Funk Rock

Miguel, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

If the new wave of US r’n’b really is all about existential angst and conflicting emotions, no one has told Miguel Pimentel, an exponent perfectly happy to rip off his vest to show off an admirably toned physique to please an excitable audience. 

Cinderella, St James Theatre, London

This bewitching take on Cinderella – first seen last year at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol – bounces off the Brothers Grimm adaptation of the story rather than the Disney-influencing  Perrault version.

Prince, by Matt Throne

The eternal curse of rock histories is their earnestness. Every incident is weighted with wearying significance, because if the author doesn't take his subject seriously, who will?

Album: Gabriella Cilmi, Ten (Island Records)

Oh dear. Having scored themost played record of2009 with the still-notthat-irritating "SweetAbout Me", the Italian-Aussie songstress hasplugged into her "innerdisco diva" for this, hersecond album. It's a disastrousdecision: moreTeena Marie than DonnaSummer; all backcombedbeats and 1980s powerchords.Ten calls to mindKylie's early 1990s discodabblings, when she maderecords aimed at crossingfrom the dancefloor to theradio, when her naturaltrajectory was alwaysthe other way around.

Album: Neil Young, Fork in the Road (Reprise)

For the past few years, Neil Young's hobby has been what's known as the Lincvolt project, converting his treasured 1959 Lincoln Continental to run on eco-fuels, the vehicle then being driven across the USA. Now, as is often the way with this most prolific and spontaneous of rockers, he's made a record about the experience – a single-issue album which, Neil being Neil, gets sidetracked occasionally into rants about whatever drifts across his radar. Both the title track and "Cough Up the Bucks" find him firing off weak salvoes at bankers and politicians, which reveal him to be no Robert Peston. Unfortunately, he's no scientific genius either, which renders the string of eco-car songs little more than bland automotive boogies, the sound of Fork in the Road being largely unvarnished blues-rock of undistinguished quality, ragged but nowhere near as glorious as he can deliver. "Johnny Magic" is a tribute to Jonathan Goodwin, his boffin partner in the Lincvolt business, while the funk-rock strutter "Fuel Line" is a lazy would-be eco-anthem too drab and clumsy to be adopted as a clarion call. "Just Singing a Song" touches on the nub of the problem with this album, Neil clearly believing his hands-on action is the way forward, and that "just singing a song won't change the world". Well, not this song. But isn't that what he does?

The 1689 Bill of Rights

'An Act declareing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Setleing the Succession of the Crowne'

Album: The Zutons, You Can Do Anything (Deltasonic)

Like its predecessor Tired of Hanging Around, The Zutons' difficult third album features another cast of flaky characters culled from the seedier corners of David McCabe's imagination, though the inevitable attrition means that none has quite the anthemic appeal of "Valerie". The closest they come here are "Always Right Behind You", an exercise in lolloping Seventies boogie-pop, and "Dirty Rat", an adulterer's mea culpa set to the first cousin of a Kaiser Chiefs melody; but neither quite repays one's curiosity in full.

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