St Vincent (Album)
If you’re heavily into discovering emerging electropop acts, then this may well be right up your street. However it isn’t something that appeals to me. I can see what it’s trying to be – off-beat and quirky, but I think it needs some work putting into it as it seems a bit too raw and like it’s been produced in a bedroom. It’s hard to put into words, but the electro side of it seems rusty and comes across too loud, often drowning out the vocals. There’s promise there, but it needs work.
Effra Parade (Album)
A special life
John Mayall (Album)
This is a man who has worked alongside such greats as Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, both of Cream as well as Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, so I naturally expectations were high and I have to say Mr Mayall hasn’t disappointed with this album, which is an album packed with great blues tracks. From a personal point of view, ‘Speak of the Devil’ was one that stood out. Heavy, brash with in-your-face vocals and a brilliant piano/guitar solo thrown in. I don’t think I’ve ever given top marks, so this is a first.
Damon Albarn (Album)
I’ve long been a fan of Damon Albarn, right back to his Blur days when his quirky, don’t-give-a-damn songwriting style put that particular band head and shoulders above any of their Britpop rivals, in my opinion. His longevity owes much to his versatility, through the brilliant Gorillaz to Africa Express, and here he returns with his first solo effort – and what a treat it is. It’s at times reflective, rarely foot-stomping, but gems such as the title track and Mr Tembo (a baby elephant, apparently) are Albarn at his finest. It’s hard to label, as Albarn always is, but the strong narratives running through this album make it his most personal to date.Unpredictable, dreamy, imaginative, complex – it’s everything you should love about our Damon.