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Cattle Decapitation

Cattle Decapitation - Death Atlas (Album Review)

Greta Thunberg. Extinction Rebellion. The Keystone Pipeline. Flint, Michigan. Fire. The Arctic circle is on fire. The Amazon is on fire. American celebrities’ homes are on fire. Perhaps that sounds like a woke, snowflake, beta cuck rendition of a Billy Joel classic, but it sets the scene for Cattle Decapitation’s seventh (or eighth, or ninth, depending on whom you ask) album, ‘Death Atlas’. The earth we live on is a melting carcass, and unfortunately that lends itself rather nicely to death metal.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Tuesday, 03 December 2019

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen - Thanks For The Dance (Album Review)

The slow, melancholic waltz of Leonard Cohen's posthumous album 'Thanks For The Dance' enraptures with stunning intensity. Compiled by his son, Adam, from material spanning the last months of the master singer-songwriter's life, the collection captures his voice with a fragile but profound resonance.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 02 December 2019

Beck

Beck - Hyperspace (Album Review)

Photo: Citizen Kane Wayne Beck’s 14th studio record follows hot on the heels of his 2017 offering, ‘Colors’, and in many ways acts as a musical response. Where that record was a raucous and bouncy romp through beats and synth riffs, ‘Hyperspace’ is more gloomy, with introspection accompanying retro chill-wave and washy dream pop...plus a lot of the same synths.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 29 November 2019

Lindemann

Lindemann - F&M (Album Review)

Photo: © Jens Koch The concept of Lindemann should really be artistically bankrupt. Peter Tägtgren, extreme music legend and frontman of industrial metal band PAIN, essentially trots out albums’ worth of said band’s material under a different name. But with one intriguing caveat: he must grant Till Lindemann, singer of Rammstein, license to play perverted poet as payment for his name and idiosyncratic timbre.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Thursday, 28 November 2019

Girl Ray

Girl Ray - Girl (Album Review)

Photo: Laura McCluskey Album two from Girl Ray appears on the surface to be a stylistic about face, with the earnest indie-pop jangle of their 2017 debut ‘Earl Grey’ replaced by glimmering synths and pin-sharp g-funk leads. But the truth is a little less complicated, and less sensational, than that.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Coldplay

Coldplay - Everyday Life (Album Review)

Coldplay’s first record in four years is a double LP, allowing these British world-beaters to experiment more with instrumentals, ditties and their signature attempts at stadium bangers. The result is an occasionally fantastic album that wears its earnestness as brazenly as ever, and which even dabbles directly in politics with mixed results.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 26 November 2019

DJ Shadow

DJ Shadow - Our Pathetic Age (Album Review)

Photo: Derick Daily DJ Shadow’s sixth LP is a double album, split between alternative trip hop instrumentals on the first disc and collab-laden crowd-pleasers on the second. It is a record of innovation and guile that ranks among his most accomplished work to date.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 22 November 2019

Clams Casino

Clams Casino - Moon Trip Radio (Album Review)

A calming presence settles in alongside the listener with the first play of Clams Casino’s second full-length album ‘Moon Trip Radio’. Notoriously low key, the producer (real name Michael Volpe) has always preferred to exist just out of shot as his instrumentals help to foreground some of east coast rap’s brightest lights.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Thursday, 21 November 2019

Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids - New Age Norms 1 (Album Review)

With the economics of the music industry in a prolonged state of flux, bands have found new ways to get by. Cold War Kids, who burst onto the American indie scene with ‘Robbers and Cowards’ in 2006, have decided to release three short albums instead of one full LP. ‘New Age Norms 1’ is the first in that series and to longtime fans the results will be pleasing. 

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Kele Okereke

Kele - 2042 (Album Review)

Photo: Asia Werbel In another life, Kele Okereke might be one of Britain’s most interesting singer-songwriters. Alongside his work with the indie band Bloc Party, he has found time to write three very personal solo albums that cover hugely diverse genres through a distinctively candid and humorous voice, alongside a musical on marriage equality and immigration called ‘Leave to Remain’.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 19 November 2019

FKA Twigs

FKA Twigs - Magdalene (Album Review)

Since bursting onto the scene with her debut EP in 2012, FKA Twigs (the stage name of Gloucestershire-born Tahliah Barnett) has defied easy categorisation. Both sensual and intellectual, her music has blended R&B, trip-hop, electronica and countless other influences into a unique voice.

Written by: Ben Gladman | Date: Monday, 18 November 2019

Underworld

Underworld - DRIFT Series 1 Sampler Edition (Album Review)

In November 2018 Underworld’s Rick Smith and Karl Hyde started an ambitious experiment called ‘DRIFT Series 1’  that would involve art being released throughout the following 52 weeks, billed as “one year inside the minds of Underworld”.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 15 November 2019

Gang Starr

Gang Starr - One of the Best Yet (Album Review)

Photo: Martyn Goodacre In the early ‘90s, Gang Starr were one of the best rap outfits in the game. Hailing from Boston and Houston respectively but very much part of the New York hip hop scene, MC Guru and DJ Premier lit up the airwaves with their brand of east coast jazz-rap.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 14 November 2019

Kanye West

Kanye West - Jesus is King (Album Review)

Where are people at with Kanye West? The 42 year-old rapper, producer and professional provocateur appears to be in a bit of a mid-career trough. Could it be a case of God to the rescue?

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Hootie and the Blowfish

Hootie & The Blowfish - Imperfect Circle (Album Review)

According to Newton’s third law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That partly explains how Hootie & The Blowfish’s debut album, 1994’s ‘Cracked Rear View’, sold over 20 million copies. At a time when raw, angst-ridden grunge was at its peak, the band touted an infectiously positive mainstream roots-rock sound that couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed to Kurt Cobain and co. if it declared ‘Seattle Sucks’ in every lyric.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 11 November 2019

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert - Wildcard (Album Review)

Miranda Lambert's fiery energy and exuberant spirit perfectly encapsulate the best of modern country music. Her seventh studio album ‘Wildcard’ is a confessional, expertly written body of work.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Thursday, 07 November 2019

Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka (Album Review)

Michael Kiwanuka has always struggled with an identity crisis, whether that stems from growing up in London as the son of Ugandan parents or creative impostor syndrome. His single Black Man in a White World, from 2016’s excellent ‘Love & Hate’ album, notably distilled some of his feelings of isolation. On his new LP ‘Kiwanuka’ the same theme is tapped into regularly. This time, though, the angle’s different.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Wednesday, 06 November 2019

Alphabeat

Alphabeat - Don't Know What's Cool Anymore (Album Review)

People will always debate what is and isn’t cool, but such analysis practically renders any conclusions moot. If someone thinks they’re cool, they’re not. If they attempt to be cool, their intent betrays the concept. Genuine cool, if it exists, is surely an unconscious trait possessed by those who are true to themselves and unconcerned with what anyone else says, thinks or does. In which case, Alphabeat’s cracking comeback may be the coolest pop album you’ll hear all year.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 05 November 2019

Longwave

Longwave - If We Ever Live Forever (Album Review)

Photo: Omar Kasrawi After 10 years of silence it wouldn’t be surprising if many people had forgotten the name Longwave. Perhaps residents of their native New York would think differently, but for the rest of us the indie-rockers feel like a distant memory.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Monday, 04 November 2019

Rex Orange County

Rex Orange County - Pony (Album Review)

Still only 21, pop prodigy Rex Orange County has released three albums in a little over three years. Having already created his share of challenging, atmospheric compositions, detailing every high and low he has experienced throughout his young life, Rex’s sound is deeply sincere.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Friday, 01 November 2019

 
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