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Mitski

Mitski - Be The Cowboy (Album Review)

Photo: Bao Ngo In a recent interview, Spike Lee pushed back on a question about his new film, BlacKkKlansman, being a comedy. “It’s not a comedy,” he said. “[...] it’s not a new phenomenon to have humour in very serious subject matter.”

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 23 August 2018

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande - Sweetener (Album Review)

‘Sweetener’ is a 15 track, pop-centric fourth album from Ariana Grande. While no direct reference is made to the events or emotions she experienced following the bombing at her Manchester concert in the spring of last year, here she stands as a mature woman characterised by strength and self-confidence. What resonates is a sense of calm.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Mac Miller

Mac Miller - Swimming (Album Review)

Few artists have managed to pivot as effectively as rapper and producer Mac Miller, at least in the eyes of his peers. The Pittsburgh-born up-and-comer's 2011 debut 'Blue Slide Park', a hipster-friendly party rap album in the vein of Asher Roth, was as disposable as it was inoffensive.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Slaves

Slaves - Acts of Fear and Love (Album Review)

Whether it’s because they’ve pricked the ears of primetime Radio 1 DJs, or because they’ve signed to one of the biggest record labels in the world, or because their songs spout trite counterculture messages, the likes of which any 16-year-old has already heard too many times, Slaves always come across as punk-lite. It’s been said that they’re punk for those who don’t really know what punk is, and their new record, ‘Acts of Fear and Love’, proves that maxim still rings true.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Oh Sees

Oh Sees - Smote Reverser (Album Review)

On their 21st full length album, ‘Smote Reverser’, John Dwyer’s constantly evolving gang have served up a psych-rock record of head-banging machismo. As on 2017’s ‘Orc’ - also released under the Oh Sees banner - he has employed the dual drumming unit of Paul Quattrone and Dan Rincon, with frenetic, thrilling results.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 20 August 2018

Deaf Havana

Deaf Havana - Rituals (Album Review)

The intro to Deaf Havana’s ‘Rituals’ is a short ambient piece called Wake but, in truth, they might well have kicked things off with John Williams’ ominous theme music from the film Jaws. Having turned their back on everything that made them one of Britain’s finest young bands, the five piece have totally and utterly jumped the shark here.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Monday, 20 August 2018

Jake Shears

Jake Shears - Jake Shears (Album Review)

Photo: Greg Gorman Jake Shears’ debut solo record is a sprawling smorgasbord of musical flavours that should remind listeners of his band-leading and songwriting expertise. It’s an album bristling with confidence and brio that develops on his work with Scissor Sisters while isolating and identifying Shears’ own distinctive voice.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 16 August 2018

Miles Kane

Miles Kane - Coup de Grace (Album Review)

No matter how much Miles Kane might like to think of himself as a solo act, the fact remains that he’s always struggled to emerge from the shadows of his more revered pals. He’s scored two number one albums with The Last Shadow Puppets, but those have to be viewed in the context of Alex Turner’s contributions. Of his own material, how much do you remember aside from a couple of chanty singalongs?

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Santigold

Santigold - 'I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions' (Album Review)

With dancehall continuing to enjoy an influential spot in the mainstream Santigold has combined with Mixpak label owner Dre Skull on 'I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions', a mixtape that finds her dipping into fresh waters.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Tuesday, 14 August 2018

YG

YG - Stay Dangerous (Album Review)

‘Stay Dangerous’ is the third studio album from Los Angeles rapper YG, an artist who burst onto the scene with his 2014 debut ‘My Krazy Life’. It's a record that, despite impressive moments, demonstrates how he has struggled to find a distinctive musical voice in a highly saturated hip-hop scene.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 09 August 2018

James

James - Living In Extraordinary Times (Album Review)

Listening to 'Living In Extraordinary Times', the thought occurs that indie-pop stalwarts James aren’t dissimilar to a shark. Such is the Manchester octet’s devotion to exploring fresh textures, with an insatiable forward momentum, that if they stop moving it’s likely they’ll immediately shuffle off to the great gig in the sky. Fortunately, if the band’s most recent output - and especially this effort - is anything to by, they won’t be playing chess with the Grim Reaper any time soon.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 08 August 2018

Wet

Wet - Still Run (Album Review)

Photo: Amber Mahoney Change is the primary fuel for Wet’s second album, ‘Still Run’. Different influences, locations and relationships all conspired to signpost a new direction for the band while still retaining the core elements of their sound.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Tuesday, 07 August 2018

Tony Molina

Tony Molina - Kill The Lights (Album Review)

On the face of it, Tony Molina appears to be a marketing executive’s worst nightmare.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Monday, 06 August 2018

Halestorm

Halestorm - Vicious (Album Review)

After somewhat dropping the ball on 2015’s polarizing ‘Into The Wild Life’, Lzzy Hale and band have rediscovered their rock ‘n’ roll mojo on a strong fourth album that, although never in danger of reinventing the wheel, delivers the kind of riff-heavy rock anthems and lighter-waving ballads that should satisfy the majority of Halestorm fans.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Friday, 03 August 2018

The Internet

The Internet - Hive Mind (Album Review)

Photo: Alan Lear It's been fascinating to track the Internet's transition from OFWGKTA side project to fully fledged neo-soul outfit over the past few years. Sure, the various members of the west coast jam band could always play assuredly, but their first two records were marred by the same juvenile lyrics and rigid production styles that held their ‘parent’ group back.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Thursday, 02 August 2018

All Saints

All Saints - Testament (Album Review)

In the late ‘90s, All Saints were the a moodier, more credible Spice Girls. Like East 17 to Take That, they catered for hungry dreamers who sought different, more edgy universes…as long as they were contained in the pages of Smash Hits.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Wednesday, 01 August 2018

Real Friends

Real Friends - Composure (Album Review)

Composure is something that you can lose or find, and it’s also the name of Real Friends’ third album. On this release the Illinois pop-punk band step up their game with high quality tracks that examine how people often feel one way but act another.

Written by: Jennifer Geddes | Date: Wednesday, 01 August 2018

Underworld

Underworld & Iggy Pop - Teatime Dub Encounters (Album Review)

‘Teatime Dub Encounters’ is a new four track EP from art-rock icon Iggy Pop and British house surrealists Underworld. It’s a fun, joyous piece of escapism that reveals musicians in fine creative fettle, and also inconsistency when it comes to quality music craft.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa - Rolling Papers II (Album Review)

‘Rolling Papers II’, Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa’s sequel to his 2011 major label debut, stands as 25 songs of laid back beats and a heavy reliance on finger clicks, sampled bass riffs, 808s and synth effects.

Written by: Milly McMahon | Date: Monday, 30 July 2018

Ovlov

Ovlov - Tru (Album Review)

There are several ways for records to stand out. They might say something meaningful, or push the boundaries of a genre. Others are so good at purveying a particular mood and atmosphere that they don’t need to do much else. Ovlov’s second album, ‘TRU’, is one of those.

Written by: Liam Turner | Date: Monday, 23 July 2018

 
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