So rather than attempt to write my usual length features on albums, I'm going to condense some of them into an end of month feature. So here are five albums that I have enjoyed in January 2017;
Gentlewoman and Ruby Man is an album of covers by Matthew E White (check his debut reviewed HERE) - my album of the year in 2013) and 21-year old Flo Morrissey. They met at a Lee Hazelwood tribute concert where they were both playing; White was already aware of Morrissey after her single was reviewed next to his in The Guardian.
Some Velvet Morning was the song they duetted on at the Hazelwood show and the duo continued to bond over emails and across the ocean - leading to this album.
Gentlewoman and Ruby Man is stunning soulful covers album; the two gel effortlessly, White's gentle voice and exceptional band of musicians that he has on call at his studio are complimented and enhanced by Morrissey who has the voice of an angel, capable of soaring high with ease.
Songs by Leonard Cohen, James Blake, Frank Ocean, Frankie Valli, Little Wings and Feist, Nino Ferrer, Radha Krishna Temple, The Velvet Underground, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck and Roy Ayers Ubiquity are covered - a rich and eclectic selection in anyone's book. It all works! Even Grease which White claims he had never heard before, whereas it was forever part of Morrissey's youth.
We are ushered into Oczy Mlody with the beautiful title track; a stones, lysergic instrumental that bubbles, flows and breaks us gently into the psychedelic universe of The Flaming Lips. Welcome back.
That universe can take us on wonderful and weird trips; think of the life affirming Do You Realise?, the glorious Race For The Prize and the euphoric pop of She Don't Use Jelly - all wonderful. Lately it has been a little weird with entire albums covering the Stone Roses and Sgt Peppers and flirting and collaborating with Miley Cyrus; not to mention crazy films and albums.
The Lips get the pH balance almost perfect - the peak of a trip; there is a sense of floating, questions are asked, philosophies, thoughts and dreams flow effortlessly and with no logic from Wayne Coyne.
The trip continues with another slow, dreamy, stream of consciousness gem - There Should Be Unicorns.
I hope Wayne and co can bring their life affirming party to Glasgow.