1.) Still So Far To Go: Chris Rea
2.) Our Version Of Events: Emeli Sandé
3.) Very Best Of: Human League
4.) Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Xzibit
Xzibition of WMD
Xzibit always sounds the part in that west-coast Hip Hop world with his bad attitude vocal style. Lyrically he may not be the most original but where I think he shows his talent is with his ‘pop’-like Hip-Hop style demonstrated by Ride Or Die, Muthafucka and Scent Of A Woman which are the highlights on Weapons Of Mass Destruction.
Probably just as good as his previous effort Man Vs. Machine, not bad.
Living the Electric Dream
This 2003 Very Best of Human League album is a good collection of rather charming elctro pop songs. Naturally it includes the classics Don’t You Want Me, Electric Dreams and Love Action (I Believe In Love) but I was surprised to also re-find some catchy numbers that I had almost forgotten from the mid 1980s
with Mirror Man, Heart Like a Wheel and One Man In My Heart. Decent little collection which betters Weapons Of Mass Destruction.
Whilst the Human League best of and Weapons Of Mass Destruction are two decent albums, where this group really shines is with the 2009 Chris Rea best of collection Still So Far To Go and rising female musician Emeli Sandés’ debut Our Version Of Events.
Our Version Of Events is a wonderful album chock-full of beautiful melodies and excellent vocals. The style of writing is similar to that of Adele but the production is more modern with intermittent use of drum machines and the odd splash of synthesizer. Her vocal style too is not unlike Adele’s. A beautifully powerful voice but
the style more gospel-like than Adele. With strong numbers like Next To Me, Heaven and My Kind Of Love this is a thoroughly enjoyable debut album.
Chris Rea is and always has been a top notch musician. That fact is validated by the masterful craftsmanship present on some of these wonderful songs.
It’s true his newer stuff is more bluesy and getting slower and slower in a seeming spiral towards a dead stop. While that newer material is musically accomplished, easy going and enjoyable it’s his earlier songs which hold a special place in my heart. Personal favourites include I Can Hear Your Heartbeat, Working On It, Stainsby Girls, Road To Hell (part 2) and Auberge with no room for plenty more that I consider classic Rea songs such as Steel River and Shamrock Diaries.
I’ve been listening to Chris Rea for the best part of 25 years and his brooding deep voice is like a comforting old friend. A superb collection.