Before it had even arrived in the mail my mind was made up. There was no way in hell that the new Subways album, Money and Celebrity, was going to be as good as their last one. All or Nothing is one of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time. Seriously. I listed it here as the 2nd best album of the last decade because it defines the very essence of the mixed up love affair I have with women and music.
So, the very notion of it being as good or better was impossible. Indeed, the first listen didn’t go very well as I had this bias firmly entrenched in my mind. The same thing happened with the second and third listens. But the fourth listen was the one where I decided that it didn’t have to be as good as or better than All or Nothing.
Because it’s still way fucking better than 99 percent of the boring shit that’s been put out this year! And, honestly, Billy, Charlotte and Josh have turned in one heck of a third record. In many ways, it reminds me a great deal of their first album, Young For Eternity, in both theme and style
With this, we also see an attempt by the band to achieve more of commercial sound. This is evident in the first single, “It’s A Party” as well as “I Wanna Dance With You.” The producing talents of Stephen Street (The Smiths, The Cranberries, Blur) are evident in both of these tracks that were tailor made for radio. This record is also kind of a concept disc with the title coming from two most excellent tracks on the album (“Money” and “Celebrity”) which both offer biting social commentary.
My faves are “Popdeath” (timely, considering the recent passing of Amy Winehouse), “Like I Love You” (classic Billy in love track), and “Down Our Street” (ok, I’m always a sucker for stories of British towns).
Although the record has not been released here in the US, Amazon Uk has it available. I’d recommend it as a stocking stuffer!
Here is the song “Popdeath” performed acoustically on Carnaby Street at a recent guerrilla gig.