Off The Record – This Month’s Record Reviews

This week, we’re taking a look at new music from Keith Richards, Glen Hansard, Lana Del Rey, and Lady Gaga.

Keith Richards, Crosseyed Heart

Review: Eoghan Scott

Keith Richards is easily one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and the list of classic songs he has written and co-written could literally go on for days (well, not literally). Even so, it was hard to be all that excited for his recent solo album (his third, in fact), Crosseyed Heart.

The Rolling Stone’s output has been, to put it kindly, rather lackluster as of late. With the notable exception of the truly impressive single Doom and Gloom from their 215th ‘Best of’ compilation GRRR! released back in 2012, The Rolling Stones have recorded little of note in the past 34 years, not since 1981’s Tattoo You.

On that basis, one might be forgiven so for not holding much hope for this album. One, however, would be wrong.  An album devoid of disappointment, Crosseyed Heart opens with its bluesy title track, and over the course of 15 tracks proceeds to find the 71-year old guitarist/rock-god on top form throughout.

Proving that he hasn’t forgotten how to write a killer riff, standout tracks include early highlight Heartstopper, the vicious, rolling Amnesia, and lead single Trouble.

A genuine pleasure from start to finish, it almost makes one wonder… It’s been over 50 years, perhaps it’s time Keith ditched the rest of those old Stones and just went solo altogether?

 

Glen Hansard, Didn’t He Ramble

Review: Eoghan Scott

Glen Hansard has nothing left to prove at this point. After 8 albums with The Frames, Didn’t He Ramble (his second solo album) has confirmed him to be one of Ireland’s finest songwriters, without a doubt. Didn’t He Ramble, his sophomore solo LP, serves simply as yet another reminder of his immense talent.

The album is a folksy yet rocking collection of songs that’s highlighted by Lonely Deserter, possibly his best single since the Oscar-winning Falling Slowly. As well as being a worthy lead single for the album, Lonely Deserter also serves as a well-deserved showcase for the talents of the up-and-coming Booka Brass Band, who also feature on the track.

A worthy entry into an already sparkling discography; if nothing else, Didn’t He Ramble proves that Glen Hansard has come a long way from his days being known as that guy from The Commitments.

 

Lana del Rey, Honeymoon

Review: Riley

Honeymoon is the third full-length studio album from American dreamgirl, Lana Del Rey. The record has been highly acclaimed from critics around the board as displaying her versatility as an artist.

It is evident from the new record just how fluid the Siren of Soul can be in regards to her music, infusing R&B tracks such as High By The Beach with songs such as The Blackest Day, emulating the golden age of jazz music. Honeymoon has more depth and lyrical beauty than any other record released this autumn. The Blues Queen indulges the idea of losing yourself on the road to the American dream and ending up in living the American nightmare.

Lana takes some of the darker aspects of society; alcohol, drugs, sex and creates a beautiful dystopian world within the tracks. Honeymoon may just be the best investment you make this year.

 

Lady Gaga, Till It Happens to You

Review: Riley

Gaga’s latest song is a powerful track albeit a heart-breaking one. It contains a powerful message highlighting campus sexual assault. The music video tells three individual stories of sexual assault with graphic detail, it is accompanied with a disclaimer warning the viewers that the video is “emotionally unsettling” and the scenes “reflect the reality of what is happening daily on college campuses.”

The single, which is being used to fundraise money for charity, is unlike anything Mother Monster has done before; it’s a haunting melody that sends out a massive F U to rape culture.

The vocals are extremely raw and the accompanying lyrics are so thought-provoking you just have to learn something. If you watch anything today, let it be the Til’ It Happens To You music video.