A one-line review of every #TimsTwitterListeningParty I joined in February 2021

Nobody has asked for this. Tough luck. It’s a monthly series now. I’ve marked LPs that I’d never heard the whole way through before with a πŸ†• icon. The links go to the album on Spotify.

πŸ†•The Beach Boys The Beach Boys What an odd choice for the first Beach Boys listening party, the voices unmistakable but not even sprinkling Stevie Wonder, Ringo Starr and Culture Club into the mix save it – although the repeated backing vocal phrase “crack at your love” on one track made me laugh.

πŸ†•Steven Wilson The Future Bites Feels like one of those “cult” artists I should be into but I’ve never tried or been exposed to him, so I enjoyed this, but also I’m given to understand it is a much more electronic LP than his usual work so who knows?

The Fall Fall Heads Roll [The Mighty Fall Facebook group host synchronised listenings at 10pm on Tuesdays so I’ve included these too] A mostly solid 2000s The Fall album with a beyond terrible opening track but some absolute corkers in ‘Blindness’, ‘Pacifying Joint’, ‘What About Us’ and the most un-Fall-like Fall song ever which I love to bits – ‘Trust In Me’ – as the closer.

πŸ†•Arlo Parks Collapsed In Sunbeams I was a bit worried by the first track that I’d signed up for an album of spoken word beat poetry, it ended up being nice enough but so far out of my genre comfort zone that I don’t really have anything to compare it to.

πŸ†•Pom Poko Cheater Enjoyably angular and complicated in places but I felt all too often the guitars overwhelmed the vocals and it all became a little less than the sum of its parts.

πŸ†•She Drew The Gun Revolution of the Mind I’d had ‘Something For The Pain’ on heavy rotation on various playlists over the last couple of years but never delved into the album, which flew by pleasantly enough, but with nothing that stood out anything near as much.

πŸ†•Goat Girl On All Fours Never listened to their stuff much, but enjoyed them on the occasion I saw them live, this is a bit overlong at 54 minutes with some decent tunes along the way, and I liked the fact that they haven’t had their more ramshackle edges smoothed away by producers.

πŸ†•Claire Welles Dazed I thought this was going to be folk-sy singer-songwriter from the pic so was then gobsmacked at it being … what … DIY Magnetic Fields? Scouse BC Camplight? Wesley Willis but with tunes and (mostly) less swearing? … very singular and I was immediately very, very into it and Claire appears to have about 1,057 previous albums to explore.

The Fall The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click) [The Mighty Fall Facebook group synchronised listen] It’s got ‘Mountain Energie’ and ‘Sparta FC’ on it so well worth a spin apart from the godawful Lee Hazelwood ‘Houston’ cover – English Chelsea fan, this is your last game…

πŸ†•The Staves Good Woman Been a huge fan of harmonies since I was very little, listening to my folks’ Everly Brothers and The Hollies records, so loved the vocals on this and enjoyed it, though thought a couple of tracks were reaching a bit too hard and obviously in order to be Radio 2 playlist hits.

Iron Maiden Powerslave Never been a huge Maiden fan, although they are on my list of bands I’d like to see live just because, but there was such a buzz around this being the 666th #TimsTwitterListeningParty that it would have been churlish not to join in the fun and it was fun.

πŸ†•Viola Beach Viola Beach A outpouring of emotion in a listening party for a band I didn’t know but obviously knew what happened to them, and judging by the love for the album, which had much more of a pop sensibility than I expected, they would have gone on to greater things.

The Blow Monkeys Animal Magic Perennially on my “list of LPs to buy next month when I have slightly more money” during the 80s, I never did, which was an error, because it was way better than I remembered and I enjoyed hearing it absolutely loads again after decades.

πŸ†•KT Tunstall Drastic Fantastic There’s never really anything to dislike about a KT Tunstall record but they don’t excite me, although one track from this – ‘Beauty Of Uncertainty’ – has snuck its way on to my February playlist.

πŸ†•Django Django Glowing In The Dark This sounded more organic and less electronic than previous releases, and I love their close harmony vocals even if I think that *whispers* on the whole they basically make the same one very good song over and over again.

πŸ†•Kero Kero Bonito Time’n’Place Sounds like the kind of thing I would have been perfectly happy to hear John Peel playing in 1986 but never quite end up buying. Absolutely fucking abysmal novelty track near the end of it though which set my teeth on edge with its jollity.

U-Roy Dread In A Babylon One of the best things about working in a record shop back in the day was the constant exposure to all the best albums from every genre, so this had a load of tunes I recognised even though I seldom play any reggae at home.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood Liverpool I dutifully bought all the different ‘Rage Hard’ and ‘Warriors Of The Wasteland’ 12″s at the time but this is just not a good album, is it?

Lonelady Nerve Up A great album that sounds like it could have been recorded at any point between 1979 and 2021 but which could only ever have been recorded in Manchester.

πŸ†•Bradford Bright Hours Nicely crafted song-writing and strong Stephen Street production but zipped around the genres a bit too much for me to get a firm handle on it.

The Fall Perverted By Language [The Mighty Fall Facebook group synchronised listen] The Fall’s much-loved and well regarded sixth album which unexpectedly always leaves me cold, ‘Neighbourhood Of Infinity’ aside. I guess if a band is gonna do 31 studio albums, you are inevitably gonna end up with a few you don’t care for quite so much?

Talk Talk The Colour Of Spring The first album I ever got on CD because I wanted it in crystal clarity, it is amazing in retrospect that outliers ‘April 5th’ and ‘Chameleon Day’ (as well as contemporary b-side ‘It’s Getting Late In The Evening’) were actually pointing the way forward to Spirit of Eden rather than being slight curiosities.

πŸ†•Mogwai As The Love Continues A band I like the idea of and one who I’ve seen live at festivals, but I’ve never actually owned any of their stuff and couldn’t name a song. Genuinely thrilled for them that this reached #1 last week.

OMD Organisation This was MY OMD LP. The one that I had a knackered old vinyl copy of alongside the gleaming greatest hits CD in the late 80s, so it is my absolute favourite of theirs: ‘Second thought’, ‘Statues’, ‘The Misunderstanding’ and ‘Stanlow’. What an album.

πŸ†•MaxΓ―mo Park Nature Always Wins There’s a weird cohort of bands from the early 2000s like MaxΓ―mo Park who I’ve seen live a couple of times, and enjoy every time I hear them and think “Oh yeah, them, I really like them”, but I just wasn’t at the right age to become a ‘fan’ of things anymore, so it sounds like another in a line of perfectly decent albums.