New music: Primal Scream – It’s Alright, It’s OK

So in an exciting bit of news yesterday Primal Scream unveiled the first proper single from upcoming album More Light (scheduled for release in May). I love Primal Scream – they have released some brilliant albums over the years and I think they’ve never got the respect they deserved. With that in mind I had high hopes for their new material. I didn’t like 2013 on my first listen but it’s grown on me and now I like it quite a lot. Having said that, It’s Alright, It’s OK is just gorgeous I think. I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. It’s got a beautiful summery tone (the perfect contrast to the horrible snowy weather that’s causing problems in Northern Ireland right now). In some ways it reminds me quite a bit of Movin’ On Up from Screamadelica – it has incredibly upbeat lyrics to go with the arrangement. It also has a choir thrown in for good measure – which you could also find on a few tracks from Screamadelica. Although from what I’ve read about the album I don’t think it’s going to sound like Screamadelica at all. The album does sound like its going to be quite an experimental record so I was surprised that this track is actually quite an accessible radio friendly one. It’s a great song and my favorite single of the year so far. If the rest of the album is as good then More Light could be a sure-fire contender for album of the year in my eyes!

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Primal Scream – Come Together

We all have those songs that send shivers down the spine no matter how many times we hear them, right? In my personal music tastes, Come Together is firmly near the top of said list! At 10:25 in length, it is very much one of the centerpieces of Primal Scream’s acclaimed Screamadelica album and its also the longest track on the record. It was the first song to be recorded for the groups seminal Screamdelica album and comes in two versions. There’s the original version mixed by Terry Farely which featured Bobby Gillespie singing and it featured on American versions of the album (the full length of that particular mix clocking in at 8:06 with a shorter version being released as a single). The superior version in my opinion though is the more commonly known version which is a largely instrumental based gospel house track which was produced by Andrew Weatherall. The UK version doesn’t feature Bobby Gillespie singing during the track at all, the only two different vocals to be found in the song are an excerpt of a speech given by Jesse Jackson at the 1972 Wattstax concert in Los Angeles. I know it wasn’t written for the track, but the line in the speech “Today you will discover gospel, and rhythm and blues, and jazz…. all those are just labels. We know that music is music!” is one of my favourite lines in a piece of music ever. The second set of vocals is a repeated female vocal line, gospel in style, of “Come together as one” which lasts for the second half of the track. It’s quite a simple arrangement really, the first four minutes or so see’s the track building up, until it breaks down when the gospel vocals kick in. The part were they do kick in is absolutely beautiful though and not only is it maybe the highlight of an incredibly good album, its also one of my favourite moments in any song ever. The message of the song is incredibly simple, but its also very beautiful I think. I love how the arrangement isn’t overly complicated, it makes the message of the song that much more powerful. A gorgeous song from an amazing album!

Screamadelica (Boxset)

I got this delightful boxset for my 18th birthday. Screamadelica has been a firm favourite album of mine since I first heard it around two years ago. The album is a genre defying mix of guitairs, trippy electronics and even a slight hint of gospel on some tracks! Despite this though the album sounds so cohesive and regularly crops up on lists of the best albums of all time. Anyhow, this boxset was made to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the albums release in 2011. The boxset is tremendous value, it cost around £70 but has so much in it: vinyl of the album, a book, art cards, a tour replica T-shirt, not to mention four discs of music and a DVD of music videos and the making of the album. A fantastic boxset, if you’re considering this I strongly recommend it!