mon 21/09/2020

New releases on CD & DVD

Album: Sufjan Stevens - The Ascension

Mark Kidel

Sufjan Stevens is an artist of remarkable ambition. His 80-minute long new album, with 15 beautiful and poetic songs, belongs to a long line of pop experimentation that runs through from The Beatles and George Martin’s Stg Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band to Björk’s own highly literate and endlessly inventive mix of dance music and daredevil sonic exploration. He's as much at home baring his soul as he is evoking the turmoil of our times.

Blu-ray: This Gun for Hire

Graham Fuller

The 1942 thriller This Gun for Hire, which opened five months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was closely adapted from Graham Greene’s 1936 novel A Gun for Sale by Albert Maltz and W.R. Burnett and directed for Paramount by the veteran William Tuttle. Though no masterpiece, it's a film noir landmark – an essential watch.

Album: This Dream of You – Diana Krall

Sebastian Scotney

“Produced by Tommy LiPuma.” That phrase has appeared on just about every Diana Krall album since the summer of 1995, when the Cleveland-born mogul...

Album: Alicia Keys - Alicia

Joe Muggs

Alicia Keys is a puzzling mixture. On the one hand she’s the hyper-achieving, multi-platinum, 752-Grammy-winning America’s sweetheart, all dimply...

Album: Fish - Weltschmerz

Russ Coffey

"This party's over" snarls Fish on Weltschmerz, and, this time, it seems the big man really means it. After threatening retirement for...

DVD/Blu-ray: Where Does a Body End?

Guy Oddy

Post-punk giants Swans’ documentary is a fascinating trawl through the band’s first 35 years

Album: Marilyn Manson - WE ARE CHAOS

Russ Coffey

The Antichrist Superstar softens up

Blu-ray: Beanpole

Tom Birchenough

Bleakness of story mediated by fragile visual beauty in outstanding Russian arthouse period offering

Album: Toots & the Maytals - Got to be Tough

Guy Oddy

Toots back on fine form in what has become his final album

Album: Ammar 808 - Global Control/ Invisible Invasion

Mark Kidel

Fusion between the Maghreb and South India that's so good it explodes

Album: Doves - The Universal Want

Barney Harsent

The Manchester three-piece end a decade-long hiatus in style

Album: Allison Neale - Quietly There

Sebastian Scotney

A completely delightful album

Blu-ray: Walkabout

Saskia Baron

Fifty years on from its original release, Nicolas Roeg's solo debut gets a stunning restoration

Album: Suzanne Vega - An Evening of New York Songs and Stories

Liz Thomson

Tom's Diner by way of Cafe Carlyle

Album: Rui Ho - Lov3 & L1ght

Joe Muggs

Dayglo experimental pop from Chinese artist in Berlin

The Rolling Stones' Goats Head Soup 2020 - old-time decadence revisited

Tim Cumming

A tasty 1970s Rolling Stones classic is revived with added ingredients

Album: Declan McKenna - Zeros

Thomas H Green

Second album from young prodigy contains some solid songs but suffers from crassly overboard production

Album: Tricky - Fall to Pieces

Mark Kidel

Moody vignettes transform pain into beauty

Blu-ray: Show Boat (1936)

Graham Fuller

Paul Robeson's few scenes dominate James Whale's great backstage musical

Album: Throwing Muses - Sun Racket

Guy Oddy

An earthy and disorientating return for the Boston trio

Blu-ray: Safety Last!

Graham Rickson

Terrifying and exhilarating - one of the greatest silent comedies returns

CD: Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith - Peradam

Tim Cumming

The third in a beguiling trilogy of immersive albums

Album: Katy Perry - Smile

Joe Muggs

Is it possible to grow up in public when you're at the top of the celebrity tree?

Album: Disclosure - ENERGY

Thomas H Green

Great selection of guests add up to a decent, if sometimes predictable, album from the house revivalists

Album: Gregory Porter - All Rise

Sebastian Scotney

Porter and team on strong form

DVD: Fanny Lye Deliver'd

India Lewis

Civil War Western with feminist overtones falls a little flat

Album: AK/DK - Shared Particles

Guy Oddy

Brighton’s synths and drums duo lay down a lo-fi dancefloor monster

Album: Yello - Point

Joe Muggs

The venerable Swiss duo still ploughing the same furrow decades on

Album: Bebel Gilberto - Agora

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Brazilian singer brings the bossa nova on first album in six years

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