Posts tagged U2

Music Pick of the Day – Ours/Jimmy Gnecco (part 2 of 2) Mercy

 
Ours – Mercy

Music Pick of the Day - Ours

Mercy
The Worst Thing Beautiful
God Only Wants You
Live Again
Willing

(Click image for Amazon.com)

Tortured. Glorious. Sad. Aggressive. Beautiful. Powerful. Brilliant. Epic. Jimmy Gnecco’s music is intense. Jimmy Gnecco is Ours (essentially), and I’d say he’s the most talented vocalist in rock music today. His range is incredible and there’s so much feeling in his voice. It’s obvious the late Jeff Buckley is a massive influence, which is a good thing, because Jeff Buckley was the most talented vocalist in rock music ever.
Mercy, Ours’ 3rd album, is a continuation of their debut Distorted Lullabies, but everything is ratcheted up several notches, boundaries pushed and he went even darker; enough that Jimmy Gnecco is no longer a Jeff Buckley clone, but is unmistakably recognized for his own sound.
Jimmy Gnecco looking like Jeff BuckleyI waited 6 years for Mercy to finally come out 2008. It kept getting pushed back again and again. I had heard songs from it at live shows back in 2002. It was being recorded with Rick Rubin, a legendary producer; yet I was scared I’d be disappointed. Ours’ second album Precious WAS so disappointing. But Mercy shocked me and blew me away.
The album starts with the title track “Mercy” which is one of my favorite songs ever. Gorgeous, atmospheric, aggressive and intense.
The next song “The Worst Thing Beautiful” is fantastic. If it was recorded by U2 it would be their next big hit blowing up the airwaves. Except it’s a bit more edgy than U2. Still this is the album’s most accessible song, I don’t know why it wasn’t pushed hard enough and turned into a major hit.
“God Only Wants You” is truly haunting. It’s strange to hear the piano over the arpeggio guitar, I loved when he played this song acoustic live back in the day. Anyway whatever, this is such a beautiful song.
“Live Again” is intense! Whoa! Opens with a Marilyn Manson like edge. Gorgeous, deranged and heavy.
“Willing” is cool. Another U2 inspired song that’s accessible enough to have been a radio hit.
Muse is a cool band. Ours is better, and should have had that kind of success. Unfortunately this album didn’t get the backing it deserved. It’s true that this album isn’t 100% consistent. There are some low points that I skip past (Saint), but the high points are epic, original, and lay a path for others to follow.

[Video after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Ours (part 1 of 2)

 
Ours – Distorted Lullabies

Music Pick of the Day - Ours

Fallen Souls
Here is the Light
Sometimes
Medication
Dancing Alone

(Click image for Amazon.com)

I played the shit out of this album when I was about 22. A couple years before, I discovered Jeff Buckley and he quickly became my favorite musician ever, certainly the best rock singer ever. Sad to discover him a couple years after he died, and to know that there will be no new music or concerts to ever look forward to. Enter Jimmy Gnecco, who for all intents and purposes is the band Ours. I’m certain many Jeff Buckley fans look to Jimmy Gnecco as the continuation of Jeff Buckley’s legacy, as if he’s still alive and there’s new quality albums from him coming out. There’s just no denying it, Jimmy Gnecco is channeling Jeff Buckley. And no one is complaining. Sure, Jimmy Gnecco is darker and much more rock focused and he screams a lot more, but It’s scary, he even looks just like Jeff Buckley in the album art.

jimmy gnecco of ours looking like jeff buckley Jeff Buckley compared with Jimmy Gnecco
Jimmy Gnecco Jeff Buckley

The opening song “Fallen Souls” kicks ass, and I love how despite its aggressive metal energy it pulls you into a beautiful trance. My favorite song is probably “Here Is The Light”, gorgeous, intense and tortured. “Dancing Alone” is so bitter-sweet, should have been a hit single.
I fell in love with this cd when I was younger, and after listening to it again I remember why.

[Video after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Catherine Wheel

 
Catherine Wheel – Adam and Eve

Music Pick of the Day - Catherine Wheel

Future Boy
Phantom of the American Mother
Thunderbird
Here Comes The Fat Controller
Delicious

(Click image for Amazon.com)

This album changed me. It changed my taste in music.
I loved loved Catherine Wheel’s 1995 grunge heavy metal album “Happy Days” when I was 15. I listened to it all the time, turned it up loud, and fed off its pounding energy. I was so excited when I heard in early 1997 that Catherine Wheel has a new album coming. I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t wait. Then “Adam and Eve” came out and… I was disappointed. So disappointed. Just so surprised to hear them so stripped down and bare. What is this sissy shit? You know, I thought I was about to bite into a sloppy chili cheeseburger with bacon and onion rings only to discover that I just bit into a warm goat cheese sandwich on wheat toast with beansprouts and eggplant. WTF?? Very startling and upsetting for an aggressive 16 year old. I listened to it just once, put it on my shelf and didn’t touch the cd for 3 years. I wasn’t alone with that opinion, many of the newer fans weren’t into it, and the label was upset, ultimately dropping the band and letting the album go out of print quickly.

3 years later, I picked it up again for some reason at the much more mature age of 19 and discovered maybe the most beautiful thing I ever heard. My god. This album is stripped away and about pulling back the layers and getting somewhere authentic. I can now tell that Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden” were big inspirations. I heard the song “Future Boy” and I was stopped cold. You understand the meaning of the song just from the production mixing, when the rising swirl of insanity and noise disappears into a singer alone with his acoustic guitar. I wanted to learn how to play this song on guitar. I’d been playing guitar for 3 years at this point, but it was this song that got me to turn off the distortion and learn chords beyond metal power chords. This started my journey through acoustic rock. And I was suddenly sad to realize that creating one of the most beautiful works of all time earned this band the reward of being dropped from their label and having their album go out of print to fade into obscurity.
Although they did add one radio friendly song at the last minute; “Delicious” is a cool song, just out of place here.
If this album didn’t exist there never would have been any Coldplay. Listen to Coldplay’s first record “Parachutes”. It’s a watered down attempt at “Adam and Eve”. But props to Coldplay, they were so much better when they tried to pull off Catherine Wheel than when they tried to pull off U2.

[B-sides and Video after the break]

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