sat 18/05/2024

CDs/DVDs

DVD/Blu-ray: The Holdovers

Glance at The Holdovers’ synopsis and you might suspect that Alexander Payne’s latest effort is a slice of lightweight seasonal schmaltz. Yes, it is set at Christmas, and contains tear-jerking moments, but Payne and screenwriter David Hemingson...

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Album: Barry Adamson - Cut to Black

Always looking dapper and always sounding cool, Barry Adamson is a man who nevertheless seems to be perpetually of another time. Giving off the vibes of a one-man Rat Pack with a dash of the legendary Lee Hazelwood, his music certainly doesn’t have...

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Album: Billie Eilish - Hit Me Hard and Soft

So Billie Eilish’s new album has had its worldwide midnight release, dropping at midnight wherever you are kiddos, and taken as a whole it’s like some dark, heavy, low-hanging semi-forbidden, semi-erect fruit that you want to bite into, chew and...

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Album: Jack Savoretti - Miss Italia

It’s a long way to the middle. Jack Savoretti has worked hard to get there. He’s grafted. His first album, 2007’s Between the Minds, hinted that his musical DNA bestrode early-Seventies Los Angeles, those Topanga Canyon strummers and such, but...

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Blu-ray: Chocolat

Claire Denis’ 1988 debut is a sensual madeleine to her Cameroonian childhood, with its taste of termites on butter, sound of birdsong and insect chitter, and the camera’s slow turn and rise into vast vistas. It’s also a colonial reckoning, setting...

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Album: Beth Gibbons - Lives Outgrown

It’s been a long while since Beth Gibbons released an album. Portishead’s Third was out in 2008.  She has lived through so many changes since, and, even though her signature is still very much in glorious evidence, Lives Outgrown represents a...

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Album: Ani DiFranco - Unprecedented Sh!t

Having moved out of her mother’s apartment aged 15 to become “an emancipated minor” and set up her own record label, Righteous Babe, just four years later, every step of Ani DiFranco’s life has been determinedly – some might say ferociously –...

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Album: Abigail Lapell - Anniversary

Anniversary is Canadian singer-songwriter Abigail Lapell’s sixth album (if we include last year’s lengthy EP of lullabies). Her success has not reached much beyond her native land, as is often the way with Canadian acts, but she’s a proven talent,...

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Album: Kings Of Leon - Can We Please Have Fun

The buildup to this album offered quite a bit of hope. The promo blurb with it talks about “cutting loose, trying new things… hark[ing] back to their gritty origins… freed from any expectations.” Most glaringly, it says it’s “the album the band says...

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Album: Bab L'Bluz - Swaken

Bab L’Bluz are a French-Moroccan four-piece that play a tasty blend of fiery psychedelic rock backed up with hypnotic North African gnawa rhythms. Featuring electric awisha lute, guembri, percussion and castanet-like qraqeb rather than more...

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Album: Pokey LaFarge - Rhumba Country

Pokey LaFarge has always defied categorisation. He likened his 2020 album Rock Bottom Rhapsody to a mix tape, with elements of bluegrass, barrelhouse, doo-wop, jazz, rockabilly, country blues, the great American songbook and even hints of movie...

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Album: Josienne Clarke - Parenthesis, I

Parentheses, I is an album title – (I) – that’s a hieroglyph of the self, the brackets like shields facing opposite ways; and as an artist and performer, Josienne Clarke knows how to use a shield, and how to use a sword, too.In her albums...

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