Category Archives: Reviews

The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl

(Rough Trade/ Capitol Records) 11 tracks / 43 mins There are plenty of songwriters covering the bizarre political climate across the States and Europe, but who uses black humour like The Decemberists? This one is like New Order making a … Continue reading

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Darlingside – Extralife

It is rare for me to be so instantly struck by a new album. After hearing about four songs (or maybe only four parts of songs) I was contacting the band for a press copy. It’s the reverb-drenched harmonies that … Continue reading

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Yvonne Lyon – Metanoia

(Yvonnelyonmusic.com) I nearly let a couple of bad first impressions put me off this album: I was underwhelmed by her support act to Iona a few years ago (although I may just have been impatient for the main act), and … Continue reading

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Steve Hackett– Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham

Given that this live album partly celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Genesis album Wind and Wuthering, it’s hard to think of a better title than Wuthering Nights, but there’s much about this package that is hard to beat: band, … Continue reading

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Beth Whitney – The Wild Unrest

There’s deep beauty coming out of pain in that cabin in the woods.

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Cockburn, Bruce – Bone on Bone

(TrueNorth Records) When songwriters get past 70, I tend to look at the final song on their latest albums to see what musical words they might intentionally be signing off with.

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Anouar Brahem – Blue Maqams

(ECM) There is something tantalising about Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem’s restraint. The tentative playing on his previous release – the excellent double disc Souvenance – seemed to reflect the political uncertainty of his Tunisian homeland in the wake of … Continue reading

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Jonny Lang – Signs

(Concord Records /Provogue Records) By any standard, Lang has had an extraordinary life. If the definition of making it big is being awarded a platinum disc, he made it big aged only 15. I’ll leave a moment for that to … Continue reading

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Dave Walker: How to Avoid the Peace

Dave Walker’s latest cartoon collection (Canterbury Press) is sub-titled ‘Tips for Advanced Churchgoing,’  but although you don’t have to be an Anglican to enjoy the humour, it will help you to catch the subtleties. His understanding of the ordinary person … Continue reading

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Wildwood Kin – Turning Tides

(Silvertone / Sony) While a female family trio that features flowing, flawless harmonies might suggest Haim, this band is completely different. Wildwood Kin are less poppy and more atmospheric. Opener “The Author” would have slotted seamlessly onto a Note for … Continue reading

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