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Rock & Pop

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

Common: Nobody's Smiling review a rousing state-of-Chicago address

(Virgin)On his 10th album, Common focuses on his home town of Chicago. Not so much of a love letter, Nobody's Smiling is more of a state of the city address in which he tries to make sense of the violence that has earned the city its "Chiraq" nickname.

King Creosote: From Scotland With Love review disarmingly passionate

(Domino)As Scotland ponders the vote for independence, Fife singer-songwriter Kenny "King Creosote" Anderson's latest album is the soundtrack to a documentary film of the same name, to be released for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. However, he's stee

Djivan Gasparyan: I Will Not Be Sad In This World/Moon Shines At Night review haunting instrumentals

(All Saints)Djivan Gasparyan is one of the world's most distinctive, haunting instrumentalists. He's a master of the oboe-like duduk, made of apricot wood and traditionally played by shepherds in his native Armenia, with which he creates surely the most p

Jungle: Jungle review enigmatic dance outfit lose a little mystique

(XL) Jungle emerged last year with a song called The Heat. It had a loose-limbed swagger, a mixture of funk and dance music, of the Rapture , Curtis Mayfield and Disclosure. It was also a little mysterious. It sounded like it was made in Manhattan but

Lewis: L'Amour review a coded declaration of passion

(Light in the Attic) What a strange and singular album this is. Recorded in 1983 by one Randall Wulff a man who looks like a humanoid from Blade Runner , played the stock market, paid for the sleeve image for his vanity album with a cheque that bounced,

Mali All Stars: Bogolan Music review the best of Bamako's legendary studio

(Wrasse Records) There was a time when Malian musicians had to travel abroad to record, but Studio Bogolan changed that. Hidden away behind blue gates in Bamako, it has attracted all of the country's great stars, as well as foreign celebrities. This 28-

Morrissey: World Peace Is None of Your Business review

Just when you think human warmth is in short supply on Morrissey's new album, the old devil can still spring a surprise In 2011, Morrissey published a list of the 10 albums from his back catalogue "of which I am most proud". It offered what you might char