Joseph Parsons: The Field / The Forest

This is a hard album to review. It’s not an album to write about; it’s an album for someone who buys one album a month and takes time to savour it, getting to know all the songs and developing favourite moments. Parsons is a singer/songwriter, but has a full band. He’s in the same ballpark […]

Liz Johnson: Intricate Web

This album is an odd mix of the accessible and the avant garde. One minute you’re struggling with some very modern sounds, the next it’s easy on the ear and almost hummable. For the performers (Fitzwilliam String Quartet) it’s probably a lot of fun to play, the intense moments broken up by the playful. CD1 […]

Luke Sital-Singh: Time Is a Riddle

Luke S-S’s debut came out three years ago and we’d forgotten what a lovely thing it was, a rich, folky-pop album with a lot of soul. He has a very nice voice. This new album is different, but just as good. It’s like he spent the three years listening to Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac; […]

Sheryl Crow: Be Myself

After at least one album (the last one, anyway) of commercial country music designed to be played on a car radio on an open American highway, Sheryl Crow has gone back to the acoustic-based country pop-rock of yore. Also designed to be played on a car radio on an open American highway. It’s good, in […]

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 […]

At the Drive-In: Inter Alia

At the Drive-In are a punk / post-hardcore band who released three studio albums before breaking up in 2001; this is the first album in 17 years. Following the break-up, half the band became The Mars Volta then Antemasque (which variously featured Flea on bass and Travis Barker on drums). But now they’re back and […]

Erasure: World Be Gone

Donald Trump is obviously a terrible president but it’s not all bad: the media ratings are up in the US thanks to the trail of chaos he leaves behind, while Erasure seem to have been inspired by the state of the world when they wrote this (and that was before Theresa May teamed up with […]

Venus Rising: Happy Daze

Venus Rising are local, led by Sheena Bratt. We don’t like reviewing local bands much: do we just say they’re great because they’re local, or be honest? Usually they’re as good as they need to be, which makes it easy, but VR are a band that want to go places and this is their calling […]

Dua Lipa: Dua Lipa

This is not the kind of album we would normally listen to, slick RnB pop by the latest young person with a decent voice, but as she is walking out with Mr Chris Martin and thus now fodder for the Daily Mail sidebar of shame, we thought we’d give her a serious listen. The whole […]