Sheryl Crow: Be Myself

After at least one album (the last one, anyway) of commercial country music designed to be played on a car radio on an open American highway, Sheryl Crow has gone back to the acoustic-based country pop-rock of yore. Also designed to be played on a car radio on an open American highway. It’s good, in […]

Stax Classics Otis Redding / Sam and Dave

Released as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration, the Stax Classics series highlights some of the label’s biggest stars from the 1960s and 70s, budget-priced albums offering a dozen songs that “transcend the obvious hits”, as the PR says. (Also see the Bookers and Carla Thomas) According to one review, Otis Redding arrived in […]

At the Drive-In: Inter Alia

At the Drive-In are a punk / post-hardcore band who released three studio albums before breaking up in 2001; this is the first album in 17 years. Following the break-up, half the band became The Mars Volta then Antemasque (which variously featured Flea on bass and Travis Barker on drums). But now they’re back and […]

Erasure: World Be Gone

Donald Trump is obviously a terrible president but it’s not all bad: the media ratings are up in the US thanks to the trail of chaos he leaves behind, while Erasure seem to have been inspired by the state of the world when they wrote this (and that was before Theresa May teamed up with […]

Venus Rising: Happy Daze

Venus Rising are local, led by Sheena Bratt. We don’t like reviewing local bands much: do we just say they’re great because they’re local, or be honest? Usually they’re as good as they need to be, which makes it easy, but VR are a band that want to go places and this is their calling […]

Dua Lipa: Dua Lipa

This is not the kind of album we would normally listen to, slick RnB pop by the latest young person with a decent voice, but as she is walking out with Mr Chris Martin and thus now fodder for the Daily Mail sidebar of shame, we thought we’d give her a serious listen. The whole […]

James House: Berwick Street

We thought House was a young up and coming singer, but it turns out he’s 62 and a veteran, writing both country and western: he co-wrote Grammy-nominated country song of the year Ain’t That Lonely Yet for Dwight Yoakum and A Broken Wing for Martina McBride, as well as Diamond Rio’s number one In a […]

Carson Cooman: Hymnus

We seem to be falling over CDs from the prolific American composer Carson Cooman, who puts out an album every other day (he’s even on a jazz-based work we have lined up for review). His works are approachable, while being proper classical music as well, suitable for both novice and stuffed-shirt expert. The Press notes […]

Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal Blood’s début did that clichéd thing of exploding on the music scene, literally and figuratively. Literally for the jaw-droppingly confident, Bonham-esque intro of the first song, Out Of The Black, distilling decades of rock from Zep to Muse in its opening moments. Figuratively, as they were held up as the vanguard of a new […]