Denis Jones: 3333

Like The Courteeners, Denis Jones is from Manchester but unlike them he makes interesting music. On a website we found he was described as making “scuzzy Mancunian blues”, which is good, but misses out the word “electronic”. It’s the blues of a dirty city where residents have good reason to sing soulful songs, but it’s […]

Tom Misch: Geography

Years ago, we briefly flirted with trip hop/funk (Hull’s Fila Brazillia were a favourite) and this new album from Misch (born five years after Fila Brazillia formed) takes us back to those days: sleek, jazz-tinged funky pop that’ll be playing in any wine bar you care to enter for the next few years. There’s a […]

Lisa Stansfield: Deeper

We weren’t sure what this was going to be like, except that if the Press budget extends down the food chain to us, great things must be expected. Deservedly so. Banish thoughts of cheesy pop or pop diva-ish warbling: this is a great pop/RnB album and Stansfield gives a masterclass in how to produce music: […]

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 […]

Amadou and Mariam: La Confusion

There’s world music and there’s world music. There’s the rootsy world of earnest music fans, which is played by traditional artists who are probably seen as traditional in their own lands. Then there’s the world music that the owners of internet radios can listen to: music that’s played for (say) Africans to listen to as […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stax Classics Otis Redding / Sam and Dave

Released as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration, the Stax Classics series highlights some of the label’s biggest stars from the 1960s and 70s, budget-priced albums offering a dozen songs that “transcend the obvious hits”, as the PR says. (Also see the Bookers and Carla Thomas) According to one review, Otis Redding arrived in […]

Booker T and the MGs, Carla Thomas, Stax Classics

Released as part of Stax Records’ 60th anniversary celebration, the Stax Classics series highlights some the label’s biggest stars from the 1960s and 70s, budget-priced albums offering a dozen songs that “transcend the obvious hits”, as the PR says. This week, we’ve got two to review. Booker T and the MGs were the house band […]