sat 28/05/2022

singer-songwriters

Album: Lykke Li - EYEYE

Swedish singer Lykke Li has called her new album Eyeye “her most intimate work to date”. In regard to Lykke Li’s music, this feels almost impossible at this point. Her music has time and time again explored the depths of heartbreak. Is it possible...

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Album: Emeli Sandé - Let's Say For Instance

Around a decade ago, Scottish singer Emeli Sandé appeared during a golden time for original female songwriters. On well-wrought, richly-inhabited songs such as “My Kind of Love” she quickly established herself as a characterful performer able to...

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Album: The Shires - 10 Year Plan

Seems odd now, but there was a time when many Brits found country music laughable. It was a common thing. For instance, when Keith Richards embraced country, Jagger initially thought it a joke. By the time I was coming up in the Eighties, post-punk...

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Album: Judy Collins - Spellbound

It’s not breaking any secrets to note that the woman immortalised as the “Chestnut-brown canary/Ruby-throated sparrow” in Stephen Stills’ “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” will shortly turn 83. Not that you’d know it from Spellbound, her new album.Her voice...

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Album: Janis Ian - The Light at the End of the Line

A confession – one I have made down the years to many friends, who mostly disagree. I have never much liked Joni Mitchell. Yes, she has written some good and enduring songs, but the voice? To me it has no substance, no texture. Admirers say she led...

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Album: Maverick Sabre - Don't Forget to Look Up

Michael Stafford aka Maverick Sabre is the definition of a modern journeyman vocalist. Since 2008 he’s released three albums and appeared on a huge range of British and Irish rap, dubstep and drum’n’bass artists’ records. He’s had several top 40...

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Album: John Mellencamp - Strictly A One-Eyed Jack

“I didn’t even know what I was writing about. It was just sent to me”, John Mellencamp has said of Strictly A One-Eyed Jack, his first album in five years.Lauded by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Nora Guthrie, who sees in his work echoes of her father...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Eliane Elias - Mirror Mirror

After watching so many gigs through a computer screen, it was a joy to hear live music again in familiar haunts – from Ronnie Scott’s and the Southbank to Grand Junction, Paddington – in 2021. It made you appreciate anew not only the high-wire...

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The Tiger Lillies' Christmas Carol: A Victorian Gutter, Southbank Centre review - cult band get inside Scrooge's head

Charles Dickens and Martyn Jacques is a marriage made in heaven (well, hell I suppose): the Victorian novelist touring the rookeries of Clerkenwell the better to fire his imagination and, 150 years or so later, the post-punk maestro mining London's...

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The Holiness of Sex: Leonard Cohen's Biblical Theology

On hearing that I had recently written a book about Leonard Cohen, someone asked me why I thought Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature rather than Cohen. Not being a Nobel prize adjudicator I couldn’t answer the question but I did...

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Grace Petrie, Summerhall, Edinburgh review - songs of solidarity

“How to explain Theresa May?” Grace Petrie muses from the Summerhall stage as she introduces decade-old opener “Farewell To Welfare”. “Well, in 2010, she was as bad as we thought it was going to get.”That is, on the face of it, the problem with...

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Cécile McLorin Salvant, EFG London Jazz Festival review - strength, vulnerability and humour

A fascinating song list that juxtaposed originals with musical theatre, pop songs, Brazilian music and more. An inventive, listening band – take a bow Glenn Zaleski (piano), Alexa Tarantino (flute), Marvin Sewell (guitar), Yasushi Nakamura (bass)...

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