Kasabian – For Crying Out Loud review.

The Leicester lads keep the big hits coming on their 6th studio effort. 

 

If there was any worry that Kasabian were going to drastically change their sound on their new album, it doesn’t linger for long, with opening track ‘Ill Ray (The King) kicking things off with the Leicester band’s trademark energy and swagger.

Infectiously catchy lead single ‘You’re In Love With a Psycho’ follows on from the opener and sets a fun, upbeat mood, and gives a feeling that Kasabian really don’t take themselves seriously at all, and they are at their best this way.

‘TwentyFourSeven’ sounds like your standard Kasabian, with a few woaaahs chucked in and ‘Good Fight’ is similar, but both tracks still sound full of energy and Serge’s production still is as punchy and crisp as it always has been.

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Album artwork designed by Aitor Throup, who designed both ‘Velociraptor’ and ’48:13′ covers.

‘Sixteen Blocks’ sounds like it was taken straight out of a movie trailer with it’s dramatic whistled opening, whereas ‘Bless This Acid House’ is another fun, upbeat track with a very sing-alongable chorus.

Album closer ‘Put Your Life On It’ rounds things up with yet another song that sounds like something you’ve heard before, but still sounds fresh, which is a feeling that runs through the whole project. Standard, but still really good.

90%

Best 3: Ill Ray (The King), Good Fight, You’re In Love With A Psycho

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SOTD 3/5/17 – Girl Ray: Preacher

Girl Ray have just announced their debut album ‘Earl Grey’, and lead single ‘Preacher’ is song of the day. Watch the video below:

‘Earl Grey’ also features recent single ‘Stupid Things’ and is out on the 4th August on Moshi Moshi records, and is available to pre-order here.  The band play The Great Escape on 9th May, as well as Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Green Man festivals over the summer.

Other recent songs of the day have come from Ellie Bleach, Jane Weaver and Anteros. Hear all of them from 2017 below:

 

Gorillaz – Humanz Review.

Gorillaz albums have always been about collaborations, with their previous album Plastic Beach featuring the likes of Lou Reed, De La Soul, Little Dragon, Gruff Rhys and Kano. Humanz is no different in this sense, with the album only having one track without a featured artist. They also tend to change their sound with each record while still maintaining

The first of these many features you hear on the album is Californian rapper Vince Staples, who dominates most of the high paced opening track ‘Ascension’, with Damon Albarn only popping up momentarily for a verse in the middle of the song.

Main single ‘Saturnz Barz’ with Jamie XX collaborator Popcaan is the first track on which you really hear Damon’s vocals used to their full potential, and they really do compliment Popcaan’s main verses well, especially towards the end of the song.

‘Momentz’ featuring long time collaborators De La Soul highlights why they work so well together, with the witty, slightly off-kilter verses from the hip hop trio making for another great track from Gorillaz and De La Soul.

Humanz has interludes scattered throughout it by Star Wars: Rogue One actor Ben Mendelsohn, and in my opinion they are a bit distracting from the flow of the album in places, with the majority of them feeling shoehorned in; one of them is a two second clip of him saying ”Elevator Going Up”. However there are a select few of these that do add to the album, with the ‘Non-Conformist Oath’ before Danny Brown featuring track ‘Submission’ working very well.

That track, featuring Kelela alongside Danny Brown, is one of the strongest cuts on ‘Humanz.’ Kelela sings the majority of the track before Danny comes in with some amazing bars at the end.

2-D and co. have always been ones to use upcoming or underground artists, like Kano back on 2010’s Plastic Beach, in their tracks alongside legends such as Lou Reed and Bobby Womack, and the inclusion of D.R.A.M, Benjamin Clementine and Kali Uchis alongside Grace Jones and Mavis Staples continues this tradition.

‘Andromeda ft. D.R.A.M. is another album highlight for me, with it being a melancholy track with beautiful vocals from Albarn as well as having a very catchy synth line throughout the song.

Following on from ‘Andromeda’ is ‘Busted and Blue’. A sad, beautiful ballad with a minimal, spacy backing track that continues the run of great tracks on the album that sadly comes to an end with ‘Carnival’ which just sounds jumbled and dull.

‘Let Me Out’ is a great example of how Gorillaz bring unlikely artists together to make a great track, with Mavis Staples and Pusha T featuring. However, following that is another lackluster track called ‘Sex Murder Party’ that, similar to ‘Carnival’, is just dull and would be better off as a B-Side.

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The album finishes on its strongest track, with Jehnny Beth from Savages and Noel Gallagher coming together with Gorillaz to make an upbeat anthem of hope and unity that brings the project to a close.

Overall, Humanz is very good. There are a few unnecessary tracks and interludes that slow the album down but when it gets going, it’s really, really good.

89%

Best 3: Andromeda, Submission, We Got The Power.

The Big Moon – Love In The 4th Dimension album review

London based indie four-piece The Big Moon shine (lol) on their debut album.

The Big Moon kick things off with a re-recorded version of ‘Sucker’, one of the many singles they have released over the past few years. I’ve really enjoyed all of the material they had released in the build up to this album, and I’m very glad that these singles have made it onto the album tracklist without feeling forced in, with recent tracks like ‘Silent Movie Susie’ and ‘Cupid’ fitting right in with the tone of the LP. It isn’t all about the singles though, with new material like ‘The End’ sounding pretty damn good too.

‘Formidable’ is an album highlight for me, a slow-burner of a track that may not immediately hit you as being anything special, but after a few listens it rarely leaves your head. ‘The Road’ is another track that has been redone for the album, and I’m glad to say that these reworked singles haven’t lost any of their original charm, while still managing to sound richer and updated.

A great, summery 1st effort from The Moon, expect big things in the future.

92%

Parekh & Singh – Ocean review

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Parekh & Singh

Ocean

Out 28th October

4.5/5


From opening track ‘I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll’, it is clear to see that this isn’t going to be a high energy album, but that is never what Parekh & Singh set out to do; the collection of songs are very chilled out, but in no way are they boring.

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For a debut album, the quality of the songwriting is sublime, with the songs being simple on the surface, but with every listen to them you hear another little layer, or you notice a certain lyric a bit more. The best track on the album for me is ‘Panda’, with the track being inspired by the poetry of William Blake it is a dreamy, singable song that grows on you every time you hear it, as does the whole album.

Another highlight for me is ‘Ghost’. One of the slower tracks on the album, Ghost has some of the best lyrics on the album; “I’m partially a ghost, don’t you get too close” simple, but very effective.

‘Ocean’ is a stellar debut album, with each song telling its own story without feeling overwritten or too drawn out.

4.5/5

 

 

Kaiser Chiefs – Stay Together Review

Pop go the Kaisers: Leeds indie favourites bring out synth driven pop album.

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Kaiser Chiefs

Stay Together

Out 7th October 2016

4/5

 

When ‘Parachute’, the lead single from Stay Together first dropped, a lot of comments were saying things along the lines of ‘This doesn’t sound like the Kaiser Chiefs.’  At the beginning of track ‘Press Rewind’, Ricky Wilson states “We are writing and recording pop music.” Both of these comments are spot on, but that is in no way a bad thing.

From the first track ‘We Stay Together’, it is clear that Brian Higgins, producer on this album (whose previous credits include Girls Aloud and Little Mix) has seriously shaken up the band’s sound, but I still feel like the band have their original character that made them so popular in the first place despite straying from the style of their previous albums.

Second track, and recent single ‘Hole in My Soul’ has one of the catchiest choruses of the year, with front man Wilson singing ” There’s a hole in my soul” the track is solid proof that a good rhyme can work wonders.

 

Tracks like ‘Sunday Morning’ and ‘High Society’ make for good mid-album moments, and closing song ‘Still Waiting’is a pop power ballad that closes the album very well. (almost closes it anyway, i’d stick around for a bit after the last track if I were you.)

Stay Together is an example of pop music done very, very well, and I hope that fans of the band agree.