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Music round-up: October 2010

Jude Mason

Rmusicroundup.jpgKings Of Leon's fifth album Come Around Sundown has been trumpeted as 'a return to their old sound'. Far from being a step backwards, it is more of a comfortable middle ground between the dirty-ramshackle style of their first albums and their neo-U2 recent works. As with the best albums, some songs are instantly wonderful - like the first single 'Radioactive', which draws from a favourite hymn of their youth - and others take a little more time.  It's certainly their happiest set of songs; the downside of which is that there is little of the soul-searching angst that has defined their music in the past.

The solo debut from Radiohead drummer Philip Selway shows that he's more than just a whizz with the sticks.  Familial is a gorgeous album of fragile songs, delivered in a sweet voice and accompanied by a host of talented friends including Lisa Germano and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche.
With only one foot in Whimsy Corner, Isobel Campbell (breathy voiced lass from Belle & Sebastian, pictured) and Mark Lanegan (growly voiced fella from Screaming Trees) released their third album, Hawk, at the end of August. More varied than their previous outings, it's a mixture of gentle ballads and more poppy affairs, but all still delivered in the engaging mixture of their unison voices.

Legend Brian Wilson has combined his genius with that of George Gershwin's for his Reimagines project.  While the combination of Beach Boys harmonies with easy-jazz may be too saccharine for some, it's a wonderful and entertaining listen.

Finally, everyone's favourite quirkster Sufijan Stevens is back with his somewhat jumbled All Delighted People EP. Weighing in at a healthy 59 minutes, it's worth many more words than this paragraph, so why don't we all go away and listen some more and meet back here next month.  Ok?

(Oh! Don't forget the Spotify playlist.) 

Jude Mason