New album reviews


It’s 2016, a new year with fresh possibilities. There’s no better time for discovering great new music. This year we can except some top releases from hotly-tipped new talent and established names, alike. Without further ado, join us as we take a look at what’s happening this week in our New Album Reviews

Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor

blograting4There’s nothing like a good pop-rock album, and this is nothing like a good pop-rock album! Lyrics swing through poor-man’s *NSYNC / Michael Jackson melodies into bad Katie Perry rip-off choruses. The album fails to find it’s breath, and prances along with brash carelessness. The album is filled with bandwagon-jumping genre snippets crudely pasted onto the veneers of below par song structure. When the album gains an uneasy foothold in something resembling a song, along comes the predictability of a restless and over predictable chorus sung at 115% speed. And don’t even get me started on the daylight murder of a classic B52’s song…

Daughter – Not To Disappear

blograting9blog_recommendedNew Ways gently eases you into the lush landscapes of Daughter’s second full-length album. It’s as beautiful as it is ambitious. Just as you think nothing could sound quite as pretty as Elena Tonra’s vocals, along comes Igor Haefeli’s exquisite guitar work – think Mick Ronson circa The Spiders From Mars era Bowie, fed-back with an emotive otherworldliness. And that’s just track one! That’s quite strong work to follow, and thankfully this trio manage to do just that. Excellent The xx style production, compositions reminiscent of Kid A’ Radiohead, clever wordplay on sounds and ambiguity of meanings add a substance and depth to the already-multifaceted production. The album deserves to be performed live, under a million twinkling stars, with swaying onlookers and a bombastic sound system. This is the biggest sounding, yet stunningly beautiful album to come out in a very long time.

The Anchoress – Confessions Of A Romance Novelist

blograting6There will be inevitable similarities made to PJ Harvey on track one of Catherine Anne Davies’ debut album Confessions Of A Romance Novelist… and that’s no bad thing. The big, poetic song is played with the confidence of someone who knows exactly what she’s doing. If you assumed that would be the case for the rest of the album, you’d be sadly mistaken. The Anchoress shows many influences in these 13 songs. The songwriting is strongest when woven into a narrative style, but offbeat psychedelic moments add an unpredictability that seem more confused than clever. Then there’s a strange slice of neo-soul on One For Sorrow. If I were to go out on a limb, I would say there’s definitely a pop song to be found somewhere, but it doesn’t seem fully formed. The next moment we’re hearing what could be a Gwen Stefani off-cut on Popular. The songwriting here is an almost hit. As is the vocal performance and the concept as a whole. Unfortunately that’s 3 misses, which is enough to have me searching for the skip button.

Mystery Jets – Curve Of The Earth

blograting8It’s been a decade since their debut, and it would be a safe bet to say the fifth album from indie rockers Mystery Jets should contain little mystery. Thankfully, I’ve never been a betting man. Complex songwriting is accompanied by skilful musicianship. This is the sound of evening drives as the sun sets over the sea. A confident and enjoyable performance and, for a relatively pop-sounding LP, there is plenty of rewarding corners and depths to be had. On Bubblegum, for example, think of those lovely melodies in the best bits of Dire Straits, crossed with some of the epic scale of Biffy Clyro, with a touch of candy floss sweetness. Thankfully that scale is maintained throughout. It’s a refreshing album, which has more than a few amazing songs along the way. It’s the sound of a band having fun, and making some great music in the process. Top stuff. Here’s to ten more years, please!