Stream Morrissey’s World Peace Is None Of Your Business

Well, it feels like it has been a long time coming. It’s certainly one of the most anticipated albums of 2014, and one of my most anticipated albums of the year.

Morrissey’s 10th album World Peace Is None Of Your Business is his first album in five years, since Years Of Refusal and it’s streaming a week ahead of its release, via NME. I’ll write a full review soon, but after my first listen, the reports that it may be one of his best solo works – even up there with Vauxhall & I – are not wrong.

See what you think, people. I’d love to know what you think, and if you like it – go and buy it!

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To stream the album in full head to nme.com

Album Review – David Gray

David Gray

David Gray -’Mutineers’ (iht Records)

Like Coldplay, it’s perhaps a little too easy to stereotype David Gray. Music for people who don’t buy much music and what they do is from motorway service stations, people who are permanently glued to Radio 2, who’d rather go to V Festival than Glastonbury…the list could go on.

And it’s unfair on the man himself. Not only that, as a late thirty-something (there! I’ve said it!) I think it’s rather an ageist stereotype. I don’t buy my music from motorway service stations, mind you.

The only problem is…this album is as dull as anything. Now, I enjoyed a number of songs off White Ladder, itself now fifteen years old. It didn’t change the world, but there were some good, solid songs. It is of course missing the point entirely to grumble that Gray’s music is not radical or confrontational. However, Mutineers makes White Ladder sound like a groundbreaking record by comparison.

It’s not entirely without merit. There’s a lovely arrangement on ‘Last Summer’ and ‘Birds Of the High Arctic’ is a really good song. But the absolute nadir is reached on ‘Snow in Vegas’ with it’s drawn-out, cliched lyrics.

I genuinely wanted to like this album. I wanted to be able to hold it up as an act of defiance to say that Gray had produced a good record, and that it was just snobbery that stopped people from liking it. Unfortunately, rather like the latest Coldplay album, it’s just boring.

**

Mutineers is out now on iht Records

Presenting…Twin Peaks

Well, I’m assuming that they took their name from David Lynch’s weird and wonderful TV show from the early 1990s. American band Twin Peaks would be too young to remember it, though…

Twin Peaks are barely 20 years old. They are singer Cadien Lake James, guitarist Clay Frankel, bassist Jack Dolan and drummer Connor Brodner. ‘Flavor’ is the title track of the band’s first UK EP. It’s coming ut on National Anthem on 7th July, featuring ‘Flavor’ and three songs from their debut 2013 US LP Sunken.

‘Flavor’ is the first track to appear on their sophomore album Wild Onion, due out later this year in the UK. It’s very summery-sounding garage rock, and a video that might be considered NSFW, depending how cool (or not) your workplace is with people a) smoking dope (or at least pretending to) and b) how your workplace feel about you watching music videos when you should be working anyway…

You can stream the EP here:

Forthcoming from Tricky

He named his debut album after his mother – Maxinquaye – and for his eleventh album, Tricky is calling his eleventh album Adrian Thaws, his name at birth.

The first track to be released from the album ‘Nicotine Love’ features Irish singer Francesca Belmonte. This sees Tricky experimenting with more of an electronic feel, and yet is unmistakeably him.

The album tracklisting is as follows, and the album is due out in September:

1. Sun Down feat. Tirzah
2. Lonnie Listen feat. Mykki Blanco & Francesca Belmonte
3. Something In The Way feat. Francesca Belmonte
4. Keep Me In Your Shake feat. Nneka
5. The Unloved (Skit)
6. Nicotine Love feat. Francesca Belmonte
7. Gangster Chronicles feat. Bella Gotti
8. I Had A Dream feat. Francesca Belmonte
9. My Palestine Girl feat. Blue Daisy
10. Why Don’t You feat. Bella Gotti
11. Silly Games feat. Tirzah
12. Right Here feat. Oh Land
13. Silver Tongue – When You Go

Presenting…(the return of) Andrew Montgomery

History is full of acts that deserved far greater coverage and sales than they got. While Aberdeen’s Geneva scored four top 40 hits and a top 20 album in the 1990s, and were labelmates of Suede at Nude in London, they should have been far bigger than they were. The main reason they got noticed in the first place was the spellbinding voice of Andrew Montgomery.

It was a Suede connection that has brought the return of Andrew Montgomery to my attention. In 2012 I interviewed Artmagic, the duo which was Sean McGhee and Suede’s guitarist Richard Oakes. Sean has produced the debut solo album from Andrew Montgomery, Ruled By Dreams.

The album will be released on 5th October. It is described as being a mixture of torch songs, yearning modern pop and space-age gospel. It features Richard Oakes, Röyksopp collaborator Kate Havnevik and Jody & Simon from Autoheart.

The album’s opening track “After The Storm”, is the first to do the rounds along with ‘I Sing The Body Electric.’ Listen and be amazed. And believe me, comparisons with the great Antony Hegarty are deserved here. The album can be pre-ordered via his bandcamp.

‘After The Storm’ and ‘I Sing The Body Electric’ can be streamed over at his soundcloud page

The return of Grimes

grimes

In 2012, Grimes topped both my Festive Fifty with ‘Genesis’ and was also my album of the year for Visions. At this point in time, the only time an artist has done that on this blog.

She’s shortly to release a new album, in the meantime, she’s made the rather lovely ‘Go’ featuring Blood Diamonds available to stream and download for free. No, it doesn’t sound like Genesis part 2, but it’s gorgeous leftfield pop. Bring on the new album! In the meantime, enjoy this…

The return of Sinead O’Connor

Sinead O'Connor

It’s now over twenty-five years since Sinead O’Connor released her debut album, The Lion And The Cobra. And she’s now about to release her tenth album, entitled I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss, wiith a new single ‘Take Me To Church’ out now.

Her last album, 2012′s How About I Be Me (And You Be You?) was a great record with great tracks like ‘Reason With me,’ ’4th & Vine’ and her cover of John Grant’s ‘Queen of Denmark.’ Last year she sang backing vocals on three songs on Grant’s latest album Pale Green Ghosts -’GMF’ ‘Why Don’t You Love Me Any More?’ and ‘It Doesn’t Matter To Him.’

I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss is out on August 11. The tracklisting is as follows:

1. How About I Be Me
2. Dense Water Deeper Down
3. Kisses Like Mine
4. Your Green Jacket
5. The Vishnu Room
6. The Voice of My Doctor
7. Harbour
8. James Brown (with Seun Kuti)
9. 8 Good Reasons
10. Take Me to Church
11. Where Have You Been?
12. Streetcars

Stream ‘Take Me To Church’ here

Album Review – Lana Del Rey

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Lana Del Rey -’Ultraviolence.’ (Polydor)

Somehow, sitting down to review the new Lana Del Rey album fills with me with trepidation. It seems that somehow there’s so much baggage amongst reviewers due to the coverage that trying to approach this album at face value is something that many don’t want to do. So to hell with all the other coverage and what has been written about her, is the album actually any good?

Well, assuming this isn’t failing at the first hurdle, it compares fairly favourably to her breakthrough record, Born To Die. Favourably in the sense that if you liked that album – and I did – then the chances are you will like this one. It isn’t much of an advance, but then if you’ve heard ‘Shades of Cool’ and ‘West Coast’ which were doing the rounds ahead of the album, you were quite reasonable to assume that she wasn’t going to start sounding like Peaches or Lydia Lunch.

Having listened to this album, it is a bit of a grower. Her voice is as haunting as it was, but if you check out both album opener ‘Cruel World’ and ‘Black Beauty’ then the album starts to make sense on its own terms. If you can get away from whatever is being written about her this week, then there’s some great bits on this album. No, it won’t change your life, but she’s proved she’s no one hit wonder, either…

***1/2

Ultraviolence is out now on Polydor

Presenting…Lizzo

Lizzo has been getting quite a bit of buzz ahead of her debut album, Lizzobangers, which comes out in the UK on June 30, having been released in the US last year. Moving from rapping to singing and back almost seamlessly, she’s in the tradition of stars like Missy Elliott, Kelis, Neneh Cherry and MIA.

Following on from this will be the track ‘Bus Passes and Happy Meals’ which if there is any justice, will prove to be one of Summer 2014′s anthems. Reportedly, the video was shot in Las Vegas at a moment’s notice, and it’s absolutely stunning.

The video for ‘Faded’ meanwhile shows that this is not a one-off…

Enjoy. and as ever, I’d love to know what you think.