Sunday, 4 January 2009

TOTW-1: Beck - Youthless

Tune of the Week 2009 - #1

I'm going to try something different this year. Now I've started work, I'm not listening to as much radio, so it can be harder to pick two distinct TOTWs. So, I'm going to make things easier (and cut down the longlist for the end of the year) and only have one TOTW per week. Might end up changing the last chance criteria, but I'll see.

I'm also going to be lazy, and as there can't be a theme between two songs if there's only one, I'll curtail the witty (well, attempts at witty) titles. I'll just announce what the TOTW at the outset. Still worth reading the post though, because there's all the alternatives...

Of course, being the first shortlist of the year, and having had a week off work, the reasons for cutting things are negated - so here's a selection slightly more plentiful than might end up being the norm.

One obvious thing about having a week off is being able to listen to Radio2's record of the week on Ken Bruce's show (even it wasn't Ken Bruce, and there wasn't any Popmaster). Working on a Dream is the new one by Bruce Springsteen together with his E-Street band (26 Jan), and it traditional - which is what we really want from the Boss himself. What I don't get is the whistling in the middle of it. First time I heard it I thought that the DJ on the radio had faded up his mike. Nice though, doesn't really work though.

Another band we've not heard from for ages is Franz Ferdinand. I say ages, Ulysses (19 Jan) has been getting a bit of airplay recently. It's the first 'proper' single from the new album "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand", and I think it does show an evolution of the band. Still very distinctively Franz Ferdinand, but just with a slightly different edge to bring them to the latter part of the decade.

I've mentioned Seattle band Fleet Foxes' unique "indie folk" style before. With Mykonos, they continue to prove their talent. How often do you hear an a capella part of a song in popular music? It's enchanting music, and whilst it's not the sort of thing that you're going to be able to hear 'down the club' on a Saturday night, it certainly should appeal to a broad spectrum of the music listening public.

I wouldn't have said I'm a fan of Beck. But Youthless has got that addictive bass hook in it. It's quite different to what I'd expect, and quite different to quite a lot that's in the charts at the minute. I suppose it's this distinctive nature that has got me surprisingly interested in it.

Honourable mentions this week also to them Sugarbabes - No Can Do (29 Dec); Bryn Christopher - Fearless (19 Jan) and White Lies - To Lose my life (19 Jan).

But to my surprise, I'm giving Beck the nod for the first TOTW of the year. I'm sure we've not seen the last of most of the above though.

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