mon 16/01/2017

New releases on CD & DVD

CD: Petite Meller - Lil Empire

Thomas H Green

God knows we need originality in pop, and French singer Petite Meller delivers it. At least, she does visually, which, in 2017, is 50 percent of the game. Like Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord, she offers a direct subversion of femininity. However, where Visser is confrontationally satirical, Meller’s image is uncomfortable, creepy even, Picnic at Hanging Rock Victoriana by way of rouged baby doll mannequin weirdness. The music is more straightforward.

CD: Brian Eno - Reflection

Mark Kidel

Eno pioneered ambient music way back in the 1970s, in collaborations with Robert Fripp, Jon Hassell, Harold Budd, and on his own label. His new album continues this adventure in search of stillness, at a time when we are more than ever shaped by muddled layers of high-speed narratives, fuelled by instant communication and hell-bent on denying the presence of the here and now.

DVD/Blu-ray: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Jasper Rees

Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the highest-grossing film produced exclusively in New Zealand, and yet it snuck into UK cinemas at the back end of 2016...

CD: Michael Chapman - 50

Kieron Tyler

50 is titled to mark fifty years of touring. Now 75, Michael Chapman released Rainmaker, his first album, in 1969. Though well-known devotees have...

CD: Trish Clowes - My Iris

Matthew Wright

Saxophonist, composer and former Radio 3 New Generation Artist Trish Clowes has created a reputation for original chamber jazz of densely woven...

Blu-ray: Assault on Precinct 13

Kieron Tyler

John Carpenter’s classic second film still thrills

CD: Laurie Shaw - Felted Fruit

Barney Harsent

An overlooked Christmas present for lovers of psych pop gems

CD: Camilla George Quartet - Isang

Peter Quinn

Alto saxist's debut offers a striking voyage of discovery

CD: The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody

Kieron Tyler

A once-great band needs to pull its socks up

DVD/Blu-ray: Hell or High Water

Mark Kidel

Echoes of the old West signal tragedy in Scottish director's new take on an old genre

Albums of the Year: Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

Mark Kidel

Music at death's door from a late master - and other intimations of mortality

Albums of the Year: Anohni - Hopelessness

Bernadette McNulty

In 2016, who gave us the nightmarish sound of the present?

Albums of the Year: Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

Russ Coffey

Thom Yorke captured the fearful sound of alienation in 2016

Albums of the Year: Paul Simon – Stranger to Stranger

Adam Sweeting

Still making new musical discoveries after 50 years in the business

Albums of the Year: Christine Tobin - Pelt

Peter Quinn

Poetry and music combine to powerful effect in Tobin's Muldoon songbook

Albums of the Year: Dolly Parton - Pure & Simple

Liz Thomson

Dolly mixture: 'garage band' simplicity coupled with a Glastonbury giveaway

DVD/Blu-ray: Indochine

Tom Birchenough

Deneuve resplends in Régis Wargnier’s spectacular Vietnam-set saga

Albums of the Year: Sia - This Is Acting

Katie Colombus

The 2016 album that offered pieces of herself to others, came up trumps for Sia

Albums of the Year: Blackstar - David Bowie

Howard Male

An ending that could have been a new beginning

Albums of the Year: Swans - The Glowing Man

Guy Oddy

Michael Gira calls time on the latest Swans line-up with a career high. Plus Soulwax and Bosco Rogers

CD: Neil Diamond - Acoustic Christmas

Russ Coffey

Brooding versions of seasonal classics provide a fitting end to the year

DVD: Three Wishes for Cinderella

Graham Rickson

Enchanting, big-hearted Czech fairy tale, ideal for children of all ages

Albums of the Year: Autarkic - Can You Pass the Knife?

Barney Harsent

Producer Nadav Spiegel's debut shone in a year that wasn't shy of contenders

Albums of the Year: Shabaka and the Ancestors - Wisdom of Elders

Matthew Wright

British-South African musical dialogue with the past and future of jazz

DVD/Blu-ray: The Burning/Hell Comes to Frogtown

Kieron Tyler

Pair of rickety cult items fail to enthral

Albums of the Year: Yves Tumor - Serpent Music

Joe Muggs

Among a diffuse movement of new black electronica, Yves Tumor shone out

Albums of the Year: Beyoncé - Lemonade

Lisa-Marie Ferla

In 2016's tribe of 'nasty women', there was only one Queen

Albums of the Year: Mikko Joensuu - Amen 1

Kieron Tyler

Crisis of faith suffuses Finnish singer-songwriter’s debut solo album with an extraordinary intensity

DVD/Blu-ray: Lo and Behold

Graham Rickson

Werner Herzog on the cons and pros of the digital age

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