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Ex Re

Ex:Re - Ex:Re (Album Review)

Ex:Re is the sorrowful, touching new project from Elena Tonra, the lead singer of acclaimed indie-folk band Daughter, and their self-titled debut should perhaps come with a warning: the chances of having a good cry with this album are extremely high.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Wednesday, 09 January 2019

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg - Take 2 EP (Album Review)

Almost 18 months on from its release, the ripples continue to flow out from Charlotte Gainsbourg’s ‘Rest’. A fabulous collection of gossamer synth-pop songs, the record already has a remix EP on one arm and now another new short-form release, ‘Take 2’, is vying for our attention.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Tuesday, 08 January 2019

AFI

AFI - The Missing Man EP (Album Review)

Fans of AFI, and perhaps rock fans in general, have always struggled with a sprawling, multifaceted idea that the writer L.P. Hartley put beautifully in his novel The Go-Between: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 03 January 2019

Gucci Mane

Gucci Mane - Evil Genius (Album Review)

One of the advantages in helping to pioneer an entire subgenre of music is that no one has grounds to complain when you eventually move into new territory. Bearing that in mind, you'd expect Gucci Mane, one of the architects of southern trap in the mid-2000s, to have tried his hand at something else by now. However, across 12 albums and a disputed number of mixtapes (online catalogues suggest around 70), the Atlanta-based rapper has uniformly stuck to the distinctively heavy bass sound he helped originate.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Meek Mill

Meek Mill - Championships (Album Review)

Fresh from his release from prison, Meek Mill’s fourth studio LP, ‘Championships’ is a dynamic, uncensored body of work that signals a fresh change of direction.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Friday, 14 December 2018

Jeff Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy - WARM (Album Review)

Jeff Tweedy’s first collection of solo songs adds up to a gentile album of warm Americana that stumbles along in joyous reverie and elegant inebriation. It’s a fine turn from the Wilco frontman, whose band’s 25 year musical catalogue has sometimes fallen flat, but whose previous album—2016’s ‘Schmilco’—seemed to reinvigorate and freshen their sound. These good vibes have continued on 'Warm'.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 13 December 2018

Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs (Album Review)

Photo: Steven Traylor The theory that depression makes for good art is long-standing, and its proponents can certainly point to numerous examples, but it should also be a source of unease from an observer's perspective. If unchecked, the invisible link between artist and listener (or creator and beneficiary) can feel exploitative or voyeuristic. The behaviour of a small minority of entitled social media users, who complained when Earl Sweatshirt cancelled a European tour earlier this year following the death of his father, was just one illustration of this dynamic.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 11 December 2018

The 1975

The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (Album Review)

It can sometimes be difficult for an artist to capture the zeitgeist. Even if they know what to say, they often struggle to find the right way to say it. Not so for Matt Healy and his 1975, who haven’t just captured the zeitgeist—they’ve wrestled it into submission, stuffed it in a cage and made it perform tricks for our amusement.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Tuesday, 04 December 2018

Rita Ora

Rita Ora - Phoenix (Album Review)

Rita Ora is one of the most successful singles artists in the history of the UK charts and a regular collaborator with some of the most powerful brands in fashion, music and film. Until recently, though, she had only one album to her name.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 03 December 2018

Anderson Paak

Anderson .Paak - Oxnard (Album Review)

It's hard not to romanticise Californian multi-instrumentalist Anderson .Paak's progression as an artist to some extent. Very few are privileged enough to collaborate with legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre, let alone effectively be tutored by him.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Pistol Annies

Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel (Album Review)

Over the last decade there’s been about as much chance of finding emotional depth and unfiltered honesty in mainstream country music as there has been hearing a succession of female artists emanating from the airwaves of Nashville’s most popular radio stations. Whether they can change the latter is debatable, but what’s certain is that this supergroup (featuring Miranda Lambert, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe) are back with an album that exudes truth from every beautifully bittersweet, traditional country note.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 26 November 2018

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey - Caution (Album Review)

‘Caution’—Mariah Carey’s first album in four years and 15th overall—is a decent pop record that demonstrates a megastar’s capacity to update her sound with contemporary vocal writing and top tier production.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 23 November 2018

Action Bronson

Action Bronson - White Bronco (Album Review)

This might sound absurd, at least at first, but Action Bronson could quite easily lay claim to being the perfect rap emcee. The New York heavyweight has strong projection, an addictive old-school flow, buckets full of charisma and wordplay on tap. The reason he's frequently compared to Ghostface Killah isn't just his cadence and vocal delivery–his verses often hark back to the Wu-Tang Clan legend in his pomp.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Friday, 23 November 2018

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers

Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers - Bought To Rot (Album Review)

‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! Record. Repeat: ‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! record. Laura Jane Grace might be among friends on her first album with the Devouring Mothers—the roll call does feature drummer Atom Willard and engineer Marc Jacob Hudson, both holdovers from her day job—but the focus is very different.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 22 November 2018

Architects

Architects - Holy Hell (Album Review)

Loss and grief are themes that have underpinned metal records since Tony Iommi resurrected the devil’s interval, but often they are examined with a sense of emotional detachment—as though a lung-bursting scream can add meaning when the lyric sheet fails to join the dots.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Muse

Muse - Simulation Theory (Album Review)

Photo: Jeff Forney ‘Simulation Theory’ is confusing. Why is such an objectively bad album so enjoyable? The tale of the tape for Muse’s eighth LP is that it’s a mash-up of genres delivered with a crushing sense of overkill on the production side of things. Die-hard fans of the band’s early work will go into it with truly dreadful expectations—after all, they haven’t released a good album in years.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Mick Jenkins

Mick Jenkins - Pieces Of A Man (Album Review)

Mick Jenkins was riding the crest of a wave when his breakout mixtape 'The Water[s]' dropped in the summer of 2014. Talented heads like Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Noname and Saba would all go on to emerge from the same bubbling Chicago hip-hop scene, but Jenkins had positioned himself in critics' minds as the moody and technically gifted older brother. He already appeared fully formed in an artistic sense, framing highly conceptual songwriting with jazz-influenced verses and a raspy vocal delivery.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Mumford and Sons

Mumford & Sons - Delta (Album Review)

For their fourth studio album, ‘Delta’, Mumford & Sons have partnered with producer Paul Epworth to create a collection of diverse, electronically-treated indie-folk songs that rank among the group’s best work to date.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 16 November 2018

Boygenius

Boygenius - Boygenius (Album Review)

Photo: Lera Pentelute Supergroup is a big, ugly label. It’s reductive, and it ramps up the pressure on what is always a new endeavour—even if the players are seasoned pros. Friction is naturally created by expectations rubbing up against the mechanics of making music in a fresh formation, often leading to overhyped records that feel like a tired exhalation of breath from their first note.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Bill Ryder Jones

Bill Ryder-Jones - Yawn (Album Review)

Photo: Ki Price Bill Ryder-Jones’ fifth solo album is a dream-pop melange of shoegaze and alternative indie fed through a highly literate, if rather boring, cypher.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 13 November 2018

 
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