Weekly Capsule Reviews: 16/07/2017


This week: John Mayer, Chris Stapleton, Obituary, Take That

Classics: The Clash

John Mayer: The Search for Everything [Columbia/Sony, 14/04/2017]

Frivolous and inoffensive in music as always and occasionally (only that) in prose but with something in there for the listening—nothing sage-like or scholastic, just portraying how difficult it is to have enough room in his shower for your shampoo whether you’ve been given the heave-ho or not. And sometimes that’s needed. Sometimes more than that. More sage-like than I’m giving him credit for? Nah, I’m trying to make something out of nothing. Like John has for so long. (6/10)

Chris Stapleton: From A Room: Volume 1 [Mercury Nashville, 05/05/2017]

Heartbreak ensues which isn’t new to this stuff, but he seems to mean it. And it’s his fault, which isn’t new to this stuff, either. (6/10)

Obituary: Obituary [Gibtown/Relapse, 17/03/2017]

It’s gone so far beyond sounding like the originators now that albums are even ripping themselves, song by song, chord by chord, note by note, scream by scream. (5/10)

Take That: Wonderland [Polydor, 24/03/2017]

The title-track start was a sign of things to come even if it did draw me in with the string opening’s offering to ignore the album’s interior for some tunes. And this is just as hooky, if not more, than their previous affair. Pity it’s an accidentally-condescending piece of funk-filled pap—”Music makes me feel good”. Did I say accidentally? (4/10)


The Clash: The Clash [CBS, 08/04/1977]

Job songs, life songs, youth songs, law songs—we’ve heard it all before, more so back then to tell you the truth, not nearly enough now. If Joe Strummer was around to see that jobs, life, youth, and the law are exactly as they were back then as they are now I was originally unsure on how he’d feel. I thought about it for a while and came to “content” looking at the likes of John Lydon’s pro-vote revolutionary reformation and Tom Robinson’s embrace of modern Britain. But Strummer actually seemed as disgusted with society in 2002 as he was back in 1977. I’m bored with the USA, too, Joe. Though Strummer thought of schooling as a means of teaching you “to be thick”, he still wants you to get up and go about it yourself because he knows education is worth something, even for that job you don’t want now but will when the shit hits the fan. “Black man gotta lotta problems/But they don’t mind throwing a brick” is beautifully orated, particularly in the faux anarchism that’s going on now. I doubt he’d be surprised. Oh yeah, the London traffic system is crap, did you know that? This is [occasionally] innocent. But isn’t/wasn’t punk always that way? (9/10)

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