Teenage Kicks – Ten Albums From Your Teens

I’ve intended for a while to write more about music. Here is a great opportunity – recently one of those Facebook memes was doing the rounds, of the type I usually ignore, but this one got my attention. It was fun to think back!

List 10 albums that made a lasting impression on you as a TEENAGER, but only one per band/artist. Don’t take too long and don’t think too much. Re-post your answers on your own timeline and tag me.

Oasis – What’s The Story (Morning Glory)
Sleeper – The It Girl
Blur – Parklife
Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go
Placebo – Without You I’m Nothing
Stereophonics – Performance And Cocktails
Radiohead – OK Computer
Echobelly – On
Space – Spiders
Idlewild – Hope Is Important

I was definitely a 90’s Britpop/indie/rock teen! I didn’t start listening to albums and developing a taste in music until I was 15, in 1995, and didn’t explore older stuff and other genres until I was 19 or 20. I think most people start discovering music in their teens. Prior to ’95 I was listening to a small handful of ‘various artists’ cassettes. Then I started making mixtapes with a lot of stuff from the above list and more.

The one album per artist rule made it difficult! I wanted to include The Masterplan by Oasis,the B-sides album really was better than a lot of other artists primary albums, and The Great Escape by Blur though looking at it today I don’t think that one stood the test of time. I liked Definitely Maybe but didn’t listen to it as often.

You have to write the list in one go without spending too long on it. After writing it I realised I could swap out Idlewild or Space and put in Bring It On by Gomez or perhaps Free Peace Sweet by Dodgy. I also went through a phase of very heavily listening to a Queen mixtape I’d made.

And obviously The Bends is as much as classic Radiohead album as OK Computer, but it was released before I was really paying attention – OK Computer really was the one that got me to pay attention to them, especially the video to Karma Police.

What’s The Story was my first ever album on CD format, it was given to me for Christmas.

Sleeper I found through a (now former) school friend and I became addicted this album, which turned out to be the best of their three as well as most successful.

Without You I’m Nothing seemed a perfect fit for an angst-ridden 18 year old and made for a great driving album! I’m not sure I’d listen to it now when driving, but at 18..

Space were always a bit quirky and I did like that album a lot at the time. I think they’re often forgotten today.

Idlewild was what came to mind while writing, again another one that suited an angst-ridden 18 year old. Hope Is Important is a very raw album that sounds nothing like their polished radio-friendly later work.


Playing Favourites: Disclosure – Settle

‘Playing Favourites’ is an irregular series in which I share some of my favourite albums, or just whatever I’m listening to at the time. I’ve wanted to do this since I started the blog, then Christine’s album adventure inspired me to make the effort to actually do it.

These aren’t really reviews and they aren’t new discoveries, though they might be sometimes. More a slightly self-indulgent sharing of some things I like. Some albums will be very well known, others may just have a few highlights, others I think deserve to be bigger and more widely-known than they are. All in my humble opinion, of course.

First up is something for this amazing hot summer of 2018 we’re enjoying.


Album:  “Settle”
Artist:  Disclosure
Year:  2013

Spotify (direct link):


This is a great listen for the summer!

It combines a mixture of vocal pop with more club-focused dance tracks, with a strong house influence. This is an album of collaborations with Disclosure providing the music and guest singers lending their voices.

When MJ Cole released ‘Sincere‘ and ‘Crazy Love’, back in about 2000, the sound I hoped would follow is what Disclosure have created in this album. It really does feel like an advancement on that style (which was a clear departure from the UK Garage scene it was included within) – I’m glad it exists.



Probably the most familiar songs from the time of release are ‘Latch’ featuring Sam Smith giving a great performance, and ‘White Noise’ featuring AlunaGeorge. ‘White Noise’ makes me feel like I’m in a club aged 20 again.

Other highlights include ‘You & Me’ (ft. Eliza Doolittle), ‘Defeated No More’ (ft. Ed MacFarlane from Friendly Fires) – and ‘Voices’ (ft. Sasha Keable), which I never heard anywhere at the time yet is one of the best on the album.

For me, ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’ and ‘Grab Her!’, though very catchy, they aren’t my thing. The first has a really good hook and I wish they’d not looped the vocal so often as I think it takes away from it. The other I don’t care for at all and it just doesn’t fit the rest of the album. I think they learned this for ‘Caracal’, the second album, which is more flowing.

What’s interesting about ‘Settle’ is at the first few listens it sounds like an upbeat summery album to while away the day. Then when you listen to what they’re saying you find there’s a lot more depth to it.

There are 14 songs on the original release, the Deluxe version adds four more including the infectious ‘What’s In Your Head’.

Top Tracks

I planned to have a ‘top tracks’ section before I knew which album would go first. It just so happens the first pick has at least seven that I think would be considered standouts on most albums! There’s a lot of good stuff on this one.

  • Latch (ft Sam Smith)
  • White Noise (ft AlunaGeorge)
  • You & Me (ft Eliza Doolittle)
  • Voices (ft Sasha Keable)
  • January (ft James Woon)
  • And from the Deluxe edition are ‘What’s In Your Head’ plus the Disclosure remix of Jessie Ware’s ‘Running’ which is totally different to the original (which is also really good).





A Lucky Escape

Just about a month ago, a tractor & agricultural trailer reversed into my car.


Given I was at the wheel at the time, this shook me up quite a bit.

I am very thankful the A-pillar of a 2004 SEAT Leon is as strong as it is. Older or less well-built cars may have crumpled there and then. I’m even more glad it hit the pillar and not the window!

Continue reading “A Lucky Escape”

A House!

And… relax!

I have never before been as busy I was in 2014. It was the perfect storm of several things happening at the same time. A year of ups and downs and changes. Eventually it turned out for the better but only after a lot of stress, worry and hard work.

This is why I haven’t been blogging very much on either of my sites for the last year or more, why I cut down in other areas both offline and online – and why online I effectively limited myself to Twitter!

Without going into too much detail…

Continue reading “A House!”