Tomorrow Sleater-Kinney return to Melbourne for the first time in just over a decade. Given the fact that the last three posts that I have published have focussed somewhat heavily on Sleater-Kinney, some of the more astute readers amongst you may probably have some inkling that I have a certain fondness for the band. Over the past couple of weeks, partly in preparation for seeing the band live again, but mostly because it’s exactly the kind of thing I’m likely to do anyway, I have immersed myself again into the band’s back catalogue. Out of this retrospective I have put together a list of ten Sleater-Kinney songs that falls somewhere between my favourite ten songs of theirs and the ones that I’d most like to hear them play live this week (however unrealistic that may be in a couple of cases). Either way, hopefully it’s a pretty decent overview of the band’s career and a good starting point for anyone new to their music.
Fiona Apple’s second album When The Pawn… sits quite comfortably amongst my favourite dozen albums of all time and is an album that I genuinely return to on pretty much a weekly basis. Although When The Pawn… went platinum in the US, it didn’t attain the same commercial success of her triple platinum debut album Tidal. Part of this may have been due to the over the top backlash against Apple at the time, which seemingly grew out of negative reactions to the Mark Romanek directed video for her song “Criminal” in 1997 and continued on with attacks on her for being too thin, saying too much, saying too little and being too pretentious.
Pulp’s sixth album This Is Hardcore is vastly underappreciated. A follow-up to 1995’s hugely successful A Different Class, the album was the victim of audience expectations. Debuting at number one in the UK, This Is Hardcore spent only one more week in the top ten before drifting out of the charts. It is clear that the majority of listeners were expecting more tracks like the bright, smart and funny pop songs from its predecessor, instead they got a collection of moody songs about disappointment and fear with a dark sexuality lurking beneath the surface. Continue reading “Pulp – This Is Hardcore”