ELLIOTT KEENE

A month in music: February

Posted on: February 24, 2011

Melbourne based two-piece ‘Gypsy and The Cat’ released their first album back in November of last year, but caught my attention when their infectious track ‘The Piper’s Song’ was featured as iTunes Single of the Week earlier this month. Having recently moved to London to complete the album ‘Gilgamesh’, the Aussie duo are sure to be more widely recognised come festival season with their uplifting summer-soundtrack debut.

'Gilgamesh'

‘Gilgamesh’ is packed with well-crafted catchy pop songs, a polished production of airy synth electronica with a 70’s BeeGee-like falsetto at times. As a well rounded album, it delves between a light indie sound in ‘Running Romeo’ and dazzling pop in tracks like ‘Time To Wander’ – echoing a style  noticeably similar to fellow Australian band ‘Empire of the Sun’.

Personal favourite ‘Jona Vark’ (listen below) brings the recognisable high-pitched vocals and gentle guitar instrumentals to produce a serene melodic quality. For much of the album, pairing a drum-kit percussion with smooth synths – whilst delivering a chorus that shines – ensures an easy but enjoyable listen. Perfect for a laid back afternoon, Gypsy and The Cat ride alongside Temper Trap and Passion Pit in their dreamy country-electro blend, just without being too in your face.

Adele Adkins needs little introduction, as one of the finest in British talent today – the Londoner has seen international success across the US since the release of her debut ’19’ in 2008.

Three years on and Adele delivers a kind of follow-up that is a rare gift today – since her rival contemporaries Duffy or Kate Nash failed to make much of an impact with their second releases – but Adele’s ’21’  is unavoidably a huge success in many ways.

Having been the first to receive the Brit’s Critics Choice Award, Adele stands up to her critical acclaim with that powerful voice and impeccable song writing talent. Since the release of ‘Rolling in The Deep‘, the first single from ’21’, the online buzz surrounding the album has been almost overbearing and amplified to death – most notably with YouTube viewers going potty for a clip of her performance on Jools Holland (currently with over 9m views). Although some might say she is over-exposed in this sense, ’21’ is very much worth the hype.

'21'

In comparison to her debut ’19’, the album tells of a deeper heartbreak and gives an element of both her personal maturity and artistic growth. With just a voice and piano, ‘Someone Like You’ is simply stunning and easily the most emotional ballad of the lot, whilst ‘Rumour Has It’ rattles with classic rock-n-roll soul, and much like ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ has a hint of jazz blues to provide a little more of an uplifter.

With such a rich selection of well written and perfectly produced songs, it’s difficult to draw a favourite from the set of full-bodied soul that is ’21’, but ‘Set Fire To The Rain’ is a definite highlight (listen below). The commercial reception of the album has taken Adele to new heights and guaranteed her as an award magnet in the coming year, while thousands of X-Factor hopefuls will no doubt attempt to mimic her brilliance.

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