wed 20/03/2019

New Music Reviews

Albums of the Year 2018: Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

Jo Southerd

It’s been a great year for music: trailblazing and unforgettable EPs from Stella Donnelly and boygenius; the triumphant returns of Robyn, and Janelle Monáe; flawless albums from Kurt Vile and Tunng; stunning re-imaginings from St Vincent and Waxahatchee; and confident debuts from Snail Mail and The Orielles.

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Albums of the Year 2018: Janelle Monáe - Dirty Computer

Owen Richards

Janelle Monáe had already established herself as pop’s next great innovator with The ArchAndroid and Electric Ladyland, two albums full of earworms, high production and retro-futuristic lyrics.

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Reissue of the Year: Carola Baer - The Story of Valerie

Kieron Tyler

Moments into “Maker of me”, it’s evident that The Story of Valerie is special. A circular piano figure accompanies a disembodied female voice singing and speaking of a relationship that’s “greater than myself.” Punctuation from a bass guitar is sprinkled sparingly. The next track, “Golden Boy”, is similarly formidable but employs an electronic keyboard, a drum machine and features an even more intense vocal.

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Ed Vulliamy: When Words Fail review - the band plays on

David Nice

If you're seeking ideas for new playlists and diverse suggestions for reading - and when better to look than at this time of year? - then beware: you may be overwhelmed by the infectious enthusiasms of Ed Vulliamy, hyper-journalist, witness-bearer, true Mensch and member of the first band to spit in public (as far as he can tell).

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beatles

Kieron Tyler

 “…all four [Beatles] worked tirelessly together in the studio, they carved out a sound and a ‘feel’ for each song. On the many tapes that have been carefully preserved from the sessions there is extraordinary inspiration – mixed with plenty of love and laughter. Admittedly, The Beatles incessant work ethic wore down the studio staff.

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Albums of the Year 2018: Fiona Monbet - Contrebande

Sebastian Scotney

2018. Another year when strong presences who have shaped and defined the music for decades, and whom one had fondly imagined might be around for ever, are gone from our midst. Unique vocalists Aretha Franklin and Nancy Wilson have passed away. And trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Tomasz Stańko. And a true original of the piano, Cecil Taylor.

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Kreator / Dimmu Borgir, Roundhouse review - explosive extreme metal extravaganza

Thomas H Green

It’s about to begin. The final performance on the final night – and only UK date – of the European Apocalypse package tour featuring four extreme metal bands. The 1,700 capacity Roundhouse is sold out. Touts outside are scrabbling for tickets. A curtain covers the stagefront. A procession of images flicker across it; ancient art, demons, gods and hellish conflict. Then the screen goes black.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Tangerine Dream

Kieron Tyler

In April 1973, John Peel wrote that “For my money, Tangerine Dream are the best of the Kosmische Music bands. Whenever any of their extended works are played on the radio there is a heavy mail from listeners. Most of the letter-writers are for it, those that are against it are very against it indeed. A Tangerine Dream track, heard superficially, is little more than a repetitive drone.

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 46: Christmas 2018 Special with Kate Bush, Depeche Mode, The Rolling Stones, Lulu and more

Thomas H Green

The time of giving is here and what better presents than great slabs of lovely vinyl; sounds that bring joy to all. Our last theartsdesk on Vinyl of the year is packed with boxsets and reissues as well as a couple of seasonal bits.

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 45: Ian Dury, Janis Joplin, Oneohtrix Point Never, Stereolab, Charles Mingus and more

Thomas H Green

It’s the season of giving so theartsdesk on Vinyl feels compelled to draw your attention to Unicef’s Blue Vinyl campaign. This sees 17 celebrated albums auctioned off in special editions on givergy.com with all proceeds going to Unicef’s Children's Emergency Relief Fund.

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