Friday, May 7, 2010

Top 5 NZ albums

List by Corin (Digital Services, Manukau Libraries)

I listen to a lot of music with a strong British bent to my tastes. My formative years were the 80's when New Zealand music was very Flying Nun and I found a lot of this not to my taste. I have always been keen on lyric driven music with strong melody. I am a singer myself and I guess that is why it is important to me. However, I have collected Kiwi music over the years. With the broadening of the New Zealand music industry from the late 80's onwards, I have found plenty that I like and listen to. When compiling this list I set myself 3 criteria:

1) I must own the album;
2) It must be in the Manukau Libraries collection;
3) It must not be a compilation.

There are many names that would have vied to be in the list if they had been in the Manukau Collection, The Mockers, Stellar, Supergroove, to name just three. I have also just realised that all apart from GoldenHorse, hail from Christchurch. This is not intentional I assure you......So with these three rather resticting criteria in mind, here are my top 5 favourite Kiwi albums:

GoldenHorse - Riverhead Northern lights -- Spice islands -- Golden dawn -- Maybe tomorrow -- Riverhead -- Wake up brother -- Shrinking her legs -- Out tonight -- Baby's been bad -- American wife -- Dark forest.
A classic album that defines the summer of 2002 for many people. GoldenHorse burst on the scene with this debut album full of beautiful pop melody and Kirsten Morelle's lovely voice. Great songs from start to finish, this album truly deserves to be at the top of this list. The song of the album, "American Wife".

Anika Moa - The Thinking Room
Good in my head -- Flowers for you -- Falling in love again -- I talked to you -- My son -- Holding me high -- Mother -- Youthful -- God in his culture -- Everything's the same -- Harry & Leena's song.
I can still remember the day I first heard Anika Moa. I was driving down the road in Christchurch listening to National Radio and there was an interview with this young girl who had recently been signed to a major American label without even having released a single. I was sceptical, but the minute they played tracks from the forthcoming album I was hooked. Anika is funny, writes good songs and is very Kiwi, she is great! She is not so fond of this album these days, but I think it stands up as a great example of what it is. The song of the album, "Flowers for you".

Bic Runga - Drive
Drive -- Sway -- Hey -- Bursting through -- Swim -- Roll into one -- Suddenly strange -- Sorry -- Heal -- Delight -- Without you.
A strong and memorable album from one of the most talent Kiwi female songwriters ever. Bic somehow manages to make art and beautiful songs from a essentially poppy base. The song of the album, "Sway".

Anika Moa - In Swings the Tide
Wise man say -- Dreams in my head -- Miss Universe -- The blind woman -- In swings the tide -- My old man -- Day in day out -- Hangin' around -- Standing in this fire -- Honey you'll be alright -- You're the light -- Thinking about tomorrow.
Anika's third album and a welcome upbeat reply to her rather sombre second album called Stolen Hill. Touched with sadness due her fathers passing shortly before the record was released, this album presented a confident songwriter who was in control of her craft. It showed that she had developed from the very controlled first album and was able to present a comprehensive collection of songs without major production or budgets. The song of the album, "My Old Man".

Tiki - Past, Present, Future
Whakapuaki an awakening -- Tangaroa -- Now this is it -- Our favourite target -- Faded -- Saviour dub -- Always on my mind -- Wotch a got -- Always on my mind dub -- Music has saved me -- Past present future -- It's all in your head -- Tainui waka.
Late of Salmonella Dub, Tiki's solo effort showed he had the goods to take his Drum and Base solo and produce a quality and world class effort. Full of drum and base rhythm and nods to his Maori heritage, this album not only won him much praise but awards. Put this on loud, late at night and in a dark room, and the rest of the world does not matter. Always on My Mind was the stand out hit from this album, which was a softer and more mainstream accesssible offering than the rest. The song of the album, "Always on My Mind".

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