#Review: Ben Howard – Noonday Dream


   

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Ben Howard is an English singer-songwriter and musician, most notable for winning the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist at the 2013 Brit Awards. Since then, his second album, I Forget Where We Were, reached the Number 1 spot in the UK album charts. Now, with the buzz surrounding the release of his third album, Noonday Dream, it could see him reach that same success. Here’s what we had to say about it…

Ben Howard - Noonday Dream.jpg

Ben Howard‘s latest album, Noonday Dream, sees another change to his ever adapting sound, keeping this artist fresh and showing just how diverse he can be. Having seen 4 years pass since his previous album and now at the age of 31, Howard has proven that he won’t be bound to time constraints but instead, ensured he make the time to mature his songwriting and develop a new sound for his next record.

It all begins with the truly haunting and melancholic, ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’ ; a dark and reflective song at the start before emerging into bursts of peaceful reprieve and ecstatic, almost whale song, guitars. It certainly depicts imagery of an American desert, similar to that of the album artwork. Then during the last minute, it transforms into a dreamy, piano-led clearing; a beautiful transformation into a more euphoric sound of hope.

Other songs to take note of include; ‘Towing The Line’ which is an almost Celtic-sounding, folk song with guitars that echo and seem to envelop you; ‘What The Moon Does’ which conjures up imagery of camping out under the stars of the Deep South in America; ‘Someone In The Doorway’, a track that sounds almost like spoken verse, in places, but is probably one of the most upbeat songs on the album and somehow seems like it goes hand in hand with ‘The Defeat’; another similarly half-spoken, half-sung track that has a really rock edge to it.

Noonday Dream is an exquisitely atmospheric, richly textured and highly visual album that is sure to kick off the next chapter in Ben Howard’s career, with meteoric success.

The album was produced by Ben himself, alongside long-time collaborator Mickey Smith, who between them, have done a superb job of capturing subtle nuances that make this such a stunning record. From the warm reverb of his acoustic guitars to the drawn out, whale-like sounds of his electric guitars (as on ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’) and the distinctive piano key strokes to subtle snippets of conversations (among many other captured sounds), this is a truly captivating record.

Noonday Dream is an exquisitely atmospheric, richly textured and highly visual album that is sure to kick off the next chapter in Ben Howard’s career, with meteoric success. Whilst it might not be to everyone’s specific tastes, any person who has an appreciation for skilful musicianship, poetic lyricism and stunning production, will find this to be a real gem of an album.

Rating
4


‘Noonday Dream’ is out 01/06/18 and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/noonday-dream/1364401352


Noonday Dream on Spotify

Nica Libres At Dusk (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Ben Howard’s third album? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: Fatboy Slim – ‘The Rockafeller Skank’


   

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Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) is known for his incredible and creative use of samples to craft his tracks and this year sees his 1998, big beat smash hit, ‘The Rockafeller Skank’ (taken from the huge album, You’ve Come A Long Way Baby) turn 20…and it’s still as awesome as it was back then!

This particular track features vocal samples by rapper, Lord Finesse, from the track ‘Vinyl Dog Vibe’ by Vinyl Dogs, as well as ‘Sliced Tomatoes’ by Just Brothers, The Bobby Fuller Four‘s ‘I Fought the Law’ (featuring DeWayne Quirico‘s drum intro), ‘Beat Girl’ by John Barry and a guitar hook from the song ‘Peter Gunn’ by Art of Noise featuring Duane Eddy is also sampled.

It’s incredible to think that this song is made up of all those samples, each from a completely different background but when put in this context, have created something unique and truly epic in its own right.

There’s no doubt about it; this song was a big hit for his back in 1998 but it is timeless due to its distinctive sample use and sound. This could quite easily have been released in 2018 and is still as brilliant as it ever was! An incredible track by an incredible artist!

What are your thoughts of this epic Brightonian artist’s 1998 smash hit? Still love it as much today? Got a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘The Rockafeller Skank’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/rockafeller-skank/1138887546?i=1138887721


#Two4Tunesday: The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – ‘Something Just Like This’ & Zedd – ‘Stay’ featuring Alessia Cara


   

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The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – ‘Something Just Like This’

Having first performed this song at 2017’s Brit Awards, the song has gathered a lot of support very quickly.

The Chainsmokers have been busy gathering a massive following with their monster hit singles ‘#Selfie’ and Closer, but by working with Coldplay, the band look set to sky rocket!

This song is just brilliant; pairing Chris Martin‘s humble vocals alongside the duo’s trademark sound, is perfection. I’m sure this will break into the Top 5 this week, but let’s wait and see.

No music video has surfaced yet, but I hope something drawing on the superhero-inspired lyrics will provide some of the imagery for the song. We’ll keep you updated on this.


‘Something Just Like This’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/something-just-like-this/id1207406271?i=1207406273



Zedd – ‘Stay’ featuring Alessia Cara

Zedd is a Russian-German electronic music producer, best known for producing electro house music. He’s worked with the likes of FoxesAriana GrandeSelena GomezRyan Tedder (from OneRepublic) and many more!

Having worked with a string of singers, it should come as no surprise that he’s done it again; this time, ‘Stay’, features the vocals of Canadian singer, Alessia Cara and the resulting song is a huge, anthemic house track with some superb vocal effects. It’s a brilliant captivating song that stands out in a rather saturated market.

No music video for this one either yet, but we’ll keep you in the loop.

‘Stay’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/stay/id1207485139?i=1207485150


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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