sat 02/03/2024

soul music

Album: Paloma Faith - The Glorification of Sadness

Paloma Faith is pretty much the dictionary definition of “full-on”. Always in elaborate hairdos and outré ruffles, big of personality and big of voice, she enthuses and emotes with firehose intensity at any opportunity. So it comes as no surprise...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Scott Fagan - South Atlantic Blues

The album opens with “In my Head.” The lead instrument is an electric piano, over which a quavering, clenched voice sings. The closest comparison is Pearls Before Swine’s Tom Rapp, a similarly idiosyncratic singer. As the stately song unfolds,...

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Albums of the Year 2023: Janelle Monáe - The Age of Pleasure

It was a year of bleak and brutal conflict, ugly and stupid imposition of power, overt Fascism in the mainstream public sphere, decay of infrastructure and apocalyptic weather. So what better than a record of total pleasure? And Janelle Monáe’s...

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Album: Gregory Porter - Christmas Wish

The cat in the hat with the mellifluous voice delivers his Christmas Wish for the festive season, his first Christmas album, and it sounds more or less as you would imagine it – tasteful, discreet, soulful, reined in, but richly expressive, and...

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Young Fathers, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - powerful set from a band who keep pushing boundaries

Fresh from winning this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Award – for the third time no less! – Young Fathers gave a spectacular performance on Tuesday night on their home turf, at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Sure, it seems odd that a competition that’s...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 79: Primal Scream, Girl Ray, Mort Garson, Barbie, Nina Simone, Dengue Fever and more

VINYL OF THE MONTHAfrican Head Charge A Trip to Bolgatanga (On-U Sound)The latest album from percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah and On-U Sound producer-par-excellence Adrian Sherwood is stunning. 40-something years into their collaborative career,...

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We Out Here Festival, Wimborne St Giles review: it's a family affair, and then some...

We Out Here Festival, now in its fifth year (and fourth edition, as 2020 was of course cancelled for Covid), has become an institution. Curated by jazz-centric veteran DJ Gilles Peterson and actualised by Noah Ball – best known for his role in...

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Album: Dexys - The Feminine Divine

In 2012 Dexys returned with their fourth album, and first in 27 years, One Day I’m Going to Soar. It was a concept piece, original and funny, chewing over the volatility of love, containing wonderful set-pieces, most especially a trio of songs at...

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Album: Mahalia - IRL

Ever since she broke through in her teens, Leicestershire singer Mahalia Burkmar’s music has often been referred to as retro or revivalist R&B. But that framing is a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the genre operates for young 21st...

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Album: Gabriels - Angels & Queens - Part II

You could say the catalyst behind it all was Rocketman himself. During his Apple Music Show, celebrated CBE Elton John named Gabriels’ self-released EP, Love and Hate in a Different Time, one of the most seminal releases in the last ten years. At...

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Album: ANOHNI - My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross

A “back to basics” album is a risky thing. When an act has expanded into big, lavish or experimental production, it’s not a simple act to strip that away. Trying to go back to the intimacy or spontaneity of early work can feel forced: they may find...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night

“It all started with a June 7, 1976 article in New York magazine about Queens, New York working-class young adults who flocked to a local disco in platform shoes and outlandish clothes to perform organized dances. [Bee Gees manager] Stigwood read...

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