Trimmin’ some albums for The Ultimate Playlist

I went to take a photo of my little girl yesterday with my iPhone and found the memory was full! Not really a great surprise – I had nearly 600 photos on there, a number of podcasts waiting to be listened to, and 10GB of Ultimate playlist. It was time for a clean up. I set about the task and, after clearing down the photos (they had been iCloud synced to my laptop anyway) and deleting podcasts that were drastically out of date, I turned to the music and considered if it was time for a cull on The Ultimate Playlist.

It was at this point I noticed something.

Late last year/early this year, just before my lay off, I was working a job in the city and was commuting mostly by train (I live in a suburban town just outside of Manchester). Through this time I had a short list of albums, new or nearly new at the time, I was listening as a whole while on the commute. They were;

Miles Kane – Colour of the Trap

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Rizzle Kicks – Stereo Typical

The Black Keys – El Camino

As it turns out; these albums were sitting in their entirety on my iPhone and none of the tracks I liked from these albums had been selected and added to the Ultimate Playlist. It was a travesty of epic proportions that immediately needed rectifying!

First – Miles Kane. ‘Colour of the Trap’ was probably the album I enjoyed most at that moment in my life and found myself selecting it the largest proportion of times as I trudged through Manchester’s winter weather and boarded over crowded commuter trains. It the one from the above list that I considered the highest number of tunes for the Ultimate Playlist. Truthfully; I think the album appealled to me so much because of it’s distinctive mixture of 60s retro sounds and 90s Britpop sensibilities that is hugely in line with my tastes, and it does not bother me at all that there is not really anything new here as it is all written and performed so well.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds was OK, but not as mind-blowingly awesome as I’d hoped. Mostly, I suppose, I just long for the days when Noel Gallagher used to write and perform riotous, raucous slabs of rock n’ roll, but I know deep down that will never happen again, not since Be Here Now. Hey, it might happen again, I’m a dreamer (and I’m not the only one). That said – a couple of tracks did make it onto the playlist. A number of the songs carry a large, epic sound that you can’t help getting swept away in and enjoy.

As for The Black Keys I am crazy haunted by one track in particular; ‘Gold on the Ceiling’. Every time I hear it (and it’s everywhere!) it firmly entrenches itself in my mind and I find myself unable to stop humming the riff. It’s contagious. Unfortunately the rest of the album fails to reach the same heights, with just the catchy ‘Lonely Boy’ as the only other tune to stand out amongst them. The rootsy garage blues/rock sound should really captivate my attention, however, it sniffs a bit of poor man’s White Stripes that, when compared to, say,  Miles Kane’s warm, well observed replication/homage of the retro sounds he loves so much, most of this album seems thin and forgettable.

Finally; The Rizzle Kicks. Not a usual choice for me, but I heard ‘Down with the Trumpets’ and enjoyed the lyrical, melodic and joyful sound of these two youngsters. It was even my ringtone for a little bit. The album is delightful; it’s youthful, lively, witty and entertaining stuff that makes my foot tap. Plus – it keeps me in touch with the yoof, who wouldn’t know a guitar if it fell from the sky and struck them on the head (making the sound of a barre E of course).

So, each of these albums has been trimmed for memory space and the below remains on the Ultimate Playlist;

Miles Kane

  • Come Closer
  • Inhaler
  • My Fantasy
  • Quicksand
  • Rearrange
  • Telepathy

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

  • Dream On
  • If I Had A Gun…
  • The Death of You and Me
  • AKA…What A Life
  • The Wrong Beach
  • Everybody’s on the Run

The Black Keys

  • Gold on the Ceiling
  • Lonely Boy

The Rizzle Kicks

  •  When I Was a Youngster
  • Down With the Trumpets
  • Mama Do the Hump
  • Miss Cigarette

Go and check them out – I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did…


5 responses to “Trimmin’ some albums for The Ultimate Playlist

  1. Three great albums, haven’t listened to the Rizzle Kicks one yet, need to really “/. But the other Three are just outstanding, especially with it being Miles Kane’s first solo album. I know it’s Noel’s first time on his own, but we know he had it in the bag anyway.

    • Did you know Noel guested on Colour Of The Trap? He sings backing vocals on My Fantasy.

      My worry with Miles Kane is that he is a one trick pony – he obviously can do the retro revisionist sound well (Last Shadow Puppets and solo can testify to that) but there’s a danger it’ll get repetitive. Still, he does it so well it might not be too much of a problem…

      …time will tell.

      • Yeah, I read the booklet with the CD haha.
        I can understand why you get those thoughts, you start to think ‘how far can he take this’, and ‘is he versatile enough to have a long reign’. I think he can carry on with what he’s doing at carry it a long way, because like you say he does it so well. Also I don’t think there are a lot of Solo artists like him out there at the moment.

      • You’re right – he does fill a void in the market for the likes of you & I that isn’t well catered for, not just as a solo artist but in general I feel. Time will tell, I’m certainly anticipating what he may produce next.

        Ed Sheeran maybe? I don’t really like his stuff (boring & miserable in my opinion) but he’s forging a way in solo guitar music.

        And The Chief of course…

      • Yeah, it isn’t really well catered for, I find myself really searching for something I actually enjoy. I think it will be more of the same stuff, I’d like him to stay that way with his ‘in your face’ solos. I can’t stand Ed Sheerhan, always seems to be moaning, catchy but, doesn’t do anything. Obviously the chief, we don’t need to talk about him, we know what he can do.

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