mon 20/05/2019

songwriters

CD: The Waterboys - Where the Action Is

Mike Scott has never been afraid to call on high-brow literary influences in his songwriting – 2011’s An Appointment With Mr Yeats album being the most obvious example. Now, almost forty years (on and off) into the Waterboys’ career, Scott takes a...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 47: The Beta Band, Ry Cooder, The Cardigans, Sgt. Pepper goes jazz and more

Let’s cut straight to the chase. Here are reviews of 48 records, running riot across genre boundaries and categorizations, from preposterous pop metal to woodland-themed classical piano pieces. It’s the wildest vinyl ride in review-land, an...

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CD: Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center

In recent weeks, you may have noticed signs for the Better Oblivion Community Center, from billboards to park benches, all displaying a mysterious helpline telephone number. This was not some new community support project, but a surprise...

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CD: Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

In 2016, Sharon Van Etten took a hiatus from music, and threw herself into other projects. She got her first acting role in Netflix drama The OA and, inspired by the intense emotional connection her fans had found with her songs, began studying to...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

It’s been a great year for music: trailblazing and unforgettable EPs from Stella Donnelly and boygenius; the triumphant returns of Robyn, and Janelle Monáe; flawless albums from Kurt Vile and Tunng; stunning re-imaginings from St Vincent and...

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Sŵn Festival 2018 – a welcome return to form

It’s been a tough few years for Sŵn Festival. Once a genuine rival to fellow urban festivals Great Escape and Sound City, recent events have fluctuated between one-dayers and a string of ticketed gigs. 2018 marked the biggest change yet, but also a...

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CD: John Grant – Love Is Magic

There are people who do and say awful things in the name of honesty. It can be used as a cover for rigorous appeasement of our own worst impulses, or as a thin veil to disguise needless personal attacks on those around us. With singer-sonwriter John...

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Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. review - not your average popstar

Why is M.I.A. such a problematic pop star? Why can't she just shut up and release a hit? Tellingly, this is the very question the singer poses at the start of Matangi/Maya/M.I.A - a question she's been asked throughout her career, from interviewers...

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CD: Prince - Piano and a Microphone 1983

Knowing a deceased artist's archives are available for re-release is a double-edged sword. Will there be a shoddy flood of any and every old bit of tat a la Jimi Hendrix? Will there be half-arsed, half-finished and even fake songs bodged together by...

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CD: Madeleine Peyroux - Anthem

Peyroux made her name by channelling the sultry sensuality and soul of Billie Holiday and breathing new life into well-known songs written by others - notably Elliott Smith and Leonard Cohen.She still brings enchantment to covers, but has...

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Proms at...Cadogan Hall 4, Connolly, Middleton review - perfect partnering in the unfamiliar

“It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations.” Oscar Wilde was being ironic when he had Gwendolen contemplate the sound of her beloved’s drab name in The Importance of Being Earnest, but he had a point when it comes to composers and poetry....

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CD: Gorillaz - The Now Now

It’s hard to know who to write about when reviewing a new Gorillaz release. According to the official line, the band have shorn their usual guests to focus on the core creative team: vocalist 2D, drummer Russell, guitarist Noodle, and new bassist...

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