mon 20/01/2020

pop music

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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theartsdesk on Vinyl 54: The Beatles, Prince, Kid Acne, Nirvana, Teebs, Monty Python, Pulp and more

Without further ado, slightly delayed by the sheer volume of releases at this year time of year, here is the latest edition of theartsdesk on Vinyl. You will not find a more extensive monthly report on the goodies newly available on plastic anywhere...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Yesterday Has Gone - The Songs of Teddy Randazzo

“It's Gonna Take a Miracle” just missed out on a mainstream US Top 40 placing after The Royalettes issued it as a single in June 1965. But the song had staying power. In 1971 Laura Nyro covered it, choosing it as the title track for the album she...

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CD: The Script - Sunsets & Full Moons

Massively successful Irish trio The Script could, loosely speaking, be called a rock band. But they aren’t really, are they? Their sixth album is an indictment of the kind of music they play. It’s packed with over-produced post-Coldplay anthem-pop...

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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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Lisa Stansfield, Royal Albert Hall - mutual Affection, 30 years on

Rochdale boasts quite a number of star turns but those that spring readily to mind are William Walton, Andy Kershaw, Barb Jungr, Gracie Fields and Lisa Stansfield. And here’s a good pub quiz question: what, apart from Rochdale, links Gracie and Lisa...

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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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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Kinks - Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire hasn’t had the stratospheric levels of praise as the preceding Kinks album, 1968’s The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Yet in the band’s narrative, it’s probably more important...

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CD: Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2

Foals, the band with a trademark sound characterised by the African-style intricate interplay of rhythm rather than lead guitars, returns with what amounts to the second half of a double album. The first half was released last spring, and this new...

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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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PP Arnold, Islington Assembly Hall review - joy in a consummate musical setting

“I had my first inter-racial relationship.” Moments after walking on stage and before the first song, PP Arnold is reminiscing about when she first arrived in Britain in 1966. The America she knew had barriers, ones she found weren’t apparent in “...

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CD: The New Pornographers – In the Morse Code of Brake Lights

New Pornographer-in-chief AC Newman grew up enraptured by how much and how little pop could be: from David Bowie shucking skins to the rush of the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer”, to Pixies' boiling down of a song to three chords and a scream. Eight...

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