Music Reviews

Underworld - DRIFT Series 1 Sampler Edition (Album Review)

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In November 2018 Underworld’s Rick Smith and Karl Hyde started an ambitious experiment called ‘DRIFT Series 1’  that would involve art being released throughout the following 52 weeks, billed as “one year inside the minds of Underworld”.

Gang Starr - One of the Best Yet (Album Review)

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Photo: Martyn Goodacre In the early ‘90s, Gang Starr were one of the best rap outfits in the game. Hailing from Boston and Houston respectively but very much part of the New York hip hop scene, MC Guru and DJ Premier lit up the airwaves with their brand of east coast jazz-rap.

Kanye West - Jesus is King (Album Review)

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Where are people at with Kanye West? The 42 year-old rapper, producer and professional provocateur appears to be in a bit of a mid-career trough. Could it be a case of God to the rescue?

Hootie & The Blowfish - Imperfect Circle (Album Review)

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According to Newton’s third law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That partly explains how Hootie & The Blowfish’s debut album, 1994’s ‘Cracked Rear View’, sold over 20 million copies. At a time when raw, angst-ridden grunge was at its peak, the band touted an infectiously positive mainstream roots-rock sound that couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed to Kurt Cobain and co. if it declared ‘Seattle Sucks’ in every lyric.

Miranda Lambert - Wildcard (Album Review)

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Miranda Lambert's fiery energy and exuberant spirit perfectly encapsulate the best of modern country music. Her seventh studio album ‘Wildcard’ is a confessional, expertly written body of work.

Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka (Album Review)

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Michael Kiwanuka has always struggled with an identity crisis, whether that stems from growing up in London as the son of Ugandan parents or creative impostor syndrome. His single Black Man in a White World, from 2016’s excellent ‘Love & Hate’ album, notably distilled some of his feelings of isolation. On his new LP ‘Kiwanuka’ the same theme is tapped into regularly. This time, though, the angle’s different.

Alphabeat - Don't Know What's Cool Anymore (Album Review)

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People will always debate what is and isn’t cool, but such analysis practically renders any conclusions moot. If someone thinks they’re cool, they’re not. If they attempt to be cool, their intent betrays the concept. Genuine cool, if it exists, is surely an unconscious trait possessed by those who are true to themselves and unconcerned with what anyone else says, thinks or does. In which case, Alphabeat’s cracking comeback may be the coolest pop album you’ll hear all year.

Longwave - If We Ever Live Forever (Album Review)

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Photo: Omar Kasrawi After 10 years of silence it wouldn’t be surprising if many people had forgotten the name Longwave. Perhaps residents of their native New York would think differently, but for the rest of us the indie-rockers feel like a distant memory.

Rex Orange County - Pony (Album Review)

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Still only 21, pop prodigy Rex Orange County has released three albums in a little over three years. Having already created his share of challenging, atmospheric compositions, detailing every high and low he has experienced throughout his young life, Rex’s sound is deeply sincere.

Neil Young - Colorado (Album Review)

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For Neil Young’s 39th studio album, the folk-rock legend has teamed up with frequent collaborators Crazy Horse to deliver a record of churning rock dirge, accompanied by Young’s signature blend of political postulating and semi-spiritual songcraft.

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