Raphael Doyle: Closer

  Most albums get compared with other albums or bands; this one is a book, Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man. That’s the story of his life in Auschwitz and its first chapter describes how his (and by extension) the reader’s humanity can be completely taken away if someone’s a big enough bastard. It’s […]

Avenged Sevenfold The Best of 2005-2013

According to the interweb, this is a compilation banged out by the record label to spoil AX7’s latest release on a new label. Warner Bros sued them (or tried to) when the band said they wanted to leave because a majority of the executives who signed the band to Warner were no longer at the […]

Celso Garrido-Lecca: Orchestral Works

Peruvian Celso Garrido-Lecca is one of the foremost Ibero-American composers, linking the native sounds of the Andes and Western classical music. He studied with Aaran Copland and so there’s an American feel in places but I think it sounds very English at times, a sprightly Vaughan Williams writing about a jolly day out in the […]

Neil Young: Peace Trail

We read a bad review of this and feared it would be like some of his recent releases — his work rate is admirable while his quality control is not — but it’s very good. It’s not up there with his best but it’s listenable and more casual fans of Young will find much to […]

Bob Webb: Tree Of Life, A Thirty-Year Anthology

The music industry (like books) is propped up by massive-selling stars — one Adele will keep an entire company in profit. (Beggars Group saw total operating profits jump 229.2% to £16.68m in 2015, courtesy of Adele’s 25, while 2011, when Adele’s 21 was released, saw the firm turn over £86.2m in revenue, with an operating […]

The Sad Song Co: In Amber

The name of the band gives it away a little, though “The Thoughtful Band Co” would be apt. The Sad Song Co is the alter ego of Nigel Powell, drummer with Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls. While at school (the independent Abingdon School, said to be as good as Eton, where his current boss […]

Corrie Dick: Impossible Things

Corrie Dick is a drummer (and composer), but this album is so varied we thought (before we checked) that he was a pianist. Knowing he’s a drummer explains the complexity of the album but its subtlety and nuance suggests something other than someone who likes hitting things, though it’s unassuming, reflecting the fact that drummers […]

Natalia Andreeva: Preludes and Fugues

Anyone who saw the Young Pope on Sky will have enjoyed the soundtrack, the programme juxtaposing the classical and the modern — there was a lot of electronic music — to highlight the story, a radical new pope taking on the staid Catholic Church. There was also the shock of the unexpected — a nun […]

55 Cancri e: Att Lämna Tellus

Starting the year on a wacky note is Sara Hausenkamp’s new album, Att Lämna Tellus or leaving Tellus as you doubtless translated it from the original foreign. Hausenkamp is Swedish and learned classical guitar as a child before playing keyboard in different bands as teenager. She also makes illustrations, collages and photos, and writes, paints […]