This category contains 59 posts

Review: Sia – 1000 forms of Fear

Sia Furler is the Aussie songstress so determined not to be famous you can barely find a photo of her. She ran an anti-fame manifesto in Billboard, doesn’t appear in her videos and performed live at the Grammy’s with her back to the audience. Having released five studio albums, a few live sets and a … Continue reading

Review: Alexandra Stan – Unlocked (2014)

The second album from Romanian dance-music queen Alexandra Stan (Mr Saxobeat from 2010) is either your ideal bubblegum pop album or your idea of manufactured musical hell, where every track reminds you of three or four others. Clearly influenced by – or slavishly imitating – the likes of Britney, Rihanna and Sia, the production sound … Continue reading

Review: Lilly Allen – Sheezus

Lilly Allen’s latest mockney-cockney trilling is a profanity-drenched diatribe on the cynical, vacuous, money-grubbing nature of empty celebrity; delivered in a tone that makes her sound like a cynical, vacuous, money-grubbing, empty celebrity. By all means be provocative, even shocking; please, have something to say, come up with a bit of social commentary; but you’re … Continue reading

Review: John Newman – Tribute (2013)

What could have been just another white soul retro album is lifted by Newman’s big voice and some heartfelt songs. But can he do more than just re-interpret? Tribute, the début album from Northern Soul boy John Newman, wears its heart very prominently on its sleeve. Beginning with a roll call in Newman’s Yorkshire accent … Continue reading

Review: Kelly Clarkson – Wrapped in Red

The pocket dynamo with the big voice is back – with a traditional Christmas album that is firmly middle-of-the-road commercial and utterly disposable come Boxing Day eve. With each wall of sound intro with big drums and sleigh bells, you just think ‘wrapped in Phil Spector’, with no cliché left unturned. Bah, humbug. For example, … Continue reading

Review: Haim – Days Are Gone

If you caught The Wire and Save Me getting plenty of radio play over the Summer, and seen three rock chicks playing instruments with great attack and verve at Summer festivals: that’s Haim. So debut album Days Are Gone may come as a surprise. Filled with lots of catchy tracks and very cool tunes, it … Continue reading

Review: Lorde – Pure Heroine

Clever, cool, sassy teenage sensation Lorde expands the Tennis Court EP into a full album. Arriving just in time to deliver an antidote to the current wave of pop sensationalism, this world-weary old soul in a teenage body keeps its’ clothes on and performs without writhing around, caressing phallic mallets in it’s underwear. Even though … Continue reading

Review: Google Play Music All Access [Guest Post]

Review: Google Play Music All Access by Kevin O’Brien originally appeared in Full Circle Magazine issue 78, October 2013. Like many people, I enjoy listening to music, and having my music with me everywhere is important – and I have a large music collection to draw on. Trying to have everything with me at all … Continue reading

News: The Mercury Prize is Back [Guest Post]

Originally from Educare’s Random Subjects Made Simple No. 66 – Forget about Rylan and Louis Walsh. The Mercury Prize is back. Tuesday, Sep 17th 2013 What do Jake Bugg’s self-titled debut, Arctic Monkey’s AM and David Bowie’s The Next Day all have in common? That’s right, they’re 3 of the 12 albums shortlisted for the … Continue reading

Review: Empire of the Sun – Ice on the Dune

Another slice of layered, dreamy Aussie art-pop from sometime back in the 90’s – with a bit of Euro-pop thrown in. Empire’ arrived Internationally in 2008 with a dream-scape album of electro-pop, masks, art-school concept videos and a distinctive sound that promised much. Cue second album and… apart from the lyrics getting more bland, Empire … Continue reading

Review: Phoenix – Bankrupt!

The French “classic-pop revivalists” fifth album Bankrupt! pushes further into throwback pop. It turns up the synths, turns down the Strokesy guitars and morphs into an 80’s copycat of Stuart Price’s (Les Rythmns Digitales) 80’s tribute Dark Dancer. Really? Four years in the making, and all they come up with to follow Grammy award-winning, 2009 … Continue reading

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