mon 24/09/2018

New Music Reviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Bobbie Gentry

Kieron Tyler

In 2016, a writer from The Washington Post thought they had found Bobbie Gentry. After announcing their presence via the entry phone system of a gated housing development near Greenwood, Mississippi, they were told “there's nobody here by that name.” Though Greenwood was where Gentry had attended school and taught herself to play multiple instruments, it was a predictable response.

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David Crosby & Friends, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, review - still spine-tingling at 77

Ellie Porter

“This, quite possibly, could be a really good night,” declared David Crosby. He’s a couple of songs into this show, one of only two UK dates on the tour promoting his current album Sky Trails. Looking trim, beaming and in impeccable voice, the 77-year-old known as Croz fulfils his prophecy – and then some.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Soft Cell

Kieron Tyler

During their original 1980 to 1984 lifespan as a recording unit, Soft Cell issued three albums, a mini-album, eleven singles and EP. There were also compilation appearances, bonus tracks on discs included with albums or singles (such as the 12-inch of Jimi Hendrix cover versions accompanying The Art of Falling Apart) and extended tracks which appeared on 12-inch singles. Everything could probably be collected on six CDs.

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Classic Albums: Amy Winehouse - Back to Black, BBC Four review - suffering turned into song

mark Kidel

Formats are second nature to TV: the BBC and Eagle Rock’s Classic Albums will run and run. Like all formats, there’s always the risk that the medium becomes the message, and content suffers under the weight of form.

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Arctic Monkeys, O2 review - musicanship and showmanship successfully collide

Kathryn Reilly

So here we are. Over a decade since we all fell in love. So many light years from the rubble to the Ritz. From Sheffield to LA, where half the band is now based. And by the looks of the audience, a fair proportion has been along for the whole ride.

Not that it’s always been easy to support them. Never mind the information/action ratio, what perhaps should concern us about the Arctic Monkeys is...

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The The, Digbeth Arena, Birmingham review - Matt Johnson takes his political pop back on the road

Guy Oddy

Matt Johnson is a genial bloke with a trunk-load of songs that view the glass as not only half empty but too small. In the '80s and early '90s this pessimistic protest singer even managed to bother the charts a fair few times before quietly slipping out of sight until the release, a year or so ago, of his experimental Radio Cineola Trilogy album.

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theartsdesk in Cologne: urban boutique on the Rhine

Kieron Tyler

The terrace beside the restaurant in Cologne’s Stadtgarten – the city park – is heaving. Agreeably so. A bar and a food counter facing onto it are fringed by rows of long tables. Overhanging trees unite in a canopy suggesting this might be forest clearing.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Stella Chiweshe

Kieron Tyler

Until now, hearing the extraordinary “Ratidzo” was all-but impossible. The original single is rare and has not been reissued before. It begins with a plaintive whistle which sets the scene for a hypnotic and beautiful rotating pattern of single notes possibly played on a gamelan-style instrument. Rhythmic accompaniment comes from a form of shaker.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Try A Little Sunshine

Kieron Tyler

In 1969, a stream of creative new albums pointed to how what had grown from pop music could be reframed. Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline embraced country music. The Band’s eponymous second album drew on and was integral to defining Americana. The first album by Crosby, Stills & Nash shied away from the increasingly harsh template embraced by rock.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Japan

Kieron Tyler

In May 1981, Japan played two nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

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