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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Album Review: Jackson Jones - It's About Time

‘Real country music is laying there on the floor with a bottle of Jack Daniels because another woman has walked across your heart, like a Samoan man in golf shoes.’

That quote comes from comedian Rich Hall’s stand-up show ‘Hell No I Ain’t Happy.’ At this point in the show he is playing the part of country singer Otis Lee Crenshaw, and he vents his frustration about the current state of country music. Now, this quote may not come from the most academic of sources but it holds a lot of weight, because when done well country music has a way of moving you that is very hard to find anywhere else. And what I have in my hands ladies and gentlemen is a country-style album done very very well.
I am of course talking about the debut album from singer/songwriter Jackson Jones. I hate putting labels on things, so that’s why I say country-style; you can call it Americana, country, acoustic or whatever you want, but to me good music is good music, and this is good music.

The album is simple yet effective; there is no trying to reinvent the wheel here. All we have is one man and a guitar, and this stripped back style gives the record a more ‘natural’ feel, and really puts the emphasis on the song writing.
The opening track ‘Nothing Changes,’ gets into the mind of a soldier who is looking around at the world and wondering whether it is all worth it, because nothing changes. And this track and the one that follow it ‘Put The Money In The Bag,’ showcase early on what the album is all about. The songs tell stories. Stories about real situations; with real emotion. How can this not touch you? These tracks as well as a couple of others are very much Johnny Cash-esque in style. I don’t know if Mr Jones is a fan but for me there are definitely similarities there, especially when you listen to Cash’s later work like the American Recordings album. It is one man and a guitar singing and telling stories.

And if the next few tracks don’t move you in one way or another then my fiend you have a heart of stone. ‘Diamond Years’ is the story of a love taken away and track 4 ‘I Called You Yesterday’ is a story of a love lost. ‘I Called You...’ being a great example of the song writing really pulling you in. I can’t say that I have ever had a girlfriend leave me and take my car but the tale of that girl who got away is a tale pretty much every man in the world can relate to.
The next song finds Jackson is reflective mood, this time about his Father. This ode to his father ‘Jack’ really struck a chord with me as I can really appreciate the story in the song; a Black Country man who worked hard but still found time to give his all for his family. In this part of the world there were many like him, and as a Black Country man myself with relatives who were just the same as Jack I can really appreciate this track.

Moving on and ‘Picasso Moon’ contains my favourite set of lyrics from the album. ‘Life’s a gamble, like the spinning of a wheel. Fragile moments, for our hearts to feel. Look heaven bound, for the trigger of inspiration. Extol our spirits, cause we can do anything.’ I think that verse says it all.
‘Turn Back Time’ tells you to follow your heart; acoustic guitar notes sprinkled in the background. And while the album winds towards a conclusion we reminisce about younger and at times simpler days, while warning that looking over the past is not always easy or good for you, until we get to the final track. ‘If You Love Me’ is as the title suggests is a love song and a fine way to round off the record. The heartfelt lyrics and gentle melody will make a believer out even the most cynical of people. There is hope for all of us.

‘It’s About Time’ is in short a triumph. Heartfelt lyrics, delivered with a sincerity not always found in music these days, laced with the musings of only an acoustic guitar. A fine record, worthy of gracing any music lovers album collection.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Last Night A Rock Band Saved My Life

Although it would make an amazing story, sadly last night a rock band didn’t save my life. But if I put that in the blog title then my rip off of 80’s one hit wonder song titles wouldn’t work. So just roll with me on this one people.

What did happen last night was that I found myself at the o2 Academy in Birmingham. I made that sound like I was just wondering the streets of Birmingham and stumbled in, but it didn’t quite go down like that, I had to buy a ticket and everything.  Shocking I know!
As you can probably guess, this isn’t a review; frankly I don’t know what it is. But I’ll try and keep you entertained regardless.

If you’ve taken any notice of anything I’ve written over the past couple of weeks you will know that I only went to the o2 to see one band and that was Face Of A Stranger, but I was interested to see what else was on offer. And I’ve got to say that I was really impressed with the band that opened the night. They are called Cower Hounds and I’d definitely recommend you have a look at them if you get the chance.
Face Of A Stranger were 2nd on and the room had started to fill up nicely. Although the band won’t admit it I think they were maybe a little nervous starting out (This was the biggest night they had played after all) but they soon got into their stride. And it must have filled them with confidence to see that not only were the crowd interested, the crowd was growing. In my experience a brilliant guide as to how much a crowd like a band is by looking at how busy the bar is. The bar was empty.

One thing that I have noticed and frankly been impressed by on the occasions that I have seen the band is that fact that they look like they have been playing together for years. They have a great rhythm section. Every great band has a great rhythm section. Luke behind the drums is perfectly in tune with Ben on bass and they are both on the same page as Josh who does the majority of the rhythm guitar work. I cannot state how important I believe this to be, as this provides the foundation that holds everything together. If they weren’t as good at what they do as they are, the band would struggle. It provides the foundation for the other guitarist Joe and singer Mitch to go and really express themselves and get creative. One without the other wouldn’t work. Speaking of which the guitar solo from Joe in ‘The Road’ was outrageous, couple that with the way that the vocals are delivered with such passion, you can really ‘feel’ the song, you not only listen to it, you start to believe it.
By the last track the crowd and the band were both really enjoying themselves, and we even had time for an arena-style overhead hand clap, it may not have been Wembley Stadium but you could tell that to those in attendance it may well have been.

Sadly I had to bail out on the night early and drive home in what was basically a monsoon. As you can tell, I managed to do so without killing myself which is always a bonus. So ladies and gentlemen that’s all from me for now. But watch this space, big things may be ahead.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Luis Suarez Situation

Well, well, well, because we didn’t have enough stupid transfer sagas going on at the moment (Yes Wayne, and Man Utd I’m looking at you here) Liverpool, Arsenal and Luis Suarez kindly thought that they would provide us with one more.

I had a crack at the whole Wayne Rooney debacle the other week so I think that the time has come for me to try and straighten this one out as well.  So rather predictably I will start at the beginning. Here we go.
Luis Suarez wanting to leave Liverpool isn’t really anything new in itself; he has made his position quite clear on a few different occasions now, so we can be sure that he does want to go. But it has to be said that right now he isn’t blessed with hundreds of options. The one that seems the most obvious at the moment is Arsenal, this is basically because we know that they have made a couple of bids for him. Whether or not these bids were serous or not remains to be seen. It also seems to be accepted that little Luis wants to at least talk to the Gunners. Which is quite funny considering that one of the reasons he gave for wanting to leave Liverpool was to get away from the British media.

But with dodgy reasoning aside, it seems that Suarez will get his wish to at least talk to Arsenal as with their last bid they have apparently activated a clause which means that they can talk to him even if they haven’t agreed a fee with Liverpool. And Liverpool are standing their ground and holding out for a bid somewhere north of £50 million. Which in my opinion is daylight robbery if they get it.
Now for me, this is where it gets a little bit interesting. Much like over in Manchester with Mr Rooney I don’t think that losing Suarez would be the total disaster some people seem to think that it would be. For starters if they get a huge transfer fee they a have plenty to spend in order to get a replacement in. But again I don’t think that getting in a direct replacement would be the be all and end all. They have already signed a striker in the form of Aspas, they could potentially give Coutinho a more prominent role, youngster Luis Alberto has come in and may provide a spark in patches and there is nothing to say that Sturridge won’t step up and be the main man this season. So there are plenty of options available to Liverpool and now that Suarez has in my view has become more trouble than he is worth it may well pay them to go down one of these avenues than try and keep the Uruguayan. It may also be interesting to note that it looks like that Suarez was probably hoping that Real Madrid would have come in for him but so far there hasn’t even been a whisper from Spain as Madrid seem more interested in Gareth Bale. So it looks like Arsenal or one of the biggest back tracks in history could be Suarez’ only options.

There is of course one more side to this story, and that is the Arsenal side. At the moment I can’t quite work out whether this whole thing is a statement of intent from the Gunners or just posturing on a whole new level. They have already seen their efforts to sign Gonzalo Higuain come to nothing. This is either because they spent so long dilly-dallying over the deal or that Madrid out of the blue demanded more money, it depends who you believe. And with Liverpool playing hard ball over Suarez would it be worth having a quiet word with Manchester United about Wayne Rooney? He would be cheaper in terms of transfer fee, although his wages would be higher but I think he would work out cheaper in the long run. This is not to say that Rooney would be willing to sign or that United would want to sell to Arsenal but I was always taught that if you don’t ask you don’t get, and it will cost Arsene nothing to at least ask.
In conclusion… Just like the rest of you I have no idea what’s going to happen, but one thing is for sure, whenever a certain Uruguayan is involved it’s never dull.

Throwback Thursday: Foo Fighters - Everlong

Throwback Thursday this week finds your writer in quite a stranger mood ladies and gentlemen, but I’m still here, I’m still going. And I’m going to bring you one of my favourite songs of all time, and my favourite Foo Fighters song of all time.

It scares me to think that this song is just shy of 16 years old, and as with many classics it really hasn’t dated. It sounds as current today as it did the day it was released. That release date is August 18th 1997, for those of you keeping score.
Personally I have always been a sucker for songs that are all a bit deep and meaningful; there is nothing more powerful than a song that you can fully relate to, or a song that really moves you, and I think that’s what first really drew me to this track.

Everyone at some point in their life will be able to relate to this record. If you’re sitting there not relating to this track right now, your day will come… trust me. Frontman Dave Grohl wrote this song while going through the break-up of his first marriage, between him and Jennifer Youngblood. And if you listen to lyrics you can tell.
The track is taken from the 1st ‘proper’ Foo Fighters album ‘The Colour and The Shape.’ I know there was Foo Fighters before this one but that was basically a Dave Grohl solo record, he just didn’t want to put his name on it.

Boys and girls here is Foo Fighters – ‘Everlong’

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Under The Radar: Eminem - Biterphobia

I just saw this posted up over at Hiphopdx. I have no idea why they have posted it but I thought I’d follow suit.

This is from the Soul Intent demo tape from back in 1995. His flow on this track is absolutely outrageous. If you are an Eminem fan or just a fan of hip hop, you should really give this a listen. This is why Eminem is considered one of the greats of the game.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Throwback Thursday: Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode

This week for Throwback Thursday I’m taking it all the way back to one of the pioneers of rock n’ roll. THE original rock n’ roll star, Mr Chuck Berry.  You can talk to any rock front man in the world who came after this man and they will tell you that he is the one who started it all.

This song is just a straight classic whichever way you look at it. It has been covered by everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Elvis Pressley to AC/DC.
I am of course talking about ‘Johnny B. Goode.’ It was released on 31st March 1958 and was taken from the album ‘Chuck Berry Is on Top.’ This isn’t just a great record this is the record that paved the way for rock music as we know it. You think Hendrix would have become who he did had it not been for Berry a decade earlier? No way.

So for my own personal sentimental reasons, and because frankly I think you should all listen to this record I bring you Chuck Berry ‘Johnny B. Goode.’
‘Go Johnny Go.’

Monday, 15 July 2013

Why Manchester United Should Tell Wayne Rooney To Leave

Before I go on, I agree that that was an incredibly bold title. But I genuinely believe that if Wayne Rooney left Manchester United it would make no difference to them, and it in fact might even improve them. Just bear with me a moment while I explain why.

It was October 2010 when Rooney 1st expressed a desire to leave. He pulled out of contract negotiations, questioning the clubs ability to attract and sign the best players to improve the squad. I like many others at the time just believed this to be a ploy from Rooney and his advisors to get a better deal., and sadly it worked he was rewarded with a bumper new contact and a hefty pay rise to go with it. But back then the landscape at Manchester United was very different.

At the time Rooney was completely central to United. He was arguably their best player, a player with the ability to turn a game on his own. The season before he had scored a career best 34 goals in 44 games, and was regarded as one of the best players in Europe. So when he forced the clubs hand, the club felt obliged to give in. There was a small period of discontent from some sections of the Old Trafford support but on the whole as Rooney began to play well, all of the controversy of the transfer request and his contract was forgotten. But things could not be more different this time around.
It was just before the end of last season when retiring United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that Rooney had again called his future into question. He had had apparently asked for clarification over his squad status and indicated that he would like to leave the club. The biggest difference this summer is that Rooney is no longer the golden boy. That mantle currently belongs to a certain Robin Van Persie. During the 11-12 season Rooney had again scored 34 goals, but the arrival of Van Persie and the Dutchman’s brilliant form pushed him down the pecking order. He spent much of the season struggling with injuries, which meant he was unable to get into a rhythm. The injuries may well have been down to bad luck but because Rooney as it has been suggested does not look after himself when injured it takes him a long time to rediscover his form. This is because it takes him so long to get fit. There have been rumours from inside United that this has annoyed staff more than once.

But the main problem last season was his form, yes he scored and contributed to goals but he spent much of the time looking out of shape and off the pace. And his recurring desire to leave surely cannot help team morale. I know fans I’ve spoken to are getting tired of him. So for me he is starting to become more trouble than he is worth and should be allowed to leave.
And interestingly I really don’t think the club would suffer from him leaving or need to break the bank to sign another striker. I think a perfect replacement is already there. Shinji Kagawa. He is the perfect number 10. He proved at Dortmund that he has the vision, the touch, creativity and eye for goal to play this role for United as he effectively did for the German side. And in my view playing the Kagawa here would get the best out of him, and he could really start to demonstrate the ability which he only managed to show in flashes last season.

Having said all of this Rooney is not a bad player, but he seems to be on slide and everything seems to have gone a bit stale, and the new start for the club under David Moyes would be the perfect chance for him to move on.  The potential arrival of Cesc Fabregas would also make things very interesting.  But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rooney stay (more through a lack of options than anything else) but personally I think his time at United is up. ‘Off you go Wayne… Shut the door on your way out.’

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Face Of A Stranger Live @ The Boars Head - 12th July

First off, this was a proper music venue. There were loads of posters adorning the walls, a proper stage and those in attendance were there for the music. 

Now the night didn’t get off to the best of starts for yours truly as 10 minutes after arriving I managed to break my pen, trying to take notes was going to be a touch more difficult than I thought. But fear not reader (s) one of the advantages of being mates with someone who works in a school is that they ALWAYS have a pen! So pull up a chair and gather round as I bring to you my take on Face Of  A Stranger live at the Boars Head.
By the time the opening chords of the opening track ricocheted around the room a good crowd had assembled and there was a real buzz in the air. If those gathered were unsure of what to expect, they weren’t unsure for long. Opener ‘Swallowing Grenades’ was hard, fast and in your face, the tone had well and truly been set.

But that’s not to say that that’s all the band has got in their locker. ‘The Road’ was next and this track finds the band in a more serious deep thinking mode. You can actually find the link to this track on the blog I wrote about the band earlier on in the week. ‘Shutting Me Down’ is what I’d say was a typical FOAS type track, with lead singer Mitch’s powerful vocal really coming to the fore. But the main thing that struck me here was the sound. Having only seen the band at a tiny venue previously the sound here was so much better, everything was cleaner and more crisp and this coupled with the structure of the song really gave guitarists Joe and Josh a chance to showcase their talents.
The up temp hard hitting ‘Dysphasia’ followed and this is quickly becoming one of my highlights of the bands set. Personally I think this could be a single. Not that its soft, far from it, but I think that with the recent Black Sabbath revival and the public rediscovering their love for big rock tracks there could well be an appetite out there for something like this. The crowd were really into the performance but we were all in need of a breather. And what was this I could hear? A ballad? Surely not? No, I was right, it wasn’t. ‘Violet’ is a real triumph for quality song writing and thoughtful melodies. The 1st part of the song is slow and thoughtful, but then you’re hit in the face with a musical brick, Luke beats the hell out of his drum kit and the guitars go into overdrive.  I’m knackered just listening to it.

As the set drew towards a conclusion we were apparently going to be treated to a song that the band hadn’t actually performed live before, but what a great surprise it was. ‘Live Your Life’ is a lot softer than anything else they played tonight but I fell in love with it. They seemed reluctant to play it but there really shouldn’t have worried. I’d describe it as a heavier and more broody version of the Oasis classic ‘Live Forever.’ Rock and even some mainstream radio would love this record.
But the band were determined to go out with a bang. ‘In My Veins’ is hard rock at its finest but the bridge/interlude part way through really shows the bands dexterity. Nearly everything drops out leaving Slater pretty much alone playing what is quite a haunting bass riff as the song once more builds to a crashing crescendo.

Sat here looking back at the night, what we were treated to was showcase of big, loud, high powered rock music at its best. Before they started I was a little worried that they wouldn’t sound as good as I remembered but I really should learn to trust my judgment. They may have been together less than a year but they have the potential to go far, how far who knows but I know that I for one will be watching them enjoy the ride.
Anyone for a cheese toasty?

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Throwback Thursday: LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out

Fear Not! There will not be a repeat of last week’s cock up because alas Throwback Thursday is here!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything hip hop related so I thought it was about time I corrected that. This track is from probably one of the most underrated MC’s of all time. You mention LL Cool J to people these days and they will probably go ‘oh yeah that dude from NCIS L.A.’ Wrong! Well not totally because he is that dude from NCIS L.A, but way before that LL was one of the biggest rappers on the planet bar none. He was signed to legendary label Def Jam in the mid-late 80’s when they were running hip hop, his debut album is considered a classic by many (me included) and over the course of his career he has produced hit after hit.

Back in 91 though, his career was considered to be on the slide. ‘Walking With A Panther’ was just plain crap and everyone knew it. Radio seemed a long time ago. But LL fought back. The album ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ is one of the greatest hip hop records of all time and happens to be one of my personal favourites. ’Round The Way Girl’ is a serious record off that album you people should definitely check that one out.

But the biggest record off that album was its title track. LL took charge of the beat and smashed it with an aggression that had been missed, there are shots at critics as well as Kool Moe Dee in there, and for me this shows LL at his finest.
So check this out… turns out that dude for NCIS can really rap!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Introducing - Face Of A Stranger

In 5 years time I could be looking incredibly smug and feeling very very pleased with myself. My thinking is that if I get a blog out there now, if/when these guys make it big I will look like a genius. But in all seriousness, now my football website is getting ready to launch I’m going to be putting more and more music on here and I’m going to try and push as many good young local bands as possible. I have already done a couple of reviews for The Dark Eyes who I rate quite highly, and so I bring to you another band I hope to be linking up with soon…Face Of A Stranger.

Last time I went to see The Dark Eyes it was like an open mic night type event and this band were on the bill, and to be perfectly honest I had never heard of them. But that’s what these nights are all about right?
That night they played about a 25 minute set, and that was enough for me. This was a band I had to talk to. I needed to know more. So I’ll cut to the chase here’s what you need to know.

Face Of A Stranger are a hard rock formed in the West Midlands late last year, and since then have been trying to establish themselves on live music circuit.
The group is made up of lead singer Mitch Jones, guitarists Joe Lewis and Josh Pagett, bassist Ben Slater and drummer Luke Watton. They have already recorded a 2 track demo which I’ll link to in a minute and are heading into the studio to record their 1st EP anytime now.

I hate comparing bands so I’m not going to sit here and say that if you like ‘x’ you will like ‘y’ because music doesn’t work like that. But I will say that if you like hard rock, big vocals and big guitar riffs then this band could be for you.
They are playing a load of live dates this summer, and I know I will be covering them soon so look out for that. But I’m not going to tell you what to think, check them out for yourselves and make your own mind up.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Feel Good Friday: Montell Jordan - This Is How We Do It

As a couple of you may have noticed there wasn’t a Throwback Thursday track from me yesterday…. I’m sorry. I’m a busy man.

So for one week only (Until I forget to do a throwback track again) I bring to you ‘Feel Good Friday.’ Throwback Friday doesn’t quite have the same appeal does it?
As for the track, it’s from a one hit wonder (in the UK at least) but it’s a track that never fails to get people on the dance floor and having a good time. I’d recommend checking out the song this track samples as well, Slick Rick ‘Children’s Story’ is a classic from a hip hop legend, and he’s a Brit no less!

It’s time to officially start your weekend, it’s Friday, the sun’s out, turn this up!
Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Dark Eyes @ The Secret Venue - A Review

It’s amazing where the promise of a free diet coke will take you on Tuesday evening. In this case I ended up taking in some live music somewhere called The Secret Venue. A venue so secret that, despite having lived in the area all my life, I didn’t even know existed.

Anyway if you saw my last review of the band you will know that I rate them highly and it would be well worth my time to go and check them out. It may have only been a jam night but the chance to go and see some great up and coming local talent like The Dark Eyes should not be missed.
Because of the structure of the night and the number of acts this was far from a regular gig. The set for The Dark Eyes was split into 3 parts. The 1st 2 parts were almost used as tasters, in part 1 the band did a couple of covers, and in part 2 they did a couple of originals. Part 3 was the main part of the set and the band played for just under half an hour.

As this was the now the 2nd time I was going to see the band I had a good idea of what to expect but I was also interested to see how they had progressed.
The first couple of songs we got to hear early on in the night were Queen covers with a high energy ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ running straight into ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ Getting things going with a couple of crowd-pleasing covers was a good move, the audience totally brought into it and there was a healthy buzz around the room, a good night was in prospect.

Preview set number 2 was again only a couple of songs but this time they were originals. These were ‘Tease Me’ and ‘Boogie.’ ‘Boogie’ was especially standout, picture a classic rock n’ roll 1960’s style intro amped up and beefed out. This was rock n’ roll 2013 style. The band then once again went off for a bit but we had been promised at least another 20 minute performance to finish.
When the band returned to the stage what followed was a polished, hard hitting array original songs and unlikely cover versions, which reverberated around the small intimate venue. The band threw straight into a version of 20th Century Boy, killer riffs and all. It seems the performance I saw a few months ago was no fluke. I also got to hear my favourite original track ‘The Ringleader.’ It’s heavier than a lot of their other songs but personally I think that sound really suits them. As the set rattled towards a conclusion bassist Luke switched to lead vocal duties for ‘I Predict A Riot.’

Just before the last 2 songs we were treated to what I think people call ‘creative’ differences as the band couldn’t decide what songs to finish with. After a conversation which looked like a group of mates arguing over the last Haribo, and with the odd suggestion from the audience thrown in for good measure they put their own spin ‘You’re the One That I Want’ from Grease and the Fratelli sounding original ‘I Try My Best.’
Since I last saw the band they have definitely grown. As you would expect they are now a lot tighter, everyone perfectly in sync, with drummer Jak holding everything together perfectly. Luke was still Luke, big bass riffs and even bigger hair. It was also evident that Jordan has now really grown into his role as frontman, and is now taking charge on stage and driving the band forward. But the biggest improvement has been in keyboard player and backing vocalist Charlotte, she has an increased level of confidence and is starting to develop a much bigger stage presence and this I think is starting to pay dividends for the band as a whole.

It may have been a stop/start night but we were treated to some brilliant music from some young talented Black Country based artists. Joe Parks will be one to keep an eye on for the future, and look out for my link up with heavy rock band Face Of A Stranger coming soon. But the night belonged to The Dark Eyes. They showed they are definitely a band on the move, and with a bit of luck big things could lie ahead.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Confederations Cup Final: Brazil 3-0 Spain

2 goals from Fred and another from Neymar paved the way for a Brazilian demolition of one of the most revered national teams in history. Spain were never in it.

Before we get into details I just want to say what an absolutely fantastic game of football that was, entertaining from start to finish.
The Brazilian national anthem set the tone. Never has an anthem been belted out with such power and feeling. You could feel it watching on TV. And Spain were shaken by it in person. And this tidal wave of patriotism brought with it rewards as Brazil were in front in 2 minutes. Hulk crossed from the right and it was never dealt with by the Spanish defence and while Fred had missed the original cross, while lying on the floor he managed to hook his foot around the ball sending it into the net. The Maracana exploded. After 8 minutes it should have been 2, Oscar shot wide from 12 yards when he had other options, Brazil were playing on top of Spain, they had no air to breathe as the Brazilian pressing suffocated them. The game was at times fractious with Neymar and Arbeloa coming together on a couple of occasions.

Just after the half hour mark Brazil broke forward and Neymar played in Fred who shot straight at Casillas when he really should have scored. Brazil were nearly made to pay for missing these chances as Pedro was played in and shot past Julio Cesar but David Luiz flying back towards his own goal guided the ball over his own crossbar, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better clearance anytime soon. And almost straight away Brazil went up the other end and at the 2nd attempt Oscar with great intelligence slipped a pass to Neyar who hammered the ball past Casillas into the net. 44 minutes in and in truth it was all over. Brazil had pressed high up the pitch, passed the ball well and taken their chances. Spain had been poor but those in yellow had made them look poor.
If Spain were going to get back into the game as the cliché goes they had to score the next goal. But 2 minutes after the break Hulk played a pass into the path of Fred following a step over from Neymar and the former Lyon man clipped the ball in off the right hand post. It was all over. Or was it? Less than 10 minutes later Marcelo made a needless challenge on Navas who had just come on and Spain had a penalty and potentially a way back into the game even if they didn’t deserve it. Sergio Ramos stepped up but when things aren’t going your way they really don’t go your way and Ramos shot wide. And just to top off a dreadful night for the Spanish they were reduced to 10 men with just over 20 minutes to go when Pique realised he wasn’t going to get anywhere near Neymar and hacked down the latest Brazilian star on the edge of the area. The humiliation was complete.

The men in red did manage to muster a few chances towards the end of the game but Brazil knew the game was won and had taken their foot off the gas. By now the sting had gone out of the game, Brazil were happy with 3-0 and Spain were just happy it wasn’t anymore.
Before the game many people (me included) predicted a close game. Spain are the top team in the world but Brazil are a work in progress and improving all the time, but would that improvement be enough? On this night the evidence is clear, yes it was. Spain were outclassed and for much of the night outplayed, has their air of invincibility been taken away or was this result a one off? Only time will tell.

This may not be the end of Spain’s time at the top but this is definitely the start of the Brazilian resurrection.
Bring on 2014.