Fini Henriques: Piano Pieces

Listening to this rather delightful CD we thought it resembled a sampler of piano pieces for amateurs to play along to, and learn; not novices, but neither the highly advanced. When we read the sleeve notes, they report that, of Henriques’ works for piano, the majority can be divided into music for children and music […]

Allusinlove: It’s Okay to Talk

Allusinlove is a weird name and the first part remarkably easy to misread as a bottom-related synonym, but they’re from Yorkshire, where they allus talk like that. They used to be called Allusondrugs, which after a misread would suggest imminent arrest at Bangkok airport. (This anus punnery was maybe funnier when we first wrote it). […]

Diana Boyle … plays JS Bach

This album of gentle piano music has a definite meditative quality to it. This is probably because of how Boyle prepares for one of her (reportedly infrequent) recordings, which involves going away to the top of a hill and thinking for years. The sleeve notes say she has been doing this for 25 years; she […]

Sam Baker: Horses and Stars

This is one of the most remarkable albums we’ve had in some time. Baker half sings and half talks and plays gentle electric guitar, but his songs tell a powerful story of normal folk and it has a real power. He looks like a beardless Kris Kristofferson, comes from Texas and has a gravelly but […]

Various Artists: Jazz At Berlin Philharmonic IX: Pannonica

Most definitely a CD for fans of class jazz, this is an enjoyable live set from some of the top European jazz players. The backstory is interesting: the concert paid tribute to the baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter. The concert was held on 6th February this year, 30 years after her death, and focused on pieces […]

Dmitrii Khrychev, Olga Solovieva: 19th century cello and piano music

It’s a pretty self-explanatory title for this new release that features various composers, including Tchaikovsky, Arensky and Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov. The sleeve notes say that cello music flourished in Russia in the 19th century, with Tchaikovsky central to things and his Variations on a Rococo Theme opens, heard here in the composer’s version for cello […]

Tatiana Primak-Khoury: Lebanese Piano Music 2

We weren’t sure what this would sound like: Arabic? Jewish (unlikely, admittedly)? Persian? None of these, it’s very European and could be a couple of centuries old, and not — in the case of one piece — three years. Piano Sonata No 4 (1963) opens and is from Anis Fuleihan. He was director of the […]

Marina: Love + Fear

The Diamonds are gone — perhaps she had them recut — and now it’s just Marina. She and her now-resized Diamonds passed us by a little; a bit too poppy. People apparently liked her lyrics although, like the Diamonds, these appear to have been somewhat cut. This album is also poppy, but appealing. She has […]

Lizzo: Cuz I Love You

We came across Lizzo some time ago with Batches and Cookies, a stripped down semi-joking but addictive rap song (sample lyrics: “I got my batches and cookies / I got my batches and cookies / I got my batches and cookies / I got my batches and cookies”). The album Lizzobangers was less interesting and […]

Chas Rigby: Pearls

This is doubtless unfair on Chas, who’s probably 6’ 4” with pecks like a gladiator, but we imagine him as one of those underweight singers with less hair than they once had, who turn out to have led interesting but ultimately tragic lives, maybe some drugs and an arrest or two, but all giving them […]