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Trivium

Trivium - In the Court of the Dragon (Album Review)

Established in the late 1990s, and now boasting 10 studio albums under their belt, Trivium deserve to be classed as metal heavyweights. The Florida band have long taken great pleasure in mixing a brooding array of heavy styles and subgenres, but ‘In the Court of the Dragon’ is perhaps their most bullish and most profound work to date.

Written by: Rebecca Llewellyn | Date: Friday, 15 October 2021

James Blake

James Blake - Friends That Break Your Heart (Album Review)

In a recent GQ interview with James Blake, the London born singer-producer and Los Angeles transplant explained: “I do genuinely want to make music for people who are just sitting by the swimming pool.” His fifth album, ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ may well succeed in this aspiration, and that may not be a good thing.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga - Love For Sale (Album Review)

With charm and pizazz to burn, this album of spirited jazz standards from the unlikely, but perfectly matched, pairing of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga joyfully pays tribute to one of the greatest songwriters and composers of all time: Cole Porter. Going out on a suitable high, Bennett couldn’t have punctuated his glorious, near 80 year, career with a more fitting swan song than this heart-warming collaboration.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 11 October 2021

Strand of Oaks

Strand of Oaks - In Heaven (Album Review)

After suffering the loss of his wife’s mother in a car accident, along with the death of his beloved cat, Stan, Timothy Showalter moved to Austin, Texas from Philadelphia, quitting drinking in the process. As a result Strand of Oaks’ latest album ‘In Heaven’ faces grief and finds hope among the sorrow. 

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 07 October 2021

Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells - Texis (Album Review)

Photo: Chris Vultaggio Over the course of four albums, New York duo Sleigh Bells have thrown everything at reimagining how electro-rock works. Saying goodbye to any sort of genre formula, they have been a brash, colourful force that’s impossible to ignore. Righting the ship just a little, ‘Texis’ doubles down on some of their best moves. 

Written by: Jessica Howkins | Date: Tuesday, 05 October 2021

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine - A Beginner's Mind (Album Review)

With lockdowns easing all around the western world, recording artists will hopefully be finding themselves in renewed flushes of creativity—reunited with the musicians, non-home studios and touring schedules that helped to define their output before.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 04 October 2021

Poppy

Poppy - Flux (Album Review)

Photo: Frank Ockenfels III Poppy couldn’t have chosen a better title for her fourth album. If one word can precisely sum up her shifting artistry, with every album so radically different from the one that came before, ‘Flux’ is more than appropriate. 

Written by: Emma Wilkes | Date: Friday, 01 October 2021

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham - Lindsey Buckingham (Album Review)

As wrenching as the split first appears, there’s some weight to the idea that getting fired from Fleetwood Mac was the best thing that could have happened to Lindsey Buckingham. His former bandmates are happy to live off their history as a touring jukebox, but the guitarist’s first solo album in a decade shows he perhaps shouldn’t be wasting his time going through the motions.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Nao

Nao - And Then Life Was Beautiful (Album Review)

Nao’s third album ‘And Then Life Was Beautiful’ is a terse 13 track investigation of diverse and listenable neo-soul, combining versatile yet distinctive vocals with guest spots from Lianne La Havas, Lucky Daye and Nigerian highlife star Adekunle Gold.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Public Service Broadcasting

Public Service Broadcasting - Bright Magic (Album Review)

Photo: Alex Lake In crafting Public Service Broadcasting’s fourth album, J. Willgoose Esq. left London behind and sauntered off to Berlin, and ‘Bright Magic’ is certainly a product of its environment. Fascinated by the German capital's near-mythical status as a creative space, he sought to write a collection “about the city and its history”.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Monday, 27 September 2021

Metallica

Various Artists - The Metallica Blacklist (Album Review)

Prior to August 12 1991, it would have been inconceivable to suggest any metal band could break out of their misunderstood and oft maligned fringe genre to become a worldwide phenomenon. But on that day Metallica only went and unleashed ‘The Black Album,’ a cross-genre, cross-cultural, cross-generational colossus that forever changed the perception and respect afforded to both themselves and heavy metal.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 24 September 2021

Thrice

Thrice - Horizons/East (Album Review)

Photo: Matt Vogel It’s a tale as old as time: rock band reunites, fails to recapture the lofty highs of their youth. Kiss, System of a Down and Mötley Crüe are among the book’s infinite chapters. Yet, you can count on one hand the bands that have re-emerged from the abyss and outdone themselves. Thrice are one of them.

Written by: Matt Mills | Date: Thursday, 23 September 2021

Employed To Serve

Employed to Serve - Conquering (Album Review)

Employed to Serve’s last album was called ‘Eternal Forward Motion’, and its title has become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy for the Woking metallers led by Justine Jones and guitarist-vocalist Sammy Urwin. Emerging from their latest bout of line up changes, the band are back with a new record and a tweaked sound.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Low

Low - Hey What (Album Review)

Following the departure of bassist Steve Garrington in 2020 Low have, almost inevitably, remained as a duo. Now consisting of couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, the heart of the Minnesota group’s 13th studio album ‘Hey What’ is, of course, their irrepressible, ever-reliable vocal harmonies.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Amyl And The Sniffers

Amyl and the Sniffers - Comfort to Me (Album Review)

Photo: Jamie Wdziekonski Renowned for their chaotic live shows and frantic take on Aussie punk, Amyl and the Sniffers have quickly made a name for themselves. Led by the formidable Amy Taylor, this raucous rock band have turned heads globally, and their notoriety will only continue to grow thanks to ‘Comfort To Me’, a second album that delivers about as much raw energy as the average listener can take.

Written by: Rebecca Llewellyn | Date: Monday, 20 September 2021

The Stranglers

The Stranglers - Dark Matters (Album Review)

Before you drop the needle on side one, ‘Dark Matters’, the Stranglers’ 18th studio LP, is already notable for a number of reasons. It’s their first album since drummer and founding member Jet Black retired in 2015, and it arrives a year after keyboard maestro Dave Greenfield succumbed to Covid-19. It also precedes the band’s final tour, which is now scheduled for early 2022 after a previous postponement.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 17 September 2021

Common

Common - A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2 (Album Review)

Photo: Brian Bowen Smith “‘A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 2’  was created with hope and inspiration in mind,” Common said while trailing his new record. “The spirit of the album was meant to emulate what a greater day would sound and feel like.” But the Chicago rapper has in fact exemplified this mission statement far better on many of his previous 13 albums.

Written by: Josh Adams | Date: Thursday, 16 September 2021

The Wildhearts

The Wildhearts - 21st Century Love Songs (Album Review)

Imagine being locked inside a washing machine as the spin cycle kicks in, while having 10 different albums playing in your headphones at the same time, and loving every dizzying second of it without quite understanding why. That’s exactly how this thrillingly rambunctious newbie from The Wildhearts will initially make you feel, until repeated plays reveal that it’s actually one of the most well crafted rock albums of the year.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves - Star-Crossed (Album Review)

Kacey Musgraves has always enjoyed ruffling feathers. Whether it has been through her candid portrayal of life in Bible belt America, her advocacy of recreational drugs, her support for marginalised groups, or even ditching banjos for vocoders, the country star–who operates, or more precisely used to operate, in a particularly conservative sector—has long made that streak work for her.

Written by: Alex Myles | Date: Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Little Simz

Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Album Review)

Most of us can only dream of attaining levels of productivity similar to those Little Simz exhibited during the pandemic. Where many of us spent mornings struggling to get out of bed, the London rapper spent her time baring her soul during the creation of her fourth album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, and the result glows with fiery intensity.

Written by: Josh Adams | Date: Monday, 13 September 2021

 
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