Britpop At The BBC (Rhino) ***

York Press:

3:41pm Thursday 14th August 2014

IT’S a title that should attract the attention, and the ire, of trading standards. What does it say to you – Britpop At The BBC? I’m guessing your answer is the same as mine and you would be wrong.

Luke Sital-Singh, The Fire Inside (Parlophone) *****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:40pm Thursday 14th August 2014

I THOUGHT I’d had it with male troubadours. I wanted to holler “singer-songwriters sling your hooks”. Then enters Luke Sital-Singh and there’s a fresh appreciation of solo power, passion and poetry.

Yes, Heaven & Earth (Frontiers) ***

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:39pm Thursday 14th August 2014

YES without Jon Anderson is like fish without chips, what’s the point? Like Genesis Revisited, for all the virtuosity on display, all you really notice is the lack of familiar vocals.

Josh Record, Pillars (Virgin/EMI) ****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:37pm Thursday 14th August 2014

OPENING with the melodic Bones, Josh Record sets out the stall for his debut album as an uplifting and moving collection.

Jenny Lewis, The Voyager (Warner Bros Records) ****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:36pm Thursday 14th August 2014

JENNY Lewis, once the indie-queen voice of Rilo Kiley, hasn’t made an album for six years after she completely melted down.

Beth Orton, Central Reservation (3 Loop Music) ****

York Press: Songbird Beth Orton's sweet dreams

3:35pm Thursday 14th August 2014

IGNORING the 5,000 copies of 1993’s Japan-only release, Superpinkymandy, 1999’s Central Reservation was Beth Orton’s second album, the one that marked her move from Trailer Park’s “folktronica” to the more mainstream singer-songwriter mode, where she has remained ever since with diminishing commercial returns.

Shed Seven, Change Giver ***; A Maximum High ****; Let It Ride ** (All Polydor)

York Press: Indie stars from the 90s Shed Seven are set for a Christmas gig in Wolverhampton

2:34pm Thursday 7th August 2014

UNLESS you lived in York in the early to mid-1990s, you might struggle to truly get the impact Shed Seven made. Suddenly, a band from the city were in the charts, in the NME, on Top of the Pops. It might not mean much if you’re from Manchester or Liverpool or Sheffield, but it did in York.

King Creosote, From Scotland With Love (Domino) ****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

2:28pm Thursday 7th August 2014

FROM Scotland With Love was written as an audio-accompaniment to Virginia Heath’s BBC2 Scotland documentary to tie in with Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games, and like 18 fellow Scots, King Creosote’s Kenny Anderson has struck gold.

Oscillations, Cosines (Fika Recordings) ****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

2:27pm Thursday 7th August 2014

BOUNCING along with deft foot-tapping beats, Cosines’ synth-heavy album is very enjoyable, if derivative.

Dylan Howe, Subterranean (Motorik) ****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

2:26pm Thursday 7th August 2014

ODD coves, albums by drummers. On the one hand there is a fear of 20-minute solos, on the other a certain knowledge that most of the input will come from other musicians, which is certainly the case here, seven of them in fact .

Morrissey, World Peace Is None Of Your Business (Harvest) ****

York Press: Morrissey cover. (8796926)

4:06pm Thursday 31st July 2014

WHAT do you want from a Morrissey solo album in 2014?

Bright Light Bright Light, Life Is Easy (Self Raising Records) ***

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

4:07pm Thursday 31st July 2014

NAMED after the line squealed by the furry character Gizmo in the 1984 movie Gremlins, Bright Light Bright Light is actually a very accomplished nu-disco synthpop artist, Rod Thomas.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye (Reprise) ****

York Press: Tom Petty will bring his Heartbreakers to the Isle of Wight

4:06pm Thursday 31st July 2014

IT’S a scarcely believable 37 years since Tom Petty released Anything That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and began his scorching journey into the heart of that elusive American dream.

Slow Club, Complete Surrender, (Caroline), ****

York Press:

4:04pm Thursday 31st July 2014

ADMIT it, Sheffield duo Slow Club have largely passed you by.

Richard Thompson, Acoustic Classics (Proper) *****

York Press: Virtuoso: Richard Thompson

4:04pm Thursday 31st July 2014

AT A glance, this latest Richard Thompson album doesn’t seem much, just a compilation of favourite songs. Yet one listen dispels such doubts, as Thompson pulls 14 songs from his capacious song suitcase, dust them off and offers new, reinvigorated versions.

Natalie Merchant (Nonesuch) ***

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

4:03pm Thursday 31st July 2014

This has been a long time coming. 13 years to be exact since Motherland, Merchant’s last offering, so has it been worth the wait? At times, yes. She’s certainly come a long way since her days with 10,000 Maniacs.

Manic Street Preachers, Futurology (Sony Music) ***

York Press:

3:47pm Thursday 24th July 2014

“WE’LL COME back one day, we never really went away”, sings James Dean Bradfield on the Manics’ new title track. Given it’s been less than a year since their last album, there’s some truth to that.

John Fullbright, Songs (Blue Dirt Records) *****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:48pm Thursday 24th July 2014

FULLBRIGHT’S assured debut, From The Ground Up, marked him out as a musician to look out for. The follow-up cements such hopes, although it does so by taking a different direction.

Gramercy Arms, The Season Of Love (Reveal Records) ***

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:46pm Thursday 24th July 2014

FIVE years in the making, these 36 minutes have clearly been painstakingly put together by this New York collective.

The Felice Brothers, Favorite Waitress (Dualtone) **

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:45pm Thursday 24th July 2014

YOU can’t practise spontaneity, but that is The Felice Brothers’ forlorn aspiration on their fifth studio album.

La Roux, Trouble In Paradise (Polydor) ****

York Press: CD reviews - zxc

3:44pm Thursday 24th July 2014

TROUBLE In Paradise appears an appropriate title for the second album by La Roux. For despite winning the award for the best electronic/dance album at the Grammy Awards, and scoring a number two UK album with the debut self-titled collection in 2008, the act have had a turbulent time in the past six years.

Bellowhead, Revival (Island) ****

York Press:

2:25pm Thursday 17th July 2014

HERE’S a story that somehow failed to make the pages of this newspaper.

Various Artistes, Nile Rodgers presents Disco Inferno (Warner Music) *****

York Press:

2:24pm Thursday 17th July 2014

Although there are several dozen Disco Classic compilations available from the discount racks in garages and supermarkets, most are greatly disappointing, as all they offer nothing new and simply regurgitate the same old songs.

Honeyblood, Honeyblood, (Fatcat), **

York Press:

2:23pm Thursday 17th July 2014

THE problem with advancing years, and increasingly greying temples, is that fewer things surprise you. You’ve heard it all before.

Bob Mould, Beauty & Ruin (Merge Records) ****

York Press:

2:17pm Thursday 17th July 2014

BOB Mould doesn’t break the mould on Beauty & Ruin, and a good thing, too.

Sebastien Tellier, L’Aventura, (Because Music UK) ***

York Press:

2:15pm Thursday 17th July 2014

THE fifth album from French singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tellier is part concept album part elevator music.

The Moral of the Elephant, Martin and Eliza Carthy (Topic) ****

York Press: Eliza  and Martin Carthy

12:58pm Thursday 10th July 2014

AFTER 50 years as English folk music’s guiding light there’s not much left for Martin Carthy to achieve.

George Ezra, Wanted On Voyage (Sony) ***

York Press: George Ezra

12:57pm Thursday 10th July 2014

DO you think there’s a production line near a recording studio churning out singer-songwriters? It’s as if a non-proliferation treaty needs to be signed preventing any more exponents from planet Mars, Murs, Mumford, and every other Tom, Dick and Harry wielding a plectrum and a smile.

The Auteurs, Now I’m A Cowboy, After Murder Park and How I Learned To Love The Bootboys, Expanded Editions (Cherry Red Records) ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

12:55pm Thursday 10th July 2014

THE cussed Luke Haines was always his own worst enemy, never playing the pop game despite being a voice as unique as Ian Dury, Richard Thompson or Julian Cope in the British pantheon of rock.

Gabby Young And Other Animals, One Foot in Front Of the Other (Gift Of The Gab Records) ****

York Press: Gabby Young and Other Animals will play The Big Noise Festival

12:54pm Thursday 10th July 2014

WHAT else could flame-haired chanteuse Gabby Young call her record company but Gift Of The Gab. She is best experienced live and uncaged with her Other Animals, as observed in their natural habitat of the mirror-glassed Spiegeltent in Harrogate’s Crescent Gardens in late May.

Jennifer Lopez, A.K.A. (Capitol) ***

York Press: Jennifer Lopez

12:52pm Thursday 10th July 2014

LAUNCHED at the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the artist also known as J-Lo showcased her tenth studio album A.K.A on a worldwide stage in the company of Pitbull and Claudia Leitte.

Example, Live Life Living (Epic Records) **

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

12:51pm Thursday 10th July 2014

SINGER, songwriter, producer and rapper Example has created an album to soundtrack the summer for millions of clubbers and first-time-without-the-family holidaymakers.

Jack White, Lazaretto (Third Man/XL Recordings) ****

York Press:

3:08pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

THERE is a point, about two minutes into an instrumental called High Ball Stepper on Jack White’s latest solo album, where heavily distorted guitar kicks in after a brief, playful piano riff.

C86, Deluxe 3-CD Edition (Cherry Red Records) ***

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

3:07pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

In May/June 1986, the New Musical Express issued one its regular mail-order cassettes, five years on from the inaugural C81 release, but this one came to define a generation.

Passenger, Whispers (Island) ***

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

3:05pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

THOSE who found Mike Rosenberg by accident – helped by the hype surrounding last year’s huge hit Let It Go – may be surprised to learn Whispers is Passenger’s sixth studio record.

Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour (Capitol) ****

York Press:

3:04pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

WHOEVER decided to book Sam Smith in the same time slot as Dolly Parton at Glastonbury last Sunday afternoon must have been going through a meltdown. Thank goodness for catch-up TV.

The Antlers, Familiars (Transgressive Records ) *****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

3:03pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

A WORK of quiet beauty that nevertheless stuns the senses, this is the fourth studio record by this Brooklyn trio, whose gentle waves deserve a wider audience.

Ed Sheeran, x (Asylum Records) ***

York Press:

3:02pm Thursday 3rd July 2014

HE used to be such a nice lad, that Ed Sheeran. In reality, between the Prince-Harry features and the acoustic guitar, his music has always had more bite than James Morrison and Newton Faulkner.

Dolly Parton, Blue Smoke (Double CD) Sony *****

York Press: Dolly Parton, Blue Smoke  (Double CD) Sony *****

3:28pm Thursday 26th June 2014

SO DOLLY is heading back to the farm. That’s Worth Farm, Pilton, Somerset, to be precise, better known to many as Glastonbury.

Kasabian, 48:13, Columbia/Sony Music ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

3:27pm Thursday 26th June 2014

THE fifth album in ten years by Kasabian sees the band mix more of the same with a little something different. With a mixture of brief instrumentals and heavy guitar tracks, there’s a comfortable familiarity to the majority of the album.

Owen Pallett, In Conflict (Domino) *****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

3:26pm Thursday 26th June 2014

SOMETIMES it’s a heart-warming bonus coming across a sound you’ve never heard. Owen Pallett is one such ear-opener.

Hamilton Leithauser, Black Hours (Ribbon Music) ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

3:25pm Thursday 26th June 2014

THE news that The Walkmen were taking an “extreme hiatus” was a cruel reminder that some of the greatest bands never achieve acclaim.

Neil Finn, Dizzy Heights (Lester Records) *****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

3:25pm Thursday 26th June 2014

FOOTBALLERS are like songwriters. Most plod along earnestly, never quite setting the world on fire, but delivering reliable results year after year. Then along comes a player like Neymar, whose alchemy mere mortals can only dream of.

First Aid Kit, Stay Gold (Columbia) ****; Conor Oberst, Upside Down Mountain (Nonesuch) ****

York Press: First Aid Kit

2:26pm Thursday 12th June 2014

FIRST Aid Kit are the Everly Sisters. Not since Don and Phil have two sibling voices entwined so divinely as those of Sweden’s Soderbergs, Klara and Johanna.

Neil Young, A Letter Home (Reprise) ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

2:25pm Thursday 12th June 2014

Neil Young is as unpredictable as he is prolific. Since the ambitious, if ill-conceived, Greendale appeared in 2003, Young has released albums as musically diverse and creatively uneven as Living With War, Fork In The Road and Psychedelic Pill.

Roy Orbison, Mystery Girl (Sony) ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

2:24pm Thursday 12th June 2014

ANYONE who did not fall for the very last album released by the Big O must have a heart of granite.

Chrissie Hynde, Stockholm (Caroline) ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

2:23pm Thursday 12th June 2014

AFTER 35 years as a recording artist Chrissie Hynde has finally got round to producing a solo album and says she wanted it to be danceable power pop, where Abba meets John Lennon.

Tori Amos, Unrepentant Geraldines (Mercury) ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

2:23pm Thursday 12th June 2014

The deliciously titled Unrepentant Geraldines is the latest of fourteen studio albums from unquestionably one of the most prolific artists of her generation.

Luke Haines, New York In The ‘70s (Cherry Red Records) ***

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

2:22pm Thursday 12th June 2014

TRYING to capture the sounds and styles of New York City in the 1970s,specifically the Velvet Underground, is the idea behind Luke Haines’ latest album.

James, La Petite Mort (Cooking Vinyl) ****

York Press: York Press logo - zxc

2:43pm Thursday 5th June 2014

JAMES have always defied categorisation. Originally hailed as a whimsical version of the Smiths, they were ultimately likened to grandiose stadium-fillers like U2.

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