fri 21/07/2017

pop music

CD: Arcade Fire – Everything Now

If you consider the fanciful notion that Arcade Fire are a kind of Canadian art house Dexys Midnight Runners who have substituted strained angsty soul for strained angsty rock, then the title track of their new album is their “Come On Eileen”. It’s...

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CD: The Vamps – Night and Day (Night Edition)

Watching the YouTube clips that accompany the release of the Vamps’ third album, Night and Day (Night Edition), it becomes immediately apparent how keen they are to come across as a "real" band. They talk eloquently about the writing process and are...

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CD: Emma Stevens - To My Roots

What’s not to like about To My Roots, the third album by singer-songwriter Emma Stevens? That’s the problem. Not just her problem, of course, but the problem with so many DIY indie artists who release albums, often crowdfunded (as this was), pick-up...

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CD: Autarkic – I Love You, Go Away

Tel Aviv producer Nadav Spiegel hadn't set out to make a full-length follow-up to last year's Can You Pass the Knife? mini-LP, but once he had a backbone of songs, events sort of got away from him. I Love You, Go Away is the result and its nine...

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CD: Calvin Harris - Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

“You can't hate on Harris, he is summer king,” says an anti-troll post on a thread announcing the fifth album by the 6’5” Scottish super-producer known to his mum as Adam Wiles. But it would be easy to do just that. Calvin Harris is one of the key...

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CD: Beth Ditto - Fake Sugar

Gossip – the trio fronted by Beth Ditto from 1999 until last year – always felt a bit overshadowed by their 2006 breakthrough hit “Standing in the Way of Control”. It's understandable: it still stands up now as a bona fide banger, in original form...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Lynn Castle

In a 1967 headline, The Washington Post pegged Lynn Castle as a “Shapely Blonde in Blue Jeans, Popular Barber in Hollywood”. She had attracted attention as the hairdresser of choice for The Byrds, The Monkees, Del Shannon, Sonny & Cher and...

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Whitney: Can I Be Me review - tragic account of superstar who fell to earth

The statistics of Whitney Houston’s career are flabbergasting in this post-CD era. Her 1985 debut album sold 25 million copies. “I Will Always Love You” is the best-selling single by a female artist in music biz history. Its parent album, the...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Doors

Fat cigar at hand, Jim Morrison is pondering the future of music. “Maybe it might rely heavily on electronics, tapes,” he says. “I can envision maybe one person with a lot of machines, tapes and electronic set ups, singing or speaking and using...

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CD: Saint Etienne - Home Counties

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life,” said Samuel Johnson. It’s utter balls, of course. When someone’s tired of London, they’re probably just knackered and wouldn’t mind living somewhere with more trees, fewer people and in a house...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 28: Manic Street Preachers, Joep Beving, Wreckless Eric, SWANS and more

While the 36 records reviewed below run the gamut of Wreckless Eric to Democratic Republic of the Congo Afro-electronica, this month there’s also a special, one-off section for modern classical. This is due to an ear-pleasing haul of releases...

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It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! review - without a little help from their friends

This is the most frustrating film. It’s probably no fault of the makers, but it’s rare to have to assess a documentary for what it doesn’t have. Over nearly two hours of celebrating the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles period – late...

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