wed 15/08/2018

pop

theartsdesk at Cornbury: Pixie Lott, Amy MacDonald and Alanis Morissette

Cornbury Festival holds a very special place in my heart. When the babies were young, we realised that if we were going to be up all night without sleep we might as well be sat in a field listening to music rather than staring out of the window at a...

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Whitney review - superstar's dismal demise revisited

It was only a year ago that Nick Broomfield’s Whitney: Why Can’t I Be Me was released. Kevin Macdonald’s new documentary about the rise and hideous demise of one of pop’s greatest stars was made with the blessing of her family, but doesn’t shed...

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Best Albums of 2018

Disc of the Day reviews new albums, week in, week out, all year. Below are the albums to which our writers awarded five stars. Click on any one of them to find out why.Brad Mehldau Trio - Seymour Reads the Constitution! ★★★★★  Prolific...

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Duran Duran: There's Something You Should Know / A Night In, BBC Four, review - chaps on film

Forty years on. You could have got attractive odds on Duran Duran still being here when, on a yacht carving the seas off Antigua, a cream-suited Simon Le Bon mimed “Rio” astride an unapologetically phallic bowsprit. “A ripple in a stagnant pool,”...

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CD: Gorillaz - The Now Now

It’s hard to know who to write about when reviewing a new Gorillaz release. According to the official line, the band have shorn their usual guests to focus on the core creative team: vocalist 2D, drummer Russell, guitarist Noodle, and new bassist...

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CD: Christina Aguilera - Liberation

Christina Aguilera is taking a reflective tone in her latest studio album since 2012. There’s a real sense of looking back, right back to when she used to sing “Maria” as a child, to escape the brutal reality of domestic abuse.Here, her version of...

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CD: Melody’s Echo Chamber - Bon Voyage

Sophomore records are never easy, especially when your debut was as acclaimed and beloved as french artist Melody Prochet’s first outing as Melody’s Echo Chamber, and this follow-up has had its fair share of bumps in the road. Prochet first...

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CD: Lykke Li - So Sad So Sexy

For a decade now, Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson – Lykke Li – has been a poster girl for the Scandinavian, and particularly Swedish, ability to find the highest common factors between high gloss pop and introspective indie/alternative music, and to...

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All Points East, Victoria Park review - Björk blooms at new Hackney festival

For the past decade, Victoria Park in east London has been host to the Field Day and Lovebox festivals, both homegrown and both still growing in size and influence. Last year’s headliners included rare appearances from Aphex Twin (Field Day) and...

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra/Deerhunter, Albert Hall, Manchester review – New Zealanders and friends create festival vibe

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s four albums all centre around off-kilter pop and flirtations with distortion; their latest LP, Sex & Food, carries this tradition forwards in a more laid-back manner. Their current European tour in support of the album...

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CD: Snow Patrol - Wildness

Few bands divide opinion quite like Snow Patrol. Their fans see their slow, intense anthems as cathartic friends. Others - myself included - tend to regard their music as an insidious, dreary presence. As Nicky Wire (of the Manics) once put it, "the...

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CD: Chvrches - Love Is Dead

When bands move to the US, some find themselves drawn into the commercial machine; when Scottish band Chvrches crossed the Atlantic, they were targeting direct assimilation from the start. Recorded with mega-producer Greg Kurstin, the band are...

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