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 […]

Dos Floris: The Widowed Earth

This is an album that needs attention, probably on headphones; we tried listening while working and most of it just passes the casual listener by. Clearly, we stopped working and listened, as it is something worth hearing. It opens to the sound of a cassette player, perhaps suggesting something old school; or maybe just that […]

Gorillaz: The Now Now

We like Gorillaz as a singles band as much as the next primate, but have never really dug the albums, at least until this one. Probably because it’s low key, induces calm and doesn’t try anything too clever. Opener Humility is a gentle pop tune. It could have been made by any middle-ranking, decent chill-out […]

Lack of Afro: Jack of All Trades

Lack of Afro is Adam Gibbons, who lacks both an Afro and the deep suntan normally expected from the sound of 70s funk. The name might be a joke but the music isn’t, as Gibbons belts out pukka-sounding 70s soul, funk and disco, with some hip-hop thrown in. The sound is either peak Earth Wind […]

Charlie Puth: Voicenotes

Puth is one of those people older music fans hate, but the kids love: he shot to fame via YouTube. His debut album Nine Track Mind was poor: “whimpers like a sick kitten” as Q put it. There’s no ailing kitties with this new album. It’s maybe not a mighty lion, but it’s certainly a […]

Re-TROS: Before The Applause

We reviewed this late last year but caught them live at Bluedot and they were outstanding. They’re from “Beijing, China”, as singer/guitarist Hua Dong introduced them, like there’s any other kind of Beijing. He was a compelling performer, playing keys and willing the music to do his bidding, as he erratically waved his arms about, […]

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 […]