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

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

Fat Boy Slim You’ve Come A Long Way Baby A heady dose of big beat nostalgia for the days when this used to get absolutely caned on the decks at Reckless Records, usually by some newbie who thought they were going to impress us by putting it on.

🆕The Pastels & Tenniscoats Two Sunsets Beautiful at times but also left me occasionally strangely unmoved when I felt I should have been soaring mind you it was day two of Dry January.

Love Forever Changes An absolute classic and one where hearing the stories of the actual chaos making it really added something.

🆕The Feeling Twelve Stops And Home I can see why people love it but didn’t resonate with me.

🆕Fujiya & Miyaga Transparent Things New to me and I enjoyed the trance-like repetitive structure that reminded me of later Wire.

🆕Tom Vek We Have Sound A new discovery for me and I loved it, not sure how I’d missed it first time round, beautiful scratchy indie lo-fi misery.

Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols I totally get how culturally significant and exciting the whole Sex Pistols phenomenon was, but god a whole album just sounded dull in 2021.

🆕Sunstack Jones Golden Repair New to me, a very enjoyable “It’s 1991 and we need to sign our own blissed out Stone Roses/The High/House of Love/Railway Children to our major label subsid imprint” vibe to it.

David Bowie Hunky Dory It’s his first properly great album, isn’t it?

🆕Dame Shirley Bassey The Performance Her voice is just pure class and drama, whatever the song, and this has songs by Pet Shop Boys and Manic Street Preachers on it.

🆕Sam Lee Old Wow Folks-y without being too twee about it – plenty of dark edges and a very doomful production that reminded me at times of Crime & The City Solution or Michael J. Sheehy, that sort of vibe.

🆕Hilang Child Every Mover Has some really lush moments and who couldn’t feel for him after hearing his tech disaster story while recording the album?

Anna Calvi Anna Calvi Has that deliciously Orbison-esque undertow at times and she has such a powerful voice.

🆕Margo Guryan Take A Picture I was expecting this to be very folk-sy but at times it bordered on the psychedelic, would have been perfect to listen to with adult cans watching a summer sunset, but it was late at night and pissing down with rain in January.

🆕Blue Orchids The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain) 2021 is the year that I realised I had been confusing Blue Aeroplanes and Blue Orchids all my life and therefore didn’t even know this had ex-The Fall members on it and it turns out I should have listened to it years ago cos it is great.

🆕Shame Drunk Tank Pink Lots of pleasing Wire / Gang of Four / Killing Joke reference points, but my attention drifted away a bit by the end.

🆕The Wild Swans Space Flower Despite the complex back-story to this band I found it sounded a bit like a major label in 1990 having a panic because they didn’t have a baggy indie-pop band and bellowing “WRITE A HIT!” at them.

🆕James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra The Wide, Wide River A really grounded, solid album that felt like as a whole piece of work it took you to a specific “place” with its mood/tone.

Talk Talk Spirit Of Eden If I was only allowed to listen to one LP for the rest of my life, this is the album I would choose.

🆕The Staves If I Was Not entirely sure how I hadn’t come across them before as they sounded like they should have been an ever-present at Latitude, very much enjoyed it, lots of melancholy harmony goodness.

The Communards Red Was always fond of Bronski Beat and the Communards without every actually getting round to buying any of their records and this has dated a little bit in places but mostly this time around I just picked up on how, being one of the straights, I just hadn’t appreciated how political and emotionally charged their lyrics were.

🆕Hello Cosmos Dream Harder This sounded like I ought to like it a lot, somewhere between what I think Idles might sound like if I actually listened to them and occasionally what Mansun used to sound like, but something about it didn’t quite click for me.

EMF Stigma I had a friend who at the time argued that this LP was an over-looked gem but I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, though “They’re Here” was a lot perkier than I recalled it and it had a more confident swagger to it than I expected it.

🆕Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Sugar Tax Weird to mark this as “new” as I’m a huge OMD fan and have seen them live loads, but beyond the singles I’ve never heard this or the couple of other 90s album, it’s just all too poppy and not OMD enough for me.

Love Da Capo I listened in mono and side one has some cracking tunes and “Seven And Seven Is” on it of course, but not sure about side two, I think The Fall are probably about the only band I would accept one side of an album being a nineteen-minute jam to be honest.