Thursday, February 22, 2007

Insert sigh of relief here

I've finally found a house and housemates for next year. It's not far from where I am now, (and therefore not far from uni/shops/pubs), but has fairly low rent, and this is reduced over the summer (bonus!). I think I'll get along with the people just fine as well.

The second semester of my year has started, bringing with it the usual difficult lab sessions with lots of preparation required, and multi-lecture marathons (6 in one day). It's not all bad, some of the modules are interesting in parts, because they lead on towards third-year modules. And then there's 'Software Development'. This has now been officially designated as 'the sleeping lecture', due to its constant monotony, and the fact that half of it has been done before. Also, it's in the afternoons, giving excellent cardiac benefit.

If you haven't heard it yet, hear this. [grimes]

Friday, February 02, 2007

Album Album Album

Three albums came through my door, so I think I'll try my hand at album reviewing.

I received the Klaxons album, "Myths of the Near Future" first. It actually took me a few listens before I decided I really liked it. Track by track, the opener is brilliant, and then is followed by the first track I heard from them, Atlantis to Interzone and their biggest tune (commercially) Golden Skans. From listening to the album playback on Xfm, I learnt that Golden Skans is a reference to a light popular at raves in the early nineties. Well, they did describe themselves as "Nu Rave".

The rest of the album is a delight with lyrics that make little sense but melodies that work very well. A pity that I like some of the demo versions better than the album tracks, in particular "Four Horsemen of 2012", which sounds much rawer on the demo version.

Speaking of disappointments, I received the Long Blondes album ("Someone to Drive You Home") on Thursday, and noticed that the singles were different to the album versions. "Separated By Motorways" was produced by Paul Epworth in the single version, but not on the album, and actually suffers from it. It's just as danceable, but doesn't have the same kick to it. The rest of the album is still good, but there's the lingering sense they were let down in production slightly.

The third album that turned up was Bloc Party's "A Weekend in the City". It shouldn't have done, as it isn't released until next week, but it does make me feel a little privileged. As I write, I'm on my second listen, but already it sounds good. It's much more in the vein of the softer tracks on "Silent Alarm", and so there's more of an epic sound. Not surprising really, as they used the same producer as on Snow Patrol's last two albums.

Politics and social comment are quite heavily featured, with references to terror attacks and the Daily Mail, and "Uniform" a track about how all the people with their Converse boots and odd hairstyles are just commercialism dressed up as a rebellion. [Looks guiltily at Converse shoes next to chair] Apparently this album is much more a product of Okereke than the previous album, which was more influenced by Moakes and Tong. I can't actually think of anything to say other than go and buy it, because it is good.


I've finished my exams! [General huzzah] Unfortunately they've already scheduled a lab for Monday afternoon, so there's no rest. Now is the time to sleep, as this was originally drafted at ten to three in the morning after a night at Jesters, and I need to calm down. Urrgh.