Music Reviews

Sons of Apollo - MMXX (Album Review)

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For fans of music that dwarfs the very notion of epic, there won’t be many better ways to start this decade than by listening to Sons of Apollo’s ‘MMXX’, a subtlety-be-damned feast of high calibre progressive metal that doesn’t skimp on jaw-dropping excess. Having perfected what keyboard player Derek Sherinian referred to as ‘the art of strategic wankery’ on their 2017 debut ‘Psychotic Symphony’, the quintet have produced a very confident and cohesive follow up that’s notable for its ferocious levels of chemistry and exhilarating instrumental chops.

Poppy - I Disagree (Album Review)

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​ What the fuck is going on with Poppy? That’s the burning question being asked by those who have stumbled across the campaign for her new album, ‘I Disagree’, which serves as a reboot of her musical persona by switching out tooth-achingly sweet pop for something approaching nü-metal revival.

Selena Gomez - Rare (Album Review)

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In our era of braggadocio, unfettered egos and online oversharing, Selena Gomez's third solo album is stripped back, vulnerable and fittingly named ‘Rare’. A little over four years after the release of her previous full length ‘Revival’, a more sophisticated 2.0 version of Gomez steps forward, grown and self-assured. 

Field Music - Making A New World (Album Review)

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Field Music’s seventh studio LP is the Sunderland band’s self-described first ‘legitimate concept album’, which grew out of a project with the Imperial War Museum.

The Big Moon - Walking Like We Do (Album Review)

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Photo: Pooneh Ghana While it’s not quite in the realm of Dylan going electric, the Big Moon’s decision to pare back the guitars on their second LP is a head-turning one. A few years on from picking up a Mercury Prize nomination for their debut, ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’, the quartet have ditched that record’s hook-heavy, distorted tangle in favour of clean pop lines and glittering synths.

Stormzy - Heavy is the Head (Album Review)

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Stormzy’s second studio album is a bigger, more tightly constructed version of his 2017 debut, ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’, and it finds the south London grime artist in confident, expansive and familiarly political mood. 

Harry Styles - Fine Line (Album Review)

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That Harry Styles chose genteel pop-rock as his mode of solo expression remains an intriguing, surprising turn of events. After the mannered, occasionally beige, opening statement made by his self-titled debut back in 2017, ‘Fine Line’ is tasked with adding depth and nuance beyond his expressive voice and devilish good looks.

Stone Sour - Hello, You Bastards (Album Review)

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Although the average metal fan won’t exactly be in thrall to ‘90s romcom Jerry Maguire, it does contain a quote that’s pertinent here. At the conclusion of his passionately protracted monologue, Renee Zellweger famously tells Tom Cruise “you had me at hello.” Speaking with similar heart about this live offering, Stone Sour guitarist Josh Rand proclaimed, “We're extremely proud of the fact it's 100% live with absolutely no overdubs!”, before needlessly unveiling plenty of details about the release. Josh, you had us at ‘100% live.’

Camila Cabello - Romance (Album Review)

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Channelling the late ‘90s pop flair that established Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Camila Cabello has unleashed what appears on the surface to be a high-octane second LP in ‘Romance’. From the first play, the level of financial investment and industry hopes attached to this project feel tangible.

Liam Payne - LP1 (Album Review)

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Liam Payne's graduation from One Direction member to solo star was engineered to feel like a sexy and confident hip hop evolution, twisted up with Justin Timberlake-esque cool. Alongside bringing a sense of maturity to the boy band icon’s attitude and music choices, smouldering portraits of the 26-year-old filtered through to the covers of glossy magazines everywhere.

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