tue 29/07/2014

New releases on CD & DVD

CD: Andy Bell – Torsten the Bareback Saint

Kieron Tyler

“A theatrical pop song-cycle of musical postcards from the hotspots of memory from a semi-immortal polysexual sensualist’s life” is how the fourth solo album from Erasure's Andy Bell describes itself. The story and album begin with “Freshly Buggered”, where Torsten, born 1906, arrives at school to tell all that he is gay. “He had found a love so real, so pure” declare the lyrics.The extraordinary Torsten the Bareback Saint can't fail to provoke, raise a smile and carry anyone along with its...

Loudon Wainwright III: Haven't Got the Blues (Yet)

Jasper Rees

Loudon Wainwright III is the closest the Americana tradition gets to a stand-up comedian. It’s there in the punctilious insistence on his place in the dynasty (a dynasty which has spawned a couple of singer-songwriters of a less humorous bent). One of the gags in Wainwright’s 25th studio album in a recording career that began in 1970 is the indignity of old age, and naturally he tells it well: “Brand New Dance” is a hymn to the failing body (“Here comes the hard part here’s the bad news/You go...

CD: Neon Jungle - Welcome to the Jungle

Thomas H Green

Neon Jungle are a manufactured band consisting of four visually striking young women aged between 17 and 21. They have supported Jessie J in concert...

DVD: Independencia

Graham Fuller

Raya Martin's Independencia (2009) begins during the brutal Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, the prelude to four decades of US occupation. When...

CD: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Hypnotic...

Guy Oddy

Tom Petty is one of rock’s best-selling artists of all time. However, with the exception of a couple of minor hits, his West Coast Bruce Springsteen...

CD: Black Top - # One

Peter Quinn

A powerful, genre-defying debut album from the shape-shifting ensemble

DVD: Too Late Blues

Kieron Tyler

Jazz-world rollercoaster ride from John Cassavetes

CD: Fink - Hard Believer

Matthew Wright

Fink's latest is a mixed bag of the inspired and aerated

CD: Richard Thompson - Acoustic Classics

Tim Cumming

Thompson goes solo for a deft career retrospective

CD: King Creosote - From Scotland with Love

Russ Coffey

More top-drawer nostalgia from the prolific Scotsman

DVD: Harold and Maude

Kieron Tyler

Early Seventies black comedy which demonstrates love recognises no boundaries

CD: Jungle - Jungle

Thomas H Green

Rising London electronic duo don't quite match their hype

CD: La Roux - Trouble in Paradise

Joe Muggs

Elly Jackson has matured musically in her absence: but is that for the best?

DVD: Miss Violence

Katie Colombus

This disturbing depiction of patriarchal domination is difficult to watch

CD: Preservation Hall Jazz Band - That's It!

Matthew Wright

Vivid and wide-ranging tribute to New Orleans musical traditions

Reissue CDs Weekly: Lewis

Kieron Tyler

A ground-breaking lost classic resurfaces

CD: Emma Tricca – Relic

Kieron Tyler

An album that aches with a spiritual yearning by this singular artist

DVD: Under the Skin

Jasper Rees

Scarlett Johansson kills Glaswegian males

CD: Judas Priest - Redeemer of Souls

Russ Coffey

Are the veteran Brum-rockers ripe for re-appraisal?

CD: Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business

Guy Oddy

British institution and one-time indie icon returns to form

CD: Honeyblood - Honeyblood

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Promising debut from Glasgow duo packed with sugar and venom

CD: Anushka - Broken Circuit

Joe Muggs

Can the new wave of dance music support a real songwriting partnership?

DVD: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Kieron Tyler

A game of two halves in Wes Anderson’s hotel-set fantasia

CD: Sia Tolno - African Woman

Peter Culshaw

Africa's big soul voice turns back the clock and reworks Afro-beat

Reissue CDs Weekly: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Kieron Tyler

Warts-and-all document of the fantastic four’s mammoth stadium tour of 1974

CD: Jon Allen - Deep River

Russ Coffey

An accomplished piece from the hard-working journeyman

DVD: Metro-Land

Nick Hasted

Betjeman takes the train into England's suburban oddness

CD: Pulcinella - Bestiole

Matthew Wright

Toulouse-based band conjures winsomely quirky palette of sounds

CD: Sia - 1000 Forms of Fear

Joe Muggs

The trip-hopper turned hyper-popper boggles with scale

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

latest in today

Romeo and Juliet, Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House

Dated choreography is redeemed by luminous performances

Hide Your Smiling Faces

Impressive, enigmatic debut from American indie director Daniel Patrick Car...

Prom 14: Pahud, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Fischer

A striking new flute concerto by Simon Holt between established French mast...

A Hundred Million Musicians: China's Classical Challeng...

Will China's army of young instrumentalists conquer the planet?

theartsdesk at the Port Eliot Festival

Notting Hill meets Cornwall at boho-hippie-rock-literary love-in

Red Arrows: Inside the Bubble, BBC Two

On manoeuvres with the world's best-known aerobatics team

CD: Andy Bell – Torsten the Bareback Saint

Erasure man’s theatrical evocation of a mythical life of longing, love and...

Prom 12: Bach St John Passion, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Nor...

Swiss orchestra and choir bring radiance to the Royal Albert Hall

Natural Affection, Jermyn Street Theatre

Slice of American esoterica appears stilted in UK debut

theartsdesk in the Faroes: Disco and Dried Fish

The usually reserved Faroese get down at G! Festival 2014