pop album reviews

Category Added in a WPeMatico Campaign

PJ Harvey: To Bring You My Love (Demos) review – gripping outtakes from 1995

(Island)Previously unheard demos from the singer-songwriter’s third album throw her extraordinary lyrics into dramatic relief Although initial copies of her 1992 debut Dry came with a bonus disc of demos, and early versions of the songs for the follow-up, Rid of Me, were released as an album in their own right (1993’s 4-Track Demos), the …

PJ Harvey: To Bring You My Love (Demos) review – gripping outtakes from 1995 Read More »

The Flaming Lips: American Head review – psych whimsy wears thin

(Bella Union)The American art-rockers try to revisit commercial highs, but their cliches fail to convince Some bands are lifelong art projects; others are mechanisms for quarterly profit reports. The Flaming Lips and their garrulous singer-spokesman Wayne Coyne want to be seen as the former, although this album suggests they wouldn’t mind being the latter again. …

The Flaming Lips: American Head review – psych whimsy wears thin Read More »

Richard and Linda Thompson: Hard Luck Stories 1972–1982 review – a tempestuous tale worth retelling

(UMC/Universal)This eight-CD box set includes 31 previously unreleased tracks, not to mention every twist and turn of this most compelling of double acts Box sets often exist merely to evacuate the wallets of the faithful. Here, though, over eight CDs (or a big download) is the story of one of the most intriguing partnerships in …

Richard and Linda Thompson: Hard Luck Stories 1972–1982 review – a tempestuous tale worth retelling Read More »

Susanna: Baudelaire & Piano review – a cool breath of Nordic autumn

(Susanna Sonata)Clarity, strong melodies and composer Susanna Wallumrød’s luminous voice confound expectations on this meeting of poetry and piano Susanna Wallumrød’s extraordinary career sees no sign of becoming quotidian. Though a composer – adept in many styles of contemporary music – she’s also long been a wonderful interpreter of the work of others: her 2006 …

Susanna: Baudelaire & Piano review – a cool breath of Nordic autumn Read More »

Doves: The Universal Want review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

(Virgin EMI)The kings of catchy melancholia are back after a decade away – and their tried and tested blueprint has lost none of its magic Last year, Doves played a series of comeback gigs after nearly a decade on hiatus. The trio seemed startled by the response. “It’s sold out!” frontman Jimi Goodwin remarked from …

Doves: The Universal Want review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week Read More »

Throwing Muses: Sun Racket review – intense as ever

(Fire)The US indie rockers go back to basics on their atmospheric 10th album Seven years on from Purgatory/Paradise – a 67-minute avalanche of sometimes half-formed songs and ideas – the first striking thing about Throwing Muses’ 10th album is how relatively straightforward it is: 10 tracks, all with beginnings, middles and ends, and no accompanying …

Throwing Muses: Sun Racket review – intense as ever Read More »

Hannah Georgas: All That Emotion review – punches wrapped in velvet gloves

(Brassland/Arts & Crafts)The Canadian singer-songwriter’s biting lyrics and gentle delivery find an ideal foil in producer Aaron Dessner Fans of the National might have spotted the burgeoning Canadian singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas opening for the band on their 2019 tour, taking on backing vocals, too. Georgas’s own songs are gossamer things, sometimes revealing unexpectedly deep undertows. …

Hannah Georgas: All That Emotion review – punches wrapped in velvet gloves Read More »

Hannah Georgas: All That Emotion review – indie-pop for introverts

(Brassland)Georgas’s fourth album, immaculately produced by Aaron Dessner, traverses a personal and sometimes opaque journey Taylor Swift isn’t the only singer-songwriter with an Aaron Dessner-produced album out this lockdown: the National man also recently lent his talents to Hannah Georgas, a Canadian musician with a nice line in intricate and introverted indie-pop. All That Emotion …

Hannah Georgas: All That Emotion review – indie-pop for introverts Read More »

Declan McKenna: Zeros review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

McKenna’s second album is in thrall to pop’s 1970s glam heroes, but his lyrics ponder today’s struggles, from the climate crisis to social media The cover of Declan McKenna’s second album features a blurred photo of its 21-year-old author against a black background. He’s reaching out to the listener, casually dressed for an appearance on …

Declan McKenna: Zeros review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week Read More »

Kelly Lee Owens: Inner Song review – a DJ finds her voice

(Smalltown Supersound)The Welsh musician-producer unleashes her own vocals while digging deeper with brooding electronics Delayed to show “solidarity” with record shops threatened by Covid, Kelly Lee Owens’s second album finds the banging techno DJ venturing further into the realm of electronic pop. The digitals are still on point. Arpeggi’s creepy retro-futurism recalls Boards of Canada …

Kelly Lee Owens: Inner Song review – a DJ finds her voice Read More »