wed 26/06/2019

CDs/DVDs

CD: Madonna - Madame X

Madonna is the queen of reinvention and Madame X, her 14th studio album, marks another new brilliant, bonkers chapter in her 37-year career. The 13-track CD (15 on the deluxe version) was inspired by a recent spell living in Lisbon, where she...

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CD: Hollywood Vampires – Rise

Four years after their debut album, the American supergroup the Hollywood Vampires has reached a new musical level with Rise while maintaining a distinct enthusiasm for playing in a classic rock’n’roll style. The combination of the characters and...

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Blu-ray: My Brilliant Career

Revisiting Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career for the first time since I saw it in its year of release, 1979, is a mixed experience. I was close in age to its heroine and it was one of the first mainstream feature films I’d ever seen...

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CD: Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars

Nothing can quite prepare you for Western Stars, Springsteen's homage to classic artists like Glen Cambell and Burt Bacharach. It's not just the presence of horns and strings. What really leaves you open-mouthed is the voice. Gone is the...

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CD: Kate Tempest - The Book of Traps and Lessons

Here’s a strange thing: sit in a quiet room reading through the poems that make up Kate Tempest’s third album and her swirling collage of words drags you in. It’s an opaque concept work, mingling themes of a broken Britain, teetering on the brink of...

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DVD: Sink

This debut feature from Mark Gillis is a film of real anger and considerable tenderness. The anger is both at the general situation it depicts, and reveals itself in the particular when his protagonist Micky Mason (Martin Herdman) repeatedly has to...

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CD: Calexico and Iron & Wine - Years to Burn

Anyone familiar with Calexico and Iron & Wine will be unsurprised by Years to Burn. The 32-minute album (one track of which is a short instrumental) showcases lilting, mid-paced, reflective, country tinged and acoustic-bedded songs fleshed...

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CD: Avicii - TIM

Sadness abounds in Avicii's posthumous third album. In context, even the plaintive single syllable of the title is full of pathos. It reminds of the real person, the Swede Tim Bergling who as a teenager discovered he had an unerring ability to hit...

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CD: Jamie Cullum - Taller

On one level it’s a paean to stylistic pluralism, on another it’s a love letter to his wife. First and foremost, though, Taller sees Jamie Cullum staking out new ground as a singer-songwriter, adeptly aided by his long-time collaborator and friend...

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Blu-ray: Track 29

A chronic recycler, Dennis Potter fashioned five feature films from his earlier TV dramas and another from one of his novels. The best of them are 1985’s Dreamchild (from the BBC's Alice, 1965) and Track 29 (1987), which he adapted from the BBC...

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CD: Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds - Singing It All Back Home: Appalachian Ballads of English and Scottish Origin

Outside the Palladium a couple of months back for Joan Baez’s farewell, I was given a flyer for this album – by Naomi Bedford herself it turns out. We had a brief chat which left me with a good feeling about the project and I was disappointed...

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CD: Santana – Africa Speaks

You hear a lot about living legends, but there aren’t actually that many around – at least not since the first half of 2016. Carlos Santana, however, definitely fits the bill. From his early days stealing the show at Woodstock alongside drummer...

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