Artist, Album and Song of the Month (01/12)


16 jan. 2012, 18h53m

Song of the month:

Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic

The song that broke, and betrothed Catherine Wheel to the American public, "Black Metallic" could probably be counted in the ranks of ballad -- albeit one with a droning guitar and a subsonic wailing that cudgeled the listener over the head, at the same time as caressing them to ecstasy. Surviving from embryonic material that pre-dated the band, and first previewed in a BBC Session in early 1991, the song then reappeared as Catherine Wheel's major-label debut single, giving them their first U.K. chart success, reaching number 68. It also enjoyed massive attention Stateside, thanks to the band's year-long U.S. tour. And, for those not in the know on the live circuit, MTV picked up the slack as the disturbingly spectral "Black Metallic" video slotted into fairly heavy rotation. With a deeply textured guitar drone and wallop to lead the way, and backed by a forcefully lazy drum beat, Rob Dickinson's vocals, which he renders quite tender here, play beautifully off the noise behind in an ebb and flow which drains to nothing by the end of the song -- a seven-minute epic. Enough there for the rockers to get theirs off to, the lyrics caused a nation of next-generation shoegazers to swoon. While they may not have understood Dickinson's full meaning among "It's the color of your skin, you're skin is black metallic," the intent was enough for many to wish it would happen to them. It was with wry intent indeed that Dickinson later admitted the song was about an automobile.

Artist of the month:

Phil Collins

Phil Collins' ascent to the status of one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the '80s and beyond was probably as much of a surprise to him as it was to many others. Balding and diminutive, Collins was almost 30 years old when his first solo single, "In the Air Tonight," became a number two hit in his native U.K. (the song was a Top 20 hit in the U.S.). Between 1984 and 1990, Collins had a string of 13 straight U.S. Top Ten hits.

Album of the month:

David Bowie - Heroes

Repeating the formula of Low's half-vocal/half-instrumental structure, Heroes develops and strengthens the sonic innovations David Bowie and Brian Eno explored on their first collaboration. The vocal songs are fuller, boasting harder rhythms and deeper layers of sound. Much of the harder-edged sound of Heroes is due to Robert Fripp's guitar, which provides a muscular foundation for the electronics, especially on the relatively conventional rock songs. Similarly, the instrumentals on Heroes are more detailed, this time showing a more explicit debt to German synth pop and European experimental rock. Essentially, the difference between Low and Heroes lies in the details, but the record is equally challenging and groundbreaking.

*reviews taken from


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