Sunday, December 06, 2020

Blossoms - In Isolation/Live From The Plaza Theatre, Stockport: Album Review

After releasing a Top 5 album in March, Blossoms are back with yet another chart-topper, ‘In Isolation/Live From the Plaza Theatre, Stockport’ and have become the only artist in 2020 to have two releases in the Top 5 charts. After listening to the album in its entirety, it certainly shows why.  Released in late October, ‘In Isolation/Live From the Plaza Theatre, Stockport’ includes a whole host of covers recorded by the band in their respective homes, as well as a recording of their homecoming ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’ album release gig.

Following the release of a series of cover videos on YouTube, the quintet announced that they would be compiling these tracks with a few more songs to create ‘In Isolation’, which includes covers of their own tunes as well as classics by the likes of The Beatles, The Coral and Babybird. 

Despite them being covers, Blossoms have done the best job in making the tracks feel so fresh that they could easily be mistaken for written by themselves. Maybe it’s Joe Donovan’s use of household items like boxes of Stella, scissors, pennies and an alarm clock instead of a drum kit that allows room for the re-invented vibe.


The first cover, ‘Lost’ by Frank Ocean, was uploaded along with the announcement of the entire album and, rest assured, was this a good song choice. It provides some much-needed chilled vibes but also makes you want to dance your heart out. Polar opposites, I know, but listen and you’ll see. The statistics also show you how well-loved this track is: the Instagram post had over 30,000 views in the first 8 hours. They somehow pull off arguably one of the most brilliant songs ever, ‘Paperback Writer’. How they managed the harmonies when they weren’t even together and made them sound incredible is a skill in itself, not to mention the rest of the elements of the track. As for ‘The Less I Know The Better’, which guest stars Miles Kane, is again possibly a stroke of genius. The band have managed to perfectly combine their own funky melodies with the electro sounding original to create something that is anything but a carbon copy. Every cover track feels laid back, groovy and easy to listen to.


As for the second side, if you’re a fan of Blossoms, this is another must listen. As previously mentioned, the entire February launch gig for their previous album ‘Foolish Loving Spaces’ is included. There’s also some classic Blossoms songs live, like ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls’, if you still haven’t heard all of FLS. Listen, if you’re missing going to gigs, this will heal the wound for a little while. The atmosphere of being at the show live is just there, especially when you can hear the build-up of the first song, the crowds cheering and Tom Ogden doing the ad-lib in between.


If all this newness isn’t enough for you, Blossoms also have a documentary, ‘Blossoms: Back to Stockport’, on YouTube all about their homecoming 2019 show at Edgeley Park, as well as another release in the form of a double a-side Christmas single.


In short, if you need a cheer-up ‘In Isolation/Live From the Plaza Theatre, Stockport’ will give you just that. Trust me.


Out now and available as a double CD, a double coloured vinyl and a double coloured cassette.

- Lauren Firth
@laurenefirth / @laurenellisfirth

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