Saturday, March 25, 2017

Depeche Mode Spirit Review

As an overall, Spirit is an excellent album, both melodically and lyrically.
When you listen the entire album from track 1 to 12, you keep the idea that it's a really powerful album, but you can't choose the best songs, or the best singles (except from Where's The Revolution). So, basically, Spirit really works as an album, it doesn't work so good as separate songs, however, I think the most important thing is right that, the sequence of the songs, of the lyrics is very tied up, very natural, you imagine it as a testimonial, not as a mix of songs.

Instrumentally, the sound is very particular to Depeche Mode, the alternative electronic rock music. At their age, and at their position in life, I think the band can't reinvent themselves anymore (like they did with Songs of Faith And Devotion) and that's good for us. The sound is again, very personal, there aren't so many bands doing anything like that around. In my view, the band, since Playing The Angel, found their musically place, and there's no need to get too much away from that. The sounds is still fresh and different from anyone else. Of course each album has it own way of flowing and Spirit is a more aggressive one, more dirty, less danceable, more desperate, which reflects perfect with the lyric content.

Now, talking about the lyrical part of the album, there a huge and different improvement. As Dave Gahan once said, Depeche Mode's songs are all about pain, suffering and death, well, not anymore. A big part of the album (specially Martin Gore's songs) are about the political state in the world. Brexit, Trump, refugees, racism, they are all there. The band,actually felt really affected by the last people's choices all over the world and were shocked by it. That's where songs like Going Backwars, Where's The Revolution or Fail came.

The production, was on the duty of James Ford, world-famous for his work with Arctic Monkeys' AM album. Well, Depeche Mode is such a studio machine that his influence is kinda difficult to see. The electronic sound is in the same line as the last album but, as I said, it's much more aggressive. The songs where you can a bigger influence from Ford would be The Worst Crime and No More (This Is The last Time).

Also, I need to have a special work for Gahan's songs on this album. I am a huge fan of Martin Gore, for me, he will be forever, the soul and main part of Depeche Mode. However, Dave's songs are excellent, Poison Heart and No More are among the best moments of the entire album. Actually, as separated songs, I think Gahan's songs call more your attention than Martin's ones. However the climax of the album is, without a doubt, the first single Where's The Revolution,

Going Backwards is a great starting, Martin's backing voices are great, and talks about how mankind has shown less solidarity with each other. Where's the Revolution is the key track of the album. The Worst Crime and Cover Me are great ballads, with amazing guitars on it. Poison Heart is the typical painfully Depeche Mode song, So Much Love looks too much like Soft Touch / Raw Nerve from Delta Machine. You Move is the seducing song of the album (first album track by Gore and Gahan). Scum is not easy to listen at first but then appears as a powerful, very aggressive song, the keyboards lines from the chorus turns the song fabulous. Poorman is Martin under influence of blues and No More (This Is The Last Song) is a really easy-going song, really relaxing.
Martin sings Eternal, probably, the best and most beautiful song sung by him since Home. Just has a huge problem: it's too short. His vocals on this one are perfect, really shows the best side of the artist.
The album ends with Fail. It's not one of my favourites, I think almost all of their previous albums finish in a better way, however, what really matters on Fail are the lyrics. The song works as a break down, as that the resume of the album is that mankind failed and that we're fucked. It's like a message to everyone, saying that we reached the lowest level of humanity. Instrumentally is not a outstanding song, but lyrically is very strong. Also, it's the fist time that a song sung by Martin closes the album.

The album is amazing, and Depeche Mode can't make bad music. Lyrically, there's an improvement comparing to their catalogue, and melodically is more aggressive, the message that the world is fucked, is passed very well to the songs.

Hoping that it reaches the top albums and gets a worldwide recognition, the band really deserve it.    

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Playlist # 6

This week's playlist features:

- Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen - To celebrate his life and music.
- Depeche Mode - Cover Me - The British band released their new album, called "Spirit", here's a good song from it.
- Brett Anderson - Song For My Father The Suede leader re-released all of his albums in CD and Vinyl last Friday. And also, it was father's day two days ago!
- Kasabian - You're In Love With A Psycho - New single for the forthcoming album, to be released on the 28th of April.
- U2 - Mothers Of The Disappeared - Joshua Tree, their classic album, turned 30!
- Gaz Coombes - Seven Walls - Bought Matador, his second solo album this week, and this is my favourite song from it. 

And then, some fantastic songs that I heard randomly on the radio, Best Coast, Rialto, Sequin and Youth Lagoon.

Listen to it here:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Goodbye Chuck Berry

If most of the post 60's music is influenced by The Beatles, The Beatles were mainly influenced by Little Richard and Chuck Berry.

Chuck, unfortunately, died 2 days ago.
He leaves behind a great, unimaginable legacy.
If you doubt it, click here and you'll understand what I'm saying.
Berry was planning to released a new studio album this year, the first with original music in 38 years. Still is unknown what will happen now.

Rest in peace Chuck Berry, thank you for changing Rock n' Roll music forever. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary

U2 are going to re-release their classic album "Joshua Tree" to remark its 30th anniversary.
It's the second time the album is re-released (it exists also a 20th anniversary edition) but this time the tracks are massive.
Well, you can get almost everything that exists from this period of U2. The entire album, plus b-sides, live versions, outtakes, demos or new remixes.
Also, to celebrate (not promote) Joshua Tree the Irish band is going for a tour across North America and Europe, where they'll play, for the first time ever, the entire album live.

Joshua Tree is one of the most emblematic albums of U2. It was their album that lead them to world mainstream and, probably, the most sweet and romantic of the band, exploring themes like loss, love and world peace. A great and fantastic album, much different from their next direction in the 90's,

Check out the tracklist of the celebratory editions:


1. VINYL SUPER DELUXE BOXSET (with digital download card)
LP 1+2 – The Joshua Tree album
LP 3+4 – The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden 1987
LP 5+6+7– The Joshua Tree Remixes / Outtakes / B-Sides

LP 1+2 – The Joshua Tree album
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
With Or Without You
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God's Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Mothers Of The Disappeared

LP 3+4 – The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden 1987
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Will Follow
Trip Through Your Wires
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still
In God's Country
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year's Day
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
With Or Without You
Party Girl
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

LP 5 – Remixes
One Tree Hill 2017 Remix (St Francis Hotel)
Bullet the Blue Sky 2017 Remix (Jacknife Lee)
Running To Stand Still 2017 Remix (Daniel Lanois)
Red Hill Mining Town 2017 Mix (Steve Lillywhite)
With or Without You 2017 Remix (Daniel Lanois)
Where The Streets Have No Name 2017 Remix (Flood)

LP 6 – Outtakes
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Lillywhite Alternative Mix ’87)
One Tree Hill Reprise (Brian Eno 2017 Mix)
Silver and Gold (Sun City)
Beautiful Ghost/Introduction To Songs Of Experience
Wave Of Sorrow (Birdland)
Desert Of Our Love
Rise Up
Drunk Chicken/America

LP 7 – B–sides
Luminous Times (Hold On To Love)
Walk To The Water
Spanish Eyes
Deep In The Heart
Silver And Gold
Sweetest Thing
Race Against Time

Book: Photographs by The Edge, a hardback collection of previously unpublished personal photographs from the original Mojave Desert sessions in 1986. Foreword by The Edge.

Plus: Folio of 8 Anton Corbijn Color Prints from 1986

2. CD SUPER DELUXE BOXSET (with digital download card)
CD1 - 2007 Joshua Tree album
CD2 - The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden 1987
CD3 – The Joshua Tree 2017 Remixes
One Tree Hill 2017 Remix (St Francis Hotel)
Bullet the Blue Sky 2017 Remix (Jacknife Lee)
Running To Stand Still 2017 Remix (Daniel Lanois)
Red Hill Mining Town 2017 Mix (Steve Lillywhite)
With or Without You 2017 Remix (Daniel Lanois)
Where The Streets Have No Name 2017 Remix (Flood)

CD 4 – The Joshua Tree B-sides / Outtakes
Luminous Times (Hold On To Love)
Walk To The Water
Spanish Eyes
Deep In The Heart
Silver And Gold
Sweetest Thing
Race Against Time
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – Lillywhite Alternative Mix ’87
One Tree Hill Reprise (Brian Eno 2017 Mix)
Silver and Gold (Sun City)
Beautiful Ghost/Introduction To Songs Of Experience
Wave Of Sorrow (Birdland)
Desert Of Our Love
Rise Up
Drunk Chicken/America

Book: Photographs by The Edge – collection of never seen before personal photographs from the original Mojave Desert sessions in 1986 in a hardback book, with foreword written by The Edge.

Plus: Folio of 8 Anton Corbijn Color Prints from 1987

CD 1 – The Joshua Tree album
CD 2 – The Joshua Tree Live at Madison Square Garden 1987
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Will Follow
Trip Through Your Wires
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still
In God's Country
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year's Day
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
With Or Without You
Party Girl
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

The Joshua Tree (double heavyweight vinyl)

The Joshua Tree

3 x digital products: Standard, Deluxe and Super Deluxe audio as outlined above.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Depeche Mode, Global Love

Richard Spencer, an american racist jackass, told recently that "Depeche Mode was the official band of the alt-right". Obviously, the band said that they have nothing to do with that guy and don't support his movement.

However, the press took (as always) advantage of it, in order to create a scandal, etc.
Titles like "Personal Hitler" "Depeche Mode related with the alt-righ" "Depeche Mode is the alt-right band" surfaced online and that is a pity. In order to see the main message (that Depeche Mode denies any relation with this kind of ideology) you would have to open the link and read everything until the end.

And I think that the band don't deserve nothing like that, specially, as a fan, this is, undoubtedly, very unfair. Depeche Mode have a long list of love song and songs about community tolerance. Yes, their main topics are pain and suffering (from relationships), but they have a some beautiful songs about acceptance.

Martin Gore (born from a black american man) wrote some beautiful lines like "When you're born a lover, you're born to suffer, like all soul sisters and soul brothers", "If for kindness, you substitute blindness please open your eyes" or the new line "Scare you till you're stupefied, wear you down until you're on their side, where's the revolution?"

Take a look on this songs and you'll understand what I'm saying:

- Everything Counts
- Somebody
- Condemnation
- Freestate
- Freelove
- Goodnight Lovers
- Peace
- Where's The Revolution

Everyone should remember now, more than ever, the contribute Depeche Mode has given to cultural acceptance and not that some freak guy talked about them.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Beatles Reunited

The Beatles, the world's biggest band ever, never reunited after their break up in 1970, however, during the following years, we saw some very happy collaboration between them. Over the years we say Ringo playing drums in a lot of George's albums, or Lennon giving some songs and participating on Starr's album.
Well, looks like there is going to be a new collaboration with the 2 remaing Beatles alive.
According to Ringo Starr official Twitter, Paul McCartney was with him in studio recording some bass lines to his next solo album.
They look good and happy on the shared photo. Good to see old mates still caring with each other.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Week #3

Another week, another playlist.
This weeks we have:

01 - Pete Yorn - Life On A Chain - This week's morning music. What a fantastic album.
02 - Cage The Elephant - Too Late To Say Goodbye - Last monday I saw them live and it was super amazing. a great, long and full concert, with pure rock n' roll. This song was probably the first I really liked from them. The guitar slide solo is great.
03 - Depeche Mode - Walking In My Shoes - Today I received by mail a t-shirt with the artwork of this song. Great t-shirt, but even better song. Actually, it was this song that brought me to like Depeche Mode.
04 - The Cardigans - Higher - This week I bought the CD of Pale Honey, a Swedish band, so I listened to Gran Turismo from start to finish. Fantastic album but another Swedish band.
05 -  Suede - Sound Of The Streets - It isn't everyday that you listen to a b-side of your favourite band on the radio. It happened this week.
06 - David Bowie - No Plan - Bowie will release is final EP in physical formats also.
07 - Pale Honey - 0100 - Bought the CD from this amazing Swedish band. Loved all the songs, but this one is special because of its uplifting melody.
08 - Bob Marley & The Wailers - The Heathen - If Bob was alive, he would have been 72 this week.
09 - GNR - Que Importa? - The legendary Portuguese band will give a very special concert tomorrow in Porto, celebrating 35 years of activity.
10 - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree - Nick Cave announced an European tour.

Hope you enjoyed it, listen here:

Saturday, February 04, 2017

This Week In A Playlist

This week Strange Sound playlist covers again then songs on Spotify.

They are:
01 - Depeche Mode - Where's The Revolution - Depeche Mode's comeback single was released yesterday.
02 - Underworld - Born Slippy (Nuxx) - T2, new Trainspotting movie is already in the cinemas in the UK.
03 - Franz Ferdinand - Darts Of Pleasure - Their debut album was my morning soundtrack during this week.
04 - Pet Shop Boys - Rent - Pet Shop Boys were announced as the 2017 NME Godlike Genius Awards.
05 - Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions - Let ME Get There (feat. Kurt Vile) - Heard this song on the radio and has a really great vibe.
06 - Brett Anderson - Thin Men Dancing - Brett Anderson will re-release all of his solo albums with extras and also on vinyl for the first time.
07 - Goldfrapp - Anymore - New single from their new album "Silver Eye" that will be released in March
08 - Bon Iver - Blood Bank - Bought this week the ticket to Primavera Sounds, which Bon Iver will headline.
09 - The Velvet Underground - Pale Blue Eyes -  This album was playing all the week on my car.
10 - Madrepaz - Novas Pontes - Heard this brilliant song on the radio, didn't know this band before, but this song is really fantastic. The greatest surprise of the week.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Brett Anderson Solo Collection

Normal CD's are not that popular anymore, bands tend to release beautiful deluxe editions with a lot o CD's, books and, vinyls are back again (hurray!).
Brett Anderson from Suede, also joined the mood and he is releasing his entire solo collection, both in a boxset with the 4 albums, 1 live album and a lot of b-sides and alternative versions, and a boxset of the 4 albums in vinyl for the first time.

So, what's new?
The albums will be in vinyl for the first time ever.
A lot of b-sides and live versions will be released.

What's missing?
New material. There isn't any unreleased track there and there's no demos also.
Well, it's worth it anyway! And the prices are low!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Revolution Mode On Friday

This Friday, 3rd of February, Depeche Mode will release their new single called "Where's The Revolution".
Also, the upcoming album "Spirit" will come out on the 17th of March.
The single will be revealed with a videoclip. It's still unknown what kind of format will exist, for now, no physical edition was announced.
The new album was produced by James Ford, famous for his work with the Arctic Monkeys.
Listen below to a short teaser of the album.
The artwork was developed by long time contributor Anton Corbijn. Kinda reminds me a little bit the artwork during the Devotional era, with the legs and the flags.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

More Tickets

Today is the last day to buy cheaper tickets for the Primavera Sounds festival in Porto!
As a proud and typical Portuguese, I bought the tickets today!
Also, next monday, the Australian group Cage The Elephant will perform in Porto Coliseum, and I'm going to be in the middle of the crowd!
Next to buy will be Placebo, that will perform here int he North of Portugal in May.
It's going to be an amazing year! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January Playlist

I started to use Spotify recently, and I'll start to do some playlists and post them here. Playlists will be connected with new music I'm listening and news that are happening.
On the first playlist we can find bands like Depeche Mode (just bought the ticket), Suede (Attitude, the music which featured the late John Hurt), David Bowie (one year since is passing), Pale Honey, Tame Impala, Franz Ferdinand, Elastica (they are reforming), Arcade Fire, Mondo Drag and Patrick Duff. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Elastica Are Reforming!

Looks like the Britpop nostalgia is here to stay.
The 90's were marked by great, meaningful British bands, that represented a generation, a new sound, full of glam and a personal style. Suede, Blur, Oasis, Pulp, are great examples of that.
Most of these bands, split in the 2000's but, on this decade they seem to be coming and coming back together. Suede did it (and what a comeback), Blur also, and Pulp went for a new tour and a new single.

Now, it's time for a band that no one would think it would reform: Elastica.
The band released a great (and controversial due to plagiarism) debut album. Then, they spent a good couple of years without new releases, and switching their line-up, until they revealed their second and last album "The Menace" which flopped a little bit in the British charts. After that, the band split up, and the main singer, Justine Frischmann moved to the USA to start a career as a painter.

So, this is why this reunion is so surprising, Justine stated, more than one time that she didn't feel that good in the music business and that painting fills her much wider than music.

But it's here, photos emerged with Justin Welch, Donna Matthews and Annie Holland (3 of the 4 original members) at the Abbey Road studios. Also, it was said that Justine is also involved in what's happening.

The question is, what's happening? New album? Remasters? Well, we will need to wait!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Just Bought The Tickets!

Lately I was listening a lot to an old favourite band of mine, Depeche Mode.
I already saw them two times live but, listening lately to the albums Delta Machine and Ultra I was remembering just how amazing they are.
So, I was kinda delaying the buying the ticket to see them live in Lisbon, just because I wanted some company to go to but anyway, I noticed they were starting to sold out so I did the right thing.
In July, they are coming to the famous NOS Alive festival in Portugal to present their next album "Spirit" that should be released in March.
Imagine Dragons and Kodaline will also perform on the same day.
The first single, "Revolution" is coming very quickly too, here's a preview of it.
Can't wait!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

1 Year Since The Death Of Bowie

I remember very well the 11th of January of 2016. Bowie died in the 10th, but it was announced, via his official socials networks on the following day.

I woke up on a monday morning to work, and I was feeling a little bit tired, depressed, after a weekend of partying and drinks. Anyway, It was something like 7 a. m. in the morning when I turned on Facebook while I was having breakfast. Suddenly I say someone posting a Bowie song as a tribute and I immediately went to check on reliable websites if it was true or not. Unfortunately it was and, as every fan of David Bowie, I was deeply shocked. I didn't have bought his new Blackstar album but I was already familiar with the theme song and Lazarus. After the shock I also paid a emotionally tribute to him on my Facebook page and I posted "Heroes", a song that has a gigantic meaning for me, as it was the soundtrack to one of the most beautiful times of my life.

After, I went to work, and on the streets of Porto someone guy was playing "Heroes" on the street. An old couple was standing, almost crying, listening to the guy with their hands together. I also stopped and listened. It was a very emotional moment. As I got to work the construction site, one of the bricklayers, asked me if I heard the news. Bowie was universal.

The rest of the day was quite normal sad day. During the night, I just turned the TV on to see all the news related to him and ended up listening to a lot of Bowie's songs. Probably, the ones that I played more were Lazarus, Blackstar, Where Are We Now, Heroes, Life On Mars and Heathen,

Actually, when David died, it was the first time in my life that I really felt emotionally sad with the death of someone that I actually didn't know.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Happy Birthday David Bowie!

One day later but, Happy Birthday David Bowie!
The most influential artist ever would be 70th yesterday.
We need to remember that, one year ago, David release his last album, Blackstar, which was a sentence to his death, without anyone knowing, revolutionising the image of the death of an artist.

However, still almost one year after his death, David is still surprising us from his grave.
On the day of his 70th birthday, he launched a new EP and a new music video for the song No Plan. No Plan is a song from the Blackstar recording sessions and was released with the Lazarus soundtrack. We didn't know if Bowie planned No Plan but, personally, I believe so.

The EP includes all of the 3 last know recording from David and Lazarus.

Happy birthday my friend and, again, thank you.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Doors Turns 50

The Doors self-titled debut album, turns 50 today.
The classic album, that marked a big revolution in American rock music was originally released on the 4th of January of 1967.
By the time of its release, it was, probably, the most psychedelic album ever, being the climax of a revolution of sound started by the Beatles with Rubber Soul and Revolver.
Also, the theme of Morrison's lyrics was something very uncommon and, sometimes, perverted (The End is unforgettable).
This album has a big pack of The Doors most famous and most acclaimed compositions (Light My Fire, Break On Through, The End) and two amazing cover versions that makes Alabama Song and Back Door Man like they where one of their original songs.
Always remember this amazing LP that changed music, society and poetry.
By the way, Los Angeles, their hometown, proclaimed today, officially, The Doors Day.
Pay attention to Strange Sound Facebook because we will remember each and every song of this album.

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016 Memory And Legacy

Well, people are saying (and they are right) that 2016 was the worst year ever, that a lot of great artists died and that it was like a nightmare.

Actually the bad vibe started in the end of 2015, as a prelude to 2016, with the death of Lemmy, the legendary singer of Motorhead.

Then, it came the death of Bowie. The saddest and, at the same time, greatest death in music history. Bowie, knowing he was passing away, gave us his last piece of magic. He released Blackstar, and, moments before dying, he released the single Lazarus, the man who resurrects according to the bible. Bowie died, but impressed everyone with his pure genius. It was really sad and really incredible. It was the moment that I felt more a death of someone that I don't actually know in my life.

Then, another one very sad was Leonard Cohen. Cohen was getting very old, we could see it, but he, also, released a new album this year. His interview where he says that he is ready to die it's also a peaceful and nostalgic moment. What a man.

George Michael, was never one of my favourite artists but his death also caught the general public very surprised and, it was sad. Listening back to Michael, he did have some very great songs.

Prince also, I never was a super fan, but he inspired almost all of my favourite artists.

Glen Frey, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Dale Griffin (from Mott the Hoople) also left their mark int his year.

Well, the truth is that, the world's greatest artists are getting old. The major acts from the 60's and 70's are, most of them, in a very good shape, but they are getting old, and that's life. McCartney, Jagger or Brian Wilson won't be here forever, unfortunately.

But, as a conclusion let's celebrate the gigantic legacy that, the artists that passed away in 2016 left us. Specially, let's celebrate the greatest musician of all time, David Bowie. Be well David, and thank you.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Primavera Sounds 2017

Primavera Sounds, the music festival in my home city Porto already has confirmed dates, 8 to 10 of June. However no names have been announced yet.
Although, the twin-brother of the festival, Primavera Sounds in Barcelona has already revealed the entire line up, as you can see in the picture above. 
Well, in the last year, the line-up was not that similar (Barcelona's, was in my opinion, much better), but, usually both festivals have a lot in common. 
So, maybe, we can predict to have Arcade Fire, The XX or Bon Iver here in Porto next year!
Arcade Fire, my concert I would love to see, have already schedule the day 10 of June for the Isle Of Wight festival in England, so it would be difficult.
Let's wait and see. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Suede Are Taking A Break

Suede, the London based band, are taking a small break, probably to get again in to the studio.
The group did several live performances since last year's November to promote their last album "Night Thoughts".
After promoting the album during one year, Suede gave their last 2 concerts this week in Mexico.
Simon Gilbert, the drummer, sent a message to the fans thanking them for everything:
" Thanks so much to all of you who were there over the last 12 months...its been a F..... blast...I personally loved playing through NT live... in particular the Roundhouse shows last November... what a couple of nights they were...Love you all see you...again XXX"
I was there, on the Roundhouse shows!
Brett Anderson also, in a interview, said that, when the tour is finished, they will go back in to the studio to start the recording of another album!
Now the wait begins!