tue 19/02/2019

pop

CD: Ariana Grande - thank u, next

The nature of the product that is pop music is that its stars rarely get the chance to be prolific. It’s something that Ariana Grande – the biggest pop star in the world right now, at least on the numbers – complained about in a recent interview:...

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CD: The Specials - Encore

The Specials were era-defining, making this a hugely anticipated album for many. On paper they’ve released a bunch of albums since the Eighties but their discography is misleading. Encore is their first major work in decades. It’s a big ask for it...

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CD: Trevor Horn – Trevor Horn Reimagines the Eighties (feat. The Sarm Orchestra)

Over the last decade or so, there have been a couple of noticeable trends in broad-based, popular music that have segued from mild irritation to disfiguring infection. The first is the fey cover version, the awful balladification of perfectly good...

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CD: Backstreet Boys - DNA

You’ve got to hand it to Backstreet Boys. Who would have thought that 23 years after their first, self-titled album, the finger-clicking fivesome would be the best-selling boy band in the world? They’ve survived the departure of one of their members...

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CD: Aloe Blacc - Christmas Funk

Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III – Aloe Blacc – is one shrewd dude. He's extremely adept at reaching out beyond the confines of his natural beat of funk and soul, whether that's credible (covering The Velvet Underground's “Femme Fatale”) on his...

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CD: Jessie J - This Christmas Day

What makes a great Christmas song? There’s an alchemy to finding the winning combination of whimsy and humour, juxtaposed with a healthy slice of Christmas angst. This formula has led us to spin the same handful of pop bangers that endure down the...

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CD: The Monkees - Christmas Party

It’s astounding to think that given the commercial basis for their whole existence, The Monkees have never released a Christmas album before now. However, it’s a shame that they have waited until the death of one of their number to put out Christmas...

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CD: The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships

As befits an album preceded by lofty claims and vaulting ambition, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships is long. Very, very long. Last year, Matt Healy stated that the next album The 1975 produced had to be an OK Computer or The Queen Is Dead...

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Gary Numan, Royal Albert Hall review - the best night of his life

There was barely a black-clothed, white-faced Numanoid in sight in the packed auditorium of the Royal Albert Hall as Gary Numan made his first ever appearance at the Victorian concert hall. His fans appear to have left that kohl-eyed look behind...

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Florence + The Machine, Genting Arena, Birmingham review - flying the flag for a hopeful future

Many established artists, when out on tour, can get all a bit bashful about their new material. In fact, it’s not unusual for bands to hide a couple of new tunes in the middle of their live set with embarrassed mumbling about “you don’t really want...

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CD: The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Merrie Land

Pram are an experimental pop band from Moseley in Birmingham, who specialise in creating quirky soundscapes, eerie songs and whoozy instrumentals using all manner of strange instruments. They are also unlikely to ever achieve a mass following. The...

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Best Albums of 2018

Disc of the Day reviews new albums, week in, week out, all year. Below are the albums to which our writers awarded five stars. Click on any one of them to find out why. Baxter Dury, Etienne de Crécy and Delilah Holliday - B.E.D. ★★★★★ A small...

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