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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

The Prodigy

The Prodigy - No Tourists (Album Review)

To say the Prodigy have not really updated their sound is to miss the point. Like their distant cousins in electronic music Erasure and Depeche Mode they have spent their career honing a particular sonic oeuvre, and their seventh album, ‘No Tourists’, ranks among the best work within it.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 12 November 2018

Vince Staples

Vince Staples - FM! (Album Review)

There's something jarring about hearing 'FM!', California rapper Vince Staples’ latest record, for the first time. That's not to say it's gratingly abstract or experimental – if anything, it's the opposite as we're treated to a series of trap and hyphy-inspired cuts over the course of 22 minutes. It's a bitesize project from an artist who made his name with a double album, 'Summertime 06', and last year's futuristic 'Big Fish Theory'.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Friday, 09 November 2018

Baxter Dury

Baxter Dury, Étienne De Crécy, Delilah Holiday - B.E.D (Album Review)

When Baxter Dury picks apart the ironies of the modern day on Only My Honesty Matters, in that deep, cigarette-gravelled voice, the minimalism of the instrumental beneath his rhythmic, spoken word monologue about “having a roll up” and “impotent white obvious people” listening to Florence and the Machine is almost forgivable. Almost.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Thursday, 08 November 2018

The Struts

The Struts - Young & Dangerous (Album Review)

If it were illegal to cram an album with as many bombastic, uplifting anthems as humanly possible, the Struts wouldn’t just be serving hard time, they’d be shuffling along to the gallows in their most dazzling finery. Having already created a large splash in the US, and been named by Dave Grohl as the best band to support the Foo Fighters, these Derbyshire glam-rockers have crafted a relentlessly infectious second album that should finally see them receive the attention they deserve on these shores.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 08 November 2018

Eric Church

Eric Church - Desperate Man (Album Review)

If you’re having trouble getting a handle on ‘Desperate Man’, the follow-up to Eric Church’s exceptional 2015 effort ‘Mr Misunderstood’, you’re not alone. In fact, your struggles may stem from the fact that the reformed badboy of country doesn’t seem to have a clear plan for the album either. As inspired and classy as it is messy and undercooked, this record is a bona fide head-scratcher.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 06 November 2018

Peter Bibby

Peter, Bjorn and John - Darker Days (Album Review)

Photo: Johan Bergmark Living a Dream, the fifth track on Peter, Bjorn and John’s eighth album, shimmers brilliantly. It is perhaps the finest piece of music the band has put together and a neat encapsulation of the charms hidden within ‘Darker Days’, which also stacks up as their most accomplished and expansive body of work to date.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 05 November 2018

Julia Holter

Julia Holter - Aviary (Album Review)

Photo: Dicky Bahto  Julia Holter composes disparate noise projects, all designed to be deeply meditative. Constructing challenging, wide-ranging sonic spaces, interspersed with mesmerising sound patterns, her fifth LP ventures further into the irreverent than ever before.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Friday, 02 November 2018

 
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