Music Reviews

Jenny Hval - The Practice of Love (Album Review)

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Photo: Lasse Marhaug

Jenny Hval is feeling reflective. Her previous offering, ‘Blood Bitch’ was a pointedly vexing record about menstruation and vampirism that won the Phonofile Nordic Music Prize—essentially the Mercury Music Prize for Scandinavia—in 2017.

Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles (Album Review)

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Sam Fender is an interesting artist. His debut LP, ‘Hypersonic Missiles’, arrives amid plenty of hype from industry figures who have already anointed him as a future star, but it’s also a lacerating, frank odyssey into its creator’s fears and anxieties.

Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls (Album Review)

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Well, the new Bat for Lashes album is superb. Natasha Khan has mapped out a magical synth voyage into 1980s teen sci-fi horror, which marries her Home Counties purr with the 35mm joy of a Hollywood sound stage.

Whitney - Forever Turned Around (Album Review)

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There are few more grievous insults in music than to describe a record as ‘nice’. It implies a lack of bite, a play-it-safe approach, even a paucity of craft. Whitney’s second LP ‘Forever Turned Around’ is nice, but somehow it manages to be so while just about pushing things forward creatively.

Iggy Pop - Free (Album Review)

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Photo: Harmony Korine

Iggy Pop is one of America’s greatest living rock artists—a stage performer whose visceral public persona is immediate and undeniable. However, that doesn’t always translate into recognisable hits...or even high quality music. Like his late contemporary Lou Reed, sometimes his songs seem deliberately shoddy so as to disappoint and frustrate his audience.

Post Malone - Hollywood's Bleeding (Album Review)

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With two successful albums to his name, Post Malone has now released his most thought-provoking work to date with ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’. Taking time to reflect on his direction and values, it feels like an epiphanous moment in the multi-platinum artist’s 0-100 career. 

Sheryl Crow - Threads (Album Review)

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Sheryl Crow’s always been good at what she does. No more, no less. She’s crafted the occasional moment that might be deemed great, but although a Grammy-winning superstar who’s sold tens of millions of albums, her songs  have rarely threatened to attain classic status or reshape the musical landscape. Unlike the work of the legends she’s drafted in for this enjoyable, albeit indulgent and flawed, duets record.

Brockhampton - Ginger (Album Review)

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It’s been a frenetic few years for the DIY rap outfit Brockhampton. Having met through online hip hop forums, the self declared boyband released three well received albums throughout 2017 (‘The Saturation Trilogy’), before key member Ameer Vann was kicked out of the group in light of sexual misconduct allegations. 

Tool - Fear Inoculum (Album Review)

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Photo: Travis Shinn

If you’ve waited a long time for something, you might as well spend a long time with it once it finally arrives, right? Tool’s return, after a 13 year absence that amounted to torture for their committed following, is a slow moving, dense work defined by its patient approach. Its steadfast insistence on hitting its marks in its own time, and skipping zero pages in the band’s playbook, will delight diehards.

Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell! (Album Review)

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When Lana Del Rey’s Video Games attained viral status in 2011, it felt entirely plausible that her success would be a flash in the pan. Many critics (often male) derided her as a contrived, inauthentic pop star whose cinematic melancholia could not translate to long term appeal. Eight years and four albums later, they’ve been proven wrong about her longevity, and yet Del Rey’s multi-textured inauthenticity has flourished, and become a kind of defining brand. Sometimes you can be wrong and right at the same time.

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