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Music round up

Jude Mason

So many good albums around at the moment, lets get to it. If it's rock you're after then grab yourself a copy of …Like Clockwork from Queens Of The Stone Age. Josh Homme's great turn of melody continues to make QOTSA one of the most-listenable rock bands around, but this time there is lyrical substance and soul behind the swagger. Oh, and a piano cameo from Elton John (who insisted the band needed a real queen to justify their name) and exquisite drums from Dave Grohl.  Magnificent.

Trouble Will Find Me from The National is a much more laid-back affair.  Even when they're rocking out, Matt Berninger's semi mumbled vocals are more to be driven to than jumped about with.  As ever there is a darkness to the music but, far from being depressing, great beauty bubbles up throughout, like the gorgeous guitar line in the sweet 'I Need My Girl'.

Rmusicroundup.jpgYou could do a lot worse than shell out for Laura Marling's Once I Was An Eagle.  The prolific queen of the nu-folk movement (you know, the real one, not just the Mumford shouty bit) echoes Joni Mitchell most keenly this time around, and that is much to her credit.  At 23 she is clearly still becoming an artist, but she has a control over her voice, melody, lyrical ability and guitar playing that are way beyond her years.

The Electronica section is bursting at the seems at the moment. Scotland's least prolific outfit Boards of Canada surprised and excited everyone with the lovely Tomorrow's Harvest, while Jon Hopkins' Immunity provides aural soundscapes of gorgeousness. Tricky has returned with False Idols, which feels like the natural follow-up (18 years later) to Maxinquaye, and The Orb and Lee Scratch Perry provide us with More Tales From The Observatory which I bet would sound awesome at 4am in a field in Hampshire.