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Reviews

Music round-up

Jude Adam

June is a month for the sublime and the ridiculous. On the side of the sublime are two wonderful debuts. One of the stars of our burgeoning young-british indie-folk scene, Johnny Flynn wrote most of his album A Larum while starring in a critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at London's Old Vic. The first Brit to be signed to Lost Highway (Johnny Cash's label) it's a very strong start that leaves you singing all day.

UK indie label Bella Union continue to do no wrong. Having recently brought us Midlake and Fionn Regan they've now imported Fleet Foxes from the North West corner of the USA. Describing their sound as 'Baroque Harmonic Pop Jams', the five-piece manages to mix madrigals and hymns with the resonance of the Beach Boys to sound like a folksier version of My Morning Jacket. They're playing around the UK in June, so catch them if you can.

Moving on to the ridiculous, Sparks release their 22nd studio album in early June. Exotic Creatures Of The Deep is everything that you could hope it would be. Electronic pop played by a man who still looks like an emaciated Adolf Hitler with song titles including 'Lighten Up Morrissey', 'Photoshop Me Out Of Your Life' and 'I Can't Believe That You Would Fall For All The Crap In This Song'. It's a must listen - but unfortunately you'll do that only once.

Paul Weller's 22 Dreams is exactly what you'd expect it to be. He's still without a doubt the best there is at being Paul Weller, so if you like him you'll like it, but if you don't then don't bother.

Sunderland's The Futureheads release their third, excellent, album This Is Not The World, becoming yet another band to prove that getting dropped by your major label is far from being the end of your career.

Finally Scarlett Johansson (yes, that one) releases her album of Tom Waits covers, Anywhere I Lay My Head. Produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio, the music is truly glorious. Scarlett, unfortunately, can't sing at all, and while that never really stopped Tom Waits, the fantastic production across the album makes you simply wish for another vocalist. Ridiculous.

Jude Adam