wed 23/10/2019

pop

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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George Ezra, Royal Albert Hall review - a thumping good time

"The reason why it's so special to be here," says Ezra halfway through the show, "is because this is where I saw so many of my heroes". Tonight is the 26-year-old's debut at the Royal Albert Hall and the look on Ezra's face says he can't quite...

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CD: Charli XCX - Charli

Charli XCX would make a cracking mixtape. I mean that not in the hip hop culture sense - although she’s knocked out a few of those in the five years since the release of Sucker, her last album proper - but like the mixtapes you used to make for your...

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Edinburgh International Festival 2019: JARV IS review - Britpop legend still delivers

”Cunts Are Still”. Well, that got your attention, didn’t it? Not my words, merely the title of one of JARV IS’s new tracks. In case you didn’t get it, JARV IS is a play on words and the name of given to Pulp frontman and founder Jarvis Cocker’s...

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CD: Taylor Swift - Lover

If there's a central motif to the sprawling, 18-track opus that is Taylor Swift’s seventh release - and it’s an album that references both Drake and Springsteen, so it's hard to pin down - it first emerges in track three, the title track. Stripped...

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Wilderness Festival 2019 review - marvellous misbehaviour

The thing about Wilderness is that it’s just so jolly decent. Acres of decadence, sprawled safely over the yawning magnificence of Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, combine to create a scintillating country fair reverie – a heady mix of good music, high...

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Burt Bacharach Together with Joss Stone, Eventim Apollo review - an evening of timeless classics

Whatever age you are, in whatever era you grew up – wherever you grew up – you will know, perhaps unknowingly, a large handful of songs by Burt Bacharach, almost all written with lyricist Hal David. The two men met in 1957 in New York’s celebrated...

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Florence + the Machine, BST Hyde Park review - mastering the matriarchy

It’s a rare thing that musicians sound better live than they do on Spotify. But Florence Welch sings a note perfect set – even when jumping up and down like a pogo stick, whirling and spinning, or sprinting along the front of the stage to meet fans....

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