March 11, 2009

Dear Unknown Friend...

Spent, I don’t know how many, hours yesterday trying to come up with something clever to write about the sophomore album Dear Unknown Friend from The William Blakes, and came up with exactly nothing. Some wise ass might feel tempted to ask, why this suddenly stops me from posting anything, but trust me when I tell you that the writings yesterday were the worst ever (EVER!). But it’s time to move on, and my summed up thoughts are that this is a surprisingly brilliant album. Surprised because the debut was released less than 11 months ago, which makes you wonder if the band’s fountain of creativity will ever run dry? Focus is still on writing catchy pop songs and they remain really damn good at just that. But at the same time the band is not afraid of constantly exploring new options, which sort of verifies the “playfulness” you sense underneath it all. Probably perfectly illustrated by the last two tracks on the album, which, with dreamy and lengthy instrumental parts, are more experimental (or different at least) than anything on the debut. Perhaps partially influenced by Bo Rande (of Blue Foundation) being added as the fourth band member? One can only guess, and hopefully the third album (which we all expect will be due around this time next year) will be an equally interesting combination of the proven and unproven.
+ Like a Dream (promo track suggested by the band)

Didn’t pay much attention to last year's debut album Bright White Light by Danish solo artist Jong Pang, but the promo track Liar Liar from his forthcoming album Love is definitely worth a listening. It’s pounding, insisting, haunting and so very irresistible.
+ Liar Liar

A Classic Education has recorded a lovely English version of Toi; a track originally sung by French singer Gilbert Bécaud and featured in the 1965 Italian movie lo la conoscevo bene. I’m a sucker for black and white movies, so please do check out the clip below of the original scene. Truly wonderful and genuine, and so absolutely different from the overblown Hollywood garbage we see these days. The new version by A Classic Education superbly catches the charm and atmosphere of the original and the small details at the very end is pure genius (another reason to watch the clip, if you're interested in knowing what I’m talking about).
+ Toi (Gilbert Bécaud cover)

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