Let Go by Avril Lavigne

Todays recommendation from the unsolicited music recommendation service is, Let Go by Avril Lavigne.

The 2002 album Let Go was the debut album of Avril Lavigne and possible one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Perhaps you already know a number of the tracks on the album as I suspected that this is possibly one of the most successful albums that has featured on my unsolicited music recommendation service. That being said lets enjoy the highlights.

While a good opener, sometimes I skip Losing Grip!

A stunning single which perhaps introduced many to Avril Lavigne Complicated offers a good insight in to what is to come. Catchy lyrics and a chorus that just demands to by sung along with.

Perhaps the highlight of the album Sk8er Boi combines stunning song writing with interesting instrumental flourish delivered by the entire band to great effective. Just considered the variations in the transitions between the sections.

At this point Avril Lavigne feels the need to get a little more serious with the heartfelt I’m With You. Perhaps it is a little heavy handed but the guitars have a great blend and the vocals are committed in performance.

Mobile quickly gestures the album back to a more upbeat feel and features some well crafted gestures between the sections.

Taking a more heavy sound Unwanted is perhaps a little strained but the variations in shade within the track make it interesting to listen.

After the heavy guitars the stripped down initial mix of Tomorrow is a welcome variation and the vocal performance while exposed features interesting processing and multi tracking.

Another shift in feel Anything But Ordinary feels a little pedestrian in comparison with the other tracks. I do however enjoy the variations in the vocal performance. I must confess that some of the lyrics to see a little contrived such as,

Let down your defenses
Use no common sense
If you look you will see
That this world is a beautiful
Accident turbulent succulent
Opulent permanent, no way
I want to taste it
Don't want to waste it away

What every your thoughts regarding Anything But Ordinary the moment the guitars for Things I’ll Never Say start all is forgiven. In particular I love the vocal rhythm around the lyrics,

If I could say what I want to say
I'd say I want to blow you, away

Ok so My World is just a little to bright but anyway…

Another change in feel with Nobody’s Fool, an interesting sonic space and a variety of approaches to vocal processing. While not as catchy as some of the previous tracks it is a surprisingly mature track on the album and not one to be missed.

The album closes out with Too Much To Ask and Naked both competent tracks.

If you use Apple Music you can listen to Let Go.

A little bonus fact I am pretty certain that I saw Avril Lavigne perform live on March 21, 2003 in Manchester at the (then Carling) Apollo.

In fact I think my friend Jax bought me a poster!

The Art of the Trio Volume 2 by Brad Mehldau

Todays recommendation from the unsolicited music recommendation service is, The Art of the Trio Volume 2 by Brad Mehldau.

The 1998 album The Art of the Trio Volume 2 is a beautiful jazz trio album and one of my favorites.

The album features the stunning playing of Larry Grenadier, Jorge Rossy and of course Brad Mehldau.

Rather than mention every track by name allow me a little more efficiency in review. The opening series of entries within the first track It’s Alright With Me are indicative of the quality of what is to follow.

If you use Apple Music you can listen to The Art of the Trio Volume 2.

Crosby, Stills and Nash by Crosby, Stills and Nash

Todays recommendation from the unsolicited music recommendation service is, Crosby, Stills & Nash by Crosby, Stills & Nash.

The 1969 eponymous album Crosby, Stills & Nash is a stunning example of folk rock at is most considered.

The album opens with Suite: Judy Blue Eyes an upbeat opener with well crafted guitar parts and interesting lyrics.

The album continues with Marrakesh Express upbeat again but with an unexpected sonic landscape within a pleasing structure and a great vocal performance.

Guinnevere features some of the most weirdly catchy lyrics and a fascinating vocal performance.

Like yours, mi'lady like yours

You Don’t Have To Cry features interesting supporting instrumental lines with a pleasing structure and well crafted vocal parts which build to a satisfactory end.

The album continues on with Pre-Road Downs with is its interesting instrumental features and Wooden Ships offers a more reflective instrumentation and mood.

Lady Of The Island continues with a beautiful melody supported by a delicate accompaniment. Absolutely spectacular.

The reflective nature of the album continues on with Helplessly Hoping with its hint of hope.

The more fuzzy guitar sounds of Long Time Gone are a refreshing break from the somber mood of the tracks previously and gives the album a great sense of shape. It also has the most interesting conclusion of all the tracks on this album.

I most confess that 49 Bye-Byes the final track on the album is a little disappointing for me. In fact I typically skip it (sorry)!

If you use Apple Music you can listen to Crosby, Stills & Nash.

First Day of Teaching 2017-2018

My top tip for the first day of teaching 2017-2018.

This year I am teaching, Performance with Electronics (PWE), Software Environments 2 (SE2), Computer Game Prototyping with Ableton (CP CGP) and Recent History of Studio Production (CP RHSP).

Feeling Strangely Fine by Semisonic

In a continuation of my unsolicited music recommendations series, todays recommendation is, Feeling Strangely Fine by Semisonic.

Feeling Strangely Fine was released in 1998 and features some stunning song writing and great lyrics.

The album opens with, what to my mind is the most well known track of the album, Closing Time. Closing Time is a modern classic, covered by many and performed in many open mic nights much to the chagrin of many a publican.

The album continues with the track Singing In My Sleep, including a catchy tune and an interesting musical conclusion. Though the highlight of the track is the stunning lyrical content,

Got your tape and it changed my mind,
Heard your voice in between the lines
I've been living in your cassette
It's the modern equivalent
Singing up to a Capulet
On a balcony in your mind

After the high energy start of the album the pace changes with Made to Last. The large guitar sounds are interesting and the solo is well crafted. It seams a shame to spoil the surprise which is the Never You Mind so I will say no more.

Track 5 Secret Smile was a single release from the album and peaked at number 12. It features the same great song writing and interesting lyrical work of the previous tracks combined with beautiful guitar sounds and a fascinating sonic landscape.

The album continues on in great strength with the considered reflection of Dnd with interesting layering beneath the intimate vocals. The change of feel for Completely Pleased is also very welcome with great vocal parts. This Will Be My Year is a harmonically interesting celebration of the optimism of a new year and a fun track.

Of the album All Worked Out is my least favorite track, and while the vocal performance is interesting the chaos of the accompaniment detracts from it and the positioning on the album seams disruptive.

California, She Spreads Her Wings and Gone to the Movies conclude the album though the fear that the best has already been is confirmed.

Feeling Strangely Fine is a great album there are some great tracks within it and a few unexpected moments such as the conclusion of California. However while Closing Time is the most famous of tracks I personal always think fondly of the album due to inclusion of Secret Smile.

If you use Apple Music you can listen to Feeling Strangely Fine by Semisonic.