thu 21/10/2021

singer-songwriters

Album: Elton John, The Lockdown Sessions - review

I always thought those celebrity duets albums, recorded across the miles – or sometimes with someone who had long since passed to the great arena in the sky – were generally fraudulent, always cheesy and sometimes mawkish. Now Covid and eighteen...

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Rufus Wainwright, London Palladium review - superb musicianship and a warm welcome

Rufus Wainwright believes opera to be “the greatest art form that has ever existed on the planet” and of course he’s written an opera himself – Prima Donna, which has been described as “the work of a man who loves opera and the sensations it...

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Album: Finneas - Optimist

This record is a heck of a metatextual experience to listen to. In releasing his debut album, 24 year old Finneas O’Connell is attempting to step out of the shadow of one of the biggest pop cultural behemoths of our time – his own sister,...

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Album: James Blake - Friends That Break Your Heart

There I was, gleefully prepared to give this a good kick-in but, annoyingly, it’s defied my expectations. I’ve come to associate James Blake’s singing with the worst excesses of I’m-so-vulnerable-me, post-Jeff Buckley, falsetto-voice-breaking, and...

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Album: Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under

Grand, sweeping romanticism with strong Celtic leanings is the order of the day lately, in a way it hasn’t been since the 1980s heyday of U2, Waterboys, Bruce Springsteen, Dexys and Simple Minds. The likes of Lewis Capaldi, Dermot Kennedy, Declan...

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Album: The Specials - Protest Songs 1924 - 2012

When The Specials returned with their chart-topping 2019 album Encore, it was a wonderful surprise. As well as being their first in nearly four decades (excluding material by alternately named intermediary incarnations), it proved they were more...

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Ben Howard, Royal Festival Hall review - authentic and reassuring

Ben Howard is a man of very few words, unless of course, there’s a guitar accompanying them.These are his first shows since the start of lockdown but all he says about that is “thanks for coming out this evening”. Hobbling onto the stage with his...

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Album: Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine - A Beginner's Mind

For those amongst you who listened obsessively to the soundtrack of Call Me By Your Name, the idea of an album by cult singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens of ‘film music’ will probably fill you with deep joy. Although this isn’t a collection of music...

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Nadine Shah, Winterstoke Sun Shelter, Ramsgate review - a thrilling return in a stunning venue

Hilarious, potty-mouthed and mesmerisingly beautiful, Nadine Shah is on superb form at the Ramsgate Festival of Sound’s closing evening show. And aside from the banter there is, of course, that remarkable voice – hugely powerful and...

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Album: Standing in the Doorway - Chrissie Hynde Sings Bob Dylan

The release into a world in lockdown of Bob Dylan’s first original album in almost a decade caught everyone by surprise last year. Rough and Rowdy Ways drew widespread and universal praise. Its coming was heralded by a single, “Murder Most Foul”, a...

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Album: Dot Allison - Heart-Shaped Scars

Scottish singer-songwriter Dorothy Allison pretty much defines cool. Her band One Dove was the first to snare Andrew Weatherall as producer after his success with Screamadelica, and together they created Morning Dove White: an extraordinary album...

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Album: Jackson Browne - Downhill From Everywhere

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 50 years since I splurged a day’s Saturday pay on For Everyman, Jackson Browne’s second album. The title track alone was worth it. A couple of years on and Late for the Sky yielded “Before the Deluge” and “...

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