Tea Street Band: Frequency

  The Press release for this claims the band follows in the wake of “tunefully idiosyncratic” Liverpool bands like The Coral (partly true) and are closer to artists such as Tunng (not really). The partial truth is that they are tuneful but it’s not really idiosyncratic and Tunng would not readily spring to mind — […]

Clean Bandit: What Is Love?

  Clean Bandit fall in that category of bands who surprise us by getting very famous (when much better bands do not). They’re as brainy as the lovechild of Brians May and Cox: some band members met at Jesus College, Cambridge, while another member was at Westminster School and in a string quartet with the […]

Parcels: Parcels

The opening bars of this CD tell you all you need to know: it’s the 1970s, and Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder are the kings of pop. Scintillating guitar, disco beats, harmonies. Despite sounding as old as the Review Corner’s scratchiest vinyl, Parcels manage to be sound modern — they worked with Daft Punk for […]

Cher: Dancing Queen

If you’re stuck for Xmas presents or even music for your Xmas party, Cher has obliged. Abba wrote some of the best pop tunes in history, Cher is, well, Cher. She knows what’s going to work and she doesn’t muck about much with the songs, so Abba fans — which is basically everyone, in the […]

Pet Shop Boys: Behaviour / Very / Bilingual

The PS Boys have been re-releasing their albums all year so they’re not out for Christmas but they’d make good pressies — the sleeve notes alone are worth the price, entertaining, indiscreet and informative as they are. This final tranche is albums that came after their heyday but they’re all still good. We might have […]

Christine and the Queens: Chris

Christine’s last album garnered good reviews but we never got it. We assumed the critics either lucked out — most time “critically praised” means “poor sales and disappears” — or we missed the point, because this new album is wonderful (… at least until we saw the last one sold 1m copies. What do we […]

Henge: Attention Earth

We lamented over people complaining about the lack of new music in the Sons Of Bill review but Henge is an even better example: they’ve invented, or lest re-invigorated, a whole genre of music. It’s music like you’ve never heard before but it’s also instantly likeable. The basic sound is space rock, though as it […]

The Kooks: Let’s Go Sunshine

“Consider the lilies” said Brian in Life of Brian only for a member of his audience to heckle, “He’s having a go at the flowers now”. We feel the same about The Kooks; what can you say? The music might be bland but they’ve made a career and have got a strong fanbase who doubtless […]

Plan B: Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose

Plan B shot to mainstream fame after following up his inner-city rap album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words with his successful Motown persona in The Defamation of Strickland Banks, telling the tale of Mr Banks, a British soul singer. The boy could sing, and had soul. Soundtrack Ill Manors came next, a “hip […]