often wistfully nostalgic, the delightful arrangements, combining folk, pop and playful electronica in a style similar to The Postal Service’s, are ultimately joyful. They sank deep into this desert girl’s soul. 

[Nuclear Blast]: Subway To Sally Kreuzfeuer

German folk metallers STS are back, and, whilst I have little or no idea what they’re on about on this, their 14th album (its all in German), what I do know is they blow up quite a storm musically.Originally more folk (make that medieval) than metal, the Subways have, over the years, honed and polished their sound considerably so that in 2009 they sound like a less ridiculous version of Rammstein (not difficult to sound less ridiculous then Rammstein I know, but you get my drift) with an occasional penchant for whipping out the sackbuts for a bit of renaissance revelry. This isn’t as unedifying as it might sound, with the title track in particular laying it down in fine style, and if you like an unusual tinge to your sturm und drang you could do worse than check this mutter out.

[Sony BMG]: Alizee Psychedelices

French bubblegum pop anyone? Don’t run away – this is actually quite good. I’ve been a fan of Alizée for a while and this is a new direction. Songs like Décollages seem totally out of place but add a great range to her concert performances. There is plenty of material here to please all tastes; freshness, diversity, experimental quality and an open-minded approach to music. While it misses the sweet fairytale atmosphere and teenage sexiness of Gourmandises and MCE, it really is an achievement. Fun, flirty and French.

[Foreign Dub/MGM] : Snypa Levi The Sojourner

New Zealand comes through with some great sounding reggae. US reggae vocalist Snypa Levi’s first solo offering since settling in New Zealand and collaborating with NZ band Dubwize to record their debut album in 2001 starts a little slow, then continues on to be quite a lively collection of vocal and toasting styles. Sixteen Rastafarian influenced compositions, of which Rasta... be Militant, Can’t Take, Get Down To It, I Press On and the closing version, Dub Of Athens were the highlights for this reviewer. Not every track’s a winner, so try before you buy!



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