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Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris - Funk Wav. Bounces Vol.2 (Album Review)

In the 2000s, a genre of compilation albums emerged featuring laid back dance music with titles like ‘Ibiza Lounge’ and ‘Chillout Summer Mix’. To listen to these records was to be transported to a Mediterranean cocktail bar with eye-wateringly expensive drinks and the worst people you are ever likely to meet. Calvin Harris’s ‘Funk Wav. Bounces Vol.2’ is the VIP version of that.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 08 August 2022

Beyonce

Beyoncé - Renaissance (Album Review)

Photo: Mason Poole There’s pressure, and then there’s the pressure to be Beyoncé. Her recent output—from 2016’s ‘Lemonade’ through to her game-changing Beychella set, collaborative album with Jay-Z, and multi-hyphenate work on The Lion King and Black is King—has all carried this weight, lucidly discussing social justice and the Black experience while setting fresh benchmarks for ambition and cross-format, capital I Importance. ‘Renaissance’ feels different—it’s capital F Fun.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Friday, 05 August 2022

Whiskey Myers

Whiskey Myers - Tornillo (Album Review)

Dripping with Muscle Shoals horns and propelled by a variety of impossible-to-resist grooves, Whiskey Myers have spiced up their style-stretching gumbo even further on ‘Tornillo’, a jubilant record that leaves their southern rock peers eating dust.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 04 August 2022

Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers - Surrender (Album Review)

Photo: S. Holden Jaffe Maggie Rogers’ second album sees the recent Harvard Divinity School masters graduate expand upon the success of 2019’s ‘Heard it in a Past Life’. It delivers 12 powerful pop tracks that will easily fill the arena-sized venues in which she now plays.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 02 August 2022

The Kooks

The Kooks - 10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark (Album Review)

The Kooks found themselves entrenched in the creative hotbed of Berlin during the early part of recording for album six ’10 Tracks To Echo In The Dark’, but when the pandemic struck they were forced to retreat to the UK until further notice. Time dragged on and Luke Pritchard continued his work via Zoom, like so many others.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Monday, 01 August 2022

Joey Badass

Joey Bada$$ - 2000 (Album Review)

Sequels are relatively common in hip hop. Genre masters such as Nas, Raekwon, and Jay-Z have all released follow ups to beloved albums, each with varying degrees of success. Fittingly for a rapper whose music has been built on emulating the greats, ‘2000’ sees New York’s Joey Bada$$ join this esteemed lineage.

Written by: Tom Morgan | Date: Friday, 29 July 2022

Beach Bunny

Beach Bunny - Emotional Creature (Album Review)

Beach Bunny’s second album does what it says on the tin, but not in the most straightforward way. The sort of albums that might be described as ‘emotional’ are usually the ones where a vocalist searches for a release from their turbulent feelings, but ‘Emotional Creature’ is a far cry from that. 

Written by: Emma Wilkes | Date: Thursday, 28 July 2022

Jamie T

Jamie T - The Theory of Whatever (Album Review)

Photo: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis We have become accustomed to protracted absences from Jamie T. Five years separated his second LP ‘Kings and Queens’ and its follow up ‘Carry On The Grudge’, and it is now close to six since his last full length, ‘Trick’. The panic that he may not return at all has dissipated since that first hiatus, though, with fans knowing that he was likely doing what he always does: writing, writing, then writing some more.

Written by: Craig Howieson | Date: Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Jack White

Jack White - Entering Heaven Alive (Album Review)

Photo: David James Swanson Jack White’s second record of 2022 sees the mercurial Michigander and former White Stripe deliver 11 tracks of quieter, more intellectual rock-roots music, bolstered by rich, textured arrangements and ever melodious guitar stylings.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Working Mens Club

Working Men's Club - Fear Fear (Album Review)

The ‘difficult second album’ can often be a red herring. It’s something that can happen, of course, particularly when a band must quickly follow an impressive debut that they had a lifetime to prepare for. In the case of Working Men’s Club, their 2020 self-titled LP was that kind of success, but the sophomore slump hasn't darkened their door.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 26 July 2022

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - XI: Bleed Here Now (Album Review)

Photo: Dave Creaney ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are one of this era’s great cult bands. The Austin six-piece have developed a committed fanbase through a unique musical aesthetic that journeys between art-rock, prog-rock and post-hardcore, with fantastical artwork and narratives offering another side of a unique, grandiose concoction.

Written by: Tom Morgan | Date: Monday, 25 July 2022

Steve Lacy

Steve Lacy - Gemini Rights (Album Review)

Catch the name Steve Lacy on a festival line up and it might bring to mind a middle aged English pop-rocker knocking out 35 minutes of a forgotten 1990s catalogue before finally cracking and playing the one massive hit. Instead, you’d actually find an exciting kind of neo-soul Frank Ocean-Thundercat mashup infused with DIY production and sass.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 25 July 2022

Mabel

Mabel - About Last Night... (Album Review)

Mabel’s second album ‘About Last Night...’ follows her to a party, where she moves from confident beginnings to romantic struggles that eventually blossom into newfound euphoric self-love. On this night of twists, you’ll find no pre-drinks at Spoons or dodgy kebabs in sight.

Written by: Matty Pywell | Date: Friday, 22 July 2022

Interpol

Interpol - The Other Side of Make-Believe (Album Review)

Twenty five years into their career, Manhattan miserabilists Interpol aren’t getting any chirpier. Following a pandemic, their gloomy traits perhaps feel more fitting than ever but ‘The Other Side of Make-Believe’ often feels like there’s a struggle going on. On one hand it’s as though their lives have been frozen in time, as they were, and on the other there is the reality of a painfully slow thawing out post-Covid.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 21 July 2022

Lizzo

Lizzo - Special (Album Review)

Photo: AB+DM Body positivity and self-love are not new concepts, particularly in Lizzo’s camp, but the Detroit-born artist’s ability to deliver messages in support of them, while embracing complex lyrical and musical tropes, is impressive. The fact that she keeps it all feeling fresh is even more so.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Thursday, 21 July 2022

Rae Morris

Rae Morris - Rachel@Fairyland (Album Review)

Rae Morris’s third studio album offers up a multicoloured patchwork of pop tunes, investigating and interrogating themes of British life against the backdrop of her hometown, Blackpool. The result is a joyful, frequently romantic romp through the singer’s heart and soul, sashaying into musical theatre and electro chamber pop with mixed results.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Journey

Journey - Freedom (Album Review)

After a decade of increasingly bizarre shenanigans, one of the world’s most iconic and dysfunctional AOR bands have produced a new album that, all things considered, is rather intriguing. It might be easier to pick holes in this record than to find AutoTune on a contemporary pop vocal but, despite of such imperfections, ‘Freedom’ is an engrossing listen that delivers a sprawling and invigorating synthesis of the fresh and familiar.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Beabadoobee

Beabadoobee - Beatopia (Album Review)

Photo: Erika Kamano ‘Beatopia’ began life as the imaginary world of Beabadoobee—first conceived when she was seven years old, she has subsequently brought that same feeling of childlike wonder into focus with the album bearing its name. Over the course of its 45 minutes it’s alternately playful and introspective, meandering between indie rock, shoegaze and bedroom pop.

Written by: Will Marshall | Date: Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Black Midi

Black Midi - Hellfire (Album Review)

Photo: Atiba Jefferson Say what you want about Black Midi (and many people have chosen to do so) but the London three-piece are nothing if not unique. They’ve been variously categorised as experimental rock, math-rock and prog-rock, but none of these labels really stuck to the imaginative, manic and absurd flights of fancy that the precociously talented Brixton band concocted to date.

Written by: Tom Morgan | Date: Monday, 18 July 2022

Superorganism

Superorganism - World Wide Pop (Album Review)

Photo: Jack Bridgland Disruption can be a powerful tool. When fighting, bargaining or toeing the line fail to get you noticed, the ability to shake up the status quo can be illuminating. Superorganism’s 2018 debut had that quality, upending expectations of what an indie-pop band might seek to achieve.

Written by: Craig Howieson | Date: Friday, 15 July 2022

 
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