[WESTWORLD] Saloon piano is back!

Westworld season 1 is an excellent series! « Western in the future » I was told, without understanding at first.

One great aspect of it is the music by Ramin Djawadi. It is generally really good at underlining the plot.

But the best idea is to do covers of very well known songs like they’re played by the piano in the saloon.

Here’s my selection of Westworld covers and their original versions:

- Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun

- The Rolling Stones – Paint It Black

- Radiohead – No Surprises

- The Cure – A Forest

- Nine Inch Nails – Something I Can Never Have

- Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees

- Radiohead – Motion Picture Soundtrack

- Amy Winehouse – Back To Black

- Animals – House Of The Rising Sun

- Radiohead – Exit Music (For A Film)

Enjoy it here on Youtube

[SINGLES] Top Tracks 2016 by Stève

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Here’s my selection for 2016. Some for depression, some to dance, all good music!

1) DIIV – Waste Of Breath

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Second album by DIIV is a melancholic pop record. It has accompanied me during winter of 2016. This song is the last of the long album and it ends it with the best of what the band is able to do: listen to endless layers of (brilliant) guitars!

2) The KVB – Never Enough

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New great album from the KVB, « Of Desire ». And this single has in it all the darkness they’re capable of. Why do I see bright light in it? I don’t know but I do.

3) Skepta feat. JME – That’s Not Me

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Is english hip-hop back? Last time I really enjoyed it was with The Streets in the early 2000s. This time, it has a bit of a West Coast taste!

4) Savages – Adore

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Intensity of Jehnny Beth (aka Camille Berthomier) look just froze me a few years ago in a concert. This video clip is a good reminder. As to the music itself, it’s all about dynamics in this song: lascive guitars all along, a bit of The Smiths while keeping their post-punk touch.

5) Lescop – Dérangé

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Second album by Lescop, french cold wave artist. Signed on Pop Noire Records, his style is influenced by his fellow musician friends Johnny Hostile and Jehnny Beth.

6) Crystal Castles – Sadist

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All Crystal Castles (anxious) tenderness mixed with (part of) their (best) violence.

7) Radiohead – Burn The Witch

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So Radiohead is back. Again. With their best album in a while. This song is yet another proof that strings are key to pop deepness.

8) David Bowie – Blackstar

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Just before he died, David Bowie delivered a last album at 69. This song is quite fascinating: it starts like a Massive Attack song then sounds more like a 70s Bowie song but, in the end, it is definitely an excellent 2016 song, by a man almost 70.

9) The KVB – White Walls

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Hypnotic! That’s the word. Memories from a winter in Paris, walking endlessly.

10) Kanye West – Real Friends

Real friends en MP3

Last album from Kanye West is inconsistent. But this song hit me from day one.

11) Nicolas Jaar – Three Sides Of Nazareth

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Nicolas Jaar is back solo, after his amazing Darkside project a few years ago. This excerpt from the album is quite emblematic: 10 minutes of sound mutations and the best of 2016 electronica. All these clueless electro DJs should listen to this more.

12) Crystal Castles – Femen

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Introduction to their new album « Amnesty (I), I was strongly attracted to the song from the first seconds. This was even before knowing it would play « Smells like Teen Spirit » if you reverse if. True story, see here

13) DIIV – Bent (Roi’s Song)

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All « Is The Is Are » album is great. All of it is shoegazing. And all of it has great guitars.

14) The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – Starboy

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Here’s the best R&B song of 2016. You hate it? Right but you’ll sing it all day long anyway.

15) Mogwai – U235

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Mogwai has done the soundtrack to a documentary. Mogwai is going more and more keyboards and electro. This is the (excellent in my opinion) result.

16) Radiohead – Decks Dark

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Live version. Because some labels are doing a good job these days to remove illegal content from Youtube…The other excellent track from latest Radiohead album. During winter, watching the full moon.

17) Beyoncé – All night

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Sugar song of this TOP2106. Arrangements are heaven here: guitars, horns and strings. By the way, if you get bored by the video clip, go to 3:00 where the song begins!

18) Frank Ocean – Nikes

Yet another sex song. And a « what-the-fuck » video clip.

19) Angel Olsen – Give It Up

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Angel Olsen is showing you how folk rock can be modern. Little Angel must have listened a lot to Bossanova album by The Pixies. Joey Santiago guitar playing is never far from this one.

20) Massive Attack – Dead Editors

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Massive Attack is back in 2016. New album soon?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[ALBUM] Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

New Radiohead album’s out. And all the fuss that goes together with it.

Key questions:

-       Is it any good? Yes.

-       Is it a good Radiohead album? Yes.

-       Is it a great album? No.

 

There are good songs on the album.

Pretty common ones as well.

 

What prevent the good songs from being excellent songs? The same reason that makes the bad ones pretty common ones: production.

So, OK, Radiohead is still having the same producer for years: Nigel Godrich. To the point that he is almost a member of the band.

Of course, they master what they are doing.

Of course, Thom Yorke has a great voice.

Of course, all these little noises and string arrangements are wonderful.

But it may be high time for them to choose someone else to challenge them, help them move forward.

Someone who could help them bring madness again in their songs, tear them apart like Paranoid Android at the time, make them roar like 2+2=5.

 

Here are a few words on the songs I like on the album:

 

Burn the witch is the first single and is certainly the best song on the album. Catchy strings pattern, strong bassline, incantations by Yorke and a true song dynamic. The masterpiece of the album.

 

Decks Dark is definitely an end-of-show Encore song. People will sing along, Couple kiss each other, Friends hug. Guitars are brilliant here. Unfortunately, they never reach the level they deserve on the track.

 

Ful Stop is, to me, a 2016 mix between The National Anthem and 2+2=5. But the 2016 production does not all anymore the craziness reached on these older songs. Too bad.

 

On Identikit, guitars play a dominant role but are hidden in the background leaving the main playground to keyboards for most of the four and a half minutes. As a revenge, Radiohead offers kind of a solo at the end. The live potential of this song is quite good, I think.

 

The Numbers starts like a true guitars song. Layers of guitars are only replaced at half song by strings that remain strongly of Gainsbourg’s Melody Melson. The moment at 5:00, on this song, is quite emblematic of how Radiohead is now not capable anymore of climax and just refuse them.

 

True Love Waits is an old live song from the band. Most of people know it from the live version appearing on the live EP from the early 2000s. It was a nice and simple enough song with Thom Yorke on his own singing and playing the guitar along. The 2016 version of it is more elaborated and thus less direct than the “original” one. Not sure it’s a great song.

 

One day, Thom Yorke will sing for real again, guitars will make their way back to the top and we will have a great Radiohead album. Meanwhile, we have to observe their technical skills and regret what their albums could have been.

Still, as I said, there are some good songs on this one. Go for it!

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PJ Harvey – My selection

PJ Harvey is giving two concerts in Toulouse (1st and 2nd of June). Tickets are already sold out.

But in case you’re lucky enough to have tickets (or may see her somewhere else), here’s my selection of PJ Harvey’s favorite songs so you can prepare for the concert:

1) Oh My Lover, from album Dry (1992)

The first song from her first album. Rock at purest state.

2) Dress, from album Dry (1992)

Pure energy. « If you put it on, if you put it on »

3) Dry, from album Rid Of Me (1993)

I’ve seen that record cover as a poster in one of my best friend’s bedroom for years. Polly Jean is slightly moving toward seduction.

4) To Bring You My Love, from album To Bring You My Love (1995)

Sticking to raw rock. In 1995, PJ is defying grunge before proving that her songwriting skills go much beyond rawness.

5) C’mon Billy, from album To Bring You My Love (1995)

Pop love song. As simple as that.

6) Angeline, from album Is This Desire? (1998)

Sad ballad song. Floating piano, deep bass and catchy chorus.

7) A Perfect Day Elise, from album Is This Desire? (1998)

Punchy rock’n'roll, touches grace on chorus.

8) The Garden, from album Is This Desire? (1998)

One of my favorite PJ Harvey songs ever. Dreamy piano. « And there was trouble…taking place »

9) The River, from album Is This Desire? (1998)

Sister song to The Garden. Excellent piano crying song.

10) Big Exit, from album Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000)

Back to rock’n'roll. « I want a pistol, I want a gun ».

11) A Place Called Home, from album Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000)

Classy pop song. PJ plays a diva here. « One day there’ll be a place called us »

12) This Mess We’re In (feat. Thom Yorke), from album Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000)

What happens when two of the best voices in indie rock gather on one song? This! A perfect gem.  »Night and day, I dream of making love to you now, baby »

13) We Float, from album Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000)

Beatbox, 3 notes piano riff. To start with. The rest is pure peauty.

14) When Under Ether, from album White Chalk (2007)

Freaking piano pop song.

15) The Glorious Land, from album Let England Shake (2011)

Definitely in my top guitar songs ever. Guitars at 1:26, first. And then at 3:37! Fuck!!!! And who said I did not like horns?

16) The Community Of Hope, from album The Hope Six Demolition Project (2016)

Last album. Very efficient rock with a political content. Rare these days.

Bonus) Nick Cave (and PJ Harvey) & The Bad Seeds, on Murder Ballads (1996)

Ten songs = Ten murder stories on this album. This is one of them.

 

See you there.

[SINGLES] Top Tracks 2015 by Stève

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December already, high time for an end of year “2015 Top 20 Tracks”. Here’s my selection for 2015:

1)    Sufjan Stevens – All Of Me Wants All Of You

Perfect (sad) pop song of the year. Nice guitars, magnificently subtle and quiet arrangements, Sufjan’s voice and a love story ending as a theme. What else? Best lyrics quote of the year:

“You checked your texts while I masturbated”

2)    Tame Impala – New Person, Same Old Mistakes

This bassline will have you nod your head like you hear rock music for the first time.

Everything is around keyboard here, Kevin Parker’s mutation is done now! Guitars have almost disappeared but psychedelism is remaining.

But the most amazing part of this track is the lyrics flow, it’s just perfect:

“Feel like a brand new person (but you make the same old mistakes) / I don’t care I’m in love (stop before it’s too late)”

“I know you don’t think it’s right / I know that you think it’s fake / Maybe fake’s what I like“

3)    Grimes – Kill V. Maim

What if the best electro-pop song of 2015 began with a riff that resembled a Gameboy game?

What if it would make you jump all over the place like a stupid teenager?

Oh and, by the way…don’t behave!

4)    Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker The Berry

While other rappers focus on girls, money and drugs (order may vary), Kendrick Lamar is one rapper that’s capable of talking about anything (not that he forgets girls, money and drugs). On this one, you will enjoy the impressive production and feel ill at ease if, by chance, you get the lyrics.

“I’m the biggest hypocrite of 2015”

5)    Foals – What Went Down

This song has the energy I’ve always liked with Foals: extremely catchy guitars and clueless chorus lyrics you will sing very soon:

“When I see a man, I see a lion”

And a big sound! Imagine that in live!

6)    Blanck Mass – Dead Format

I discovered Blanck Mass a few years ago as a side project from one of the members of Fuck Buttons. But this year, Blanck Mass has stepped up and created one of the best electro storm I’ve ever heard and it’s called Dead Format.

7)    Lower Dens – Société Anonyme

Lower Dens have a great album but their sound force them to be overshadowed by Beach House. Except when they do write the best Beach House song of the year. Starting at 2:20, I’ve not been hooked by a bassline and guitar riff like this since DIIV’s Doused (which is indeed a good reference).

8)    Dr. Dre – One Shot One Kill

So yes, Dr. Dre is back 16 years after its 1999 album called 2001! And you can tell he has not lost his production skills while sticking to today’s best hip-hop productions. Pure efficient hip-hop.

9)    Grimes – Realiti

Another electro-pop gem by Grimes, Claire Boucher’s project. It’s like she’s captured in this song every electro sound she’s been hearing.

10) Jamie XX – Loud Places

Talking about capturing the 2015 electro sounds altogether in a masterpiece, this is exactly what Jamie XX has succeeded in doing in his album “In Colour”. Loud Places is its best track, featuring Romy. Ideal soundtrack to a crush between two people in a bar, at night.

11) Tame Impala – Let It Happen

Opening track to Tame Impala’s latest album, Currents, Let It Happen is straightforwardly showing how Tame Impala have given up on guitars…Excellent song where Parker’s production skills achieve all potential variations on a very efficient gimmick without being boring. And guess what? Guitars are back at 06:15 and they’re great!

12) Rone – Mortelle (feat. Etienne Daho)

Hot summer. Blue swimming pool. Ludivine Sagnier lying, almost naked, suntanning.

“Pensées impures sur fond d’azur, pensées mortelles sur fond de ciel”

All of Rone talent is summoned on this track. How can it be so cloudy and sunny at the same time?

To me this song is the sountrack to moments when you meet a girl and feel immediately that on top of being beautiful, she must be kind and brilliant.

13) Sufjan Stevens – Fourth Of July

Sweet piano lullaby by Sufjan Stevens. Instant Classic.

Nothing to add.

“We’re all gonna die”

14) Deerhunter – All The Same

It’s good to hear Deerhunter coming back to their floating guitars arpeggios I loved so much on Halcyon Digest. Bradford Cox’s voice just fits perfectly.

15) Beach House – Levitation

Beach House are back. Still levitating, in a white cloud somewhere. And they still have that magic knowledge to create zero gravity songs.

16) Rone – (OO)

Short instrumental introduction to Creatures album. This track reminds me of Foals’s Prlude with its ever increasing volume / complexity.

17) Miguel – The Valley

No Rihanna song this year. No R’n’B song this year. But this track by glossed body Miguel is an excellent example how R’n’B can be complex and straightforward, popular and elitist at the same time

18) Mac De Marco – The Way You’d Love Her

Last summer, in the pines, Mac de Marco has been the ideal companion. His tenderness and joy have cheered me up.

19) Metz – Acetate

Do not expect anything else than raw noise and yet fully polished pop songs with Metz. This one’s a good example.

20) Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better

Third song from Sufjan Stevens in this TOP20. Another example of how Carrie & Lowell is a perfect album.

 

 

As a bonus, you could have guessed from the Top Tracks, here’s my TOP4 Albums of the year 2015:

1)    Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

Best album in years. Sad. Deep. Beautiful.

2)    Grimes – Art Angels

Amazing how all 2015 electronica influences can be received, mixed and digested into such a brilliant album. Everything is in there.

3)    Tame Impala – New Currents

What if this was just the best break-up album since 2012′s Beach House’s Bloom?

4)    Jamie XX – In Colour

As with Grimes, Jamie XX has a talent to hear everything, get the best sounds and create tracks that encompass all electronica.

 

You can listen to (some of) my TOP20 on Youtube here (other titles were not available…copyrights, you know…):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se6-q57xJCg&list=PLwtFuSQ4xyJUMcauw58lzGLpwN5nq6wDy

 

[TUERIES 13 novembre 2015]

https://redd.it/3spopm

[SINGLE] Grimes – Kill V. Maim

Grimes’ new album « Art Angels » is just out. First impressions? It rocks!

As an introduction here’s « Kill V. Maim »:

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TAnd don’t forget: « Don’t behave! ».

[SINGLE] Savages – The Answer

New single from Savages, the London-based girls band!

« If you don’t love me…don’t love anybody! ». Raw, punk, energetic. So is the video-clip:

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To accompany the single, the band has published the following statement:

It’s about change and the power to change. It’s about metamorphosis and evolution. It’s about sticking to your guns and toughing it out. It’s about now, not tomorrow. It’s about recognizing your potential. It’s about self-doubt and inaction. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about you and me and the others. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about finding the poetry and avoiding the cliché. It’s about being the solution, not the problem. It’s about showing weakness to be strong. It’s about digging through your dirt to look for diamonds. It’s about claiming your right to think unacceptable thoughts. It’s about boredom and the things we do to drive it away. It’s about being on your own so you can be with people. It’s about knowing what it means to be human and what it might mean one day. It’s about the parts and the sum of the parts. It’s about the music and the message: together, one and the same. It’s about bass, guitars, drums, and vocals. It’s about opening-out and never, ever dying. But most of all it’s about love, every kind of love. Love is the answer.

Not much to say after that.

And, remember the amazing « Shut up » here:

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[SINGLE] Foals – What went down

Foals’ new album is out just now.

The album is starting with the eponym single « What went down » (creepy video-clip):

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This song has the energy I’ve always liked with Foals: extremely catchy guitars and clueless chorus lyrics you will sing very soon: « When I see a man, I see a lion ». And a big sound! Imagine that in live!

Here’s a recent live performance of « What went down »:

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Now, you know why I’ve already seen them 4 times live! and I will again.

Enjoy!

Reminder: this song made me think of their 2012′s « Inhaler »

Here’s the video-clip:

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And here’s a live version at Reading Festival in 2013 (good occasion to verify 2 things about UK: 1) there can be sun at the end of August near London 2) UK girls clothes taste is unique!):

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[ALBUM] Tame Impala – Currents

For years, I’ve thought about « Tame Impala » as an overrated post-psychedelic band.

Despite the flow of wonderful reviews of previous album « Lonerism », I found it too dense, too psychedelic for me. Listening to it all was giving me headaches: guitars density was just too high for me.

So when I heard that the new album was more « pop » and keyboards, I said to myself: « Why not? Let’s give it a try! ».

And I was damn right! Let’s go through the highlights of the album!

Opening track « Let It Happen » tells everything about the album: super catchy melodies, keyboards all over the place and a groovy guitar at 6:16!

In « The Moment » synths bounce together with bass and « it’s getting closer ». Dare to say you did not nod your head!

« Yes I’m changing » / Yes I’m gone / Yes I’m older / Yes I’m moving on. It took me a little while to appreciate this little pop love song.

What if this « Currents » from « Tame Impala » was the best break-up album since « Beach House »‘s « Bloom »?

« Eventually » is all about Kevin Parker’s voice:  »But I know that I’ll be happier / And I know you will too / Eventually / Eventually ». Around that, synths are like tidal waves.

The story of the girl you will never have and plays with your heart is in « The Less I know The better ». And it comes with the grooviest bassline ever and excellent (and simple) guitar arpeggios.

« Love / Paranoia » is exploring the highs and lows of a relationship in 3 minutes!

« New Person, Same Old Mistakes » is my favorite song of the album. Again the bassline will have you nod your head like you hear rock music for the first time. The lyrics flow on this song is amazing, it’s just perfect:

« Feel like a brand new person (but you make the same old mistakes) / I don’t care I’m in love (stop before it’s too late) »

« I know you don’t think it’s right / I know that you think it’s fake / Maybe fake’s what I like »

What if this was just the best break-up album since 2012′s Beach House’s Bloom? 3 years already, damn!

Listen to the album here:

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