Josh Groban: Bridges

Groban is a proper singer; his voice has been called a tenor by some and a baritone by others (G2 to B4, lower than the tenor range on the low end, and above the baritone range, on the high end), and on his rise to fame, he depped for a poorly Andrea Bocelli at the […]

Twenty One Pilots: Trench

Twenty One Pilots are one of those bands who passed us by, but turn out to be massive. We thought they were emo/rock and the first track, Jumpsuit, did not dissuade, with its heavy bass and touch of screaming towards the end. Track two Levitate takes it off in a different direction with fast rapping […]

Lorraine Baker: Eden

This came a while back amid a pile of country albums — were we wrong to assume “Lorraine Baker” was a C&W singer? Much to our dismay, playing it reveals she’s a drummer and does jazz, and this is a very cool album. Baker is our kind of drummer, with plenty of skills on display […]

Disturbed: Evolution

We assume the title is ironic — Disturbed is the least evolved creation that ever walked the earth (after Status Quo). Despite hitting a more mainstream audience with a cover of Sound Of Silence, they play the same formulaic rock with which they hit the big time. Bands like Linkin Park at least made an […]

Sheridan Smith: A Northern Soul

We read that Smith’s debut album, Sheridan, was last year’s second-best selling debut by a UK woman, beaten only by cool pop singer Dua Lipa (although Smith sold 100,000 copies and Lipa 1.2m, so it’s not a close-run thing). That collection of covers was a little patchy, but this new one is more of a […]

Suzanne Shulman: Serenades and Sonatas for Flute and Harp

This programme has been gathered from a selection of pieces inspired by English gardens, including Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves, as well as French and Italian music. It’s a nice touch of spring as winter approaches. The opening piece is Fantasia on Greensleeves, which sets the tone. We’d say pastoral rather than fluffy, though it’s […]

Penguins Go Pop: 20th Century Pop

This is an album we wished we’d heard 30 years ago — it’s one of those albums you love in your youth, and ever more it remains a musical comfort blanket. It’s not quite garage rock and it’s too layered to be called DIY, but there’s an endearing homemade quality to it. This is not […]

New Vic: Wind In The Willows

The latest Christmas production at the New Vic, Newcastle, is a re-telling of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows — 110 years old this year — the tale of anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of ye olde England as progress, in the form of motor cars, arrives. It’s the best Christmas show the […]

Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr: Relaxin’in Ireland

The emphasis here is on the relaxin’ not the Ireland, so expect no fiddles or jigs. It’s the Irish attitude that inspires the Wasserfuhr, and it’s a nice album for those who like chilled jazz. We often complain about ill-judged covers of popular songs but the Wasserfuhrs manage cool covers of songs that shouldn’t work […]

Lindsey Buckingham: Solo Anthology: The Best Of

Another boxset, this time from the guitarist fired by Fleetwood Mac; he’s so good they needed two players to replace him on tour, Mike Campbell and Neil Finn. Buckingham’s solo albums have always been gems, his voice good and his guitar work (obviously) outstanding. Unlike the Mac, it always sounds intimate and personal, as if […]