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MNEK

MNEK - Language (Album Review)

'Language,' the debut album from MNEK, reinvents the staple, clean ‘90s pop aesthetic for modern audience. Writing at a prolific pace with clarity and authority, he presents himself in a celebratory fashion as a proud gay black man.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Friday, 28 September 2018

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa - Redemption (Album Review)

Photo: Christie Goodwin Not content with resuscitating the once ailing blues-rock scene for a new generation, Joe Bonamassa has been refining and expanding his musical skillset with every release, seemingly intent on achieving some kind of career defining apotheosis. His most complete artistic statement to date, ‘Redemption’ testifies that Bonamassa’s metamorphosis from guitar hero into all round creative powerhouse is now complete.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 27 September 2018

We Were Promised Jetpacks

We Were Promised Jetpacks - The More I Sleep The Less I Dream (Album Review)

Album four from Edinburgh's We Were Promised Jetpacks is, in their own words, about going back to basics. Since 2014’s ‘Unravelling’ they’ve changed management and label, both potential pitfalls, while recording was undertaken in the US with producer Jonathan Low. Running alongside these changes on ‘The More I Sleep The Less I Dream’ is the switch back to their original four man configuration and something approximating the style of their early releases.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Thursday, 27 September 2018

Bad Moves

Bad Moves - Tell No One (Album Review)

Bad Moves are a bit late for summer but they’ve brought with them ‘Tell No One’, a debut album seemingly tailor-made for that dog-eared, sunlit past when your favourite song was always just around the corner on the radio.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Brockhampton

Brockhampton - Iridescence (Album Review)

With their inclusive ethos, motivational lyricism and taste for avant-garde pop production, Brockhampton have proved over the past year and half that they're the hip hop collective OFWGKTA should have been. That comparison might seem trite from an artistic perspective, but it fits because of the impact both groups have had on a predominantly young audience. But where OFWGKTA had a misanthropic streak, Brockhampton's messaging is more wholesome and empowering.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Low

Low - Double Negative (Album Review)

Photo: Shelly Mosman It’s not often that an album comes along and bowls you over into a state of sheer stupefaction. The Minnesota trio Low have always dabbled in minimalist experimentation, but their 12th full-length offering, ‘Double Negative’, cranks things up a notch. With Bon Iver producer B.J. Burton once again on hand, they manage to accomplish a giant leap forward without ever losing sight of who they are.

Written by: Graeme Marsh | Date: Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Fatherson

Fatherson - Sum of All Your Parts (Album Review)

Over the course of seven years and two LPs, Fatherson have quietly grafted and climbed their way to the top of Scotland’s burgeoning indie scene. And, on album number three, the Kilmarnock three-piece make their claim to an even bigger stage.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Paul Weller

Paul Weller - True Meanings (Album Review)

Paul Weller is consistently operating at a level that most other musical grandees struggle to reach. His 14th solo record arrives hot on the heels of 2017’s ‘A Kind Revolution’, an innovative rock album that reminded us that the modfather still possesses political punch and a high degree of intellectual dynamism. ‘True Meanings’ is far softer and comprises pastoral ballads led mostly by acoustic guitar.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 24 September 2018

Pale Waves

Pale Waves - My Mind Makes Noises (Album Review)

There are few more transparent lies than the suggestion that image doesn’t matter. Those who peddle it are usually paid-in-full members of the real music brigade, happy to sneer at pop stars while waxing lyrical about the famously gimmick-free music of the brothers Gallagher or Morrissey.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Monday, 24 September 2018

Sleaford Mods

Sleaford Mods - Sleaford Mods (Album Review)

After slogging it out in provincial pubs for years, it’s little wonder that Jason Williamson, with Andrew Fearn, has gone into creative overdrive since achieving national success.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 20 September 2018

Federal Charm

Federal Charm - Passenger (Album Review)

With the exception of getting a song played on prime-time radio, there are few things more challenging for a rock band than losing their lead singer. For every AC/DC with Brian Johnson there are, sadly, hundreds of groups who’ve completely nosedived once the face and voice of their operation has upped sticks. But anyone worried about the future of British blues-rockers Federal Charm can breathe a mighty sigh of relief, because they haven’t just survived their frontman’s departure, they’ve actually benefited from it on ‘Passenger’.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Thursday, 20 September 2018

Attan

Attan - End Of (Album Review)

Attan released their debut EP, ‘From Nothing’, three years ago. There wasn’t a whole lot of fanfare, just positive rumblings and a few ‘ones to watch’ recommendations. Anyone who saw the band during that period got it, though. The Norwegians’ sludge-tinged, blackened hardcore was radicalised in the live arena as vocalist Remi Semshaug Langseth went walkabout during the cathartic seven minute epic Edward. He screamed in faces, slapped his heart onto his sleeve and then carved it open for all to see.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Paul Simon

Paul Simon - In The Blue Light (Album Review)

While Paul Simon may not be as prolific as Bob Dylan (38 solo albums) or Van Morrison (39), he might beat both artists in terms of consistent quality. Records like ‘Rhythm of the Saints’, released in 1990, and 2016’ s ‘Surprise’ often matched the brilliance of his work with Art Garfunkel, but may have been overlooked due to ageism within pop music.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Mothers

Mothers - Render Another Ugly Method (Album Review)

Photo: Tonje Thilesen After relocating to Philadelphia, experimental folk quartet Mothers enlisted War on Drugs and St. Vincent producer John Congleton to work on their second album, ‘Render Another Ugly Method’.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Noname

Noname - Room 25 (Album Review)

You get the impression Noname still doesn't realise how immensely likeable she is – both as an artist and a human. There was much about the Chicago rapper's 2016 mixtape 'Telefone' that was impressive in a conventional sense, whether it was her smooth, jazz-inflected flows, impeccable taste in neo-soul production or ability to create crystal-clear imagery. But what listeners connected with most was her magnetic personality. More specifically, they bought into her compassionate worldview and propensity to derive hope from the bleakest of topics or circumstances.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 17 September 2018

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi - Hunter (Album Review)

Anna Calvi’s voice, an enormous wailing thing, is the dominant presence on her first album in five years, ‘Hunter’. It takes over and demolishes anything that stands in her path. In many ways, the record’s message does the same thing. Don’t fall into the trap of using gender stereotypes. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Be yourself.

Written by: Helen Payne | Date: Monday, 17 September 2018

Pig Destroyer

Pig Destroyer - Head Cage (Album Review)

Photo: Joey Wharton Opeth went ‘70s prog rock. Metallica cut their hair. Celtic Frost did ‘Cold Lake’. And yet, even after all that, people still shit the bed over this stuff. So when grindcore heroes Pig Destroyer released Army of Cops, a song with discernible vocals and a riff that could give Slipknot a leg-up on their next album, there was a bit of a hoo-hah.

Written by: Alec Chillingworth | Date: Friday, 14 September 2018

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney - Egypt Station (Album Review)

Photo: MPL Communications There’s lots of context that goes into reviewing work by established artists, and they don’t come much more established than Paul McCartney. Actually, there may be too much context; too much love and affection for the most influential living songwriter in the western world. In this case, one must rely on that reliable yet oft-overlooked metric: quality. And ‘Egypt Station’ is an album of exceptional quality.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Friday, 14 September 2018

Muncie Girls

Muncie Girls - Fixed Ideals (Album Review)

‘Fixed Ideals’ begins in medias res. Lande Hekt is tired, anxious and furiously angry. “I’m gonna get a tattoo that says: fuck Jeremy Clarkson and fuck you too,” she sings. The album’s opener is something of a blueprint for what follows, fusing fabulous melodies with brass tacks insights into her own life and a vivid, despondent view of a world that has lurched right with little concern for the people getting crushed in the gears.

Written by: Huw Baines | Date: Thursday, 13 September 2018

Spiritualized

Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt (Album Review)

North American and British indie do fundamentally different things. The former emanates from a land of introverts as an alternative to the blood and guts of rock music and an intellectual safehouse, born as much from the druggy gentility of Laurel Canyon as the broken factories of Detroit. The latter, however, is largely a battleground of extroverts who peacock their way through shouty choruses at beer-sodden festivals. It is an extension of rock, as opposed to its alternative.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 13 September 2018

 
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