Reverend And The Makers: Best Of

We assume The Rev and his Makers are still going because the band’s Jon McClure is popular with journalists (so gets good coverage), and writes honest, heart-on-his-sleeve tunes, to which fans can relate. We recall he refused a record deal when his Sheffield homeboys Arctic Monkeys hit it big, preferring to work on his own […]

Alexander Moyzes: Symphonies Nos 11 and 12

Alexander Moyzes, who died in 1984, was one of the most significant figures in modern Slovak music. The sleeve notes say he created a style of composition that “was thoroughly Slovak in inspiration”, while taking account of contemporary trends in European music. It’s expressive music and while not unmelodic, it’s also got no memorable sections. […]

Incognito: Tomorrow’s New Dream

We thought we’d slipped through a time warp when we played this: back to the early 80s and listening to jazz-funk bands of that era: we best remember Freeez, but there was also Light of the World, whose Jean-Paul Maunick has led acid-jazz outfit Incognito since 1979. Acid jazz blends jazz, with soul, funk and […]

Brittany Howard: Jaime

This is the debut solo studio album by the lead guitarist / vocalist of chart-topping, Grammy-winners Alabama Shakes. It’s going to be on everyone’s “best of” lists come December, as it’s great. It’s not like the Shakes, though. Howard wrote and composed all of the music, and played a lot, too we suspect. The songs […]

Alexander Rahbari: My Mother Persia, Vol.1 Symphonic Poems Nos.1-3

Iranian conductor and composer Ali (Alexander) Rahbari has worked with more than 120 European orchestras. Born in 1948, he studied violin and composition at the Persian National Music Conservatory then went to Austria. In 1979 he was invited to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and became Herbert von Karajan’s assistant, working with him every day […]

Alexander Ffinch: Transformations

This CD sees Ffinch play Cheltenham College Chapel’s organ; he is college organist so he knows it well. The opener is Joseph Jongen’s Sonata Eroica. This was commissioned by Belgium Radio in 1930 for the inaugural concert at the art-deco concert hall and arts centre at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. We like Belgium, […]

The Murder Capital: When I Have Fears

The year has been good for albums from our newly-invented genre of blinder punk: a style of raucous, gothic, riff-heavy rock that litters the soundtrack of Peaky Blinders, a show that has become increasingly Tarantino for its tunes. The days of it being Nick Cave and a few string sections are long gone. The Murder […]

Idil Biret: Mozart, Piano Concertos Nos. 15, 24, 25 and 27

We review a lot of classical albums and favour the more interesting — but often flawed — because they’re easier to write about (and lesser names deserve the publicity). Mozart, on the other hand, is not flawed, so you’re down to which performance of any piece is best. Sniffy reviewers might find fault with this […]

Blink 182: Nine

This is Blink’s ninth album. We’ve bought most of them, but this will be the last; they’ve become formulaic and lost all their wit, declining over the last few albums. There is some Auto-tuned vocals too (for Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, replaced Tom DeLonge); we’re pretty sure their younger selves would have mocked this, back […]

King Calaway: Rivers

Manufactured bands are nothing new, but this is the first country band we’ve seen. It’s probably giving websites whose names include “rebel” and “outlaw” collective heart attacks. King Calaway are your stereotypical boyband, five singers who don’t write any of the tunes. They seem to have had money thrown at them and have — it […]