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Caroline Sullivan

The Pierces: Creation review silvery, spinetingling soft-rock

(Polydor)Catherine and Allison Pierce's fifth record is, to all intents, a drug album: it was shaped by the Alabama sisters' experiences with the hallucinogen ayahuasca, which they used after finishing the promotion of their breakthrough 2011 LP, You & I

Luke Sital-Singh: The Fire Inside review believably vulnerable balladeering

(Parlophone)As old lyrical chestnuts go, being held captive by "the fire inside" is as mundane as "making it through the rain", leading to low expectations of this debut. Yet Luke Sital-Singh, who was longlisted in the Sound of 2014 poll, has produced a r

Ariana Grande: My Everything review faceless, generic bangerdom

On her 2013 debut album, Yours Truly, teen-actor-turned-pop-starlet Ariana Grande established a unique, nostalgia-based beachhead, interweaving 90s R&B and 1960s girl groups.

Sinead O'Connor: I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss review ablaze with lust

In describing I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss as "just an album of love songs", as she did in a recent Observer interview, Sinéad O'Connor isn't telling the half of it.

Jenny Lewis: The Voyager review candid, disarming altpop

(Warner Bros)The delirium induced by five consecutive nights without sleep was a creative tool for Jenny Lewis as she made her first solo album in six years. Or so she claims, though The Voyager's finely wrought sketches of mortality and infidelity so

Burt Bacharach review not so much a gig as a primer in composing genius

Royal Festival Hall, LondonThe dapper 86-year-old is humble about his amazing songbook, but when he takes the mic, its bittersweet magic is revealedThough he has absolutely no reason to be, Burt Bacharach is exceedingly modest. "How many American composer

Example: Live Life Living review big choruses but a troubled heart

Encouraged by the success of his 2011 album, Playing in the Shadows , singer/rapper Example plumped for an experimental, guitar-accented follow-up in 2012, only to find that fans emphatically preferred the beery rave-hop that had made him famous.

Bright Light Bright Light: Life Is Easy review bittersweet lyrics and rave beats

(Self Raising) The 2012 debut by Welsh singer-producer Rod Thomas, who works as Bright Light Bright Light , was voted that year's fourth-best album in the Guardian readers' poll , an unexpected accolade for a fringe artist inspired by the moment in the

Jennifer Lopez: AKA review too many cooks bring little flavour

(Capitol) Jennifer Lopez spreads herself across so many mediums that when she collected an Icon award from Billboard magazine last month the first woman to receive it she felt obliged to note that music was her "first love". There's a similar sense of s

Passenger: Whispers review sparse, folk-pop storytelling

(Island) If Ed Sheeran didn't exist, Mike "Passenger" Rosenberg would probably be the deceptively wimpish balladeer bringing home the Brit and Ivor Novello awards . Despite scoring one of 2013's biggest singles with Let Her Go , Rosenberg is still a rel