sun 26/09/2021

pop

Album: Lil Nas X - Montero

Lil Nas X is good at being a pop star. Like, what could pop culture need more than a young, flamboyant, witty gay rapper from the deep south who can top the US country charts then just when it appeared he might not be able to live up to the success...

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Out of the shadows: Dylan’s Eighties reappraised

Dylan’s 1980s weren’t great in terms of critical acclaim. As an emerging new fan, I knew that first hand from the scathing reviews accorded Shot of Love by the British music press when it was released in the summer of 1981, it seemed about as...

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Album: Gerry Rafferty - Rest in Blue

It’s a decade since we sadly lost the talents of Gerry Rafferty to liver failure in 2011, at the age of 63, but this Friday sees the posthumous release of his 11th album, Rest in Blue.It comprises new Rafferty songs, some beautiful traditional...

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Album: Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever

Billie Eilish was shot through fame’s looking glass with increasing force right through her teens. A girl’s hopeful artistic dreams exposed her to infinite judgement of her body and soul, social and mass media magnifying every blemish and...

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Rag‘n’Bone Man, Jazz Café review – powerful first post-lockdown gig

Rory Graham’s first words as he comes on stage are: “Well this is a bit weird, isn't it? It's been a while.” After a run of cancelled gigs, the band haven’t performed live for a year and a half – which feels, says Rory, “a bit like missing a...

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Album: Laura Mvula - Pink Noise

Album number three from Ivor Novello-winning singer-songwriter Laura Mvula sees her paying singularly personal homage to the music of the 1980s. Change, Chic, Michael Jackson and more are all called to mind at various points, with “Church Girl”...

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Framing Britney Spears, Sky Documentaries review - the rollercoaster ride of the former teen icon

She became one of the most successful pop stars in history, but Britney Spears has also become a paradigm of the horrors and pitfalls of life in the white heat of showbusiness. This new documentary by Samantha Stark (made by the New York Times)...

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Album: Angélique Kidjo - Mother Nature

Hailing from Benin and based in Paris since she was 23, Angélique Kidjo can sing in five languages, has collaborated with an A-list festival line-up of global stars ranging from Alicia Keys and Philip Glass to Herbie Hancock and Peter Gabriel...

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Album: Kings of Convenience - Peace or Love

The first release that brought folk-pop duo Kings of Convenience to prominence outside of their native Norway was their Live in a Room EP, released in 2000. Recorded, as the title suggests, with a minimum of fuss, the cuts include pre-song count-ins...

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Album: Maroon 5 - Jordi

Well this is bleak. Seven studio albums, three live albums, two compilation albums, one remix album, three EPs, 33 singles, 23 music videos, 120 million sales and streams well into the tens of billions seem to have completely erased what personality...

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Album: Dinosaur Jr - Sweep It Into Space

When Laurence Binyon wrote: “Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn…” he was, of course, talking about the fallen soldiers of World War One, not Amherst’s premier hardcore grunge punks. However, on hearing Sweep It...

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Album: Raf Rundell - O.M. Days

The career of Raf Rundell has had one of the most satisfying trajectories of any in UK music – a steady process of self-realisation, from record label staff via DJing and artist management, through being a serial studio collaborator, to becoming a...

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