Paul Weller: Other Aspects, Live At The Royal Festival Hall

For many bands the obligatory album with an orchestra is a sign they’ve run short of ideas, their egos are too big or they’re dead. For Weller not only does it work — his songs suit gentle string arrangements — but it takes his music to a different place, that place being St Tropez, about […]

Jorja Smith: Lost and Found

While Anne-Marie goes for the formulaic and makes a fun album, Smith shows how the grown-ups do it. The 20-year-old singer has a smooth, soulful voice and blends soul and trip-hop on her debut album in a way that’s both retro and modern. She reminds us of one of our guilty pleasures, Deniece Williams, the […]

The Americans: I’ll Be Yours

This is an odd album; classic rootsy American rock played by excellent musicians that doesn’t quite add up to the sum of its parts. The Americans are from Los Angeles and worked with Jack White and T Bone Burnett on the documentary American Epic, the soundtrack for which we reviewed. They’ve also played backing for […]

From The Jam: Live!

We’re not really into tribute bands but this one seems pretty good, not least because an original band member is in it. Former Jam drummer Rick Buckler, then working as an antique furniture restorer and dealer in Woking, formed From The Jam, playing old material from The Jam’s back catalogue. In 2007, Buckler’s former bandmate […]

Steven Isserlis: The Cello in Wartime

After reporting on the news from a century ago every week since war was declared in 1914, we’re seeing the end of the war approaching (if only people in 1917 had been so lucky), and expecting a deluge of war-related products, as the centenary of the end approaches. This one is very good. Given the […]

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; […]

Little Dragon: Season High

Eight or nine years ago the Review Corner was in a trendy shop that sold ornaments and knick-knacks, and Little Dragon’s debut (called Little Dragon) was playing. We stopped to chat with the owner about how good Little Dragon were, how much we liked them and how they deserved to be big. A decade on, […]

She Keeps Bees: Eight Houses

She Keeps Bees play rootsy, stripped down music that’s somewhere between indie and blues. The songs are mostly led by Jessica Larrabee’s soulful voice; they’re from Brooklyn but there’s a swampy aroma of Louisiana about this. Apparently the duo’s previous albums had a loud/quiet thing going on, and while this is lacking here they still […]