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Friday 01 October 2010
Aloe Blacc, despite an occasional tendency to lapse into cliche, brings a welcome intelligence and individuality to his R&B stylings, drawing on the warmth of Bill Withers and the compassion of Curtis Mayfield for his more conscious-soul commentaries like the self-explanatory "Life So Hard" and "Mama Hold My Hand", a reflection on the reversal of roles required as parents grow old and infirm.
Sunday 12 September 2010
Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples: one is a criminally undervalued musical legend, the other is a criminally undervalued musical legend. Boom boom.
Thursday 15 July 2010
There is sadness for people who, like me, have in recent years enjoyed the occasional spectacle of America getting its collective knickers in a twist over, say, Bono saying a vaguely rude word at an awards ceremony, or Janet Jackson displaying half a bejewelled nipple (left) for a fraction of a second on live TV .
Friday 02 July 2010
Friday 14 May 2010
For some reason, Jamie Lidell has opted to renege on the developments of 2008's Jim – most notably those regarding killer tunes – and revert to the glitchy, stripped-down electro-soul of his earlier Multiply.
Friday 07 May 2010
On 2008's Roll with You, Eli "Paperboy" Reed came across like the male equivalent of Joss Stone, a young white soul singer with the requisite blend of fire and ice.
Friday 09 April 2010
Joe Goddard may have achieved critical acclaim and commercial success as a leading member of Hot Chip, but that is clearly not enough for him. The artist is a member of the Graeco-Roman party collective, put out a solo album, Harvest Festival, last December and co-produced Little Boots's debut album. Now he has embarked on an intriguing side project.
Sunday 21 March 2010
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.
Friday 15 January 2010
In some interpretations of Beethoven's 9th, it can seem like three lengthy preambles to the Greatest Tune Ever Written, a sustained bout of deferred gratification; but not in this latest performance by Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie.
Thursday 14 January 2010
Teddy Pendergrass, the seductive American rhythm-and-blues singer who continued his recording career after he was paralyzed in a 1982 car accident, has died at the age of 59, media reports said today.
Friday 18 December 2009
I'm not sure about the use of the term "complete" in the title, which effectively writes cheques which can't really be cashed by the content of this four CD set.
Friday 13 November 2009
Gershwin's celebrated "folk opera" has, through copious truncation, come to be regarded more as a musical than an opera – an attitude which Nikolaus Harnoncourt is at pains to redress in this vast 3CD presentation done with a vibrantly expressive cast led by Jonathan Lemalu and Isabelle Kabatu in the title roles. It's an exuberant experience, with all the emblematic arias handled perfectly, while Harnoncourt's exacting attention to detail comes through in countless small but telling ways, such as the use of authentic African drums (as per Gershwin's intentions) rather than bongos in the "Symphony of Noise" opening dawnscape of the final scene.
Download this: Summertime; It Ain't Necessarily So; 'Bess, You Is My Woman Now; Symphony of Noise
Sunday 08 November 2009
Timeless (that is to say,emblematically 1960s sounding) and enjoyably unpretentious modal bop with strong themes, punchy choruses and spirited playing from the pianist/composer Hodge's London quintet of Tony Kofi on sax, Fulvio Sigurtaon trumpet, Larry Bartley on bass and the great Winston Clifford on drums.There's no real wow factorand nothing out of the box,but if you were luckyenough to hear this live ina club, you'd be in retrojazzheaven. It's exactly thesoundtrack a narrow tieand lapels ensemblerequires.
Friday 30 October 2009
"A superb new recording of Rachmaninoff playing his own works...," claims the cover.
Wednesday 14 October 2009
"Project Runway" star Heidi Klum has given birth to her fourth child, a baby girl, her representatives said yesterday.
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