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Waterfront Festival

CD Reviews November 2004

11 November 04 words: Various
Robbie Williams, Skinnyman and The Soundtrack Of Our Lives

The Soundtrack of our Lives
Origin I (WEA)

The long awaited follow up to the 2002 album 'Behind the music' continues in the same direction that gave its predecessor the critical acclaim it deserved.

The Swedish rockers once again turn to a multitude of influences which is evident in tracks like 'Transcendental Suicide' which combines intricate John Squire sounding guitars with vocals from front man Ebbot Lundberg that are reminiscent of the punk edge that Paul Dianno gave to Iron Maidens debut.

The Dandy Warhol factor that featured on 'Behind the music' can be heard again on this offering in songs such as 'Bigtime' - which was released as a single on the 11th of October-  and `Wheels of boredom'.

Origin Vol.1 is full of rock and indie classics such as 'Heading for a breakdown', 'Mother one track mind' and the 60s pop influenced 'Lone Summer Dream'. The tempo is slowed only on 'Song for the others' which is beautiful piano driven song that begins to wind the album down before 'Age of no reply' reasserts the guitars and provides a powerful finale to one of the best rock and roll albums of the year.

Daz Peet

Council Estate of Mind (Lowlife)

Skinnyman is a former member of the Mud family and one of the most memorable faces emerging from the current UK hip hop scene. Nottingham heads might well be familiar with his work as he has played gigs in the city fairly regularly over the last few years.

This is his long awaited debut album is packed with lyrics and beats to showcase the talents that have put him in the frame as one of the leaders of a new British hiphop movement.

Fuck The Hook opens it up and is solid and powerfully rhythmical. From the smooth style of Love's Gone From The Streets to the classy I'll Be Surprised, goes to show that Skinnyman has skills to move in all manner of hip hop styles and it all works.

You might have already heard the punchy No Big Ting. Truth is that I thought this was a pisstake at first. After a few listens, however, it grows on you and the speeded up voice irritates less than first impressions might have had you believe. That's actually quite a good metaphor for the whole album too.

Council Estate of Mind is a good record. There's more depth than in a lot of UK hiphop releases and some genuine thought has gone into it's compilation. It's not going to change UK hiphop in the way that Roots Manuva's Run Come Save Me did a few years ago, but this is perhaps too much to expect of anyone at this stage. It will definitely get a few listens on my stereo...

Jared Wilson

Robbie Williams
Greatest Hits (Chrysalis)

I suppose I always kind of knew this day would come, but it's like i've been in denial. Robbie f**king Williams Greatest Sh*ts!!!

For this review, I originally planned to do a photo special of me destroying the CD and case. I thought it might be quite funny to mash it up in an amusing fashion! The themes of arrogant avoidance and attempts at wilful; destruction of artist personas run at the very core of modern day music journalism after all. Why not take this a step further...

Then I spoke to the LeftLion Editor and he warned me that the nice people who send us these CD's might get a little 'uppity' were they to see photographic evidence of their products being destroyed in such a senseless fashion. He also suggested that I give the CD a listen and try talking about what I think to the music in one of my reviews for a change...

I took this Robbie Williams CD home and gave it a listen. But i've got to tell you the truth... After about two minutes I mashed it up!

There was a time when Williams did have something vaguely cool about him. He staggered out of and pretty much destroyed Take That and into befriending Rock Stars such as Oasis, he was even going out with an All Saint. The year he played Angels at Glastonbury, even I have to admit that my dark heart felt something other than hate towards him. I stood there in the crowd with my girlfriend at the time. She liked it and at that point, perhaps so did I.

Nowadays, however, Robbie no longer seems relevant and needs to stop.  His classics suffer from massive overplay (making them very hateable) and the others are just a bit pedestrian. The only song on this album with any redeeming features is No Regrets. It's not enough tho. Sick of seeing you Robbie...

Roger Mean Angry

Still want more bitch? Then check out Zero Theory reviewing the singles

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