G Eazy

G-Eazy - The Beautiful & Damned (Album Review)

G-Eazy has been calling himself the “rap game’s James Dean” since day one. And give the Californian credit where it’s due: he’s just as confident and good looking, even if at 28 he’s already lived longer than his idol. ‘The Beautiful & Damned’ is Eazy’s fourth record and the title shows he’s been consistent with his branding, if nothing else.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Wednesday, 03 January 2018

Electric Eye

Electric Eye - From The Poisonous Tree (Album Review)

Fresh from travelling the world on an extensive tour, Norwegian psych rockers Electric Eye returned to the studio to get to work on their third album, ‘From The Poisonous Tree’, just a year after their second effort ‘Different Eye’. Their punishing schedule also took in a live album, ‘Live At Blå’, and their dedication must be admired. Ultimately, though, it’s also evident that they may be pushing themselves a little too hard.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Friday, 22 December 2017

Lemuria

Lemuria - Recreational Hate (Album Review)

There’s a line that pops up a few times on Lemuria’s surprise new record, ‘Recreational Hate’. It’s there on the country-tinged twang of Kicking In, and again as Marigold speeds to its conclusion: “Like something I had, but I hadn’t noticed yet.”

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 20 December 2017

NERD

N.E.R.D. - No_One Ever Really Dies (Album Review)

There are three words in the English language that are enough to strike fear into anyone: ‘featuring Ed Sheeran’. Is there nothing that man won’t put his hand to? A matter of weeks after popping up on Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’, not to mention drafting Beyoncé in to enliven his own song, Perfect, he’s one of a cavalcade of guest stars on ‘No_One Ever Really Dies’, the comeback album from N.E.R.D..

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Miguel

Miguel - War & Leisure (Album Review)

For most R&B artists, repeatedly being mentioned in the same breath as Frank Ocean and the Weeknd would be taken as a massive compliment. But for Californian singer, producer and certified dandy Miguel, you get the feeling it’s become a source of frustration (and that’s not just because he and Ocean had a very public feud in 2015).

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 18 December 2017

Neil Young

Neil Young - The Visitor (Album Review)

The presidency of Donald J. Trump has presented something of an open goal for singer-songwriters like Neil Young. These days, his protests may be as subtle as someone opening an envelope with a chainsaw, but hearing him unapologetically venting in a way many of today’s stars wouldn’t dare is undoubtedly refreshing.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Glassjaw

Glassjaw - Material Control (Album Review)

Glassjaw’s return after a 15 year absence pays tribute to the music that first inspired them, reminding Daryl Palumbo and Justin Beck just why they formed a band. On ‘Material Control’ they retain the passionate, fierce energy of their youth, which eludes many older bands, while showcasing the maturity that comes with age.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Monday, 11 December 2017

U2

U2 - Songs of Experience (Album Review)

In a 2013 interview, U2 frontman Bono described some of the challenges that come with producing ‘very good’ music. “People don't get excited about us being very good,” he said. “Who needs a new U2 album? There's loads of them out there [...] we have to make a great U2 album.”

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 07 December 2017

Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton - From A Room: Volume 2 (Album Review)

Whenever an artist releases a swift follow up to their previous record that includes material culled from the same sessions, any excitement is often curtailed by the nagging concern you’re about to be served reheated leftovers. 

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 07 December 2017

Spocks Beard

Spock's Beard - Snow Live (Album Review)

It was a dark day for fans of Spock’s Beard when Neal Morse left the group in 2002 to pursue a new musical direction inspired by his Christian faith. So when the prog-rock giant recently reunited with his former bandmates to play the concept album ‘Snow’ in its entirety, the spiritual resonance of the group’s performance was shared with an audience who never dreamt that day would come.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 06 December 2017

Van Morrison

Van Morrison - Versatile (Album Review)

Bang! And another!

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 05 December 2017

Noel Gallagher

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Who Built The Moon? (Album Review)

Alarm bells ring, sonic waves reverberate and scissors snap as Noel Gallagher turns his back on a tried and tested formula to delve into a fascinating world of experimentation on ‘Who Built The Moon?’, his third studio effort with the High Flying Birds.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Monday, 04 December 2017

At The Drive In

At The Drive-In - Diamante EP (Album Review)

At The Drive-In are stuck. In the year 2000, they released one of the greatest albums ever made: ‘Relationship of Command’. Seventeen years later, they followed it up with ‘In•ter a•li•a’: a bloated, embarrassing mid-life crisis of a record that failed to capture the bliss of youth. Its follow up, ‘Diamante’, offers some respite, albeit in small doses.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Friday, 01 December 2017

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill - The Rest of Our Life (Album Review)

In 1985, shortly after Tipper Gore and her cronies started protesting against music they deemed ‘unsuitable’, stickers were affixed to certain albums with a warning: Parental Advisory - Explicit Content.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 01 December 2017

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens - The Greatest Gift (Album Review)

It might comprise a selection of remixes, unreleased tracks and stripped back demos relating to 2015’s ‘Carrie & Lowell’, but Sufjan Stevens’ ‘The Greatest Gift’ is strong enough to stand as an album in its own right.

Written by: Ben Gallivan | Date: Thursday, 30 November 2017

Baths

Baths - Romaplasm (Album Review)

Photo: Mario Luna The wonderful thing about pop music is that there’s no one way to do it. It’s obvious on the first listen of ‘Romaplasm’, the third album from American songwriter Will ‘Baths’ Wiesenfeld, that pop was a principal element of his musical education. It’s written in his vocal patterns, his use of call and response, and his sublime choruses.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Soul of a Woman (Album Review)

We don’t always get the send off we want. Goodbyes might be non-existent, hurried or - worse still - over-long: drawn-out, awkward conversations that don’t know when to end.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples - If All I Was Was Black (Album Review)

Mavis Staples and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy have teamed up again on ‘If All I Was Was Black’, and their third collaboration is a call for love, hope and unity in the face of the struggles facing black Americans.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Bjork

Björk - Utopia (Album Review)

On ‘Utopia’, Björk’s ninth studio album, she has re-teamed with electronica producer Arca to deliver a collection of avant-garde sound happenings rich in storytelling, elaborate arrangements and majestic vocal blend.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 27 November 2017

Tove Lo

Tove Lo - Blue Lips (Album Review)

Double albums are rarely a good idea. There’s just no easy way to get around that much excess. With ‘Lady Wood’ and ‘Blue Lips’, though, Tove Lo has become the latest artist to make a solid case for tackling a surfeit of like-minded material by splitting it down the middle and releasing the segments at separate intervals.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 24 November 2017

 
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