sat 23/05/2015

New releases on CD & DVD

CD: The Vaccines - English Graffiti

Barney Harsent

Having come of age with their second LP, The Vaccines had developed a sound that, though borrowed, they wore with confidence. This, their third album, sees them wilfully discard it, which is, if nothing else, quite the surprise.If you’re a fan, "Handsome", "20/20" and "Radio Bikini" are the tracks that will be going on the playlist, as they’re the only ones that sound remotely like the Vaccines of old. Even then, there’s something distinctly (and newly) infantile about them. “Handsome” is...

DVD: Germany Pale Mother

Nick Hasted

This is a great, neglected film of Nazi Germany. After being savaged by German critics for its “subjective” and “sentimental” perspective on the Third Reich at its 1980 Berlin Festival premiere, it was released with 30 minutes slashed. This is the restored director’s cut’s DVD debut.Writer-director Helma Sanders-Brahms’s view certainly is subjective, and feminine. Germany Pale Mother is a fictionalised version of her early childhood with her parents: here young lovers Hans (Ernst Jacobi) and...

DVD: Birdman

Graham Fuller

Michael Keaton – like Cary Grant, Bill Murray, and George Clooney – is one of those stars who frequently convey their awareness that the situations...

CD: Róisín Murphy - Hairless Toys

Thomas H Green

The pendulum of Róisín Murphy’s creativity has long swung wildly between massively pop and trickily artsy, right back to her hit-making millennial...

CD: Brandon Flowers - The Desired Effect

Russ Coffey

Remember how in the Eighties, lead-singer solo albums would consist of a few songs left over from the day job played on synthesisers? That’s how...

CD: Sophie Hunger – Supermoon

Kieron Tyler

A moody, intimate contemplation from the Swiss singer-songwriter

CD: Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern

Guy Oddy

Weller serves up some fine summery tunes with a hefty dash of psychedelia

CD: Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?

Barney Harsent

The band's sixth album has some good moments, but lacks consistency

DVD: Foxcatcher

Kieron Tyler

Stand-out performance from Steve Carell in potent Oscar-nominated psychological drama

DVD: National Gallery

Jasper Rees

Frederick Wiseman's masterful portrait of an institution is made for piecemeal consumption

CD: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - The Traveling Kind

Thomas H Green

Satisfying second album from two imperishable country stars

CD: Thea Gilmore - Ghosts and Graffiti

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Only one eye on the past in new collection from England's finest songwriter

CD: Todd Rundgren, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Emil Nikolaisen – Runddans

Guy Oddy

A warm breeze of ambient electronica that takes in dance beats, distorted vocals and proggy textures

CD: The Fall - Sub-Lingual Tablet

Tim Cumming

Another fine disc to slip under the tongue

DVD: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Nick Hasted

Ava Gardner and James Mason in a vivid, mythic romance

CD: Death and Vanilla – To Where the Wild Things Are

Barney Harsent

The Swedish dream-pop outfit drift beautifully into darker territory

CD: Chungking - Defender

Thomas H Green

Welcome comeback from absentee south coast contenders

DVD: Turned Towards the Sun

Tom Birchenough

An extraordinary 20th-century life recalled in age

CD: Joe Stilgoe – New Songs for Old Souls

Matthew Wright

Stilgoe's gorgeous brassy arrangements will help you forget be-bop ever happened

CD: Mumford and Sons - Wilder Mind

Russ Coffey

Former hipster-folkies find their niche in AOR

DVD: The Duke of Burgundy

Jasper Rees

Kinkily unBritish pastiche Seventies lesbian erotica starring Borgen's statsminister

CD: Palma Violets - Danger in the Club

Thomas H Green

London indie quartet's second occasionally flounders amid cheerful, lo-fi aspirations

CD: Django Django – Born Under Saturn

Barney Harsent

The Scottish band strike gold with a move towards the dancefloor

DVD: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Nick Hasted

Ridley Scott's Biblical epic is dourly, intelligently ambitious

CD: Andreya Triana - Giants

Matthew Wright

Five years in the making, Triana's second album is well worth the wait

CD: Olivia Chaney - The Longest River

Tim Cumming

The young English singer's long-awaited album delivers treasures

CD: Blur - The Magic Whip

Joe Muggs

Their eighth album - and first in over a decade - could be one of their best

DVD: Model for Murder

Nick Hasted

Knives fly in Mayfair, in a British Fifties curio

CD: Jenny Lysander - Northern Folk

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Promising young Swedish songwriter reinvents pastoral folk

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