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 […]

Van Morrison: The Authorised Bang Collection

Yet another three-CD re-issue for Van fans, and this is pretty good. Although some tracks have knocked around as bootlegs, and Morrison clearly had issues with Bang at the time, he writes the sleeve notes and says Bang owner Bert Berns (who wrote Here Comes The Night) was a genius with soul. Berns met Morrison […]

Gorillaz:Humanz / Paul Weller: A Kind Revolution / Paramore: After Laughter

We’re lumping these albums together under the heading “stadium bands” because all we need to do is tell you they’re out. Oddly enough, we’ve never been fans of any: we never got Gorillaz, thought The Jam/Weller humourless (good singles, admittedly) and Paramore are the band we let the children like (they’ve got to have something […]

Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou: Madjafalao

This is surely going to go down as a classic in world music. It’s ace. Poly Rythmo are from Benin and play afrobeat, funk, soukous and other styles, often based on religious music rhythms. They formed in 1966 and recorded around 500 songs between the late 1960s and early 1980s. We came across them via […]

Trainspotting: OST

Trainspotting was a hit film in 1996, both the film and the Britpop soundtrack summed up the state of the UK at the time. Britpop was never our cup of tea, with a few exceptions; rock stars shouldn’t hobnob with prime ministers either. Pulp and a few others aside, there were loads of rubbish bands […]

Columbo: We Know Who You Are

At first listen, we though this band was either eccentrically brilliant or just eccentric. Anything that includes the hook from the Good The Bad And The Ugly and the classic theme from Rhubarb And Custard has got to be something to do with inspired. Maybe not actually inspired, but at least living next door. The […]