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 […]

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 […]