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Petal

Petal - Magic Gone (Album Review)

‘Magic Gone’ begins abruptly with the Teenage Kicks-esque power chords of Better Than You, painting a picture of an album that’s going to be fuelled by anger, passion and enthusiasm, but the reality is far more measured.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Wednesday, 04 July 2018

Lets Eat Grandma

Let's Eat Grandma - I'm All Ears (Album Review)

Photo: Charlotte Patmore ‘I’m All Ears’ is the second album from Let’s Eat Grandma, the electronica duo comprising Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, and it shows impressive development from their precocious, if untidy, 2016 debut, ‘I, Gemini’.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 03 July 2018

The Carters

The Carters - Everything is Love (Album Review)

It might be inappropriate, or even deluded, to speculate on the extent to which Beyoncé has positively influenced her rap mogul husband, Jay-Z, artistically and personally. But the couple have repeatedly set out the terms of their relationship on public platforms – even to the point where, as a listener, it's hard to tell whether you're connecting with their issues directly or have just been sucked into an astute marketing strategy.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 02 July 2018

Johnny Marr

Johnny Marr - Call The Comet (Album Review)

After a short lifetime serving as a firecracker sideman while others took centre stage, guitarist Johnny Marr stepped out on his own with the release of an impressive debut solo album, ‘The Messenger’, in 2013. It was quickly, and a little disappointingly, followed by 2014’s ‘Playland’, a sequel that felt like a selection of b-sides. Thankfully, on ‘Call The Comet’ – his third album in just five years – Marr reverses his fortunes and raises the bar again.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 28 June 2018

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington - Heaven and Earth (Album Review)

On Kamasi Washington’s second solo record, ‘Heavenand Earth’, the L.A. bandleader has called up an impressive team of players including Tony Austin, Ronald Bruner, Jr., Brandon Coleman, Cameron Graves, Terrance Martin, Miles Mosley and Thundercat. The result is a distinguished double-album of rich intensity that channels galactic fusion, sounds from ‘70s blaxploitation and sprawling jazz spirituals.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Nas

Nas - Nasir (Album Review)

For all that Kanye West and Donald Trump's ongoing public love-in has proven embarrassing and nightmarish for a whole host of reasons, one thing they do have in common is a shameless desire to promote their respective “brands” at every opportunity. West's decision to produce five projects over the course of one Wyoming session is an impressive endeavour in and of itself, but releasing them all within weeks of each other is narcissistic even by his standards.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Tremonti

Tremonti - A Dying Machine (Album Review)

Mark Tremonti is now such a revered guitarist that he could release a triple album of self-indulgent fretboard gymnastics and his fans would still lose their minds. And yet, as evidenced by this conceptual LP of superbly sculpted rock and metal anthemics, he’s no slouch in the songwriting department either. ‘A Dying Machine’ is a defiant coming of age moment for a ‘side band’ who are rapidly outgrowing the tag, standing equal to anything from the Alter Bridge and Creed man’s back catalogue.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 25 June 2018

Kanye West

Kanye West and Kid Cudi - Kids See Ghosts (Album Review)

At first glance, 'Kids See Ghosts' doesn't appear to make sense. That's not to suggest Kanye West and his pop-rap protege Kid Cudi, architects of the project, are incapable of successfully collaborating. Rather, the record's triumphant tone and energy simply don't chime with everything we know about the Wyoming sessions in which it was made, where West also recorded his introspective solo album 'ye' and produced several mini-albums for other artists.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 25 June 2018

The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids - Kicker (Album Review)

Photo: Dalton Paley The Get Up Kids show their age on their new EP, ‘Kicker’, with four tracks that pull inspiration from each moment in their history.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Friday, 22 June 2018

Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith - Lost & Found (Album Review)

Through her music, Jorja Smith reveals her most intimate thoughts and desires. She is sweet, soulful and free. ‘Lost & Found’, the Walsall native’s 12 track, diary-like debut, fuses jazz, hip-hop, blues and stripped back acoustic takes; it’s entirely understated and unfolds in slow-mo.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Friday, 22 June 2018

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs (Album Review)

Photo: Warwick Baker Most debut albums emerge without the weight of expectation on their shoulders. That sort of pressure is usually reserved for the second outing, after the first wins over a new fanbase with a few bangers and a bit of novelty. But after releasing two stellar EPs in recent years, all eyes are on Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and their first full length, ‘Hope Downs’. Did the burden get to them? Happily, no.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Thursday, 21 June 2018

Snail Mail

Snail Mail - Lush (Album Review)

The artwork for Snail Mail’s debut album, ‘Lush’, depicts Lindsay Jordan, the driving force behind the band, staring blankly into space. In fact, all accompanying images of her in the press have the same countenance: hazy, bored, detached.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Thursday, 21 June 2018

Lily Allen

Lily Allen - No Shame (Album Review)

Lily Allen has been writing provocative, socially conscious music throughout a career that now stretches beyond a decade. Her fourth album, ‘No Shame’, arrives four years after the misguided ‘Sheezus’ LP, taking a swerve away from her comfort zone.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Arthur Buck

Arthur Buck - Arthur Buck (Album Review)

Photo: Dean Karr  Pop stardom is a young person’s game.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 18 June 2018

LUMP

LUMP - LUMP (Album Review)

Photo: Mathew Parri & Esteban Diacono “LUMP is a product,” Laura Marling monotonously narrates on the closing credits of the new project. It’s a product that, in its brief 27 minutes, encompasses a fluffy dancing yeti, angelic vocals, airy synth melodies, thrashing, but always intricate, percussion, and a constant underlying drone to sew it all together. Marling and Mike Lindsay (of psych-folk bands Tunng and Throws), whom she met by chance at a Neil Young gig, utilise mutual respect for each other’s creativity to harness LUMP, which they look upon parentally.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Friday, 15 June 2018

Flasher

Flasher - Constant Image (Album Review)

Photo: Jen Dessinger  Flasher have a couple of things in common with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Firstly, the band don’t have a defined centre, with no traditional ‘leader’ and the trio sharing vocal duties. They’re also part of an inchoate wave of contrarians kicking hard against the entrenched political systems that define their home city, Washington, D.C..

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Thursday, 14 June 2018

Zeal and Ardor

Zeal & Ardor - Stranger Fruit (Album Review)

“Double the length, twice the pleasure,” is a phrase usually reserved for your spam folder, but it’s being used here to describe a Satanic solo project that pits the blues against extreme metal. Yeah, it’s one of those days.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Thursday, 14 June 2018

Boy Azooga

Boy Azooga - 1, 2 Kung Fu! (Album Review)

Boy Azooga’s Davey Newington knows his stuff. Since grasping his first pair of drumsticks at age six, the Cardiff native has played in a bunch of orchestras and jazz bands, along with turning out as a member of Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon. All this background work has culminated in his band’s first LP, ‘1, 2, Kung Fu!’, which can only be described as a kind of fantastical, timewarped musical menagerie.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Pusha T

Pusha T - Daytona (Album Review)

Pusha T has declared this season a surgical summer, waging war on Drake with a diss track for the ages immediately after making his comeback with ‘Daytona’.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Sparkle Hard (Album Review)

Photo: James Rexroad For people of a certain age, Stephen Malkmus will always be a rarefied genius. Along with Messrs Kannberg, Young, Ibold, West and Nastanovich he soundtracked the ‘90s with Pavement, and he has been trading in a pretty fine line of off-kilter slacker rock ever since.

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Tuesday, 12 June 2018

 
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