Boreas Quartet: Tye, In Nomine

You’ve all heard the work of Christopher Tye, even though he died before 1573 — he wrote the hymn Winchester Old, the basis for one of those songs we all love around December, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks. We meant to review this album for Christmas but hey ho (ho ho ho) we never did, […]

Reto Kuppel: Vieuxtemps, Solo Violin Works

Henri Vieuxtemps was born nearly 200 years ago (1820), and was a Belgian composer and violinist, a towering figure in his field (says Wikipedia). He was the son of a weaver, from Verviers (now twinned with Bradford). Despite the age of this music, and the fact that it’s a lone violin for the best part […]

Kill Your Friends OST

November and tells the story of a music industry exec during Brit Pop’s heyday. Steven Stelfox is a horrendous individual by the sound of it, manipulative, off his head and cheating and stealing: “lies, betrayal murder: just another day in the music industry” as the sleeve says. This is music “inspired by” the film so […]

Bingham String Quartet: Bridge/Scott Piano Quintets

Frank Bridge (1879–1941) was an English composer, violist and conductor, while Cheshire-born Cyril Scott (1879–1970) was a composer, writer, and poet. Bridge was a pacifist and Bridge friends with a Christian Scientist, later becoming interested in metaphysics, and spending many of his latter years living with a clairvoyant. Both the compositions on here — Bridge’s […]

They Might Be Giants: Why?

If TMBG had been alive a few hundred years ago, they’d have been Europe’s most famous court jesters. They write catchy tunes with the cleverest lyrics you ever stumbled across. The problem is that once you’ve heard a song once or twice, it’s played out. The lyrics are the thing, and when you’ve smirked a […]

Stephanie Kirkham: Tiny Spark

We’re highly impressed with this album, though its slickness might put people off: it makes Mumford and Sons sound like a grim underground black metal band. In a nutshell, she’s written the soundtrack to a rom-com (not starring Jennifer Aniston — it would be really good) with songs that are often jauntier than the Andrex […]

Fictonian: (Desire Lines)

We often wander the webbershpere, checking out other reviews, and we’ve never read such twaddle as was being written about this. We must have read half a dozen meandering reviews by people with nothing to say. It’s possibly the audience he’s aiming at though: his Press release talks about spending time in a Fictonian reality […]

Them: Complete Them 1964-1967

Stealing their name from now long-forgotten London band, Shorty and Them (“Nobody’s going to hear of us London” figured young Ivan Morrison), Them are the band with which Van the Man first made his name, though not much cash (“It was a weird situation to be famous and broke — it’s one thing being broke […]

Johnny Cash: Man In Black Live in Denmark

The highlight of this CD is possibly not the Man In Black himself but a tune that later featured in Quentin Tarantino’s best film. This CD (it was originally part of a DVD) was recorded in 1971 for Danish television, which explains the self-censoring line “son of a bleep” at the end of Boy Named […]