tue 17/01/2017

pop

Albums of the Year: Anohni - Hopelessness

Much like the year itself, 2016's strongest albums tapped into a spirit of restlessness, defiance and disorientation. But unlike the punk explosion of 1977, there was no real sound or even genre that this mood of rebellion cohered around.Grime came...

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CD: Kacey Musgraves - A Very Kacey Christmas

Slade. McCartney. Jona Lewie. There’s a reason that every festive compilation album released since the mid-90s has featured exactly the same songs: the human race has lost the ability to write a Christmas-themed track that is just the right...

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CD: Rumer - This Girl's in Love

In a career that began just six years ago, Rumer has tipped her musical hat to such songwriting greats as Jimmy Webb and Hall and Oates while also finding her own voice as a writer. Now, with her fourth album, she pays homage to one of the great pop...

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CD: Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell - This Time It's Personal

You get two singular punk-era artists – a poet and a songwriter – together in a room for a few nights, with a rack of guitars, a rack of songs from their sweet youth, and a few musical friends to help out on keyboards, trumpet, flute and sax. Then...

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CD: Green Day - Revolution Radio

Revolution Radio is a title that can only bring to mind The Clash. To be more specific, it feels like a confabulation of “This Is Radio Clash” and “Revolution Rock”. The spiritual great-grandfather of this album, however, would be The Ramones, punk’...

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CD: Britney Spears - Glory

On first listen, Queen Britney's new album is nothing more than a glorious booty call. I'm no prude, but listening to her sensual requests in musical form feels like earwigging on the soundtrack to a sex tape.In "Invitation", she asks "Put your love...

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Stevie Wonder, Hyde Park BST Festival

Sixty-five thousand people came to Wonder. The final night of British Summer Time in Hyde Park was a sell-out. With a performance lasting four hours including an intermission, the Detroit-born legend and his band – and also the weather, which stayed...

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CD: Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death

Just over three years ago, I was swooning for this very site over Tegan and Sara’s masterful shift from indie rock to full-bodied, floor-filling, retro-inspired electropop. But as catchy and cathartic as that album, Heartthrob, was, ultimately it...

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CD: Kate Jackson - British Road Movies

There was always something otherworldly about Kate Jackson, the voice of late, great Sheffield rockers The Long Blondes. Guitarist Dorian Cox, whose stroke in 2008 precipitated the premature breakup of the band, may have been its primary songwriter...

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CD: Corinne Bailey Rae - The Heart Speaks in Whispers

Corinne Bailey Rae’s heart may speak in whispers, but it dreams in glorious technicolour. The title of the Leeds-born songwriter’s new album is an echoey chorus line that swims among the layers of its opening track – a song with the bridge of a...

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CD: Beyoncé - Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, what do you do? Well, Beyoncé took the fruits of her musical labour, those of the black women before her and those hanging between her husband's thighs, to create something pretty sharp. This is a new sound, a...

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Tom Jones's 1950s: The Decade That Made Me, BBC Two / Jim Carter: Lonnie Donegan and Me, ITV

So just how grey were the 1950s? "It was grey," said Bruce Welch of The Shadows. Au contraire, said Joan Bakewell, the Fifties were "giddy and full of optimism." Veteran journalist Katharine Whitehorn added that not only were the Fifties not boring...

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