Bryde: Like An Island

A lot of whether you like a song is down to the vocals: love the voice and you’ll like the music and vice versa (hence our apathy to Arctic Monkeys). Bryde’s voice is mesmerising and we love it. It’s strong but sounds vulnerable, and she reminded us of Paula Cole (Where Have All The Cowboys […]

ZZ Top: Tonite at Midnight

Some live albums undergo more than a little studio engineering before hitting the shops; as one might hope with ZZ Top, they seem to have pressed “record” and what they played is what you get. The mix on opener Got Me Under Pressure sounds a bit raw and if a drum fill starts a fraction […]

Phil Collins: Dance Into The Light

We confess to never having heard this album or any of its songs, and it’s possible that even if we had, we’d have forgotten them. It’s all a bit unremarkable, though it’s a pleasant album with several enjoyable songs. The downside is that it’s Collins at his slickest; unmemorable tunes with an unremarkable voice don’t […]

Phil Collins: Face Value / Both Sides

It’s not quite up there with Blackadder going over the top or Del Boy missing the bar and falling over, but one truly great television moment was the opening episode of Miami Vice: Crockett and Tubbs drive down a waterfront road in a Ferrari Daytona Spyder, racing to a show-down. The soundtrack that made it […]

Terence Charlston: Mersenne’s Clavichord

This pleasant album is more important for scholars of music and keyboard buffs than your casual listener, though it’s a nice enough collection. Early-music specialist Terence Charlston is playing Mersenne’s Clavichord, a clavichord built according to specifications left by Marin Mersenne – no examples of an original French clavichord survive. Wikipedia reports that Mersenne, a […]

Ordinary Boys: Ordinary Boys

If ever there was a band that don’t sound like they’re reforming out of desperation, it’s Ordinary Boys on this rather decent new album. We confess we couldn’t name any of their tunes from their previous incarnation, though Wikipedia informs us that their big hit Boys Will Be Boys featured in the fifth Harry Potter […]

Chilly Gonalez: Chambers

After being mean about three new bands, we’re slightly down on Chilly as well, and we’ve got all his albums. Never mind: he’s Canadian, so he’ll just be polite about it. You’ve all heard Chilly’s music: he won a Grammy for his collaboration with Daft Punk and composed the inaugural Apple iPad campaign music, Never […]

Erik Simmons: Carson Cooman: Masque (music for organ)

We reviewed a church organ album the other week, and just couldn’t be doing with it. Very discordant and unsettling. This, on the other hand, is very different and we’ve been playing it over and over all week. If you told us a while ago that we’d be moaning about pop bands and praising church […]

Evans The Death: Expect Delays

The NME gave this 8/10 but we’re not sure we would agree. More like seven. Evans The Death — which is a good name for a band — play retro indie pop that we ought to like more than we do. It’s characterised by strong female vocals and an early 80s sound, with a soul […]

Champs: Vamala

This isn’t The Champs who had that hit with the famous Tequila, but just Champs — it’s brother Michael and David Champion. The music is mournful folk/pop, as if Simon and Garfunkel were very sad about something like getting old or having silly hair. Or about being remembered for writing a song about rabbits. There’s […]