Beautiful People: If 60s Were 90s

This came out ages ago in 1992. We were never too sure of it at the time, being massive Hendrix fans and unable to see the point of adding dance beats to a genius, but it seems much better all these years on. Perhaps we all need cheering up just now. (Though it did cost […]

Pet Shop Boys: Discovery (Live in Rio 1994)

The album opens with a brief and tender Tonight Is Forever before Ab Fab’s Edina Monsoon cries: “Lights! Models! Guest list! Just do your best, darling!” and they launch into I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing. The album then trawls through the hits, Domino Dancing early on, and Rent, Suburbia and King’s Cross […]

Saturday night: South African discopop hits

A review we found – probably just rewriting the Press release – said this focused on the period of fluctuation between the popularity of mbaqanga and the rise of bubblegum pop, with the sounds of disco, pop, boogie, and fusion. We don’t know about that. What we do know is that if you think early […]

Ayalew Mesfin: Che Belew!

The Press notes say that Ayalew Mesfin is among the greats of 1970s Ethiopian music legends, the music he created with his Black Lion Band among the funkiest to arise from Addis Ababa. His records were mostly 7in singles and reel-to-reel tapes collected for this and it’s a charming and enjoyable album. The recordings are […]

Bearcraft: Fabrefactions

This is a peculiar album, in that we can’t make our minds up. At first we thought it started off strongly and tailed off to be rather forgettable, yet track nine turns out to be a proper earworm. It’s electronic pop with pretentions to grandeur that means it’s more than just electronic beeps with a […]

Charli XCX: How I’m Feeling Now

This is a very modern album, recorded by XCX at home during lockdown and in consultation with fans via social media. It’s also modern in that it’s mostly style over substance; she can write a melody but it’s hard to recall any of it afterwards. The national critics seemed to love it, but she’s probably […]

Sebastien Tellier: Domesticated

Monsieur Tellier is an exasperating character, his output ranging from brilliant to tedious. Two members of the Review Corner walked down the aisle to his best song, La Ritournelle, then went to see him at a festival where he was such a clown he ran out of time and was closed down by the stage […]

Oliver Tree: Ugly Is Beautiful

Mr Tree is new to us. Wikipedia informs us that he is in fact Oliver Tree Nickell, singer-songwriter, producer, rapper, comedian, and filmmaker. He has said he would retire as soon as this debut was released and plays a character, Turbo, though the track 1993 apparently refers to an alien called Little Ricky ZR3, which […]

Lack of Afro: I’m Here Now

Adam Gibbons, aka Lack of Afro, is from Devon, born in Exeter but now living in Ilfracombe. Wikipedia reports that he was given the nickname Lack of Afro while a student, when he DJd and played a lot of funk, presumably looking the opposite of the performers he loves. This new one opens with an […]

Dutty Moonshine: Big Band City Of Sin

Sometimes you gotta take off the reviewing hat (we all have one, standard issue from the Reviewers Guild and Associated Union of Random Scribblers , edible so you can eat it, obvs) and just play something loud. This is that. Dutty Moonshine Big Band are big, daft and enjoyable. They’re apparently electro-swing, a genre that […]