Saturday Looks Good To Me is, in my eyes at least, a totally pathetic band name. Band names should be punchy and memorable. Take the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ for example. A great name that rolls off the tongue as three affirmative monosyllabic beats. However the name Saturday Looks Good To Me is just some inane bit of arrangement making. They may as well have called themselves “Sorry I Can’t Do Thursday I’m Working” or “How About I Just Text You Next Time I’m Free”.
It only takes a quick look at Diplo’s instagram to deduce that he knows everyone who’s someone, and with his alter-ego Major Lazer’s latest album, Free The Universe, it shows. Featuring a star-studded list of collaborators including Santigold, Shaggy, Tyga and Peaches, he’s created an album that is still very much his own; that, and really fucking danceable. The album’s starter, ‘You’re No Good’, rumbles and hisses, with classy and proud marching-band style drums and production that perhaps lays back from the prior album, but suits the new sounds Diplo is engaging in.
The Voynich manuscript is a very old book, from around the 15th century. It’s all about plants and herbs, with big illustrations and written descriptions, but all is not as it seems. Firstly, the language the writing is in is a total mystery. Nobody knows how to speak it, or where it came from, let alone what it says. It’s possible it’s some kind of encrypted script, but as yet none of the experts who’ve put their minds to it have managed to crack it. Yet the weirdness increases, as the majority of the plants drawn do not correspond to species of plants we know, nobody has any idea what plants they are supposed to be. The drawings aren’t crap, they’re highly detailed, yet what real life plants they are is an unclear as mud.
Tarantino is known for avoiding scores for his films and his ability to create the perfect soundtrack himself. His western/slave trade film brings together a mix of western movie classics with some original songs from the likes of Rick Ross and John Legend. The western selections are generally high quality and songs such as ‘Django’ and ‘Sister Sara’s Theme’ are emotive even outwith the film context. ‘Freedom’ by Anthony Hamilton featuring Elayna Boynton is one of the original selections the album offers, and the song features great vocals and the slow beat of the song captures the mix of themes of the film well but remains firmly modern.
The modern selections do a surprisingly good job at fitting in to the album and few songs feel out of place. ’100 Black Coffins’ by Rick Ross may use a modern rap and beat but the effective use of whistling and humming in the background keeps it dark and firmly grounded in Django’s story. “Ancora Qui” is a new spaghetti western style song and while not the best on the album does capture the feel of a western. John Legend’s ‘Who Did That To You?’ is a stand out song from the album, cool and collected it smoothly sums up Django. Jim Croce’s ‘I Got A Name’ does stand out against the themes of the album but is a good song and may make more sense in the context of the film. Django Unchained soundtrack features all the makings of a great soundtrack and the new songs make it well worth a listen.
Green Day’s new album proves that they’re a band that deserves many plaudits for their dedication to the recycling effort. Rather than bother using time, effort and energy writing a new album, they’ve simply regurgitated their previous two albums into one easy-to-listen-to package. Whilst listening through Uno!, I found myself on at least five separate occasions going “I swear to fuck I’ve heard this song before.”
It’s American Idiot: Part 3. The music is the same, the style is the same, and the lyrics are the same tediously repeated bullshit you’ve heard before on American Idiot and American Idiot Part 2: 21st Century Breakdown.
I don’t have a problem with a band that have a definite direction for their sound, but when they release an album which sounds like the previous two albums stapled badly together, it just seems like it’s time for them to stop. Seriously. In the notes I took while listening, one song is simply marked “Oh God.”
In short, if you liked American Idiot, you’ll probably like this album. Because it sounds exactly the same. If, like me, you prefer their old stuff, then join me in re-listening to International Superhits and remembering the good ol’ days.