Voices

It came as a shock last weekend to discover that among my fellow punters at a folk concert back in November 2012 was David Cameron. Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the Prime Minister slyly hinted at the hipness of his musical tastes by revealing how he and Samantha snuck into a First Aid Kit gig as the Shepherd Bush Empire. Until then, I had flattered myself that I had a cool and recherché appreciation of music, and that hopefully I had avoided the pretentious music so often accompanied by the word “recherché”.

Album: Colorama, Good Music (AED)

The most rewarding factor on this album is the involvement of Edwyn Collins as producer (and label boss).

Album: Dylan LeBlanc, cast the Same Old Shadow (Rough Trade)

A suite of songs (ie, the mood is consistent throughout) of love and loss that aims for the austere mood of Gene Clark's No Other and falls short only because it reaches so high.

Album: Simone Kermes, Dramma (Sony Classical)

Named after the inscription “dramma per musica” to be found on 18th-century opera librettos, Dramma offers a remarkable collection of arias mostly drawn from longforgotten works by (now) unperformed composers.

Album: Jerry Douglas, Traveler (Proper)

Few musicians ever achieve such complete dominance and superiority on their instrument as Jerry Douglas: not a single voice is raised in challenge to Douglas’s mastery of the dobro.

Album: Jerry Douglas, Traveler (Proper)

Douglas is the dobro picker of choice in cultivated Americana circles. Listen to the bugger: he's astonishing. Why wouldn't you have him on your record?

Album: Benjamin Grosvenor, Rhapsody in Blue (Decca)

On his second Decca set, piano wunderkind Benjamin Grosvenor programmes Gershwin alongside roughly contemporary pieces by Ravel and Saint-Saëns, but it's the connection between Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major that gives the album its point.

Amol Rajan: How about a reggae anthem to inspire the nation?

FreeView from the editors at i

The BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

Prom 35: Williams, Osborne, BBC Phil, Storgards; Prom 36: Bevan, Spence, Callow, Hallé, Elder

Steven Osborne is one of the unsung heroes of British pianism. This 40-year-old Scot tends to be typecast as a Beethoven and Schubert man, but he can create subtle spells with Ravel and Debussy: how would he handle Grieg’s ‘Piano Concerto in A minor’?

Album: Richard Rijnvos, Uptown/Downtown (Challenge Classics)

Dutch composer Richard Rijnvos believes that New York epitomises "the precarious equilibrium between chaos and order", a principle borne out in the two triptychs that comprise Uptown/Downtown.

The Killers' new album cover

A Killer game of chicken between a horse and a car. Thanks for that, Brandon

Brandon Flowers & Co's previous album brought forth the famous (infamous) lyric: "Are we human, or are we dancer?" But the artwork for the Nevadans' new LP Battle Born ups the ante. It features not only a lovely cod-metal lightning strike but a horse and a car (a mustang and a Mustang!) playing a game of chicken.

Album: Chris Smither, Hundred Dollar Valentine (CRS/ Signature Sounds)

A first wholly self-composed album by the white-country-bluesman and his furred-over smear of a voice. How big was that bushel?

Nas
Saving grace: Paul Simon's voice isn't 'faultless', but his capacity as an emotional performer is as strong as ever

Tom Sutcliffe: It's hard to be a critic when you love something

One of the commonest of all critical vices is reviewing the work you wish you'd experienced instead of the one you actually did. But it struck me this week that there are actually two versions of this vice – opposed to each other by almost 180 degrees.

On screen Status Quo

Rock veterans Status Quo are to be rockin' all over the screen - with two films in production in which they star.

It has emerged that more than half of the 18 oil paintings in Bob Dylan's art exhibition were direct copies

Dylan marks 50 years of recording with new album 'Tempest'

Exactly 50 years after Bob Dylan's debut album hit record stores the American folk rock legend is to release his 35th studio album.

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