Maddy Costa

Neil Young: Storytone review orchestra-backed album thats better without the orchestra

(Warner)Neil Youngs fifth album in as many years comes in a standard version that defies any expectation raised by that word. Its backing band is a full orchestra and choir, whose gooey strings and slangy swing make standard stuff like guitar solos surplu

Neil Diamond: Melody Road review schmaltzy but well-crafted honeymoon album

(Virgin)Theres soppy, theres schmaltz, and then theres the latest from Neil Diamond. He remarried in 2012, and much of Melody Road radiates honeymoon period: trumpets tootle cheerfully, guitar melodies beam, cherry blossom falls from flutes, and Diamond

Marianne Faithfull: Give My Love to London review a vivid vision of revolution

(Dramatico)The cover of Marianne Faithfulls 20th studio album presents her as gamine and romantic, shrouded in cigarette smoke, lost in a nostalgic reverie. Its a conjuring trick, an attempt to turn back the years in sharp contrast to the songs inside. Th

Perfume Genius: Too Bright review hypnotic and nonconformist

To listen to I Decline, the opening song on Too Bright, or the title track itself, you'd think little had changed in the world of Perfume Genius.

Music Go Music: Impressions review fantastically, excessively perfect

The second album by LAs Music Go Music is so perfect its unnerving.

Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams review a straight-down-the-line stadium-rocker

(Columbia)It has taken Ryan Adams more than a decade, and he has finally done it: he's recorded his straight-down-the-line stadium-rocker. In contrast to the muted strum of its predecessor, 2011's Ashes & Fire, this self-titled album is monolithic, bombas

Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain Part Two review uproarious but limited stage version

Garrick, LondonThe past masters feel a bit hemmed in on stage, but there's still serious satirical comment on contemporary events behind their barrage of historical fun Continue reading...

The Elephantom review the show goes off like a fireworks display

It's 15 minutes before there is an Elephantom in the room but the party animals are worth the wait in this fast-paced show.

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,

George Ezra: Wanted on Voyage review chirpy melodies, bulldozer choruses

(Columbia) Resistance to George Ezra is futile his debut album is so loaded with clean-cut chirrupy melodies and bulldozer choruses that it's never going to be far from radio or TV. There's undoubtedly a fire in his lungs, but it rages uncontrolled, oblit