Johann Rosenmüller: Laudate Dominum / Sacred Concertos

This came out in February but once we missed its release we’ve sat on it (not literally) until the season of goodwill approaches: some of you will be wanting church music that sounds devotional and provides atmosphere, without mentioning a jingling bell or even a passing gloria. Rosenmüller (1619-1684) was German and studied theology at […]

Fatherson: Sum Of All Your Parts

An apt title, as Fatherson are indeed the sum of all their parts: Coldplay, Biffy, Incubus…. Opener The Rain replicates the sound of one of those emotional rock bands of a decade ago, with shimmery guitar and massive bass, and that’s pretty much the modus o perandum. It’s all radio friendly and crowd-pleasing; proficient anthemic […]

The Juniper Project: Fragments

Some flute-based releases we’ve reviewed have included the words “challenging” or “for lovers of technical flute playing”, euphemistically used for “verging on unlistenable”. Now comes this delightful album. It’s the music from a heavily costumed romance drama, the scene where the lovers float down the river on a sunny day (in a boat, obviously), the […]

John Butler Trio: Home

Butler is one of those unfortunates who made his best album early on — Sunrise Over Sea —which fans love. We’re fans and we love it beyond reason; we’d happily pay to see him tour and just play Sunrise year after year, with a couple of other songs to stretch the set out; some newer […]

Mike Batt / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Holst, The Planets

Amazingly, it’s The Wombles’ 50th anniversary this year — the furry rodents first appeared in 1968 — and to celebrate, Mike Batt has released this special edition of Holst’s The Planets. OK, so that’s only partly true: this new recording actually marks the centenary of the first performance of The Planets (29th September 1918, since […]

Vyacheslav Artyomov: The Way to Olympus

Artyomov is a modern composer from Russia writing with the ambition and scope of a man who knows his work is important. From what we read, his life in Russia has been hard, so perhaps a belief in your own standing in the history of music is crucial. He writes big, ambitious tunes; listening to […]

Death Cab for Cutie: Thank You for Today

We’re big fans of Death Cab but even we can see they’re on a downward trajectory. They started high and they’re always well above average — most bands would kill to be as good — but they’ve gone from masterpieces to pop tunes. Songs like the epic Transatlanticism, the title track of the 2003 album […]

Lars Danielsson/Paolo Fresu: Summerwind

Some albums simply blindside you: a few plays of moderate attention and suddenly you love it. Such is the case with this minimalist late night jazz album that leans towards trip hop. We initially thought the laid-back set would be for people who find late night jazz too loud. As its depths began to unfold, […]

Eric Craven: Entangled States

This double CD of solo piano (with the ever-reliable Mary Dullea) reminded us of Bach’s Goldberg Variations — not because of the variations (there aren’t any) but because of the way it wends in and out of your consciousness, and because there’s a lot of silence. (We also like Mr Craven: he emailed and thanked […]