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 […]

The Little Unsaid: Imagined Hymns and Chaingang Mantras

This is our favourite of four albums we’ve had recently, a fact that would have surprised us at first play. Lau are the slick stadium band, Dan Walsh the bloke down the pub providing entertainment, The Little Unsaid offer serious music on serious topics. At first hearing, it’s a little intense but it’s compulsive listening. […]

Hue And Cry: Pocketful Of Stones

In musical terms, we should be saying this is the album of the year. Every time we play it, the quality of the songwriting and the playing, and Pat Kane’s soulful voice, bowl us over with their greatness. Sadly, we’re trivial, superficial, and prefer the latest band with a hot new riff. Hue and Cry […]

Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders

Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello emerged from the depths of the Balkans (ok so it was Lower East Side of Manhattan but that doesn’t sound so romantic) a good few years ago. We’ve never taken to their raucous brand of punk: it’s good fun and brilliant at a festival, but not something you’d sit and listen […]

Prince: Purple Rain

Is this deluxe reissue of Prince’s classic album worth getting? Doh. Of course it is. The album contains classics such as When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy, and this remastered version comes with recordings “from the vaults”, single versions of the album tracks and a live DVD. Fans of Prince who bought the album […]

Jocee: Just Love

Jocee is living the dream whether or not anyone buys this. She already makes a living with a residency at the Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch, ran an acoustic music night for emerging artists with Pixie Lott for three years and is a member of the Urban Voices Collective. She has worked with Paloma Faith at […]

Yaniv d’Or: Thoughts Observed

This is a beautiful collection of music, but quiet. It’s one for reflective evenings alone; they’re love songs sung sparsely by countertenor (falsetto) Yaniv d’Or. Dan Deutsch accompanies equally sparsely on the piano. The sleeve notes say that d’Or has previously explored the music of his Sephardic heritage, with his Spanish, Turkish, Egyptian and Libyan […]