fri 17/01/2020

pop

Album: Gabrielle Aplin - Dear Happy

According to Gabrielle Aplin, the delicate piano ballad which closes, and provides the name of, her first album in over four years was written as a letter to herself; and one penned at a particularly turbulent point in her life. “It’s not easy for...

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Albums of the Year 2019: Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars

Now the first generation of real rock stars are finishing their fifth recording decade, the question presents itself: what should a rocker do when their career has gone on much longer than they'd planned? 2019 came up with some excellent answers....

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ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, O2 - one for the supergroup's completists

Abba fans can already have an immersive dining/dancing/singing experience at the O2 in Mamma Mia! The Party, and now, almost as a companion piece, is ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition, a show that sets out tell “the story of the band, their music...

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Sam Fender, O2 Academy, Glasgow review - pop bangers with pathos

If this is what Sam Fender can provoke on a Monday night, then Lord knows the reaction he generates at a weekend. A chart topping album and sold out tour may mean the Geordie is firmly at pop’s top table now, but it was still impressive the sheer...

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CD: Celine Dion - Courage

Of 2019’s pop culture phenomena, the critical reappraisal of Céline Dion as an international treasure is one of the most delightful. It’s been six years since the Quebecois singer last released an English language album, a period in which she closed...

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CD: Pumarosa - Devastation

Pumarosa picked the perfect time of year to launch their second album into the world: its skittish drums, claustrophobic melodies and haunted vocals are the perfect soundtrack to witching season. But the horrors that inspired Devastation are far...

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Charli XCX, SWG3, Glasgow - stripped of the gimmicks, but still the whole package

Considered logically, releasing an album as heavy on guest features as Charli XCX’s newest should present particular logistical problems when it comes to recreating the tracks on tour. Charli’s approach is the opposite: no gimmicks or trickery, just...

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CD: James Blunt - Once Upon a Mind

James Blunt loves to joke about how gloomy his songs are and he says Once Upon a Mind is his most depressing collection yet. But the truth is that the album is really just agonisingly safe and painfully middle-of-the-road. (For the most part)...

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CD: James Arthur - You

It’s an easy joke to suggest that James Arthur needs an editor. By this point, the 31-year-old singer is almost as famous for his lyrical mis-steps and ill-advised use of Twitter as his 2012 The X Factor victory. You, his third album, seems to have...

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CD: Babymetal - Metal Galaxy

There’s something in the dichotomy of Babymetal that I just can’t fathom. Cutesy J-pop meets heavy metal. Sheeny bubblegum-bounce dance routines to thrash. Sweet teen vocals over shredding.It’s like something that would get the audience vote on X...

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CD: Mika - My Name is Michael Holbrook

When he arrived on the scene in the mid Noughties Mika – yes his name is Michael Holbrook – flew the flag for grandiose pop classicism. He had The Feeling as fellow travellers, and to an extent The Killers in their first wave of...

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CD: Tegan & Sara - Hey I'm Just Like You

There comes a time for reflection in everyone’s lives – perhaps for Canadian indie-pop duo Tegan & Sara this is it. Harking back to the 1990s, they have found and re-worked tracks written in their teenage years, taking grains of truth from their...

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