The Courteeners: Mapping The Rendezvous

We caught The Courteeners on an early tour at the Sugarmill and thought they were going places, but while they’re making a good living, they’ve never taken off as we thought they might. “Lad rock” is too harsh but they never matched the sound they had in singer Liam Fray’s head. You can see the […]

Dr John Cooper Clarke and Hugh Cornwell: This Time It’s Personal

The original new wave poet and Strangler produce an album of their favourite tunes. Given that an early Stranglers classic was Walk On By it’s perhaps no surprise; what is a surprise is how good Cooper Clarke’s voice is; think Richard Hawley. Nearly as good as Walk On By is their cover of MacArthur Park, […]

My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade/Living with Ghosts

You should all know the story of the Black Parade — all about dying of cancer (the black parade is what the dead patient sees in the afterlife), a young man reflects on life, the band all die at the end. It sold a gazillion copies. This is the 10th anniversary re-release. There’s not much […]

Scott Fagan: South Atlantic Blues

Bowie’s gone, Lenny Cohen’s gone but never fear — here’s Scott Fagan, the best sixties folk/soul singer you never heard of. Play this without knowing the backstory and it’s attention-grabbing: one assumes it’s a young dude channeling the sixties, but confidently: he makes no concessions to modern tastes and his voice is powerful in the […]

Mac Miller: The Divine Feminine

We’d heard of Mac Miller before, when a younger member of the Review Corner started raving about him. From what we could gather, he was one of those white male hip-hoppers who sings party songs for college boys. Not really our cup of tea. This new album is supposed to be a different direction for […]

Recreations: Baby Boomers 2

We listened to this half a dozen times before reading the Press notes. The singer has got a bit of the “awight squire” Essex voice you expect to deliver jokey lyrics but doesn’t (in other places he sounds a bit Albarn so banish thoughts of Chas ‘n’ Davian antics). He sounds about 12, so when […]

Green Day: Revolution Radio

We never really got into the whole Green Day thing. They were a decent punk band with albums that were good in places, but we suspect the success of American Idiot surprised them. Dookie shifted 20m copies but at the time of Idiot they were winding down and not getting on. American Idiot was a […]

Empire of the Sun: Two Vines

This is the third album from Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore and continues the two men’s contribution to classy pop. Steele is the genius behind The Sleepy Jackson while Littlemore is bit of an over-achiever, having co-written for The Sleepy Jackson, been the frontman of the electronic duo Pnau, a member of the art-rock band […]

José Luis Domínguez: The Legend of Joaquín Murieta

We’ve been enjoying this dramatic double CD of music, a romp written in the style of a classical symphony. Domínguez is one of most sought-after Chilean conductors, conducting opera, ballet and symphony, and for ten years has been resident director of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra (who play on this CD). He wanted to write a […]

Xylaroo: Sweetooth

After reading the biog, this is not what we were expecting. The sisters that make up Xylaroo are from Papa New Guinea and now live in London, via Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and we were expecting something a bit world, but opening song, Track A Lackin’ is a rollicking country tune. It […]