Review 2013: Not The Doctor: Travels with Matsui.

Music Back in 2002, when I was commuting to Manchester and back for the job at the RBS call centre, I began a series on this blog called Travels with Matsui in which I'd listen to an album I'd usually borrowed from the city centre library which was near work, listen to it on the train ride home, on a Matsui portable cd player and then write a review with a particular structure. Beginning with Britney's Baby One More Time, it's a series which lasted all of about nine posts, only about six of them fulfilling the initial promise and premise. It's also a project I entirely forgot about last year when the annual review was about projects, so I thought I'd cover it this year instead. The conditions are almost exactly the same, except that I'm sitting at a desk rather than a train, the Matsui cd player is long gone and replaced with Spotify and the choice has been made by listeners of that music service since I'm going to be writing about the track that is, at time of writing (which was a couple of weeks ago) the most listened to on the service in the UK. It's ...

Bastille - Of The Night

What? The Wikipedia tells me (and you now) Bastille "are an English rock band formed in London in 2010. Bastille began as a solo project by singer-songwriter Dan Smith, who later decided to form a band. The four-piece consists of members Daniel Smith, Chris Wood, William Farquarson and Kyle Simmons. The name of the band derives from Bastille Day – an event celebrated on Daniel Smith's birthday, 14 July." The only reason I've heard of them is from hearing them mentioned in the NOW advert which features incessantly whenever you watched the VEVO YouTube channel on a television during the Summer for what having done some "research" turns out to be Pompeii. I know nothing about contemporary music. I only know that Lily Allen sings the music on the John Lewis advert because she sent me an email about it. Or her PR did. The one with the animals. I get a lot of emails from PRs about music. Let this be a lesson to them. I quite like Pompeii. Or I think I do. Or it could simply that having heard the same thirty seconds on the NOW advert, I've been subconsciously convinced I do. They also have a song called Laura Palmer which I'm less impressed with because it doesn't seem to have much to do with Twin Peaks.

First impressions? That we now live in the world where Corona's Rhythm of the Night, I song which I didn't really understand when it was released because I was still listening to Debbie Gibson tunes and shit and now recognise as a minor masterpiece of Eurodance, has two relatively popular cover versions. One, by Eurovision's Cascada sounds like it's by Eurovision's Cascada. This other doesn't exactly begin well with its too posh pronunciation of "dancer" ("dorncer"), uncertain baseline and listless vocals. But the methodology is different. The Corona is designed as a dancefloor filler. This sounds more like the kind of thing people in cars might listen to whilst riding around the city after the clubs have shut and the night's over. There's a nihilistic quality which the promo director has latched on to with some visuals that presumably mean it's banned from the daytime music stations, not that such things matter in the digital age.

Touched? Not especially. At most this feels like a b-side and I can't understand exactly why it's quite so popular, but like I said, I don't know anything about music, but having heard it a couple of times for the purposes of writing this, I'm not especially interested in listening to it again.

Lasting impressions? That I wish it was a cover version of DeBarge's Rhythm of the Night. That would have been quite something in this style.

Keep, dump or sell? Sell. Something this popular is bound to have a resale value. Except of course I streamed it so I don't own it anyway.  Oh and no one buys anything like this second hand any more.

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