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Music, books and films I'm looking forward to in 2005.

2005-01-19Upcoming solo album by Ginger / late 3CR news.

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Sort of, at least. Most of these tracks gained a limited release as part of a mail order singles club, which planned 12 releases (one a month) over the course of a year. To my knowledge, five were released before the pace grew too much for the label, bureaucracy or whatever. The current distributor seems keen enough to have posted a microsite in advance of the double-disc slated for January 31st, so you can check out one-minute clips of the songs:

I don't think the microsite lists them in correct order, so here's a breakdown / commentary of the track-listing Amazon and Play have:

Disc 1

1. I'm A Lover, Not A Fighter
Best foot forward, an acoustic live favourite with intelligent lyrics.
2. Don't Let Me Die Lonely
The link for this on the Sanctuary site appears to take you to a duplicate Thailand Uber Alles.
3. Thailand Uber Alles
Pleasant, melodic, seems a grower.
4. Cars & Vaginas
I suspect there's a rocking summer tune buried beneath the awful download quality.
5. You, Me & BT
After quite a number of listens, this is starting to become quite infectious.
6. Not Bitter, Just A Little Disappointed
The title (and a stormy guitar riff) make up a big part of the song.
7. The Saga Of Me & You
Possibly a slow-builder, but it doesn't really do much in the first minute.
8. Naked Innocence
Parts of this sound very much like "Seven Seas of Rhye" and something I can't quite place.
9. A Better Man
Probably highly personal material sounding less cheesy to the writer and who it's written for.

Disc 2

1. And This Time I'm Serious
After a minute, I've little idea where this song is heading. It sounds earnestly something.
2. Re-Inventing The Wheel
This track has been around, had development and it shows. A really nicely done ballad.
3. Blinded By Absinthe
Reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel, soft and melancholy.
4. Virtual Love
Similar to "A Better Man" ... I think you might have to be in a particular mood to appreciate.
5. Energetic O
Another one I get the feeling isn't done justice by the quality of the file, not the recording.
6. Where Did Everyone Go?
Part blues, part bar song. Think one guy sitting on a porch. Pleasant, but nothing amazing.
7. T.W.A.T.
Unfortunately, the Grubby Adipose Flange got there first with "All My Friends Are Cunts".
8. He's A Man
Poking fun at the inadequacies of domestic abusers everywhere, a noble enough cause.
9. The Dying Art Of The Chorus
Heartbeat-pumping number that could prove an unsuspected hit on dancefloors everywhere.
10. Same Again
Sanctuary don't seem to know about this. Or just don't feel inclined to give us a preview.

Considered opinion, bearing in mind these are fairly low-quality advance download clips: this is probably worth buying at some point for IALNAF, TUA, C&V, YM&BT, RITW and TDAOTC, but I doubt you or I are going to fall in love with this double album as a whole.

There's also the fact that these are mostly already-released tracks, with a few new ones to justify purchases by collectors. I hate this kind of thing; by all means collect b-sides as albums (I have Anthem: The Singles Tracks and Coupled With, and love both) but pressing people to rebuy for new material is a shitty marketing tactic that will make people question buying singles in future. I hope the additional songs get released on a single for the benefit of those who stuck with the singles club whilst it was in operation.

* * * * *

Whilst I'm in the swing of catching up with band releases that completely passed me by, did y'all know that 3 Colours Red put out a third album in 2004? Yup, the band who gave us the unrelenting 1997 Pure and heavily studio-produced 1999 Revolt pulled back together to release The Union Of Souls. Apparently it's a blend of the previous two albums plus a new direction... I'll reserve judgement until I hear it. Which may be never, as I bought Revolt without first hearing it and always rather regretted the decision.

Did come across this closing snippet in their press bio:

"3 Colours Red in 2004 are as absolutely essential as ever."

It seems obvious: anyone who has to say it isn't.

You can check out an MP3 download of "This Is Your World" at http://www.3cr.co.uk/ where there are also some downloads of past glories, including the ever-popular "Nuclear Holiday" in live and studio versions.


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