Albums: The perfect presents – pop and classical

Not sure what music to buy as a present? Andy Gill helps you decide with his guide to some of this year's best albums


If they like The White Stripes, they'll love The Black Keys. On their latest album Brothers, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney conjure up burly boogies and haunting blues moans from spindly guitar and brooding organ riffs. An idiosyncratic new branch sprouting from this gnarliest of rock'n'roll roots.



If they like Mumford & Sons, they'll love Laura Marling, whose second album, I Speak Because I Can, confirmed her as the most intelligent and provocative talent of the recent folk revival, one capable of bridging the gap between modern insights and traditional methods.



If they like Prince, they'll love Janelle Monáe, the outrageously-talented young soul diva whose sci-fi-themed debut album The ArchAndroid incorporated a mind-boggling range of styles and influences, including soul, glam, jazz, folk, psychedelia, classical and film music.



If they like Bach, they'll love Teodoro Anzellotti's transcription of the Goldberg Variations for solo accordion. The instrument's warm timbre serves the material surprisingly well, with the longer delay-time of the reed notes emphasising the way the lines interlace and intertwine.



If they like Emmylou Harris, they'll love Caitlin Rose, whose debut album Own Side Now reveals a voice as sweet as Patsy Cline's but a songwriting eye that brings a worldly frankness to country music's standard romantic fare.

If they like Fleet Foxes, they'll love Midlake, this year's most intriguing Americana export. Their latest album The Courage Of Others reflected the influence of British folk-rock, both in its sound and its themes of affection for antiquity and spiritual connection to the earth.



If they like soul music, that sweet soul music, they'll love Mavis Staples, whose smoky tones have rarely been better showcased than on her new album You Are Not Alone, a sublime mix of traditional gospel songs, original material, and unexpected covers of Randy Newman and John Fogerty classics.



If they like Stravinsky, they'll love Gustavo Dudamel's 'Rite', which pairs The Rite Of Spring with Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas' Night Of The Maya, which occupies similarly pagan territory, the Simó* Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela attacking both pieces' intense rhythms and discordancies with gusto.



If they like Burt Bacharach and Karen Carpenter, they'll love Rumer, whose debut Seasons Of My Soul features oozingly sensual but emotionally vulnerable performances of melancholy adult soul, set to coffee-toned horns, sweetened with strings in the Bacharach style.



If they like Gnarls Barkley, they'll love Cee-Lo Green, whose album The Lady Killer confirmed him as R&B's renaissance man, blessed with a musical imagination as big as his statuesque physique, and a vocal presence twice that size.

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Emo rockers Fall Out Boy

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Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

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A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
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Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
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Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

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Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
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ebooksNow available in paperback
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ebooks
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‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
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‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
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Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
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Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

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Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
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Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
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In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

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Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

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Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

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The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

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Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

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Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
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A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
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Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

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Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
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The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

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Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

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