Joana Serrat: Dripping Springs

Not quite as intense as the Felice album (see elsewhere) this is still very good, and has a few standout moments. Vocally she sounds a bit Lana Del Rey but with a richer sound. The music is dreamy Americana that’s a little unvarying, rescued by a couple of outstanding moments that give the listener a […]

Ian Felice: In The Kingdom Of Dreams

This reached us before Christmas but “bloody good” seemed too brief a review. We can’t improve on it, though. The Felice Brothers are an American folk rock/country rock band, who seem to be bigger over there than here. The brothers bit is partly true: Ian and James are in the band and Simone was but […]

Rationale: Rationale

We were anticipative of contemporary hip hop but Rationale — real name Tinashe Fazakerley — is somewhat old school Rnb. Having been flummoxed by the lack of hippity hop, the album still left us slightly discombobulated (he started it, Rationale Fazakerley indeed): Fazakerley has a good voice, a soulful baritone that connects with the listener’s […]

Alexander Armstrong: In A Winter Light

  We were expecting to mock this: a cursory play through, a pithy review, job done. Unfortunately, it’s pretty good; if it was more Christmassy, it’d come with free reindeer poo and tinsel. We played it about six times on the run. Armstrong is not only the voice of Dangermouse, he went to St Mary’s […]

John Turner: Christmas Card Carols

This has got to be one of the coolest things: recorder player Turner writes a short Christmas carol each year and sends it to friends and family, not in the form of a recording but as notes written on a card. They’re all musicians, so they play the music for themselves. One recipient writes in […]

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 […]

Neil Young: Hitchhiker

This is a rather magical album: Young rolls up to a studio in 1976, on a night of the full moon, and plays some songs, accompanied only by weed and beer. Some songs go on to be classics, two have not been released before. It’s a got a bit of Clint Eastwood Man With No […]

Robert Plant: Carry Fire

We’ve been giving Robert Plant money for 40 years, so we’re rocking out around the zimmers to this (and it’s the 200th review we’ve written this year, go us!). A decade or so ago, we read that Plant expected to lose his record deal and sell purely to his fanbase; then came Alison Kruze and […]

Scott Matthews: Home Pt2

A bit like the Mounties we always get a CD reviewed, even if the sounds of the launch party and the promotional tour are long forgotten. We’ve got all Scott Matthews’ CDs — one we even bought — and always found him a little frustrating. Clearly a talented songwriter, he always seemed to hide his […]