This week I have mostly been listening to

The White Stripes - everything. Hey kids, what a great new sound!


AND PREVIOUSLY....

Radiohead - Hail to the Thief. It's okay, but I've got a feeling this is the last Radiohead album I shall ever buy.

Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head. Can't remember the last time I heard a band change their sound this much from their debut album to their "sophomore effort" (as the Americans say). Oh yes I can, it was Travis. But anyway, I think this is a step forward overall, but the extra kayers of production disguise the fact that the songwriting has taken a slight backward step.

The Fall - everything. I've gone a bit mad here.

Elbow - Asleep In The Back. In case you're interested, my summary is this: they're a bit like Coldplay. Darker and less consistant overall, but Powder Blue is the best song I've heard for a long time.

Faithless - Reverence.

The Hollies - Best Of.

Eryka Badu - Baduizm

Bob Dylan - just about everything

Roni Size and Reprazent - Newforms

Radiohead - Amnesiac. Oh, they've finally put a foot wrong. Bummer.

Deep Purple - Best Of. Excellent.

Coldplay - Parachutes.

Finlay Quaye - Maximquaye

Radiohead - Kid A. Contrary to initial opinion, brilliant. Should have had more faith.

Gomez - Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline. Not bad at all.

Robbie Williams - Sing While You're Winning.

Elton John - Greatest Hits. Yet more evidence of my regression into the middle of the road. Again.

Gomez - Liquid Skin. Er, not as immediate as first album - which was not all that immediate, in my opinion, and mine alone - but still rather good.

Macy Gray - On How Life Is

Oasis - Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. A bag of shite.

Travis - The Man Who.

Queen Greatest Hits 3. It's all going so well until Wyclef Jean pops up.

Abba Gold. Yet more evidence of my digression into the middle of the road.

Shania Twain. Yes, I think I've finally turned a little strange.

Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Best of.

The Charlatans - Us and Us Only.

U2 - Pop.

XTC - Singles 1979-92. It's not all 'Making Plans for Nigel' and 'Sense Working Overtime', oh no. Fantastic as they are.

Shed Seven - Going for Gold. I've made a great fuss about hating them for the last five years, but I'm not sure why. Think it was something to do with "You can't get shitter than a thick" Rick Witter's voice. But there's only so many times one listen to a new single and can think "Hmmm, this is good - who is it? Fuck, it's Shed Seven" before giving in. Needless to say it's top darts. I wouldn't though, unlike the enthusiastic sleevenote writer, rank them with the premier singles bands of history. But somehere above the Wonder Stuff, certainly.

Robbie Williams - I've Been Expecting You. More Beatley than ever.

Suede - Head Music. It's about as far from Bernardo's solo album as you can get - which is not necessarily a bad thing. It's not terribly consistent, but there are many moments of brilliance, and their new spikier sound is an interesting progression.

Magazine - Rays & Hail, 1978 - 1981. Well, Mansun have worked with Mr DeVoto, and I know Radiohead have ripped them off on a regular basis, so I thought this was worth a look. And it's just as good as the woman at the Car Boot Sale said it was. Like Wire not on acid.

Mansun - Six. Okay, I've finally got the hang of it. I always said the good things in life were worth waiting for, among other platitudes. But give it a go, it's great. You knew? Okay.

Robbie Williams - Life Thru A Lens.

The Smiths - entire record output. Prompted (as if I needed an excuse) by their appearance on BBC2's 'Young Guns Go For It'. Morrissey declined to be interviewed! What a surprise. It was all quite entertaining, but spent far too long mithering about their furtive business arrangements. So to counter that I went back to the real thing, in which Morrissey speaks to us on his own terms - and what acceptable terms they are too.

Suede - Sci-fi Lullabies. I didn't bother buying it, because I've already got all the b-sides on the singles what they was originally on. So I wasted a couple of hours making up a tape of them in the requisite order, and guess what? It's fantastic. AND they remembered not to put Stay Together on it! Proof that the ill-effects of heroin over-indulgence are not necessarily permanent.

U2 - Best of 1980-1990. Well, no surprises here. Although The Sweetest Thing does stick out like a sore opposable digit, not sounding out of place, as it wouldn't, on Pop.

Oasis - The Masterplan. Fallen for them again. Although I still can't stand Be Here Now, big pile of overblown, underproduced jizz that it is.

David Bowie - Earthling. A return to form! I've always wondered what one of those sounds like. It's like a cross between Hunky Dory and Heroes, only not as good.

Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern. What a top album - quite unlike that flatulent dribble they followed it up with.

Radiohead - Airbag/How Am I Driving? Just a collection of b-sides, yes, but in its own way it's OK Computer's little half-brother.

Catatonia - International Velvet. Who said Britpop was dead? You did, Sir? Whatever. But this is a treat; like a cross between Sleeper and Bjork, or something.

The Divine Comedy - Entire recorded works. Erudite, compassionate, richly comic, handsome. I've just got into Promenade - better late than never, Sir - and it has unexpectedly jumped straight into my top ten favourite albums of ALL TIME. Who would have thought it?

Kristin Hersh - Strange Angels. Great to have lovely Kristin back again, on top form as usual. Also saw her live at the Barbican Centre, what a night that was.

The Verve - Urban Hymns. Still. Well, you've got to, haven't you. Look up 'anthemic' in the dictionary and it may well be there. Though if it is, I'd get a new dictionary.

The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land. I'm listening to it as I write this, actually. Good laugh. "Like punk on acid!"

My Life Story - Mornington Crescent. An underrated band. "Who?" Quite.

Throwing Muses - entire recorded output. What's your opinion, Mr Patronising? "Recommended." Well, thanks for that.

The Stone Roses - Turns Into Stone; The Stone Roses; Sally Cinnamon. Thought I'd go back to the real thing after being won over by Mr Ian Brown. Do you know, I couldn't help coming to he conclusion that he and Squire were at their best when working together...! Fancy.

Jeff Buckley - Grace. The one and only album by this bloke with a big sack of talent.

Ian Brown - Unfinished Monkey Business. John Squire may have the guitar solos, but this has the soul of the Stone Roses. Actually, it even has some guitar solos as well, so there's really no excuse for preferring The Seahorses.

Oasis - All Around The World. The title track doesn't seem as annoying as it did when the album first appeared, and the b-sides are Oasis at their best - almost. Not quite dead, then? Fingers crossed.


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