sun 24/01/2021

pop

Albums of the Year 2020: Laura Marling - Song for Our Daughter

Dropped a month into the year’s first lockdown, Laura Marling’s seventh album landed like a soothing tonic to an odd and chaotic time. The stripped back production had an air of loneliness, yet the vocals were effervescent and soothing. The...

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Albums of the Year 2020: bdrmm - Bedroom

It’s become something of an end-of-year list cliché to say that 2020 has been a great year for music despite being a catastrophic shitstorm when judged by any other metric you care to mention.“Ah!” says 2020, “but clichés are clichés because they’re...

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Album: Gary Barlow - Music Played By Humans

Gary Barlow’s Music Played By Humans is, in all but name, a Christmas album. Mixing big-band jazz, Latin and pop, it’s an assortment box of bubbly, broad-based business bangers deployed by the Take That veteran with help from a host of showbiz pals...

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Album: Paloma Faith - Infinite Things

For her fifth studio album, Paloma Faith decided to boldly ctrl-alt-delete the first version, and re-do it in lockdown.The new-new one is a little bath bomb of an album – it fizzes with funky pop, 80s sheen and emotional nuance than speaks of her...

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Album: Sam Smith - Love Goes

Sam Smith’s third album is kind of perfect for a miserable autumn amidst a global pandemic. It’s reflective, it’s morose and it attempts disco-fun but can’t quite muster the energy to get its heels on.Love Goes was supposed to be released six months...

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Album: Gorillaz - Song Machine: Season One - Strange Timez

The cast list for Song Machine…, the seventh album from virtual virtuosos Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, is the size of some festival line-ups: Beck, Fatoumata Diawara, Imagination’s Leee John, Peter Hook, Robert Smith, Slaves, Slowthai, St...

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Album: Emmy the Great - April / 月音

Emma-Lee Moss has a lovely voice. It conveys an ache, a longing, but is sweet too, and well-mannered. Combine this with an aptitude for literate, thought-provoking lyrics and hooky songs, and Emmy the Great is quite the package. It’s a mystery, then...

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Album: Melanie C - Melanie C

There’s a lot to like about Melanie Chisholm. She was always the Spice Girl who came over as most genuine and down to earth – not to mention the one who could sing. From the beginning her “Sporty Spice” image was quietly subversive, a body-positive...

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Album: Rui Ho - Lov3 & L1ght

A new and very strange kind of pop music has bubbled up over the past half-decade plus. It’s internationalist, rooted in both underground electronics and the most populist styles, bound up with playful but sometimes terrifying ultra high definition...

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Ellie Goulding, V&A online review - cautious liberation

Ellie Goulding steps coolly out of the Medieval and Renaissance gallery, in amongst monster-slaying Greek statuary, where a string section waits. Deprived of audiences for now, she has opted for an elegantly filmed showcase at the Victoria &...

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Album: Katy Perry - Smile

Katy Perry occupies an odd position. By some measure the biggest pop star in the world over the last decade, with streams in the billions, she’s always been an awkward mix of old-school razzle-dazzle showbiz hucksterism, knowing sass and awkward...

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Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels. First, it’s got all the glory and tragedy of the most compelling music stories: a Liverpool band struggling from humble beginnings, trying to find an identity, fraternity and...

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