wed 27/05/2020

pop music

Album: Thundercat - It Is What It Is

Alongside the man he calls “the other half of my brain”, Flying Lotus, Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner sits near the heart of Los Angeles’ fertile, genre-busting scene, helping to link Kendrick Lamar’s righteous rebel rap, Kamasi Washington’s spiritual...

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Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All, Netflix review - epic two-parter on pop's first superstar

Coming in at around four hours, in two parts, this 2015 documentary is ostensibly about Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra, but really, via the prism of his existence, it’s as much about America’s journey through the first two thirds of the 20th century....

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Album: Basia Bulat - Are You In Love?

“No Control” feels like an instant pop classic. It opens with a brief introduction where layers of instrumentation are added in waves. There’s a restraint. Then, three-quarters of minute into what initially seems like a reflective mid-tempo ballad,...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: A Slight Disturbance In My Mind

Two of the 84 tracks on A Slight Disturbance In My Mind: The British Proto-Psychedelic Sounds of 1966 are covers of songs from Revolver. One is a rendering of “Tax Man” (sic) by a band named Loose Ends which was enterprisingly issued as a single on...

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The Story of Ready Steady Go!, BBC Four review - when life was fab

It’s almost unbearably poignant, on this black Friday evening in March 2020, to watch a documentary about Ready Steady Go! , “the most innovative rock ‘n’ roll show ever”, believes Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the second of its four directors who went on...

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Morrissey, Wembley Arena review - reminders of greatness

“I’d like you to know that you can breathe as heavy as you like,” Morrissey declares, somewhat against government advice. “It really doesn’t matter. I can take it!” Like a cross between Elvis Presley and Donald Trump, this great, divisive pop star...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Matt Monro - Stranger In Paradise

Two years before he took on The Beatles, George Martin was working with another artiste who would go on to have success in America. Martin first encountered Matt Monro in 1960 when he signed him to the label he ran, Parlophone. The “Portrait of my...

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Halsey, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - a pop star with plenty of personality

There is something enjoyably spikey about Halsey, even when she is adhering to pop convention. At one stage she told the crowd how good they looked, before dryly adding it was praise they wouldn’t have heard before. These are brave words when...

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Lewis Capaldi, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - triumphant homecoming from Brit-conquering hero

Critical and commercial success haven’t gone to the head of Lewis Capaldi. The 23-year-old opened his first of two sold-out nights at Glasgow’s 14,000-capacity enormodrome – booked when he was yet to release his debut album – with a video montage...

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Album: Baxter Dury - The Night Chancers

“I’m not your fucking friend,” intones Baxter Dury as recent single “I’m Not Your Dog” begins. As opening salvos go, it’s right up there with the best of them, full of sneering hostility and fiery intent. As an introduction, it’s a writer’s hook –...

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Album: Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott - Manchester Calling

Paul Heaton’s career-spanning compilation The Last King of Pop depicted him crowned and enthroned like a Salford Solomon Burke, or self-aware Michael Jackson. The unique kingdom he has staked out through The Housemartins and The Beautiful South is...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Eric Burdon & The Animals - When I Was Young: The MGM Recordings 1967-1968

The titles conveyed the enthusiasm. “A Girl Named Sandoz”, “Gratefully Dead”, “Monterey”, “San Franciscan Nights” and “Yes, I am Experienced”. LSD, The Grateful Dead, Monterey Pop Festival, San Francisco and Jimi Hendrix. There they were, explicit...

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