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Blog: Concept: CONCEPTS

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I had a bit of a SPLURGE on Amazon last week. I've been building up my WISH LIST for a month or to in order to give my faaamily a nice long list of presents to choose from for my BIRFDAY - yes, you're right, i am like a LIVING SAINT - and thus trying very hard NOT to buy anything off of it. Now that said BIRFDAY is retreating into the distant past I believe it is safe to go and BUY whatever's left, which is what I very much DID, so that yesterday at work there was a pile of PRESSIES of christmas-like levels waiting for me, thoughtfully wrapped in JIFFY BAGS. Thanks, Santa Amazon!

SIDEBAR! This isn't what I was going to go on about, but one thing I bought was Ben Moor's book More Trees To Climb. He mentioned it when I spent four hours stood with him in the queue to see Alan Moore, so I thought I ought to give it a try, and it is BLOODY GRATE. Not just in a "Someone I sort of know has written a book and that is impressive" way, but in a "This is FANTASTIC" sort of way - it's just lovely, really, every paragraph is GORGEOUS, and the whole thing together is SORT OF like a COMIC, in that it's all vivid imagination and tons of new ideas but ALSO like a POEM [NB or like a poem is meant to be anyway] in that it's LYRICAL and beautifully written. BUT ALSO ALSO it is full of JOKES and is DEAD FUNNY. Honestly, it's BLOODY GRATE.

Anyway, the thing I started off wanting to say was that also amongst the PLUNDER was the new Neil Hannon-related album The Duckworth Lewis Method, which had me GRINNING like a LOON within about five minutes. It's FAB - exciting and funny and TUNE PACKED and all round DELICIOUS - exactly as FRESH and SUMMERY as the Ideal Of Cricket but about a MILLION times more exciting.

For LO! It is a CONCEPT ALBUM about cricket. Being of a Certain Vintage I am used to new Concept Albums coming out and being, basically, BOLLOCKS. I remember many MANY Goth Pillocks saying "It's a concept album" when they actually meant "All the songs are about the same vague thing because I only have one idea". They would ALWAYS then say "think of it as a soundtrack to a film that doesn't exist". HOWEVER this one, as you can probably guess from my RAVING, really DOES appear to be about cricket, and manages to do so in an engaging, charming, and FUN way.

Also in the STASH was the new Stuart Murdoch-related album "God Help The Girl". I haven't listened to it yet - anything to do with Belle & Sebastian from side two of "The Boy With The Arab Strap" ONWARDS takes a very long run up and a lot of careful expectation management I find - but I DO know that this TOO is a Concept Album. I don't know what the concept is - it may well be some kind of soundtrack to an imagined film etc etc - but it definitely IS conceptual. "How odd", i thought, "to have bought TWO concept albums together."

BUT! THEN! I realised that the LAST album I had bought was ALSO A CONCEPT ALBUM! This was the MAGNIFICENT The Liberty Of Norton Folgate by MADNESS which we'd listened to whilst On Tour and thought was OK, but I'd not revisited. I DID have another listen last Wednesday and have had it on repeat in The Walkman In My Head ever since. It's FANTASTIC - sorry to GO ON SO today about things that are BRILLIANT, but it really is EXCELLENT. When I first listened to it I thought "Why is it getting all these amazing reviews that say it's the best thing ever?" and now I know the answer: IT IS.

So that's THREE concept albums - is this a TREND? Has anybody else noticed this or am I being - as ever, it is like a CURSE - unnaturally PERCEPTIVE? And if it IS a trend, what does it mean for the future of ROCK?

Or, to put it another way: does it mean it'll be any more likely that I'll be able to persuade The Validators to record a full band version - WITH TALKY BITS - of Dinosaur Planet?

posted 7/7/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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let it be known, that this was the post that inspired me to write my own concept album, which is very near the demoing stage. i just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me. can't wait for dinosaur planet: the album, hope turds was good last night.
posted 22/3/2011 by grilly

Excellent, good work sir - I'll look forward to hearing that!
posted 22/3/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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