Andrew Hawkey: Long Story Short

We liked Hawkey before we heard a note: he was born in 1942 (yes, really) in Wadebridge, Cornwall, a favourite Review Corner haunt (and home to Andrew Ridgeley) and also lived in Cheshire. He left school at 15 to work on poultry farms, but became an estate agent. He was in London for the swinging […]

Littlemen: It’s a Beautiful Thing

If ever an album hid its delights in its opening bars, it’s this. The start of opener The Girl With The Red Blouse sounds something like a country take on Wet Wet Wet’s Something In The Air, a gentle, slow pop tune with soft vocals, no indication of what’s coming. Then it builds in power […]

Sam Lewis: Solo

Lewis is a grizzled looking American dude and sings the songs you might expect; modern life and its many facets, just him and guitar. He’s good because he has a soft voice, lyrics that can be thoughtful, amusing or silly, and makes honest, simple music. This is just him and an audience in what sounds […]

Natacha Atlas: Strange Days

Atlas is from Egypt and this album sees her meld her roots with jazz. It’s a beautifully recorded selection of tracks that drifts into easy listening — the gentlest it goes is a bit late night, with an interesting fusion of sounds and instrumentation. Atlas began her career as part of the world fusion group […]

Charlie Parr: Charlie Parr

At first play, Charlie Parr’s self-titled new album sounds like a worthy but basically routine album: man sings while skilfully finger-picking a 12-string. (He plays a Mule resonator, National resonator guitar, a fretless open-back banjo, and a 12-string guitar, often in the Piedmont blues style). The album is a mix of old and new songs, […]

Georgie: Live!

Georgie is new to us; we guess she has a devoted fanbase who love her bluesy vocals. This is an acoustic set, recorded live at Trinity Church, Nottingham — she’s from Mansfield so it’s practically a home-coming gig. It’s all about the music. Georgie delivers minimal and deadpan chat between the songs. “This is a […]

Bob Bradshaw: Queen Of The West

The music is warm and rich but we find Bradshaw’s vocals a little dry (which we would also find fault with Bread over), but there’s a lot going on. He has lots of ideas and the band is good, his voice just fails to excite us. That aside, it’s a meaty album with a lot […]

Brittany Howard: Jaime

This is the debut solo studio album by the lead guitarist / vocalist of chart-topping, Grammy-winners Alabama Shakes. It’s going to be on everyone’s “best of” lists come December, as it’s great. It’s not like the Shakes, though. Howard wrote and composed all of the music, and played a lot, too we suspect. The songs […]

Larkin Poe: Venom and Faith

This is an album that falls between pop and blues. It’s like one of those visual illusions, where upside down plates suddenly flip to the right way round. In this case you’ve got to see it as a pop album rather than blues; it sits a little uneasily until you do. There’s a mix of […]

Craig Finn: I Need A New War

The song title is not a proclamation of bellicose intent but a lyric from a track about a man who is lost and simply needs a reason for getting his life back on track. That twist is typical of the songs and the approach of this album, which is both muscular and tender. We listen […]