The Musical Taste redesign is almost complete. But I’m still doing a bit of testing. The link in this sentence is to a sneak preview, especially for privileged readers of this journal.

I just took a rare peep at the current UK singles chart, to check out the teen TV sensation, Will Young. I would never slag something off without hearing it, but I’ve now heard this, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of the most turgid, generic pieces of nonsense I’ve ever come across.

John Cale: 'Paris 1919' (CD; Reprise/Warner Archives; 1973)
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One of two discs I received from different people for my birthday. I had admired this album since I first heard it at my friends house. Listening to it now on headphones, it doesn't disappoint. It's a mix of lushly orchestrated, introverted pop ('Andalusia', 'Antartica Starts Here'), and slightly more upbeat, jaunty numbers, with brass as well as the strings ('paris 1919'). It's a short album, but all of it sounds pretty great to me at this moment. None of the songs are especially musically complex, but the arrangements, and vocal delivery are great. There is also some great guitar work, both picked folk guitar and steel guitar.

Compilation - Julian Cope: 'Floored Genius 2 - the best of the BBC sessions' (CD; FUEL; 1983-1991)
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Hmm, so far this has been a disappointment to me. 'Floored Genius' is the name of the superb 1992 Julian Cope/Teardrop Explodes compilation, which I absolutely adore. (it would rate a '10' in this system, without a doubt). I bought this collection of radio 1 session recordings on the basis of that love, and for the b-side tracks featured, many of which I haven't heard for a few years, because my vinyl copies are not in the same place as I am living now.

The problem is the recordings themselves. The songs are rather 'bashed out', and the vocals are of a much less high quality than on the eventual studio recordings. These tracks also made me realize how much the production adds to Julian's work. I still love these stripped down versions, because I love the songs. But I can't help but be slightly disappointed by them. That said, there are some interesting oddities on here. The version of my favorite, 'Crazy Farm Animal', is completely different, with a spooky, Nico-esque organ replacing the strummed acoustic guitar.

All in all, this is for fans only, I'd say.

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