tue 28/03/2017

pop music

CD: Take That - Wonderland

One tries not to conflate the man and the music too much. Getting overly tangled up in questions of authenticity is a fool's errand, songs are ultimately public property, and in general, short of Gary Glitter-level crimes, dislike of a pop star's...

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CD: Goldfrapp – Silver Eye

Silver Eye is Goldfrapp’s seventh long-player in an 18-year career that has taken in electronica sounds of all stripes. It sees the duo make a stab at melding together the club-friendly electropop and the witchy rural folk-noir sounds of their...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Chuck Berry

When a skiffle group called The Quarry Men played live in 1959, their repertoire included covers of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and “Sweet Little Sixteen”. The folk-based skiffle was becoming rock. In 1960, when the same band became The Beatles...

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CD: Zara Larsson - So Good

For many, music is simply background, blurring tinnily from phones, sense-candy to “Like”, swipe and scroll alongside Pokemon and Snapchat. Music is content, filling digital space in the same way Polyfilla fills dents in walls. Zara Larsson...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Guy Darrell

In the last week of September 1973, Guy Darrell peaked at number 12 on the British single’s chart with the catchy blue-eyed soul pounder “I’ve Been Hurt” and performed on Top of the Pops. His was a grassroots-driven success. “I’ve Been Hurt” was...

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CD: Japandroids - Near to the Wild Heart of Life

It may be five years since their last album, Celebration Rock, and the world may have turned several somersaults of late, but Japandroids’ love of tasty power pop songs that suggest Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ bar-room rock with a hefty dose of...

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Albums of the Year: Sia - This Is Acting

I am an official Sia wanker. If you tell me you love "Titanium", I’ll be all like “Yeah, I prefer her early work with Zero 7”, and if you tell me about a major Coachella gig you saw recently, I’ll tell you about when I was basically the only one in...

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Albums of the Year: Beyoncé - Lemonade

When, back in October, Donald Trump sulked that his political opponent was being a “nasty woman”, little did he realise the cultural impact it would have.Those two words – a fit of pique that was impressive even amidst an ever-lengthening line of...

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CD: Rachael Yamagata - Tightrope Walker

Rachael Yamagata likes to take her time. Tightrope Walker comes a full five years after the American songwriter’s last release, and it’s an album that demands to be listened to with as much care as clearly went into its creation. Like the French...

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CD: Robbie Williams – The Heavy Entertainment Show

“My main talent is for turning trauma into something showbizzy,” said Robbie Williams in an interview to plug this, his 11th studio album. While a point immediately apparent to anyone with a passing knowledge of his work, it also speaks volumes...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Undertones

Although the reformed Undertones, with Paul McLoone replacing original singer Feargal Sharkey, have been a popular live draw since 1999, John Peel’s anointing of “Teenage Kicks” from their debut EP as his favourite recording suggests this is what...

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Sunday Book: I Am Brian Wilson

For decades Brian Wilson was depicted as the mad, lost genius of the Beach Boys, but these days, at 74, he's looking more like one of pop's great survivors. After all, he has comprehensively outlived his brothers Dennis and Carl, and has restored...

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