fri 31/10/2014

New releases on CD & DVD

DVD: Godzilla

Adam Sweeting

Never mind Alien vs Predator. Gareth Edwards's rumbustious earth-in-peril spectacular restores Godzilla to the top of the über-monster food chain. He's an indestructible force called from his sub-oceanic lair to combat hideous opponents fuelled by mankind's reckless abuse of Mother Nature.Edwards makes token efforts to give his story some human-scaled interest, though frankly it's futile. Bryan Cranston emotes doggedly as a scientist at a Tokyo nuclear plant, where the first signs of impending...

CD: Simple Minds - Big Music

Russ Coffey

These days, it's not just those of a certain age who remember Simple Minds early days. Fans and critics alike have been reappraising the group's New Wave phase. The band too. Jim Kerr recently said to one theartsdesk writer "maybe we shouldn't have cashed in". Which sounds like an appealing sentiment until you realise it would have entailed denying the world "Alive and Kicking" and "Waterfront".More pertinently, where you stand on the relative stages of the bands career will dictate what...

CD: The Flaming Lips 2014 - With a Little Help...

Kieron Tyler

Choosing the cutesy-pie “Fwends” – as The Flaming Lips have before – for the title rather than "friends" instantly suggests this track-by-...

CD: Taylor Swift - 1989

Lisa-Marie Ferla

There's a "foreword" which accompanies the new Taylor Swift album – because it's not enough for the one-time Nashville starlet gone full New York pop...

DVD: Sofia's Last Ambulance

Tom Birchenough

There are moments in observational documentary that sometimes seem to rise to the drama of fictional cinema, and Ilian Metev’s Sofia’s Last Ambulance...

CD: The Fall - Uurop VIII-XII Places in Sun & Winter, Son

Tim Cumming

The Fall's mixed-bag of live and studio mayhem

CD: Yusuf/Cat Stevens - Tell 'Em I'm Gone

Russ Coffey

This old Cat learns some new tricks

DVD: Maleficent

Katie Colombus

This dark re-imagining of Disney's wicked fairy delivers in style and effects

CD: Black Veil Brides – Black Veil Brides IV

Guy Oddy

A disappointing cliché-fest from the LA hard rockers

CD: The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave

Matthew Wright

Scottish indie band's misery is appealingly well-groomed

DVD: Blacula - The Complete Collection

Nick Hasted

Surprisingly straight Blaxploitation with fangs

CD: Scott Walker + Sunn O))) - Soused

Kieron Tyler

One pair of hands is uppermost in this collaboration

CD: Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Iowan metallers let the masks slip on long-awaited fifth album

DVD: I Clowns

Nick Hasted

Fellini's rarely seen circus special

CD: Billy Idol - Kings and Queens of the Underground

Russ Coffey

Less a Rebel Yell, more a middle-aged yawn but still somewhat endearing

CD: John Foxx - B-Movie (Ballardian Video Neuronica) + John Foxx & Steve D'Agostino - Evidence of Time Travel

Thomas H Green

A two soundtrack album onslaught from original synth-pop pioneer

CD: Kiasmos

Kieron Tyler

After soundtracking Broadchurch, Iceland’s Ólafur Arnalds collaborates with Faroese foil

CD: The Ting Tings – Super Critical

Guy Oddy

Salford duo fail to impress with lacklustre third album

CD: Jessie J - Sweet Talker

Thomas H Green

Third album from UK pop sensation is feistier than anticipated

CD: Ex Hex - Rips

Lisa-Marie Ferla

DC power-pop trio deliver 35 minutes of bliss

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Bevis Frond

Kieron Tyler

A landmark one-man psychedelic band’s debut hits the racks again

DVD: Camille Claudel 1915

Jasper Rees

The unique Juliette Binoche goes beyond artistry to play a woman abandoned in hell

DVD: Red Shift

Tim Cumming

A cult classic from the golden age of British TV drama

CD: Indiana – No Romeo

Guy Oddy

A rave pop debut that goes back to the 90s

CD: Tobias Christl - Wildern

Matthew Wright

German jazz singer goes pillaging rock, from Paul Simon to Joy Division

DVD: Lilting

Karen Krizanovich

A mother's love meets her gay son's lover in this tough, insightful drama

CD: Johnny Marr - Playland

Russ Coffey

Ex-Smiths legend back with another likeable curate's egg

CD: Jackson Browne - Standing in the Breach

Adam Sweeting

Political rants and Byrdsian jangle on songwriter's 14th studio album

Reissue CDs Weekly: Oasis

Kieron Tyler

Aural vandalism inflicted on ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’


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

Mr Turner

Mike Leigh does JMW Turner - and his own artistry - proud

Cassandra, Ludovic Ondiviela, Royal Ballet, Linbury Studio

A new ballet shines a spotlight on mental illness

Uchida, LSO, Haitink, Barbican Hall

Master musicians in just-so Debussy, Mozart and Brahms

Coolatully, Finborough Theatre

Enjoyable drama about Ireland's renewed emigration

DVD: Godzilla

Spectacular effects but little human interest in monster mash-up


Angry Birds simplicity and platform game difficulty meet…

Elvis Costello, Royal Albert Hall

The singer's maturing voice takes his songs to even greater heights

La Bohème, English National Opera

Star-voiced lovers move and soar, but revived Jonathan Miller production do...

The Fall of the House of Usher, Sound Affairs, Malvern

Jean Epstein's twenties classic enriched by Cardiff composer's so...

CD: Simple Minds - Big Music

They're serious and cool again, but is it what we want?