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Archive for the ‘What Gerry’s groovin’ to’ Category

Gerry’s Favourite Music of the Decade

Gerry Hassan

January 3rd 2020

My countdown of the grooves I was listening to over the past decade. First, this is my chart so the criterion is mine alone! It is dominated by new things from the last ten years, but includes compilations, reissues and even a few albums from previous decades. Second, nearly as important as what is in a looking back exercise such as this is what is missing. Thus, even though this is a fairly eclectic list it consciously has no Beyonce, Kayne West (his early promise degenerating into celebrity Trump apologist) and even Solange (although I have a bit of time for her albums and have even seen her live).

There are also many musical passions unrepresented or under-represented because they have not put out new or decent archival releases this decade. Hence, there is only one Frank Sinatra release – and when are the Sinatra estate going to start treating his back catalogue with the same importance as Dylan, Miles and Elvis? The same is true sadly of George Michael.

This is the second time I have done an end of decade review like this. I do it because it adds to my enjoyment of the music listed below and the many other great sounds that I considered for the list. Reflecting on this and the mindset of list-ism it is salutary to note the pros and cons of their ubiquity, and how it has the danger of levelling and homogenising culture, and possibility of reinforcing nostalgia and safe options. Read the rest of this entry »

My Favourite Music of 2019

Gerry Hassan

December 23rd 2019

This is the fifth time that I have compiled a list of music that I have bought, listened to, and that came my way in the past year.

This has been an even more varied, diverse and fantastic year of music listening and experiences this year, aided by a number of factors. One was obviously just becoming aware of more great releases, and a number of artists being brave enough to follow their muse and not the mainstream. Another was upgrading my hi-fi streaming to Qobuz along with using Roon Labs – and becoming even more conscious of new, exciting releases. And finally a plug and big thanks to the Southside Record Club – which I run with Vivienne – hosted by the brilliant Some Great Reward on Victoria Road, Govanhill. Many thanks to the fantastic Ollie and Faye and everyone who has come along and contributed their great sounds.

NEW ALBUMS:

     10. Cuz I Love You – Lizzo

Fabulous, stylish, stomping dance tracks from the divaesque Lizzo. A breakthrough hit in the UK and elsewhere and it is not hard to see why. Fun, with a glorious beat and intelligent empowering lyrics and attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

My Favourite Music of the Year: 2018

December 21st 2018

Gerry Hassan

This is my fourth year of doing a comprehensive music list of things I have bought, been listening to, and had come my way in the past year. It has been as usual an eclectic year musically but highlights include the Southside Record Club (meeting at Some Great Reward record shop) and listening to some great sounds through that, some stellar live gigs – with often the smaller the better (and a big hat tip to the Bungalow in Paisley), and some fantastic bootleg recordings.

But as with every year pride of place has to go to the new musical sounds that have impressed me this year – and here in reverse order – as in the old chart rundowns are my top ten spins of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

My Favourite Music of the Year: 2017

December 19th 2017

NEW ALBUMS

  1. The Visitor – Neil Young and Promise of the Real

Neil Young’s roving and rocking spirit look at the America of today. Hit and miss in places – but some hard rock and roll such as opener ‘Already Great’.

  1. Dark Matter – Randy Newman

Newman in typical sardonic form with his first album in nearly a decade and trademark laidback musical style and acerbic lyrics, ‘Putin’ being one of the best.

  1. Damn – Kendrick Lamar

Not as stellar and pathbreaking as ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ from 2015 but this is R ‘n’ B with personal reflection and social conscience.

  1. How the West Was Won – Peter Perrett

The uplifting music story of the year – once singer of new wave legends The Only Ones gets his life in order and returns with great tunes, lyrics and guitars.

  1. Soul of a Woman – Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Jones made it as a star in her 40s and her soul sound gave Amy Winehouse her ‘Back in Black vibe. Sadly she died in 2016 and this is her last album filled with the spirit and passionate vocals she was known for. Read the rest of this entry »

MY YEAR IN MUSIC 2016

December 16th 2016

2016 will be certainly be remembered as a year and for more important things than music. But it was also a year of musical genius and of great losses – which words are not adequate to describe. Without further to do my musical highs:

MY BEST ALBUMS

  1. David Bowie – Black Star

A magnificent goodbye. Bowie’s best album since the early 1980s. Not easy listening and with added pathos.

  1. Nino Katamadze and Insight – Yellow

A Georgian Goldfrapp – only more melodic without losing the experimental edge. Latest in a series of themed albums: ‘Black’, ‘White’, ‘Blue’. Love them all.

  1. Solange – A Seat at the Table

Solange finally delivers the big album and promise after years of changing and shifting styles.

  1. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate

A beautiful sounding album of soul reflections. So good and smooth that on first listening you miss its depth. Read the rest of this entry »

The People’s Flag and the Union Jack: An Alternative History of Britain and the Labour Party
Gerry Hassan is a writer, commentator and thinker about Scotland, the UK, politics and ideas. more >
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