Lewis Watson: The Morning

We like this; it reminds us of Tracy Thorn’s 1982 release A Distant Shore, a student classic: nice to listen to as you discussed life without being too demanding. Watson plays pleasant acoustic songs with simple lyrics, ready-made for radio play or indeed, repeated plays in students’ halls of residence. Opener Stones Around The Sun […]

Britpop At The BBC

A slightly misleading title for this triple CD: two CDs are songs picked by BBC listeners, and only on CD3 are there BBC sessions; as a collection of songs it is excellent. Britpop was never a musical movement, just a marketing tool that coincided with a cocky new PM and some really good tunes, which […]

Basia Bulat: Tall Tall Shadow

This has been knocking around for a couple of months: it’s really good, but what to say about it? It’s the third full-length album by Canadian singer-songwriter Bulat, who sounds like she should be English and a graduate of the Brit school: she’s got that full, confidence voice that indie girl singers often boast; think […]

Elvis: That’s The Way It Is

Yet another reissue for the King: this deluxe edition is billed as the “the monumental definitive edition” — even definitive is a worn out word now — of his 1970 album and concert documentary, all in a box set of eight CDs and two DVDs. It includes an expanded version of original LP, six complete […]

Gramercy Arms: The Seasons Of Love

  Many albums are suited to a certain time and place; the label on this should say: “Best enjoyed in the garden on a sunny day.” The New York collective of musicians is masterminded by main songwriter, Dave Derby, whose Lloyd Cole connections should give an idea of what to expect (Cole adds vocals to […]

Linkin Park: The Hunting Party

  LP rose to fame doing rap metal, their debut selling a trillion records and subsequent albums seeing them go more melodic stadium rock. They’ve been producing entertaining but workmanlike rock for some years now. This album, their sixth, sees them going back to their roots with a slick nu metal sound. We quite like […]

Shammi: Pithi Cosmic

  Pithi is Anglo Indian and has been exposed to lots of different music, from the classical of both countries to hip hop and RnB. As the title suggests, Pithi’s music is aimed at people who want a little peace and calm while they commune with nature, pondering the thought that they don’t actually exist […]

Jerome Lowenthal: Rochberg Chihara Rorem

The main quality of this latest CD by Jerome Lowenthal, veteran pianist and academic, is its playfulness. The opening couple of bars sound like it’s going to be frightfully modern and American but that’s just a witty opening to George Rochberg’s Carnival Music, written for Lowenthal (much of the album is Rochberg). The carnival of […]

Choir of Young Believers: This Is For The White In Your Eyes

  The Amazon page for this contains many reviews from people who loved Swedish noir crime drama The Bridge and bought this album because opening track Hollow Talk is the theme. Many seem disappointed, with comments such as “I gave it away to someone else,” “the rest is pretty mediocre” and “most likely for the […]

George Crumb: Sun and Shadow / Voices from the Heartland

This is the 16th volume of record label Bridge’s George Crumb series, and the music is quite late. It’s an intriguing album and, because part one (Sun and Shadow) is based on the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca it has some similarities with Siobhan Lamb (see above) in that the singers step out of the […]