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Rock & Pop

CD: Andy Bell – is Torsten the Bareback Saint

“A theatrical pop song-cycle of musical postcards from the hotspots of memory from a semi-immortal polysexual sensualist’s life” is how the fourth solo album from Erasure's Andy Bell describes itself. The story and album begin with “Freshly Bugger

Beck Song Reader review 'a highly listenable, risk-free album of covers'

(Warby Parker/Capitol Records)Back in late 2012, Beck released a volume of sheet music, a limited edition album housed between hard covers. His intentions? To fondly recall the era of written scores in the age of viral YouTube covers. To toy with the idea

Lese Majesty review Shabazz Palaces take hip-hop into another dimension

(Sub Pop)Hip-hop is constantly being tweaked and nudged in new directions, but rarely is it reconfigured as radically, and thrillingly, as on this second album from Shabazz Palaces. Their previous work set the template free-flowing, futuristic rap dusted

The Voyager review Jenny Lewis goes into confessional mode

(Warner)Years ago, dulcet-voiced Jenny Lewis, frontwoman of LA indie rockers Rilo Kiley, released her debut solo album Rabbit Fur Coat, an undersung indie-country-soul gem. Since then, much has happened, and also, somehow, not enough. Rilo Kiley are no mo

Reissue CDs Weekly: Troubadours - Folk and the Roots of American Music

Various Artists: Troubadours - Folk and the Roots of American Music Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4read more

Cher Lloyd: Sorry I'm Late review fun but hollow sensory-overload pop

(Syco)Cher Lloyd was born with an ability to entertain from her first X Factor audition to her botched attempts to make the phrase "Swagger Jagger" catch on, she is (often unwittingly) a mesmerising creature to behold. Her second album, however, tries

Andy Bell: Torsten the Bareback Saint review brave, bawdy concept album

(Cherry Red)"Freshly buggered, he braved it into school the next day" is a brave start to an album. But then Torsten the Bareback Saint, the soundtrack to Andy Bell's one-man show at the Edinburgh festival fringe, is a brave album. It tells of a journey

Trouble in Paradise review La Roux is back, on her own

After a five-year wait, the flame-quiffed androgyne returns with a persuasive second helping of cool synth-popMight the 2 million people worldwide who bought the throwback synth-pop of La Roux's debut still be listening? (Can one even have nostalgia for a

Songs review stripped-back Americana from John Fullbright

(Blue Dirt/Thirty Tigers)John Fullbright's 2013 debut, From the Ground Up, earned a Grammy nomination for best Americana album. Its follow-up deserves to do at least as well. With its 12 hushed and intimate tracks stripped back to the bare essentials ofte

Everything's a Thread review John Steel Singers' Aussie stoner-rock is the perfect summer soundtrack

(Full Time Hobby)Could it be Australia's immunity to the great 21st-century global recession that has produced this seemingly unending wave of sun-dappled psychedelia? The John Steel Singers, from Brisbane, follow the likes of Tame Impala and Pond in soun