Twisted City by Chris Singleton - album sleeve

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The difficult second album

I always laughed at the hoary old phrase 'the difficult second album' which is routinely wheeled out by those reviewers who are reviewing well, a difficult second album. Now I'm not laughing. It's bloody difficult.

I'm currently working on said difficult second album. Well actually it's my fourth, but I'm rather particular about which of my albums I release.

Anyway, the point is, it's proving difficult to finish. Why? I've boiled it down to three issues.

The first is lack of time - living in London seems to do weird things to your diary and keep you away from the studio.

The second is lack of energy: I'm cagey about my age, as once you pass the grand old age of 10 the music industry doesn't seem to want to know about you...but lets just say that when you pass the fucking awful age of 30 (damn!) you lose a bit of your mojo. It's like a musical biological clock starts ticking or something - you want to make records more, but you seem less able to do so. I stress that this isn't equivalent to losing talent - at least I hope not - but it's hard to go at making records hammer and tongs the way I used to when I was a pain-in-the-ass 21 year old (reminds me of Pink Floyd: "and then one day you find...ten years have got behind you". Yuck.).

The third is fussiness: because I mainly produce my own stuff, I am all too aware of my deficiencies behind the desk. Bizarrely I can make everybody else who comes into my studio sound great in 5 minutes, but it takes me bloody ages to feel satisfied with my own music.

But I'm finally getting to that stage where I feel the pieces are falling into place. There are two songs in particular that are turning out very well - 'Lose it' and 'Lou Reed'. The latter was a throwaway song, but it's now actually one of my favourites. But a load of my record still sounds crap. I'm going to be working on this difficult album for quite a while I reckon.

In other news I am currently watching the "top 50 most embarrassing pop moments ever" on BBC 3. Not sure it's the best use of license fee-payers' money, but it's pretty entertaining.

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Reader Comments (2)

Hey!! Don't worry about the age thing, just believe you are 28 and you staying that,... i did 11 years ago and haven't got a day older (in my mind anyway)!

If I felt I had enough knowledge about producing etc I'd give you my two penneth on what I thought but I know nothing, I just live for music and know some bands that should have left it at the one album but You're a Clever Clogs and have full faith your 2nd will be as equally as good as your first :)

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMikey Muse

All my best on the success of this difficult second album. However, if this helps you at all you should only just have to aim for it to be half as good as your first and it will be grand. That's how great I think your first one is and how competent I think you are to pull a second one out of the dreaded grasps of difficult second album stigma.
In regard to reason one: I feel your pain. I've sacrificed eating this morning so I could have enough time to leave this post. ;)
Reason two: I have extra energy, not my own mind you, but I would be more than willing to extract some from my kids and mail it to you. Perhaps then I would have enough energy to keep up with them.
Third: Fussy is good. Fussy is what made your first album extraordinary and is what will make you second album just as great if not greater.

But really, what do I know? lol. Just thought I offer my opinion from the peanut gallery. :)


October 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDainauskus Family

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