Compiled by Mott the Dog whilst twiddling his Paws on Pattaya’s Darkside
Hawkwind have released Somnia, their newest album and the first since the last album under the Hawkwind banner, All Aboard the Skylark (2019). Captain of the Spaceship Hawkwind, Dave Brock, has jettisoned another bass player and signed another two Spacenaut musicians for this journey. One splendidly monikered as Thighpaulsandra.
Somnia is a concept album on the difficulty of sleeping as you get older. Dave Brock, now in his ninth decade circling the planet, should know something about this. But alas, it’s a somewhat tedious affair reflecting the fact it was created out of boredom during the Lock Down years. Not a patch on many of the Hawkwind‘s earlier albums.
The Stranglers have come up with a marvelous collection of songs on Dark Matters. Only Jean-Jacques Brunel remains from their Punk beginnings in the Seventies. (They were never really purveys of Punk Music.) But the sound still makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The song ‘And If You Should See Dave,’ a tribute to sadly departed founder and keyboard player Dave Greenfield last year, deserves to be a bigger hit than the Stranglers ‘Golden Brown.’ Fortunately, Dave Greenfield had already laid the keyboards for eight of the eleven tracks here. Presumably this is The Stranglers last hurrah, if so it’s a very worthy one.
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young have released a 50th Anniversary edition of their classic album Deja Vu. Spread over 4 CDs with additional material, such as new liner notes and a vinyl edition of the original album. The album itself is a classic and sounds as good now as it did then. Although it’s a wonderful collection for the hardcore fan to own, the other material spread over three CDs is pretty superfluous. It wasn’t released before for a reason.
The Blacklist is a four CD tribute by various artists doing their thing to the tracks on Metallica’s breakthrough album, the Black album, celebrating 30 years since it was released to an unsuspecting audience. Quite honestly, stick with the originals. Some of the artists actually sound as if they are not having a good time here.
Tedeschi Trucks have come up with a tribute to Derek and the Dominoes Classic album Layla and other assorted love songs. Recorded live, it’s full of the top class musicianship and vocals you have come to expect from these guys. Add on the quality of these songs and you have a real winner.
Styx’s Crash of the Crown made by most of the classic lineup will have Styx fans of their Seventies and Eighties period rejoicing in the streets with their highly polished version of Progressive Rock, but will not gain them any new fans.
Jackson Browne has left it late but finally come up with an album to hold up alongside his landmark albums like Running On Empty. For soft rock, Jackson Browne is currently leaving all in his field at the bus stop. This is easy on the ear but with heartfelt lyrics and stunning musicianship.