Josh Groban: Bridges

Groban is a proper singer; his voice has been called a tenor by some and a baritone by others (G2 to B4, lower than the tenor range on the low end, and above the baritone range, on the high end), and on his rise to fame, he depped for a poorly Andrea Bocelli at the […]

Engelbert Humperdinck: Warmest Christmas Wishes

Hump’s first Christmas album in almost 40 years (since A Merry Christmas With Engelbert Humperdinck, but you knew that) is so sweet it’ll make the brandy butter taste as bitter as the tears of Bambi’s mother. His last album The Man I Want to Be was pretty good (it’s Engelbert Humperdinck, we’ll never play it […]

Jorja Smith: Lost and Found

While Anne-Marie goes for the formulaic and makes a fun album, Smith shows how the grown-ups do it. The 20-year-old singer has a smooth, soulful voice and blends soul and trip-hop on her debut album in a way that’s both retro and modern. She reminds us of one of our guilty pleasures, Deniece Williams, the […]

Judith Owen: RedisCOVERed

We had Owen’s last album and have a fuzzy affection for her: we don’t play it much, but it’s quality music and she’s got a good voice. If you want easy listening standards jazz/blues, she’s yer woman. This one had us turning in disbelief to track eight .. . Smoke On The Water. Yes, Ms […]

Military Wives Choir: Remember

It’s probably an act of sedition to criticise this, not that we want to. It’s a commemoration of the end of WWI, and opens with The Poppy Red, inspired by the poem We Shall Keep The Faith (“Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields / Sleep sweet — to rise anew! / We caught the […]

Cruising With…. Jane McDonald

Ahoy,  shipmates! Trying to rate this on musical terms is as pointless as a bookie’s pencil. There is no pattern to the songs — the set-list goes from Ultravox’s Vienna to Frozen’s Let It Go, and takes in Mambo Italiano and Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet. Eclectic, to say the least. To call the covers […]

Bryde: Like An Island

A lot of whether you like a song is down to the vocals: love the voice and you’ll like the music and vice versa (hence our apathy to Arctic Monkeys). Bryde’s voice is mesmerising and we love it. It’s strong but sounds vulnerable, and she reminded us of Paula Cole (Where Have All The Cowboys […]

Sheridan Smith: Sheridan

We don’t watch much telly and live for us is gigs, not theatre, so the talented Ms Smith has passed us largely by: we’ve only heard people rave about Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Gavin and Stacey and Benidorm (but then, who needs more than Detectorists?). She starred in The Harry […]

Rae Morris: Someone Out There

We were expecting some kind of bland pop; if she’d been called Hólmfríður Grímsdóttir and from Reykjavik we’d have been more prepared. Morris is from Blackpool and we thought her debut was a little staid, but this is great. For most of the album she has that Scandinavian vibe going on, with vocals that are […]

Will Varley: Spirit of Minnie

Previous releases — this is his fifth studio album — have been just Varley and guitar; powerful songs maybe (try Something Is Breaking from Kingsdown Sundown) but still acoustic. This new album has a full band and sees him up his game considerably: comparisons with the likes of Marc Cohn or even The Boss in […]