tue 01/09/2015

New releases on CD & DVD

DVD: Far From The Madding Crowd

Matthew Wright

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg specialises in claustrophobic, asphyxiating atmospheres, from his breakthrough family abuse tale Festen to the more recent study of small-town paranoia, The Hunt. Moving from domestic close-up to the Wessex wide shots and cosmic panoramas of Thomas Hardy, there’s a grinding of gears, and choosing Far From The Madding Crowd as his Hardy debut, when John Schlesinger’s 1967 adaptation is so revered, seems provocative.The Wessex countryside comes across as postcard...

CD: Micachu & The Shapes - Good Sad Happy Bad

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Bands that stand out live often disappoint on record: it can be difficult to capture the energy, the ferociousness, the vitality that makes a group of musicians special when you freeze it in time. Experimental pop trio Micachu & the Shapes - who have the dubious distinction of being one of the best live acts I’ve ever seen yet one whose music I’ve never been able to enjoy at home - have probably come as close to doing so as is possible on Good Sad Happy Bad. The album began life...

CD: Public Image Ltd - What the World Needs Now...

Graham Fuller

John Lydon’s group went 20 years without cutting a studio album before issuing This Is PiL. A mere three years on, the singer and his bandmates Lu...

CD: The Naturals - On the Way (To the Laughing...

Barney Harsent

Once upon a time, there was a label called Whatever We Want. As well as releasing vital, uncompromising records by Gareth “Godsy” Goddard and French...

DVD: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Kieron Tyler

Any film about a series of real-life unsolved murders is ready to be tagged as exploitation. With The Town That Dreaded Sundown, the waters are...

CD: Owiny Sigoma Band - Nyanza

Matthew Wright

Anglo-Kenyan collaboration proves captivating

CD: Hills - Frid

Guy Oddy

Psychedelic Swedes lay down some mind-blowing pagan ritual music

DVD: Around the World with Orson Welles

Graham Rickson

Uneven TV travelogue from the maverick director

CD: Beach House – Depression Cherry

Kieron Tyler

Exquisite enervation on Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s fifth album

CD: Trappist Afterland – Afterlander

Barney Harsent

A beautiful collection of new songs that comes dressed up in old clothes

CD: Motörhead – Bad Magic

Guy Oddy

A solid 22nd album from Lemmy’s veteran rockers

DVD: Eyes Without a Face

Kieron Tyler

Georges Franju’s 1960 auteur horror feature remains fresh and still disturbs

DVD: Timbuktu

David Nice

Aberrahmane Sissoko's essential reflection on the occupation of the Malian desert town

CD: Loose Tubes - Arriving

Peter Quinn

A magisterial, skip-proof collection that delivers a powerful emotional jolt

DVD: Queen and Country

Mark Kidel

Autobiographical account of National Service days lacks fizz

CD: Natalie Imbruglia - Male

Russ Coffey

Former pop pixie goes 'mature and sophisticated' - how does it suit?

CD: Blancmange - Nil By Mouth

Caspar Gomez

Unexpected instrumental interlude from low-profile 1980s electro-pop act

CD: Public Enemy – Man Plans God Laughs

Barney Harsent

Hip Hop's grand masters produce their best in almost a decade

DVD: Glassland

Tom Birchenough

Raw performances from Jack Reynor and Toni Collette as mother and son in bleak Irish drama

CD: The Strypes – Little Victories

Guy Oddy

Irish garage blues firebrands lose their way on album number two

CD: Iris DeMent - The Trackless Woods

Mark Kidel

Russian poetry Southern country style

DVD: Videodrome

Nick Hasted

David Cronenberg's vision of body horror and video sleaze retains its power

CD: Slime - Company

Kieron Tyler

Atmospheric, soul-tinged, Fourth-World electronica from Hackney-based Will Archer

CD: Bullet For My Valentine - Venom

Thomas H Green

Fifth from Welsh metal furies retains their muscle and lack of flab

DVD: My Darling Clementine

Graham Fuller

John Ford's classic noir Western transcends its own mythmaking

CD: Ruf Dug – Island

Barney Harsent

The Manchester-based producer maps out his own terrain and strikes gold

CD: Four Tet - Morning/Evening

Barney Harsent

From dawn til dusk: Kieran Hebden's two-track tour of a day proves thoughtful and beautiful

DVD: War and Peace

Tom Birchenough

Nuclear weapons in India and Pakistan, and wider issues, in insightful documentary

CD: Frank Turner – Positive Songs for Negative People

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Positive mental anthems from folk-punk troubadour


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

Listed: Essential Operas 2015-16

Our classical/opera writers choose 12 highlights of the coming season

Miss Julie

Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell are the mistress and servant messing wit...

DVD: Far From The Madding Crowd

Carey Mulligan sparkles but Thomas Vinterberg's Hardy is only a partia...

Prom 60: Denk, San Francisco Symphony, Tilson Thomas

Glamorous visitors bring a crazy concerto, luminous Mahler, and a bit of ch...

The Trials of Jimmy Rose, ITV

Ray Winstone surprises as concerned grandad - but old habits die hard

We Made It: Ballet costumier Anna Willetts

The secrets of Birmingham Royal Ballet's costume department are unveil...

Murmel Murmel, King's Theatre, Edinburgh

Absurdist romp from Berlin's Volksbühne proves a hallucinatory if mela...

CD: Micachu & The Shapes - Good Sad Happy Bad

Avant-garde art-pop from erstwhile BAFTA nominee

Oliver Sacks remembered

The acclaimed neurologist and author Oliver Sacks has died aged 82

Prom 58: Kullervo, BBCSO, Oramo

Superlative performance of Sibelius's early epic coincides with Tolkie...