Sarah Blasko: Depth of Field

This fine pop album has its roots firmly in the 80s, while sounding modern: no dated, overly brassy 80s production here. The feel of the music reminds us of classic acts such as from Donna Summer to INXS, and even Pictures at 11-era Robert Plant, as well as Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes, the latter […]

Anne-Marie: Speak Your Mind

This is everything that’s right and wrong about modern pop music. Wrong, because it’s as formulaic as they come – EDM beat, X Factor-style vocals, lavish production but little melody (it’s all about the beat, man….) — but right because it’s impossible not to enjoy it, and it’s cheerful. Anne-Marie can sing: Wikipedia reports she […]

Namosh: Music Muscle

Sometimes we hear an interview with a cool DJ and order some hardcore dance (ie disco, four beats to the bar, nothing too whacky) from Chicago or somewhere; Frankie Knuckles is way too commercial, it’s people like Cajmere or songs from genres with “jack” in the title. The music is often hard, almost industrial, a […]

Denis Jones: 3333

Like The Courteeners, Denis Jones is from Manchester but unlike them he makes interesting music. On a website we found he was described as making “scuzzy Mancunian blues”, which is good, but misses out the word “electronic”. It’s the blues of a dirty city where residents have good reason to sing soulful songs, but it’s […]

David Federmann: Water’s Edge

We never mock people with geeky hobbies, because for a long time we obsessed over Rob da Bank’s early morning music show: dance, chill-out and acoustic music combining to often glorious effect. This new album from French jazz aficionado and electronic producer Federmann would have fitted right in. It would have been the first tune […]

Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

In other reviews of Pet Shop Boys reissues (Please, Actually) we’ve enjoyed the 12” extended mixes on the bonus CD. With Introspective, the tracks are the extended mixes, the PSB later whittling them down for singles. It comes with the usual excellent sleeve notes — worth the price of admission on their own — which […]

Pet Shop Boys: Actually

Another cracking album from the PSB: Actually (as in “Pet Shop Boys, actually”) was their second album, coming out in 1987 and being a critique of not only Thatcher’s economy but the whole 80s thing, from materialism to the post-Aids club scene. The tunes are great: four massive hits (What I Have Done, Shopping, Rent […]

Lisa Stansfield: Deeper

We weren’t sure what this was going to be like, except that if the Press budget extends down the food chain to us, great things must be expected. Deservedly so. Banish thoughts of cheesy pop or pop diva-ish warbling: this is a great pop/RnB album and Stansfield gives a masterclass in how to produce music: […]

Pet Shop Boys: Please

We’ve had the later re-releases, now here are the remasters of the early albums, with Please being the debut. Two things leap out: first, it’s truly majestic pop; second, they’d have to release a lot of terrible albums (which they haven’t) to even partially squander the goodwill albums like this built up. No wonder people […]

DeStijl: Debut

DeStijl love a joke: they formed before White Stripes released their album De Stijl in 2000 and so released an album White Stripes in 2011. This album is not their debut. As you all know, De Stijl is Dutch for “The Style”, aka Neoplasticism, a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917 in Leiden by artists […]