Magazine latest – Optimist Mag http://optimistmag.org/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 16:26:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://optimistmag.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/optimist-150x150.png Magazine latest – Optimist Mag http://optimistmag.org/ 32 32 Blancmange – Opening – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/blancmange-opening-retro-pop/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 09:18:17 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/blancmange-opening-retro-pop/ Release: September 30 Blancmange explores new musical territory on the brand new album ‘Private View’. Written and recorded by vocalist and only band member Neil Arthur, the record marks Blancmange’s 11th studio outing in as many years and sees him collaborate with David Rhodes, who weaves the tracks together with guitar and synth washes. immersive. […]]]>

Release: September 30

Blancmange explores new musical territory on the brand new album ‘Private View’.

Written and recorded by vocalist and only band member Neil Arthur, the record marks Blancmange’s 11th studio outing in as many years and sees him collaborate with David Rhodes, who weaves the tracks together with guitar and synth washes. immersive.

Conceived in the wake of the pandemic, the album looks beyond the hardships of the past two years and strives to find answers and, above all, solutions to the situation we have arrived at, Neil insisting that the desire to continue to advance underlies the whole. .

“A lot of people are scared of the future and very happy to repeat something that’s been done before,” he says. “But it’s just not for me. Looking ahead, you have a hell of a world trying to navigate right now. We are all moving forward – so we have to try to find answers.

Opener What’s your name features a forward-looking electronic soundscape, backed by marching drums as the song title repeats over the chorus, before transitioning to the first single Sometimes thesewith a fusion of guitar and synthesizer that could have gone straight back to the early 1980s.

Reduced tension juxtaposes heart-pounding synths with Neil’s dark, brooding vocals – a trope that pops through the set – while I tried to be you has an eerie electronic soundscape, enhancing the obsessive narrative of its lyrics.

Allusions to the band’s golden age are not without merit; a track, Let’s gohas been in Neil’s head since 1980 and is only just materializing on his latest set, proving that a good song never goes out of style.

‘Private View’ ends with Take me, a double meaning that asks, “How much does someone have to ‘take’ before a relationship breaks down?” How often can you expect your partner to accept repeated mistakes? Where is the tipping point? »

Opening with a delicate piano motif before interweaving layers built on motorized rhythm with Neil’s understated vocals, his quintessential Blancmange and a more album-like edit that looks to the future while remaining respectful of the past.

Four decades after Blancmange’s first release, “Private View” is a cohesive work and, with a creative streak that shows no signs of slowing down, we’re itching to see where Neil will take his sound next.

‘Private View’ is now available.

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Alphaville – Eternally Yours – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/alphaville-eternally-yours-retro-pop/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 14:11:40 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/alphaville-eternally-yours-retro-pop/ Released: September 23 Alphaville delves into synth-pop history for an album of newly orchestrated recordings of their most beloved singles and fan-favorite releases throughout their career. Although the band’s success in the UK stagnated after the release of their debut single big in japan – without single n°98 forever Young – across Europe it was […]]]>

Released: September 23

Alphaville delves into synth-pop history for an album of newly orchestrated recordings of their most beloved singles and fan-favorite releases throughout their career.

Although the band’s success in the UK stagnated after the release of their debut single big in japan – without single n°98 forever Young – across Europe it was a different story, with the band enjoying success throughout the decade and beyond.

The reason for the snub? “It was clear to me from the beginning that the music of Alphaville is not of today, not of our world”, says Marian Gold, who remains the only member of the group.

“I’ve always tried to paraphrase it by saying: Our songs are like dreams, our music is dream music. It’s no coincidence that the first track of the new album is called dream machine.”

The title is one of the 23 revisited on the album, which although exhaustive, brings up some nuggets that bring the original compositions back to life while retaining their essence.

The newly arranged songs are now recorded with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg, along with the dramatic accounts of numbers such as Sounds like a melody immeasurably enriched by the new instrumentation, which takes on a dreamlike quality throughout the collection.

“The 23 numbers on this album have essentially been clarified by their arrangement, they are stripped down, liberated, liberated. Their true nature has been revealed,” explains the musician.

“So to me, ‘Eternally Yours’ really sounds like it was actually Alphaville’s debut album – except for forty years it went unreleased. We simply didn’t have access to an orchestra at that time, we only had synthesizers and drum machines.

What is noticeable through the record is how well the tracks translate in their new arrangements, from the epic early 80s sound of big in japan to the title track of the album, which is a completely new composition and whose lyrics are taken exclusively from Shakespearean sonnets.

And the thread that holds it all together is Marian’s voice, which 40 years later has matured beautifully and offers a new interpretation of her career-spanning works.

“On ‘Eternally Yours’, I sometimes sang with my last strength”, he thinks. “I admit that as a singer, I’m starting to feel my age. Vocally, I put everything I had to give into this album.

It’s a captivating listen and, with plans for more music on the horizon, a perfect (re)entry point for Alphaville music of yore.

“Eternally Yours” is available now.

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Mark Owen – Dreamland – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/mark-owen-dreamland-retro-pop/ Fri, 23 Sep 2022 07:40:28 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/mark-owen-dreamland-retro-pop/ Released: September 23 Mark Owen is living out his LA fantasy on his stunning new solo album ‘Land of Dreams’. It’s been almost a decade since the Take That star last released music outside of the pop outfit, but as the trio embarked on a hiatus following their greatest hits collection ‘Odyssey reinvented and the […]]]>

Released: September 23

Mark Owen is living out his LA fantasy on his stunning new solo album ‘Land of Dreams’.

It’s been almost a decade since the Take That star last released music outside of the pop outfit, but as the trio embarked on a hiatus following their greatest hits collection ‘Odyssey reinvented and the tour that followed, he packed up his life and moved to the other side of the pond. “with the intention of making a record”.

“LA was a whole new world for me,” says Mark. “It was about trying to find my way in a place I had never been before, working in studios I had never been before, with people I had never worked with before. .

“I realized that I had been making music for about 30 years, and I just wanted to have a new experience where I almost had to start over. I wanted to come here and start from scratch and build something new.

In the past, his independent offerings have failed to set the charts on fire in the way bandmates Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams have become accustomed to, and although he plays it relatively safely on the first single You only want me – an earworm of a hit and the perfect way to kick off an album, no less – Mark indulges through the LP’s 12 tracks, which delve into a plethora of genres and inspirations.

Come back flaunts a funky edge that works surprisingly well with the hitmaker’s distinctive tone while Boy — a piece written with her teenage son in mind — is an uplifting lyric and a reminder to put self-care at the top of the priority list.

But with the more experimental numbers, there are all-out pop bangers, like the storming Riowhich is intended for broadcast on stage live, and pre-release track Magicwhich sees Mark’s signature falsetto placed front and center as he channels his inner Bee Gee and lives out his dramatic disco fantasy.

Closing with the anthem Worldit’s another example of the hitmaker’s excellent musicianship and a reminder that he is, by all accounts, one of Britain’s foremost singer-songwriters.

About his return to the stage as a fully realized solo artist, Mark beams: “Because it’s been a long time, I can’t wait to get back there. This whole period and process has been a mixture of reflection, looking to the future and acknowledging that we are part of the world.

“I took my experience, playing and writing, over the past 30 years and put it into this record. I tried to capture an energy that can be translated and that is exciting. And that has been an absolute pleasure – and a real joy to do.

Likewise, it’s a delight to watch him blossom from Take That’s Mark to solo superstar Mark Owen.

‘Land of Dreams’ is now available.

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Weverse Magazine’s Latest Article Highlights Stray Kids’ Accomplishments, But Netizens Have Extremely Mixed Reactions »GossipChimp https://optimistmag.org/weverse-magazines-latest-article-highlights-stray-kids-accomplishments-but-netizens-have-extremely-mixed-reactions-gossipchimp/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 14:04:30 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/weverse-magazines-latest-article-highlights-stray-kids-accomplishments-but-netizens-have-extremely-mixed-reactions-gossipchimp/ Weverse Magazine recently revealed an article about the success of “K-Pop in America after BTS“, and Internet users have very mixed reactions. The article begins by sharing a statistic of “the annual report Global Music Report of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), [that] BTS has been the top-selling artist for two consecutive […]]]>

Weverse Magazine recently revealed an article about the success of “K-Pop in America after BTS“, and Internet users have very mixed reactions.

The article begins by sharing a statistic of “the annual report Global Music Report of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), [that] BTS has been the top-selling artist for two consecutive years.“The article documents the immense and undeniable impact of BTS on the American market and argues that no team will be able to achieve the same success by following the same path.

Such a vision positions a primary on Billboard 200, then a primary on the Hot 100, after which a grammys as a kind of step-by-step project to conquer the American market. This might have been true before, but that’s not how problems work anymore. The success of K-Pop and BTS with it has led to the growth of a now more mature music industry.

— Weverse Magazine

Weverse Magazine expresses the change within the company by documenting its colleagues HYBE artist SMSlong-term success in Billboard graphics.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER minisode 2: Thursday’s Child debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 shortly after its release in May, finally hit number 179 for the week of August 27 after spending a full 14 weeks on the chart. This type of efficiency cannot be achieved through gross sales which could be concentrated in a one or two week window.

— Weverse Magazine

SMS

Although, naturally, Weverse Magazine discusses HYBE artists and even K-Pop idols who use Weverse, followers were extremely confused when the newspaper then began discussing stray kids‘success on the Billboard graphics, focusing on the distinctions mentioned in a controversial article Billboard article about the group.

Stray Kids recently graced the cover of the September 8 digital edition of Billboard, and the magazine also released a separate collector’s version for $35{dollars}. As the subtitle of their feature article says, ‘With a #1 project and two mega-labels behind them, the K-Pop group and their fans are here to STAY.’ The article covers their current US live shows and their release in April, oddwho made his elementary school debut on the Billboard 200.

— Weverse Magazine

stray kids

The article then focuses on Imperial Musicwhich they know there is a label under Universal Music Group (with whom HYBE works closely), selling Stray Kids in America through completely different methods.

[Stray Kids’] label, JYP Entertainment, works with Imperial Music, a label under Universal Music Group. According to the article, Imperial had started planning six months before the release of the EP to promote the limited edition album pack at major retailers in the United States with the intention of reaching the highest of Billboard 200.

— Weverse Magazine

The article even reviews that Imperial Music”[plans] target radio waves starting with [Stray Kids’] next album.”

The article then rents NewJeanswhich debuted under one of HYBE’s labels, to international success and in South Korea.

Likewise, NewJeans was famous for their performance in the Korean charts and in the global weekly and daily charts of Spotify.

— Weverse Magazine

NewJeans

The rest of the article focuses on how K-Pop stands out, identifying the demographics that eat up K-Pop music and using TWICE (Stray Kids labelmates who aren’t on Weverse either) for example to find out “who to targetin the US market.

Let’s take a look at the live shows that TWICE aired again in February. The group gave nine performances in the United States this year, with over 100,000 people watching and earning over $16 million in revenue. It was a shocking turnout for a women’s group in the United States. TWICE lacks the solid image that’s commonly known as “girl crush” fashion in Korea, which means they’ve been meticulous in planning who to focus on and how. That’s not to say it all happened in one day; TWICE has spent two or three years strictly responding to the US market and focusing on its customers appropriately. What is it if not the very definition of success?

— Weverse Magazine

TWICE

Although the article highlighted the success of many different teams while specializing in proving that success in the US market could be achieved in different ways, netizens had extremely mixed reactions to the article, especially the Stray Kids Dialog.

Many netizens felt that Stray Kids’ dialogue was really meant to discredit the group’s success, arguing that the article attempted to discredit Stray Kids’ immense achievement on the Billboard graph by minimizing the numbers as coming from the “limited edition album packs.”

Some subscribers tagged (and joked) that they hadn’t heard anything about Stray Kids using the radio for their upcoming album. MAXIDENTso it was weird that the article talked about it.

Netizens also felt it was unfair that the article focused on Stray Kids and never on the success of ENHYPEN (who are under HYBE), who also deserve credit for their accomplishments.

Still, various netizens consider the article complementary to Stray Kids and TWICE as it shed light on their spectacular success in a difficult endeavor, arguing that they needed JYP Entertainment reward their teams in the same way.

What are your ideas?

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Rina Sawayama – Hold The Girl – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/rina-sawayama-hold-the-girl-retro-pop/ Tue, 13 Sep 2022 10:30:00 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/rina-sawayama-hold-the-girl-retro-pop/ Released: September 16 Rina Sawayama builds on her burgeoning pop dynasty on ‘Hold The Girl’ – a second album filled with culturally poignant and personally significant pop bangers. Opening with the fluffy Minor feelingsthe track sets the tone for an album that examines the social landscape of 2022 and its impact on personal and mental […]]]>

Released: September 16

Rina Sawayama builds on her burgeoning pop dynasty on ‘Hold The Girl’ – a second album filled with culturally poignant and personally significant pop bangers.

Opening with the fluffy Minor feelingsthe track sets the tone for an album that examines the social landscape of 2022 and its impact on personal and mental state. “All my life I’ve felt out of place / All my life I’ve been saving face / For all these minor feelings,” she sings on the chorus of the two-minute number, which segues into the album’s second track and title track.

Beginning with an allusion to Madonna’s classic like a prayerthe song dates back to 2020 when the singer-songwriter began working on the project and forms a backdrop for the collection, which was written during a time of reflection for Rina.

Since releasing her debut feature ‘SAWAYAMA’ in 2019, the Japanese-British star has been on a whirlwind journey both personally and professionally, but with the pandemic’s enforced downtime, she’s been able to look the other way of the future and delve into the past for an album that draws inspiration from artists such as Kelly Clarkson, The Corrs, Paramore and Sugababes, as well as Taylor Swift’s most recent LP “Folklore.”

Musically inspired by the artists she listened to during her formative years while lyrically addressing the rights-taking of the LGBTQ+ community, debut single this hell names a number of gay icons, including Britney Spears, Whitney Houston and Princess Diana, and discusses the intense press scrutiny they have faced.

Alongside numbers of a cultural nature, other tracks are more personal; To imagine deals with the paranoia of a relationship falling apart as Forgiveness see Rina’Going around in circles again / Reaching dead ends’ as she descends ‘windy road’ to find closure.

The indie influence Frankenstein examines her feelings of being broken, as Rina begs for someone to ‘bring me together, make me better’.

Meanwhile, a highlight of ‘Hold The Girl’, Holybegins at mid-tempo before building a massive chorus that explores Rina’s relationship with faith, as she states: “I was innocent when you said I was evil / I took your stones and built a cathedral / I found peace when I lost my religion / All these years I have wished to be different”.

Do away with the reflective To be alivethe end of the album sees the star discovering a new way of life that allows her to dive headfirst into all the situations life has to offer and live in the moment.

“Hold The Girl” is the joy of an album that, while addressing a range of pressing issues, remains sonically uplifting with an overall sense of nostalgia that draws on simpler times. With so much about her 13 tracks, it’s an initially overwhelming experience, but with each listen, a new layer is revealed and, ultimately, Rina Sawayama’s true essence is uncovered.

‘Hold The Girl’ is available now.

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Robbie Williams – XXV – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/robbie-williams-xxv-retro-pop/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 16:05:53 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/robbie-williams-xxv-retro-pop/ Released: September 9 Robbie Williams enlists the Metropole Orkest to breathe new life into his greatest hits and most beloved recordings through his collection of orchestral greatest hits ‘XXV’. Celebrating 25 years as a solo artist, the collection includes 18 reworkings of cuts from the former Take That star’s comprehensive discography, ranging from one of […]]]>

Released: September 9

Robbie Williams enlists the Metropole Orkest to breathe new life into his greatest hits and most beloved recordings through his collection of orchestral greatest hits ‘XXV’.

Celebrating 25 years as a solo artist, the collection includes 18 reworkings of cuts from the former Take That star’s comprehensive discography, ranging from one of his earliest solo releases angels until love my lifeas well as the brand new number Lost.

Opening with Robbie’s signature hit let me entertain you, the impact of the orchestra is instantaneous, with the Dutch collective elevating the tracks to new heights, with live instrumentation soaring while breathing new life into the material. It’s a natural fit for the drama of the first track, but one that adapts throughout the set depending on the different musical styles and lyrical themes offered.

For example, the cup of 2010 Candy reborn with a swing edge, while underrated gems like Triggering have a chance to shine. The effect is similar on classics like the Massive Ballad Feelthe new recordings emphasizing the timelessness of the songs.

Also featured on ‘XXV’ is Robbie’s first UK No. 1 solo, the jubilant Millenniumtop 10 hits Strong and No regretsand his second UK solo chart, It’s the right one – all released on his 1998 album, ‘I’ve Been Expecting You’.

Although celebrating his latest milestone, the compilation doesn’t quite extend the span of Robbie’s solo output, with his first two No. 2 hits – Freedom and old before dying missing, plus other choice omissions, including #1 singles something stupid and Radio.

With Kylie Minogue drafted in to re-record the vocals for a new rendition of Kidsit’s also surprising that Robbie chose not to reunite with former bandmate Gary Barlow on a new recording from 2010 Shame. However, as he says himself, “XXV” is less about his greatest commercial successes and more about the moments of his career he is most proud of.

“I’m so excited to announce my new album ‘XXV’ which celebrates many of my favorite songs from the past 25 years,” the musician said. “Each track has a special place in my heart, so it was a real pleasure to record them again with the Metropole Orkest. I can’t wait for you all to hear it.

This is evident on closer inspection of the track listing; closing the LP is the album cut Someone one daywhich originally appeared as the B-side of Feelwhile in the opening trio of songs is love my life, the second single from Robbie’s 2016 “The Heavy Entertainment Show”, which stalled at No. 22 on the charts. However, both have personal significance – especially the latter, which was written as a message of positivity to his children in light of the challenges Robbie faced throughout his own youth.

While many orchestral albums radically reinterpret the material, Robbie’s originals do well with the orchestral recordings and retain the essence of the originals, and what stands out most is his powerful voice on every track, which after three decades in the industry remains in good shape. .

Standard and Deluxe albums feature brand new track Lost – a moving song in classic Robbie style with poignant lyrics, piano elements and rising chords – while a deluxe album includes three other original tracks: disco symphony, More than thatand The world and its mother.

The new material is the icing on an already impressive set, especially in light of the six-year wait since Robbie released his last non-party album in 2016.

In the age of streaming, the concept of a greatest hits album is becoming increasingly obsolete, with fans demanding more creative approaches to the classic format that deserve their attention. So while orchestral re-recordings seem like the go-to route right now, for Robbie it’s a path paved with gold that marries his classic sound with nuances found in his swing repertoire, celebrating the past 25 years and opening the door to the next era of his career.

‘XXV’ is available now.

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The Fizz – All Under the Sun – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/the-fizz-all-under-the-sun-retro-pop/ Mon, 05 Sep 2022 20:45:13 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/the-fizz-all-under-the-sun-retro-pop/ Released: September 8 The Fizz revive their glory days of the 1980s on their superb new album ‘Everything Under The Sun’. On the heels of the band’s celebrations marking 40 years since Bucks Fizz won the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with their debut classic Make a decisionCheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston return with […]]]>

Released: September 8

The Fizz revive their glory days of the 1980s on their superb new album ‘Everything Under The Sun’.

On the heels of the band’s celebrations marking 40 years since Bucks Fizz won the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with their debut classic Make a decisionCheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston return with their latest long-playing.

Featuring 10 new recordings produced by Mike Stock, the album was made using entirely 80s technology, including vintage synths and keyboards, and sequenced using a Linn 9000 – famous for being used on most Stock Aitken Waterman records.

The result is an album steeped in nostalgia and, sonically, how one would imagine Bucks Fizz would have sounded had they teamed up with chart-topping heavyweights on their original run.

Opening with electric guitars and beating drums, I wonder where you are right now questions the whereabouts of industry figures of yore, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics that don’t so subtly celebrate the band’s longevity despite an industry that sidelined them from the start.

The sense of accomplishment is present throughout, with treasure forever an immediate highlight as they state: “Now we’re together, stronger than ever / Feel like I’m ready to fight / We stand tall, we fall as one / Proud to say we faced it together”.

Much of the lyrical content centers around the band’s latest milestone, with Everything we do (we do it for you) a revamp of an unreleased Stock/Waterman song from 1991 with rewritten lyrics reflecting their gratitude for Fizz’s loyal fanbase who have always supported the band.

The band also contributes songwriting, with Jay Aston – who has been through a turbulent time, battling cancer herself and her daughter’s battle with meningitis – contributing to the aptly titled track. When will our luck change.

Following the trend of the band’s latest releases, “Everything Under The Sun” also features a lineup by Cheryl Baker’s daughter, Kyla Stroud aka LAKY, which delves into Bucks Fizz’s history on I’m on my way (better run)which incorporates lines from the band’s most beloved hits, including Run for your life and The land of pretend.

What stands out on the album are the tight harmonies between the trio, which became underutilized in Bucks Fizz’s later years but shines on the new collection, lifting tracks like A real heart and the groovy you can find it here – another star of the set.

Nestled among the expected uptempo numbers is the tender driven acoustic guitar Soon; an intimate number directed by Cheryl Baker which promises: “It won’t be long before you smile again / There will come a time when you’ll see the world again / But until then hold on to all your dreams coming true / I don’t know when but very soon, very soon.” Not only is it a sign of the band’s versatility, but the track is a triumph of a Mike Stock composition, reminiscent of the slower moments of Kylie Minogue’s “Enjoy Yourself.”

Closer This onea cover of Paul McCartney’s 1989 Top 20 hit, is a fitting and complete moment that takes on new meaning through the eyes of Cheryl, Mike and Jay as they look back on their past while celebrating how far they’ve come.

Since reappearing as The Fizz in 2017, the band have released as many albums together as the original Bucks Fizz did in the 1980s – and four decades later, ‘Everything Under The Sun’ is perhaps their finest to date. this day.

“Everything Under the Sun” is available now.

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Tom Chaplin – Midpoint – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/tom-chaplin-midpoint-retro-pop/ Wed, 31 Aug 2022 15:04:28 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/tom-chaplin-midpoint-retro-pop/ Released: September 2 Tom Chaplin documents his personal journey through the trials and tribulations of two turbulent years on his latest solo album “Midpoint.” Born on the back of Keane’s 2019 ‘Cause and Effect’ tour, which was derailed due to the pandemic, the deeply personal set sees Tom reflect on the state of the world […]]]>

Released: September 2

Tom Chaplin documents his personal journey through the trials and tribulations of two turbulent years on his latest solo album “Midpoint.”

Born on the back of Keane’s 2019 ‘Cause and Effect’ tour, which was derailed due to the pandemic, the deeply personal set sees Tom reflect on the state of the world and his place in the midst of the chaos surrounding him, for his most introspective body to work yet.

Recorded over a six-week period at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath and Paul Epworth’s The Church in North London, the collection draws on the warmth of his 2016 solo debut “The Wave” while leaving the singer-songwriter exhibited in a sparse instrument that places his distinct and passionate voice center stage.

“I was like, ‘Wow, these are bare bones compared to what I’m used to,'” Tom admits of his new music. “And I found that scary because with Keane’s records there are so many layers to thicken things up to fill in the spaces. But it’s a sparse record.

What the album lacks in studio trickery, it makes up for in substance, with pre-release singles Environment and Gravitational best exemplifying the range of tracks on offer: brooding ballads steeped in mid-tempo, easy-listening moments.

Opener Everything collapses kicks off with a jazz-influenced piano solo, the piano ballad being just one example of Tom’s flawless and exceptional vocal range that shines throughout his latest offering.

Scattered among the whole are moments of brilliance; Star alignment is one of the strongest recordings on offer that sees it ‘take back the moment’while the layered keys and choral voices on It’s finish lift the track immeasurably.

It’s heavy listening and comes full circle Exceedthe final piano ballad that sees him seek out the positive in every situation life throws at him – and perhaps “Midpoint” is a documentation of his journey to achieve that realization.

“There’s room for something nuanced that explores a part of life that everyone goes through,” Tom reflects. “If I can get some of that across and it can resonate with something people are feeling in their lives – well, I’d be more than happy to.”

Fans of Keane and even Tom’s previous albums, beware – ‘Midpoint’ is a whole different beast. But in each of the tracks is a part of the musician who, having reached his own midpoint, strips bare on a sensational set that could well be his masterpiece.

‘Midpoint’ is now available.

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Altered Images – Streakz Mascara – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/altered-images-streakz-mascara-retro-pop/ Tue, 23 Aug 2022 21:09:10 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/altered-images-streakz-mascara-retro-pop/ Released: August 26 Altered Images make their triumphant return after a four-decade absence with their stellar fourth album “Mascara Streakz.” Recorded during Britain’s second lockdown at the height of the pandemic, the LP sees singer Clare Grogan and collaborator/husband Stephen Lironi, along with Bluebells’ Robert Hodgens and former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, update the classic […]]]>

Released: August 26

Altered Images make their triumphant return after a four-decade absence with their stellar fourth album “Mascara Streakz.”

Recorded during Britain’s second lockdown at the height of the pandemic, the LP sees singer Clare Grogan and collaborator/husband Stephen Lironi, along with Bluebells’ Robert Hodgens and former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, update the classic sound of the band with an outstanding set of original electro pop tracks.

Kicking off with the first single and title track Streakz Mascarait lays out a blueprint for the project, with a synth-pop melody and contemporary beats that pick up where the band left off nearly 40 years earlier while offering an evolution from the band’s original spiky pop guitar style .

With a lively, rhythmic core that runs through the collection, the record offers an escape from the mundane realities of life into a fantasy world with shimmering synths and heart-pounding beats that challenge you to let go of your responsibilities, give in to your inhibitions and immerse yourself in the music. .

Take color of my dreamsfor example, which sees Clare moving beyond the “black and white” of the everyday in favor of “psychedelic dreams”, as she insists: ‘If you don’t see me, you’re not worth my gaze’.

glitter ball is another all-around pop gem, celebrating the freedom and liberation that comes from dancing on the club floor to a killer tune, while bouncing it Double reflection is a defiant anthem for living life on your own terms.

Alongside the searing pop anthems of “Mascara Streaks,” a set of mid-tempo tracks recall early 1980s sounds, such as change my luck and The flameboth of which are backed by jaw-dropping basslines and shimmering synths that balance the collection, bringing the classic Altered Images sound once again into the 21st century.

Closing with the only ballad of the album Sleep — a lush, melancholic electronic number that showcases Clare’s unchanging vocals — it shows another side to the band’s sound in 2022, highlighting their versatility and brilliant ability to tackle different sounds with ease.

After an absence of nearly 40 years, Altered Images have faced their biggest challenge yet – staging a comeback that would appease fans who have waited 40 years for a follow-up to their 1983 album ‘Bite’ and attract new generation of listeners who lean into the sounds of the 1980s behind chart trends and cultural phenomena such as “Stranger Things”.

While today’s artists draw inspiration from classic records, Clare and co. excel at modernizing their signature sound while staying true to their roots, for a package that blends seamlessly with the band’s classic production and holds the essence of Altered Images close to its heart.

‘Mascara Streakz’ is available now.

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William Orbit – The Painter – Retro Pop https://optimistmag.org/william-orbit-the-painter-retro-pop/ Tue, 23 Aug 2022 21:09:10 +0000 https://optimistmag.org/william-orbit-the-painter-retro-pop/ Released: August 26 William Orbit returns with a wistful, dreamy collection of largely instrumental electronic gems on his first solo album in eight years, “The Painter.” The long-awaited sequel to his self-released 2014 “Orbit Symphonic” sees the superproducer – who has worked on mega hits with Madonna, Blur, All Saints and Betty Boo – team […]]]>

Released: August 26

William Orbit returns with a wistful, dreamy collection of largely instrumental electronic gems on his first solo album in eight years, “The Painter.”

The long-awaited sequel to his self-released 2014 “Orbit Symphonic” sees the superproducer – who has worked on mega hits with Madonna, Blur, All Saints and Betty Boo – team up with an array of international collaborators for a collection that shows the extent of his musical landscape.

Along with reuniting with Katie Melua (Duende) and Beth Orton (i paint what i can see, no other world), the disc features contributions from electronic pop artist Polly Scattergood (Colliding colors), Mercury Award nominee and pioneering synth-pop innovator Georgia (wildflower bank), and Colorado trip-hop sensation Natalie Walker (The plunger), among other big names.

While casual listeners may be more familiar with his pop classics, “The Painter” presents another side to the musician’s catalog, which began with his first solo effort “Orbit” in 1987.

“I had been away from music for a few years, cooped up in a beach town in California, painting and writing about my life and thinking about general observations,” he says. “Then, back in London, inspiration struck with a vengeance. I felt the same mindset I had in the mid-90s.

“It was a blessing to have the exquisite contributions of the artists who appear on the album. And the pleasure of exploring new technologies. It’s one of my best, the difference being understanding a totally new landscape means to present it to people’s ears”

The album was born after the hitmaker stumbled across a flyer for “vino and Van Gogh” adult art classes, in which “you show up, get drunk and have fun with cheap acrylics. I fell in love with it!” It’s an approach he’s applied to his creative process in the studio, throwing all the rules aside for a collection that oscillates between electronic rhythms and acoustic piano, synth-heavy basslines and influences from journey, offering newfound freedom.

Across its 13 tracks, “The Painter” alternates between sleek four-minute compositions and extended nine-minute epics, with plans in place for new mixes and interpretations down the line.

All in all, ‘The Painter’ is a triumph of an album and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, what can’t be denied is enduring creativity. d’Orbit as a master of his craft. And for those not eating up its latest offering, there’s good news. “I will work very hard on this album! And then, after all that, I’m going to start producing again for other artists and become pop tart. Because… I like to make music again,” he beams.

‘The Painter’ is available now.

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