Best Of 2018 - Eric
ARTICLE: Best Of 2018 - Eric
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
2018 was a pretty good year personally, a few lows but many highs and I seem to have my mojo back when it comes to writing.
Out in the great big world, I'm bored with the Trump bashing everywhere you turn. He's not my favorite Prez, not happy with everything he says or does, but considering Paris has been burning for several weeks and Brexit has become a clusterfuck of epic proportions, we all have problems.
I'm actually thrilled to see the man back in action although I did not buy 'Traces'. The voice isn't what it was and much of what I've heard off the album just didn't click for me. I'll stick with my well-worn copies of 'Infinity' and 'Evolution' thank you very much.
'Bohemian Rhapsody' scored big points with casual fans and I saw a lot of tears in the theater which confused me. Its like watching 'Titanic', you know how it's going to end, right?
That said, Rami Malek did an excellent and Oscar worthy job as Freddie even though the teeth didn't always look right but I was even more impressed with Gwilym Lee who played Brian May - uncanny!
Too bad the band decided to re-write its history. Unforgivable and an opportunity wasted.
Classic Brazilian sounds from the late 60s, 70's and early 80's in the Pop, Rock and AOR genres continue to fascinate me with a treasure trove of yet to be discovered music.
Singer, champion of AOR and hardcore Steely Dan fan Ed Motta curated the excellent compilation 'Too Slow To Disco Brasil' on the very cool How Do You Are label in conjunction with the AOR Disco website.
Never heard Junior Mendes, Santa Cruz, Brylho or Roupa Nova who I reviewed here a while back? Here's your chance! Motta also released one of the best CD's this year with 'Criterion Of The Senses' which is a brilliant Steely Dan meets Rupert Holmes set. Yacht Rock with a tropical flavor.
Two more comps that blew me away - the Grapefruit/Cherry Red 3-CD release 'Come Join My Orchestra - The British Baroque Pop Sound 1967-73' which includes charming tracks from the usual outfits like Genesis, Barclay James Harvest and The Zombies to total unknowns like The Regime and The Mellow Yellow.
The other was 'Paris In Spring' on Ace Records compiled by Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs. French pop in the late 60's and early 70's was like no other music scene with creativity and weirdness at its peak and while Stanley and Wiggs did an admirable job and this is definitely worth picking up, it only scratches the surface. I'm hoping for volume two.
The one and only current pop/mainstream release that turned my head was from a band I've never given any time to - the Arctic Monkeys and the album 'Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino' which sounds like David Bowie put in a blender with classic 1970's French movie soundtracks.
Finally, although it was released at the very end of 2017, it's been my favorite and most played Prog album this year, Aldo Tagliapietra's 'Invisibili Realtà'. The former guitarist of Italian progressive rock heroes Le Orme delivered a perfect album that was nothing we haven't heard before but so beautifully executed, I give it my highest recommendation.
2019I hope to play catch-up and explore the Synthwave movement based on Malcolm's recommendations and what George has talked about here at GDM which should all tie-in nicely with the new 'Stranger Things' episodes coming this summer.
Other than that I've got a few reviews in the pipeline and hope everyone has a great new year!
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