1.) Divide: Ed Sheeran
2.) The Bends: Radiohead
3.) Revival: Eminem
4.) The Last Dance: Various
Tracks Of My Years
The Last Dance is a collection of gentle love songs and quite a lovely little collection is it too. Featuring tracks like the charming ‘Last Waltz‘ by Engelbert Humperdinck, ‘Just My Imagination‘ by The Temptations, pop ballads ‘Save The Best For Last‘ (Vennessa Williams), Three Time A Lady (Commodores) and a couple of nailed-on classics like Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Smokey Robinsons Tracks Of My Tears. It’s only really let down by Boyzone murdering Barry Gibb’s ‘Words‘ and a rather uneccassary re-working of Wet Wet Wet’s Angel Eyes. Almost bettered Revival but not quite.
2017’s Revival re-treads a lot of old ground but never surpasses any of Eminem’s previous six albums. I think it’s a bit messy in places, Arose for example is pretty poor tbh and tracks like Remind Me and Offended don’t really deliver. There is some good stuff of course, mainly in the first quarter in the shape of Believe, Chloraseptic & Untouchable which help the album make a decent start but then it descends into a
rock-sample-heavy array of pallid rap tracks.
River with Ed Sheeran feels like a missed opportunity. I was expecting Ed and Slim to do some rapping and riff off eachother, we all know Ed can rap pretty good, so why does he hold back? Later, Slim calls Donald Trump a Nazi on the political Like Home, wait, Slim is a liberal now? I don’t like to say that people have lost their edge but Marshall
seems on a downward keel, which is a shame. All that said though and Radiohead’s allegedly ‘classic’ 2nd album The Bends only Just pips Revival here thanks to a set of dreamlike & articulate tracks produced in a way that makes them seep directly into your conciousness. Much more coherent than Revival and lively than other Radiohead efforts Kid A and OK Computer, yet not an album that blows me away by any means, it nevertheless makes for an agreeable listen.
Ed couldn’t make his fans Happier
Divide has more than a whiff of Eric Clapton about it. From Perfect (which sounds uncannily reminiscent of Wonderful Tonight) and elsewhere on the guitar style on How Would You Feel which could be right at home on Journeyman or Slow Hand.
Maybe Sheeran’s overwhelming style is too prodigiously MOR for some but the kids seem to lap this shit up don’t they? Beginning with the genuinely excellent Eraser, Divide remains an engaging album of high quality with some memorable tracks like Castle On The Hill, Shape Of You, Happier and New Man. Another decent effort from the English Bob Dylan.