Tom Bailey: Science Fiction

This comes 27 years after the release of the Thompson Twins’ eighth and final album Queer, and is the band’s founder and front man’s debut solo album. Whatever else he’s been doing, he’s stashed away some good songs. This manages to sound both like a throwback to the 80s, and something modern. The song-writing is […]

Martin Speake: Intention

This is intelligent and stimulating jazz from leading saxophonist Speake, who shows he can compose, too. The playing might be complex, but it’s a non-threatening sound: not exactly laid back, but certainly not edgy. It’s an album that needs a lot of listening to, as it adheres to no one style, from blues to bop, […]

Jorja Smith: Lost and Found

While Anne-Marie goes for the formulaic and makes a fun album, Smith shows how the grown-ups do it. The 20-year-old singer has a smooth, soulful voice and blends soul and trip-hop on her debut album in a way that’s both retro and modern. She reminds us of one of our guilty pleasures, Deniece Williams, the […]

Sarah Blasko: Depth of Field

This fine pop album has its roots firmly in the 80s, while sounding modern: no dated, overly brassy 80s production here. The feel of the music reminds us of classic acts such as from Donna Summer to INXS, and even Pictures at 11-era Robert Plant, as well as Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes, the latter […]

Anne-Marie: Speak Your Mind

This is everything that’s right and wrong about modern pop music. Wrong, because it’s as formulaic as they come – EDM beat, X Factor-style vocals, lavish production but little melody (it’s all about the beat, man….) — but right because it’s impossible not to enjoy it, and it’s cheerful. Anne-Marie can sing: Wikipedia reports she […]

Biffy Clyro: MTV Unplugged (Live At Roundhouse, London)

Biffy Clyro live are known for playing massive, stadium-pleasing songs, with their shirts off. This new CD is part of the reborn series of Unplugged shows, and shows how strong some of their songs are without the volume. The CD opens with the crowd chanting “C’mon The Biff” so they’re guaranteed a warm reception and […]

Matt Maltese: Bad Contestant

He’s got an unusual name, and this is an unusual album, somewhere between Frank Sinatra and Stephin Merritt, of The Magnetic Fields fame; his approach is also like Squeeze, slightly lugubrious pop with lyrics that tell stories. You could cite Morrissey, too, or The Divine Comedy. Maltese talks about life with a perennial hangdog expression, […]

Flaming Lips: Greatest Hits Vol 1

The Review Corner has seen The Flaming Lips live countless times, we’ve danced on stage with them (when they had Santas and Aliens) and when two Review Cornerers got married, a Lips’ song (Do You Realize?) was the first dance. Just to say: we’re biased. This will not be a critical review. The Flaming Lips […]

Sean McGowan: Son Of The Smith

This came as a download and we thought it was Shane McGowan, drunken Pogue; we were not expecting the “cor blimey guv’nor” sound of the latest everyman poet McGowan clearly hopes to be. McGowan is a cross between sturdy man of the people Frank Turner and young voice of the streets Jamie T. His band […]

Judith Owen: RedisCOVERed

We had Owen’s last album and have a fuzzy affection for her: we don’t play it much, but it’s quality music and she’s got a good voice. If you want easy listening standards jazz/blues, she’s yer woman. This one had us turning in disbelief to track eight .. . Smoke On The Water. Yes, Ms […]