A one-line review of every #TimsTwitterListeningParty I joined in April 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 (mostly) go to the album on Spotify.

πŸ†•The Clientele Suburban Light A really lovely gentle discovery, reminding me of the mellow psych-tinged Hollies circa the Butterfly and Evolution LPs. Have played several times since.

πŸ†•Mellow Candle Swaddling Songs This was on 1 April and because I’d never heard of this 1972 album in all my years working in record shops I started fearing it was some of kind of April fool prank and the whole thing have been cleverly inserted into the internet, Wikipedia page et al,

πŸ†•Elliot Smith Collection Everybody Cares Some valiant efforts and a worthy cause but it just made me feel sad and miss Elliot.

Echo And The Bunnymen Crocodiles Although I feel I know all their big tunes I never had these albums myself so these listening parties with Will Sergeant have been useful prompts for me to play them all the way through – I enjoyed this but not as much as I did Heaven Up Here.

πŸ†•The Snuts W.L. I was disappointed with this, it leaned far too hard into its influences and I couldn’t shake off the feeling that it had all been recorded with the intention of being played as a montage on Britain’s Got Talent/X-Factor/The Voice to soundtrack some skinny white lad from Widnes going on “an authentic journey”.

πŸ†•Dry Cleaning New Long Leg I couldn’t work this album out at all, I liked all the elements enough but despite subscribing to the we-dig-repetition school of rock, the monotony of Florence Shaw’s delivery meant it lacked dynamism, but then, I still really kind of liked it, while also thinking it should have shone a bit more somehow? Perplexing.

πŸ†•Young Galaxy Down Time I liked this, it reminded me of HΓ†LOS at times, and also a bit of blast-from-the-past Frazier Chorus when they were going through that phase of having all their mellow twee pop transmogrified by Paul Oakenfold.

The Fall on Facebook The Infotainment Scan [The Mighty Fall Facebook group host synchronised listenings at 10pm on Tuesdays so I’ve included these too] Ironically this album, which was their biggest hit in the UK charts, was the exact moment I stopped automatically buying every The Fall album during the 90s, and although it has some strong songs and that cover of ‘Lost In Music’ it’s too smooth for me. Also I discovered that for twenty-eight years I have been wrongly calling it The Infotainment Scam not The Infotainment Scan.

πŸ†•The Natvral Tether This was not at all what I was anticipated from the name or the artwork, so came across as very much unexpected (and somewhat unwanted) Bob Dylan in the baggage area.

πŸ†•Flyte This Is Really Going To Hurt Short and sweet at 33 minutes with a gorgeous Midlake/Editors vibe to it, I enjoyed this a lot.

πŸ†•The Saloon If We Meet In The Future This was great – I think it falls into the weird interregnum early-2000s years when I was no longer working in a record shop but hadn’t yet come up with a better plan for music discovery than listening to Mark’n’Lard on Radio One – because if I had heard this at the time I would have absolutely loved it.

πŸ†•It’s Immaterial Life’s Hard & The You Die Don’t think I’d ever heard this apart from the big hit which I loved at the time, and it sounded like the kind of album I would have been passionate about for years if I had owned it in 1986. But I didn’t. Boo!

The Fall on Facebook New Facts Emerge [The Mighty Fall Facebook group synchronised listen] There can’t be many artists several decades into their career who would deliver an album as challenging, aggressive and abrasive as The Fall’s 31st and final album. It’s among their best.

πŸ†•Tunng This is…Tunng:Mothers Daughter and Other Tales New to me and lots of lovely mellow folks-y Beta Band and Four Tet vibes.

πŸ†•Nada Surf Let Go Another one of those records from between 2000-2007 that got away from me because apparently I didn’t listen to any new LPs at this point in my life? Sounds like exactly the kind of thing I was bang into in 2002 and yet I’ve never heard of it. Weird. Are people inserting albums I would like back into history via time machines? That’s my new theory and/or Doctor Who/#TimsTwitterListeningParty crossover fanfic.

Max Tundra Parallax Error Beheads New I first came across Max Tundra due to some curious remixes in the early 2000s, and this 2008 album is delightfully weird and occasionally oddly reminiscent of Scritti Politti, but with more glitches.

The Fall The Light User Syndrome [The Mighty Fall Facebook group synchronised listen] Even by their standards this is quite a murky sounding Fall LP, the last to feature Brix, the highlight of which is ‘Hostile’ and ‘Powder Keg’.

πŸ†•The Antlers Green To Gold Pleasant enough but maybe just a little bit too mellow middle-of-the-road for my tastes. It wasn’t quite miserable enough to be truly delicious listening for me.

πŸ†•The Subways All Or Nothing Perfectly nice, the kind of thing I’d have been happy to hear on the car radio on XfM back in the day without ever investigating the band further.

John Lennon John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band The fact that it is one of Lennon’s better solo efforts was almost irrelevant – just the sheer experience of listening to it and knowing that Yoko Ono and Ringo Starr and Klaus Voormann among others were joining in was a joy. Finding that Sean Ono Lennon’s Twitter account is all about pushing Bitcoin was a bit rough though.

πŸ†•Field Music Flat White Moon It sounded overall a bit less complex arrangements-wise than previous #TimsTwitterListeningParty Making a New World, and I got a distinct XTC vibe. Bought a ticket to go and see them in Brighton off the back of this listening party.

πŸ†•Lisa Li-Land Glass of Blood Absolutely loved this to pieces, had a real darkness at its heart. Hope she plays in London soon.

The Fall on Facebook Cerebral Caustic [The Mighty Fall Facebook group synchronised listen] A bit of a thin-sounding album on the whole that has some tracks on it like ‘Rainmaster’ that I feel like would be absolute all-time faves if they’d been recorded a few years earlier with the bass-heavy murky production of Bend Sinister on them. Worth the price of admission though just to make someone sit through ‘Bonkers In Phoenix’.

πŸ†•Mush Lines Redacted Suspect I needed this in smaller doses than a whole album as an introduction, as I found it all a bit too mannered in places.

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