Dreamgirls — Original London Cast Recording

  We’re not big fans of musicals but this impressed: we’d think if you’re a fan of plays ruined by singing, you’ll love it. This is (as the name suggests) the original London cast performing, and it was recorded live at the Savoy Theatre. It’s based on the story of R&B acts such as The […]

DJ Format and Abdominal: Still Hungry

At the risk of a generalisation, this is the kind of hip hop that older and more intelligent music fans like. DJ Format supplies up-tempo 90s funk and dance, with definite ska leanings, while Canadian rapper Abdominal contributes slick and rapid-fire lyrics that largely avoid swearing, and are witty, erudite and entertaining. He’d only mention […]

Brian May and Kerry Ellis: Golden Days

This is basically the best pub band in the world. You go out for a pint and there’s a band playing covers. The guitarist is ace, though he has a lot of hair and mutters about badgers. His cover of Parisienne Walkways is brilliant but a bit OTT, the Moore/Lynott original beefed up a little […]

Laura Marling: Semper Femina

We’ve missed a couple of Marling albums; she was always good but if this new album isn’t her best, we must have missed some crackers. The music is slickly delivered but intimate, and slightly downbeat. It takes in several genres; some parts are country, some folk, some jazz, a mix of English folk and 60s […]

Jarrod Dickenson: Ready The Horses

Good as Laura Marling is, she’s beaten into second place by this superb album from Dickenson. From the moment it starts playing, it’s a joy. Hailing from Waco, now living in Brooklyn, Dickenson has a honeyed, soulful voice and writes semi-acoustic soulful blues and country tunes. Like Marling, the music is reflective and mature, and […]

Heroines of Love and Loss

The way things work in general is that classical albums take a couple of plays to get into, whereas it’s the pop/rock tunes that have instant appeal; until now, we’ve never had a classical album with that “must play every day” thing you get with a catchy pop tune. Until now;  Not that a collection […]

Stormzy: Gang Signs and Prayer

We can see why people love Stormzy, the first grime artist to land a number one album; he’s got charm and intelligence. The aging musos in the Review Corner haven’t got much in common with a black man from London, but even as young dogs we’d not have gone down the Tip Café to meet […]

Emmerich Kalmain: Die Bajadere

This is an enjoyable CD, presenting an operetta that was first performed in the early jazz age, and combines Hungarian folk tunes, Viennese waltzes, popular American dance rhythms, and exotic moments suggesting distant India — bayaderes are Indian temple dancers — as well as snatches of various national anthems. The main story is of an […]

Vera Lynn: Her Greatest From Abbey Road

Dame Vera comes from a different age, when there was less choice in entertainment and people wanted nice songs they could sing to in the front room (while watering the aspidistra) or down the pub. She’s had a long and successful career — she began performing at seven, her first radio broadcast was with the […]

Allmänna Sangen: Femina Moderna

This is an interesting album that combines modern choral work with the more traditional, as well as something in between, though the programme of recent works by Swedish and international female composers, and has a preponderance of modern works. The newest piece is Anna-Karin Klockar’s Speeches, winner of the Allmänna Sangen and Anders Wall Composition […]