wed 20/03/2019

New Music Reviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Soft Cell

Kieron Tyler

During their original 1980 to 1984 lifespan as a recording unit, Soft Cell issued three albums, a mini-album, eleven singles and EP. There were also compilation appearances, bonus tracks on discs included with albums or singles (such as the 12-inch of Jimi Hendrix cover versions accompanying The Art of Falling Apart) and extended tracks which appeared on 12-inch singles. Everything could probably be collected on six CDs.

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Classic Albums: Amy Winehouse - Back to Black, BBC Four review - suffering turned into song

mark Kidel

Formats are second nature to TV: the BBC and Eagle Rock’s Classic Albums will run and run. Like all formats, there’s always the risk that the medium becomes the message, and content suffers under the weight of form.

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Arctic Monkeys, O2 review - musicanship and showmanship successfully collide

Kathryn Reilly

So here we are. Over a decade since we all fell in love. So many light years from the rubble to the Ritz. From Sheffield to LA, where half the band is now based. And by the looks of the audience, a fair proportion has been along for the whole ride.

Not that it’s always been easy to support them. Never mind the information/action ratio, what perhaps should concern us about the Arctic Monkeys is...

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The The, Digbeth Arena, Birmingham review - Matt Johnson takes his political pop back on the road

Guy Oddy

Matt Johnson is a genial bloke with a trunk-load of songs that view the glass as not only half empty but too small. In the '80s and early '90s this pessimistic protest singer even managed to bother the charts a fair few times before quietly slipping out of sight until the release, a year or so ago, of his experimental Radio Cineola Trilogy album.

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theartsdesk in Cologne: urban boutique on the Rhine

Kieron Tyler

The terrace beside the restaurant in Cologne’s Stadtgarten – the city park – is heaving. Agreeably so. A bar and a food counter facing onto it are fringed by rows of long tables. Overhanging trees unite in a canopy suggesting this might be forest clearing.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Stella Chiweshe

Kieron Tyler

Until now, hearing the extraordinary “Ratidzo” was all-but impossible. The original single is rare and has not been reissued before. It begins with a plaintive whistle which sets the scene for a hypnotic and beautiful rotating pattern of single notes possibly played on a gamelan-style instrument. Rhythmic accompaniment comes from a form of shaker.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Try A Little Sunshine

Kieron Tyler

In 1969, a stream of creative new albums pointed to how what had grown from pop music could be reframed. Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline embraced country music. The Band’s eponymous second album drew on and was integral to defining Americana. The first album by Crosby, Stills & Nash shied away from the increasingly harsh template embraced by rock.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Japan

Kieron Tyler

In May 1981, Japan played two nights at London’s Hammersmith Odeon.

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h 100 Young Influencers of the Year: Lucie Wolfman vlogs at the Barbican

Lucie Wolfman

Watch Lucie Wolfman's vlog review of Carl Craig's Synthesiser Ensemble at the Barbican.
 
 
Lucie Wolfman studies English at the University of Sussex, and covers arts for the National Student. She is a Barbican Young Reviewer, creating vlogs about productions.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Teenage Fanclub

Kieron Tyler

The cover images of the four albums Teenage Fanclub issued on Creation Records suggest ambivalence. While Bandwagonesque’s title acknowledges the hopping onto trends endemic in pop, the graphic of a bag with a dollar sign recognises the related collateralisation of music.

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