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Caroline Sullivan

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

Mariah Carey: Me. I am Mariah the Elusive Chanteuse review heroic self-belief and big songs

"Best thing to happen to your ass was me," sings Mariah Carey on the track Thirsty, inviting you to applaud her heroic self-belief.

Peaches Christ Superstar review all killer, no filler in rock-opera homage

Who would have guessed that the author of songs such as Stuff Me Up and Tent in Your Pants was an Andrew Lloyd Webber fan?

Depeche Mode: Delta Machine - review

(Columbia) On their 13th album, Depeche Mode are as hamstrung as ever by their refusal to admit even a chink of light into their world of gloom. How much more satisfying their records would be if they weren't eternally bathed in bleakness: every ponder

Ne-Yo - review

Pity Conor Maynard, tonight's support act. With a No 1 album under his belt, "the British Justin Bieber", as he's been labelled, deserves a bit more than to have to play while people are still taking their seats.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Specter at the Feast - review

(Abstract Dragon) The bleary San Francisco fuzz-rockers originally considered making their sixth studio album a double, but evidently had the wisdom to realise that two discs' worth of uncharacteristic downtempo melancholia would numb the listener. The

Hurts: Exile - review

(Epic) As Adam Ant once said , ridicule is nothing to be scared of - words Hurts should take to heart, as their second album will provoke a fair bit of it. Anyone who doesn't revel in the sound of twentysomethings recreating 1980s pomp-rock should loo