Michael Nyman's 8 Lust Songs comes with a Parental Advisory warning for explicit content, but the songs are in Italian, so only a small number of Italian speakers in the English-speaking world will have the opportunity to be offended (unless, of course, you read the translations in the booklet). Nyman describes the settings of these explicit sixteenth century poems by Pietro Aretino – essentially bedroom dialogues between lovers – as a natural progression in his work, which, since his days as a student, has frequently been concerned with sex.
Off the Wall was a massive success, spawning four Top Ten hits (two of them number ones), but nothing could have prepared Michael Jackson for Thriller. Nobody could have prepared anybody for the success of Thriller, since the magnitude of its success was simply unimaginable – an album that sold 40 million copies in its initial chart run, with seven of its nine tracks reaching the Top Ten (for the record, the terrific "Baby Be Mine" and the pretty good ballad "The Lady in My Life" are not like the others). This was a record that had something for everybody, building on the basic blueprint of Off the Wall by adding harder funk, hard rock, softer ballads, and smoother soul – expanding the approach to have something for every audience…
This isn’t the best recording of The Piano Concerto. Despite the fact that, for me at least, John Lenehan has always been the definitive Nyman pianist other than the composer himself, Stott’s interpretation has more vigour and Lawson’s more musicality. Lenehan’s performance is also muddied by the recording’s vague acoustic, a particularly telling problem for die-hard Nymaniacs who have grown up with the crisp, punchy, quasi-rock production style entirely appropriate to Nyman’s music and a trademark since his work with David Cunningham in the early 1980s.
Following last year’s full-length LP, ‘&’, which saw him extensively collaborate with an impressive host of contemporaries and friends, including Joe Goddard, Prins Thomas and Agoria, Michael Mayer is set to contribute to the legendary DJ Kicks series. Spanning sixteen tracks, the mix finds Mayer is just as generous of a mood, composing a musical journey that spans his ever-expanding record collection, and above all, his defining instinct to share the beauty of music with others.