Are you one of the masses that come this Valentines Day will be insisting that Valentines Day is just an excuse for the card and flower companies to bleed some of our hard earned cash out of us? If you are, you’ve probably gone through a bad break up at some point, or you’re perpetually single. That’s alright. this Valentines Day we have something for you. the ultimate list of break-up albums for to wallow in. Enjoy.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds—–The Boatman’s Call.
Fuelled by a series of failed romances and a withdrawal from heroin, drugstore the Boatman’s Call is a bit of an oddity in Cave’s oeuvre. The normally firebrand singer eschews the Old Testament fury that informs much of his work for an album that’s a far more subdued affair. Rather then dish out neo biblical punishments to grotesque characters, something that’s normally de rigour in his songs, Cave abandons storytelling for more personal songs. The album consists of entirely piano ballads; again a contrast to the rest of his back catalogue. Against such a lush, gentle backdrop, his typically howling voice takes on an impossibly mournful quality.
Kanye West—808s and Heartbreak.
While much has been made about Yeezy’s arrogance and ego, there’s surprisingly little said about the self doubt and loathing that’s found in many of his lyrics, which is never more present then on 808s and Heartbreak. Named partly after the primitive drum machine that features on many of the songs, this album abandons the orchestral pomp that Kanye had made his name with for a sound inspired largely by 80s synth-pop. Icy synthesisers and stiff drum beats give the music a robotic, artificial quality, and the (infamously) heavily auto-tuned vocals sound inhuman at times, adding more detachment to the already emotionally distant songs. A cold, chilly album.
The first three tracks of Jack White’s solo debut are noisy, swaggering, garage pop songs, in the same vein as the White Stripes, where he made his name. These early tracks prove to be just bravado, as the album moves along and reveals itself. More country tinged then his previous work would suggest, the album meanders along the full emotional spectrum, moving from bile tinged accusations, to pleading promises and ending up at a relieved acceptance.
The Smiths—The Sound of the Smiths.
There’s no better band for wallowing in self pity then the Smiths. Obvious to the point that’s its a cliché perhaps, but true. Morrissey gets a lot of flak for the unrelenting misery on display in his lyrics, but the man has got a very finely tuned sense of humour. Johnny Marr’s virtuosic (but never flashy) guitar playing is infectious, and its impossible to not hum along to it. As you do, you realise that the lyric yes, the lyrics are unrelentingly bleak, but they’re also absurdly funny. Through them, you can see the funny side of any situation. That’s always a good thing.
By Anthony Roche