Cliff Richard: Stronger Thru the Years

The title is loosely based on his 1989 album Stronger, and the double CD opens with Stronger Than That, a tight, upbeat pop tune from the late 1980s, with a fast beat and typical 80s sound: we kept expecting Crocket and Tubbs to kick the door in. After that, it’s a compilation of his hits […]

Engelbert Humperdinck: The Man I Want to Be

The existence of Engelbert Humperdinck has always baffled us: to whit why Arnold Dorsey, of Leicester, should adopt the stage name of a German 19th century composer of operas. The idea worked, which is more surprising. Even if you don’t know who Humperdinck is (the still-alive one) you’ll know his songs: described as “one of […]

The Front Bottoms: Going Grey

This is possibly the worst band name ever, not even really offensive just puerile. Maybe it gets them straight to their core audience: beer chugging students who want likeable shouty indie to sing along to. We’d favour that explanation: The Front Bottoms are not stupid and can turn in a great tune. We came across […]

Kim Churchill: Weight_Falls

We listen to a lot of music. A fair bit gets played again, some goes on the Review Corner iPod and a select few are placed in the genre “genius”, the albums we really like and play over. Kim Churchill’s breakout Silence/Win is in there, because it’s a really nice album that we like listening […]

Courtney Marie Andrews: On My Page

  There’s a couple of albums that have stayed on the Review Corner iPod for ages (Keri Noble’s 2004 album Fearless is the longest survivor); at heart country, they are also bluesy ballads sung by women with crystal clear voices. They don’t advance any genres or break new ground. They’re just strong albums of nice […]

Camille: Oui

An album we’ve spent so long listening to, we’ve written 10 reviews mentally; the fact that’s proving so hard to write anything down is itself a review, and perhaps not a terribly good one. It’s not a bad album by any means. It was recorded over a year in La Chartreuse, a 14th century monastery-turned-artist’s […]

Dolly Parton: I Believe In You

Dolly. It’s impossible to say anything bad about her: rose from nothing, written some classic tunes and knows the value of every single one, but not mean either — she gave the rights to I Will Always Love You (the best-selling single by a woman in music history) to her former manager Porter Wagoner, for […]

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: The Echo of Pleasure

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are an American indie pop band, formed in 2007, and centred around songwriter Kip Berman. This is a nice album of heartfelt 80s pop but it suffers from the fact that The War On Drugs’ new album, which travels a similar road, is so much better. This is […]

The Smiths: The Queen Is Dead

With various politicians and actors being forced to admit egregious behaviour, we thought we’d make a confession of our own: we think Morrissey is over-rated. Back in the day, we loved The Smiths, especially Johnny Marr’s guitar, but came to think that Morrisey was not a barbed wit in the style of Oscar Wilde but […]

Betsy: Betsy

“The new Cher” say some of the reviews, and that’s not just the sound. The feel of the whole CD harks back to an era when a woman could have a ship’s gun between her legs and not get mocked on social media. The sleeve art is Betsy wearing tight tops in a garage-based scenario […]