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Album Review: 100% By Ginger Wildheart
Ginger Wildheart is the frontman of legendary British heavy rock band The Wildhearts. Despite The Wildhearts receiving relative success, Ginger has been releasing solo material since 2001 after he released five singles under the pseudonym 'Ginger'. These fives singles were then included as part of 2005's 18-track album A Break In The Weather. Ginger is well known for his side-projects and is one of the most active musicians out there. Side projects involved bands such as Backyard Babies, The Hellacopters, Clam Abuse, Silver Ginger 5, Ginger & The Sonic Circus and more.
What's so unique about Ginger's latest official studio album '100%' is that the album was funded independently by fans at music finance website Pledge Music. Not only that but this was actually a triple-album project whereby fans who helped fund the project (pre-ordered their copy) got their hands on an exclusive 3-CD triple-album entitled '555%' available to pledgers only. This was more than just pre-orders though; fans could choose their format from MP3 downloads on to signed exclusive Limited Edition CD's which will never be made available publicly. It is expected that these CD's could raise up to £100 or more on eBay and rare Wildheart's CD's have fetched not far off that amount previously.
Within just six short hours of Ginger's Pledge campaign going live the £60,000 target had been reached. By the time the album was complete 555% of Ginger's target had been reached hence the album names '100%' and '555%'. In addition to the unique way in which the album was funded fans were asked to choose their favourite twelve tracks, all of which now feature on the official album release '100%' which will soon be available in music stores. However, pledgers got their hands on 30 tracks in total, 18 of which will never be made publicly available for sale.
The official twelve tracks to feature on the public album are Forget About It, Internal Radio, Lover It'll All Work Out, You're The One You're The One Yeah I Know You're The One You're The One (Yeah I Know You're The One), It Appears That The Party Is Over, Taste Aversion, Another Spinning Fucking Rainbow, Westward Ho! (A New Reputation), Beautifully Blissfully Unsettled, We've Been Expecting You and Time. I believe this is a pretty good choice though I wouldn't be my recommended twelve tracks out of the thirty seeing as the album is meant for mainstream exposure.
100% begins with Forget About It, a typical Ginger-style song which is instantly reminiscent of his previous material which die-hard fans will easily be able to appreciate. It's rocky and it's catchy but not too heavy, definitely not as heavy as The Wildheart's material (Ginger's solo music never is) but it's definitive rock music. Internal Radio carries on the rock feel but is a bit more upbeat and catchier in nature and contains some great characteristic lyrics which are sure to "put a smile upon the face of everyone including me!" Lover It'll All Work Out is a bit more restrained but a very fresh and original song to listen to. There's an alternative edge to Ginger's music which gives it an extra kick of originality. One of the heavier tracks on the album and one of my favourite is 'Your'e The One, You're The One...', this is much punkier in style but undeniably catchy and combined with the lyrics the track gets you hooked.
It Appears That The Party Is Over is a track which seems to go back to Ginger's roots a bit and whilst it's catchy and enjoyable, it has a slightly cheesy edge to it which is very reminiscent of A Break In The Weather (album). However, following track Taste Aversion seems to be much more reminiscent of Ginger's style on Yoni (album) which is a little more traditional rock 'n' roll. By this time througout the album, anyone listening to it will have become familiar with Ginger's charismatic lyrical style, he certainly has a way with words and there are many times throughout every single one of Ginger's album where the lyrics will put a smile on your face. Another Spinning Fucking Rainbow is another heavyish upbeat track with some very cool alternative riffs on the intro and verses and a much catchier but also cheesier more predictable chorus, Ginger has a great talent for combining original riffs with traditional values in his music.
Westward Ho! (A New Reputation) is a very 'different' sounding track indeed, Ginger's vocals seem to be accompanied by a high pitched vocal effect giving the song quite a weird, but new, sound and feel. However, it's a catchy song and after a few listens you begin to realize just how ingenious it is whereas the next track 'Beatifully Blissfully Unsettled' takes you back to Ginger's roots a bit once again. Once again, entertaining charismatic lyrics and catchy vocals.
We've Been Expecting You My Dear is a more classic stryle of song in nature and is highly reminiscent of bands like The Beatles. It's a simple but very tuneful and catchy little number which shows some of Ginger's influences. To end the official '100%' album 'Time' is a uniquely themed song which ends things nicely, although personally I found the inclusion of the Big Ben's bells riff to be slightly tacky... but I can live with it. All in all, just as with any other Ginger album, 100% offers a unique listening experience which nobody can deny as being anything other than pure entertainment.
Being a die-hard fan and a musician Ginger's music has had a massive influence on me and so I am one of the owners of the triple-album. As already mentioned these wouldn't be my twelve personal songs of choice for the official release but I can't deny that all of them are cracking tracks. However, there are some tracks that don't feature on 100% which I truly believe deserve to receive more exposure than they'll probably get. My twelve tracks of choice would be Baby Skies, The Other Side, Illuminating Times, Taste Aversion, Just Another Song About Someone, Confusion, There Is Something Wrong With My Mind, Begin From Within, Return Of The Northern Cardinal, Deep In The Arms Of Morpheus, Silence and Powderkeg.