wed 23/09/2020

pop

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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Album: Taylor Swift - folklore

When she announced her “surprise” 8th album on social media this week, Taylor Swift described its subject matter as a combination of “fantasy, history and memory” told with “love, wonder and whimsy”. For the listener, this hits home around track...

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Album: The Chicks - Gaslighter

I have had an obsessive-loop Dixie Chicks tune for every eventuality of my life so far – “Ready To Run” for a big break up; “Wide Open Spaces” for road tripping; “Cowboy Take Me Away” for whimsical love affairs; “Not Ready To Make Nice” for general...

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Album: Rufus Wainwright - Unfollow the Rules

After Unfollow the Rules: The Paramour Session and the #Quarantunes “robe recitals” comes the album: Unfollow the Rules, no longer stripped back (though everything's relative) but in all its pomp and glory. It’s Rufus Wainwright's ninth collection...

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Album: Michael Franti & Spearhead - Work Hard & Be Nice

It’s over 30 years since Michael Franti entered the public arena, howling “Television – drug of the nation” backed by harsh, industrial sounds and explosive beats, as frontman for the Beatnigs. He then produced the Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales...

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Theatre Lockdown Special 8: A film star plays tough, and several familiar titles are examined anew

As we continue into a third month in lockdown, the arts continue to suggest ever-changing worlds beyond. The invaluable National Theatre at Home this week looks across the Thames to a smaller venue's large-scale Coriolanus, starring a certain...

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Album: Westerman - Your Hero is not Dead

Will Westerman is not afraid of sounding retro. It's clear his influences are diverse, from jazz fusion to the bedroom proto-house experiments of Arthur Russell. But in their final form, his high gloss production, highly literate songs and fretless...

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New Music Lockdown 8: Take That, Moby, Kaiser Chiefs, Róisín Murphy and more

From the biggest man band of all time to a rising Doncaster DJ, from the lofts of New York to the garage studios rooms of Scotland, the best of current musical lockdown life is here. Dive in!Take That/Robbie Williams: Meerkat Music ConcertThe big...

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The Songs of Coronavirus and Lockdown Life

At the start of March an obscure alt-metal outfit called Cegvera released a concept album titled The Sixth Glare. The physical album featured the headline “DISEASE” alongside a photograph of a woman in a protective facemask, and the sleeve notes...

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