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Rock & Pop

Manic Street Preachers: Futurology review startlingly fresh and different

The Manics' exhilarating, krautrock-tinged 11th album is unmistakably theirs, but unlike anything they've done before Manic Street Preachers' 12th studio album opens with its title track. The music is taut and punchy and urgent: the vocals swirl with reve

CD: David Gray - Mutineers

Few albums can evoke a period quite like David Gray’s White Ladder. The way this unofficial soundtrack to the year 2000 interwove acoustic guitars and drum machines, even kicked off a decade-long singer-songwriter renaissance. But Gray's success, event

Julian Cope interview: 'I live in a visionary state I'm a wild beast'

Julian Cope was training to be a teacher when he got waylaid by rock stardom. After the Teardrop Explodes, he became an eclectic, an antiquarian, and most recently the author of his first novel which might just be a work of genius Avebury is the perfect E

Trey Songz: Trigga review seductive power

(Atlantic) An R&B singer with the smile of the boy next door and the six-pack of a professional athlete, Trey Songz has sometimes been credited with having invented sex. He probably didn't, but he does sing about it a lot, and it's fair to assume that his

Noura Mint Seymali: Tzenni review gutsy desert blues from Mauritania

(Glitterbeat/Shellshock) Noura Mint Seymali is one of Mauritania's young celebrities, a griot from a celebrated musical family, who started out as a backing vocalist for her celebrated stepmother, Dimi Mint Abba , and has now developed an exuberant, fu

Lone: Reality Testing review ambitious modern dance music

(R&S) In a recent interview, Matt Cutler, AKA Lone , spoke about his inability to get away from ambient. Reality Testing was supposed to be a slab of upfront dance music, but instead it morphed into something that's more astral than acid. Opening track

David Gray: Mutineers review a timeworn quality that's charismatic

(IHT/Kobalt) Optimism is the overriding theme of David Gray's 10th album, and when he's not insisting, rather manically, that he's " back in the world ", he's urging you to "kick off your shoes". Though you can often detect a furrowed brow or fraught phra

The The: Soul Mining reissue review a brilliant and idiosyncratic pop album

The The's first album dropped out of sight after its release in 1983 but was later acclaimed as a masterpiece. This reissue is richly deserved In his brilliant 2006 book Fear of Music , Garry Mulholland listed Matt Johnson's second album his first as th

x review Ed Sheeran's second album has a broad palette but lacks depth

(Asylum) x , Ed Sheeran 's second album, is not even out yet, but Sheeran's fans have already gone forth and multiplied, as per its instruction. One grateful US couple won tickets to a mobile phone event last year, where they were serenaded by Sheeran,

Electric Brick Wall review Black Bananas expand their parameters

(Drag City) Black Bananas is the latest alter ego of Jennifer Herrema, formerly the longer-haired half of Royal Trux, a 90s guitar-scuzz duo who made Bonnie and Clyde look upstanding. Electric Brick Wall follows 2012's Rad Time Xpress IV , two linked