sat 29/04/2017

New releases on CD & DVD

CD: Blondie - Pollinator

Javi Fedrick

Instead of resting on the laurels of the great music they made some 40 years ago, Blondie - still led by original members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein - are back with an album that tries to channel their past chart-toppers while also keeping in touch with modern pop, as filtered via collaborations with Sia, Charlie XCX and The Strokes’ Nick Valensi. Unfortunately for them, Pollinator reminds more of the Sonic Heroes videogame soundtrack than Parallel Lines.The singles “Fun” and “Long Time” are...

CD: Mary J Blige - Strength of a Woman

Joe Muggs

Mary J Blige has a voice that was built to age gracefully. Gutsy, churchy, sometimes rough, it was miles away from the over-trained melismatics of the Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston imitators of the Nineties, or the velvet-toned ingenues that Aaliyah ushered in – and 25 years on from her debut album it certainly stands apart from the mannered Rihanna imitators of the current young generation.

CD: Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child

Tim Cumming

He’s in his ninth decade, but with no signs of slowing down on stage or in studio, and the good news is that, while God's Problem Child may be...

CD: John Mellencamp - Sad Clowns & Hillbillies

Liz Thomson

The 23rd studio album from the artist formerly known as John Cougar was originally destined to be a religious album, but the songs he and Carlene...

DVD: Dancer

Jenny Gilbert

For decades, but especially since the turn of the millennium, the arts have fretted over how to appeal to a younger audience. For ballet, this has...

CD: Bonnie Prince Billy - Best Troubadour

Russ Coffey

Will Oldham remembers country legend Merle Haggard

DVD: Martin Scorsese - Two Early Films

Nick Hasted

An Oscar-winning detour into feminism, and a first bulletin from Little Italy

CD: Gorillaz - Humanz

Thomas H Green

Damon Albarn's latest adventure is ripe with ear-wakening inventiveness

CD: Kasai Allstars & Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste - Around Félicité

Howard Male

A film soundtrack of extreme contrasts from the Congolese collective and company

CD: Trombone Shorty - Parking Lot Symphony

Matthew Wright

Blue Note debut brings versatile New Orleans star to the big time

CD: Ray Davies - Americana

Liz Thomson

A love letter to the USA by the most English of songwriters

DVD: Mario Lanza - The Best of Everything

Graham Rickson

Serviceable documentary about the pioneering crossover singer

CD: Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle

Kieron Tyler

Mr Bottom-of-the-boots voice’s best album since 2004’s ‘Bubblegum’

CD: Maximo Park - Risk to Exist

Thomas H Green

Longstanding indie rockers offer up a sprightly lyrical and musical twist

CD: Be Myself - Sheryl Crow

Katie Colombus

The original country pop singer takes us back to the Nineties

DVD: Crimson

Kieron Tyler

Nasty and brutish grade-Z Eurotrash marriage of crime drama and horror

CD: Sharon Shannon - Sacred Earth

Liz Thomson

Fusion of Africa, Middle East, America and Ireland lacks wild abandon

CD: Barry Adamson - Love Sick Dick

Guy Oddy

Former Bad Seed and Magazine man gets funky, but he’s still feeling blue

DVD: Slaughterhouse-Five

Kieron Tyler

Deft and faithful film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s bold novel

CD: Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar

Kieron Tyler

High-concept Norwegian art-rockers in pop album shocker

CD: Phronesis - The Behemoth

Peter Quinn

Piano trio meets big band for 10th anniversary celebration

CD: Future Islands - The Far Field

Russ Coffey

Baltimore trio back with their post-breakthrough album

DVD/Blu-ray: One More Time with Feeling

Nick Hasted

Grief and art mix in a subtly intimate Nick Cave documentary

DVD/Blu-ray: Ludwig

David Nice

Visconti and Helmut Berger give beauty depth in the tragedy of the Bavarian king

CD: Imelda May - Life. Love. Flesh. Blood

Liz Thomson

A rich mix, synthesising Imelda May's multifarious influences

CD: Fujiya & Miyagi - Fujiya & Miyagi

Javi Fedrick

A decade-and-a-half into their career, the misleadingly named electro-pop trio remain strong

DVD: Revolution - New Art for a New World

Sarah Kent

Margy Kinmonth goes in search of the art that launched the Russian Revolution

CD: King Ayisoba - 1000 Can Die

Howard Male

A punchy, confrontational and insistent wake up call from the Ghanaian musician

CD: Mastodon - Emperor of Sand

Guy Oddy

Proggy metalheads consider mortality and the passing of time in an epic concept album

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