thu 23/11/2017

pop music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Phil Seymour

“Precious to me” is a high-carat gold nugget. A guitar-pop song with cascading, lush Everly Brothers harmonies drawing on The Searchers’ version of “When You Walk in the Room”, its immediate tune instantly lodges itself in the head.Instead of being...

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Iceland Airwaves 2017 review - political change at Reykjavík's major music festival

Óttarr Proppé, the stylish chap pictured above, was appointed Iceland’s Minister of Health in January this year. Last Saturday, when the shot was taken, he was on stage in his other role as the singer of HAM, whose invigorating musical blast draws a...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Moody Blues

In early 1965, Birmingham’s The Moody Blues topped the British charts with a forceful reinterpretation of Bessie Banks’ R&B ballad “Go Now”. In early 1968, after some line-up changes and a radical musical rethink, they hit 19 with “Nights in...

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CD: Taylor Swift - Reputation

In “Look What You Made Me Do”, the tabloid-level diss track that heralded the arrival of Taylor Swift’s sixth album, the one-time darling of Nashville declares the "old" Taylor “dead”. That song, and its follow-up procession of lukewarm singles in...

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CD: Sam Smith - The Thrill of It All

In a sense, the air of tedium that surrounds Sam Smith is a wonderful thing. This is a person who can talk about having fluid gender identity and make it sound as if he's simply unsure whether he prefers boiled or mashed potatoes: that is, he's...

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CD: Squeeze – The Knowledge

When the songwriting partnership of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford returned two years ago, it was with a renewed sense of vim and vitality following nearly two decades away. The Knowledge continues that revival with a collection of songs that...

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Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami review - a slow study of pop’s enigma

Who is the real Grace Jones? This is the central question that drives Sophie Fiennes’s documentary, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami. After 115 minutes, you might be less sure of the answer than when you go in. The title is Jamaican for a recording...

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CD: Jessie Ware - Glasshouse

Singer Jessie Ware has long been considered a bastion of grown-up pop. A natural heir to the estate once tended by Sade; a scenic artist providing the background to relaxed conversations with good company; the eventual recipient of a recurring spot...

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CD: P!nk - Beautiful Trauma

P!nk is a likably gobby superstar who has consistently maintained her position at the top of the pop tree for an impressive 17 years. Amping up her feisty one-of-the-boys persona, she’s been a template for a generation of girl-pop stars who followed...

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The Pretenders, Brighton Dome review - phone-free and feisty

Before they even step on stage The Pretenders win me to their side. An announcement prior to their appearance tells the audience, “The Pretenders request you keep your phone in your pocket.” Brilliantly, these aren’t idle words. As the gig...

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CD: Beck - Colors

Colors, the follow-up to Beck's meditative masterpiece Morning Phase, couldn't come as more of a contrast. It's a glossy, high-energy LP designed to make you dance, not think. The inspiration came partly from Pharrell Williams's mega-hit "Happy"....

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Dua Lipa, Brighton Dome review - tomorrow's star today

High hopes are riding on Dua Lipa. Tonight is the first date of her Self-Titled Tour, but it ends next April. In between, it will travel all over the world, culminating in a series of British stadium dates, the last one at the Alexandra Palace. Such...

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