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Gorillaz

Gorillaz - The Now Now (Album Review)

To music lovers of a certain age Gorillaz remain an afterthought: a secondary project after Damon Albarn’s best work with Blur.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Drake

Drake - Scorpion (Album Review)

A common criticism levelled at Drake over the years is that his records tend to sound the same, but it’s a jab that misses the mark. While it's true that the Toronto megastar has developed a dependable formula, delivering introverted yet accessible rhymes over new school production, there's a clear distinction between his sonically expansive early works and his minimalist quasi-dancehall records of recent years.

Written by: Jonathan Rimmer | Date: Monday, 09 July 2018

Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine - High As Hope (Album Review)

Florence and the Machine is a name that has become synonymous with OTT pop-rock and sweeping, ethereal elegance. Those turned off by Florence Welch’s banshee wail often overlook the fact that, whether she’s inhabiting a spare ballad or a busy, rousing soundscape, she steadfastly maintains a certain level of composure. This dynamic has worked in the past, but her new album proves that it’s a delicate one to maintain.

Written by: Laura Johnson | Date: Friday, 06 July 2018

Jim James

Jim James - Uniform Distortion (Album Review)

Photo: Justin Tyler Close On Jim James’ third solo album, the My Morning Jacket bandleader has dispensed with indie psychedelia in favour of straightforward, gutsy rock tunes. The result is a record of tight musical elements, with a consistently radio-friendly sound, that falls flat when compared to more innovative releases by better rock songwriters.

Written by: Jacob Brookman | Date: Thursday, 05 July 2018

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band - Come Tomorrow (Album Review)

Photo: René Huemer The phrase ‘make love not war’ perfectly sums up ‘Come Tomorrow’, a record that finds Dave Matthews Band veering away from their usual forays into genre-twisting jam band territory and socially conscious songwriting. Although musically and thematically less dynamic than past efforts, it is abundant with heart, soul and spirit as it strives to remind us that love, in all its various guises, is still alive in this crazy world of ours.

Written by: Simon Ramsay | Date: Wednesday, 04 July 2018

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

 
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