Weezer: Pacific Daydream

Even for us this review is tardy: the Press release is dated 1st December (2017, we’re not that useless), though it may have arrived after that date. Not that they’d mind; their work-rate is sporadic (though 12 albums in 24 years is not too bad), with main-man Rivers Cuomo enrolling at Harvard University after their […]

Steele: Paroxysm

Steel is following in a line of atmospheric singers from, well, forever: Charlotte Gainsbourg is a veteran, people like Lana Del Rey are newer. Steele is half-Swedish and half-British, and lives in Stockholm. She’s got something of that Scandi dreaminess going on in her music. She calls her music “melancholic, bittersweet and progressive” and “cinematic […]

Rebelution: Free Rein

This is reggae, but the sunny, chilled music reminds us most of Jack Johnson; music for lighting a fire on the beach after a hard day’s surfing. Then sinking some beers and saying dude a lot. Rebelution are new to us but the internet informs us they’re big in the States. Their first full-length album, […]

Military Wives Choir: Remember

It’s probably an act of sedition to criticise this, not that we want to. It’s a commemoration of the end of WWI, and opens with The Poppy Red, inspired by the poem We Shall Keep The Faith (“Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields / Sleep sweet — to rise anew! / We caught the […]

Cruising With…. Jane McDonald

Ahoy,  shipmates! Trying to rate this on musical terms is as pointless as a bookie’s pencil. There is no pattern to the songs — the set-list goes from Ultravox’s Vienna to Frozen’s Let It Go, and takes in Mambo Italiano and Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet. Eclectic, to say the least. To call the covers […]

Anton Eberl: Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

We imagine this is the sort of CD that Classic FM loves, classical-sounding classical music that’s uplifting but not too fearsome; it makes for nice background music while you’re working. Not that Eberl is bland: he was a contemporary of Beethoven and knew Mozart, who may even have taught him. He later toured with Mozart’s […]

Murray McLachlan: Innovations, Music for Two Pianos and Percussion

Other critics have called it “excellent” and “hugely impressive” but we found this is a little intimidating for its early plays: The Rite of Spring but on steroids. The playing is technically impressive, and the sound is bracing and enervating, but it’s a programme that’s challenging and powerful, if not harsh. Obviously, another pair of […]

Alan Hovhaness: Wind Music

This album has reportedly been in the British classical album chart, so some of you already like this. We never look at the charts: they’re either bands only three students have ever listened to (indie charts), remixes of mediocre tunes featuring Someone Famous (pop) or various guitar works from John Williams and Four Seasons from […]

Ray LaMontagne: Part Of The Light

We’ve not heard much of LaMontagne — who was famously inspired to write music after waking up one morning to the radio playing a Stephen Stills song — since his debut Trouble, which was folk-based reflections on life and death. It sold 500,000 copies but we guess his subsequent albums did less well: his second […]

Vomit: Punk Rock Past and Present

Vomit are something of a miracle. At best average when they formed in the heady days of punk — though they had lots of energy — they reformed a few years ago for a laugh and a couple of nostalgic gigs for their mates, and just never stopped. They gig all over the country and […]