Lees de bespreking
Lees de bespreking
Lees de bespreking
Lees de bespreking
One can only admire how the Tyneside group have evolved from their English folk roots to become a cultural phenomenon, charting Northumbrian history from navy press gangs to shipbuilding glory and destitution. Along the way, they have embraced songs by Robert Wyatt and Molly Drake, and added a keen strain of chamber folk to the tender vocal harmonies of Unthank sisters Rachel and Becky. National treasures? Absolutely.
Lines is a trilogy of short albums (available singly or as a set) that maintain their ambition, respectively focused on the poems of Emily Brontë, those of first world war writers, and a Maxine Peake drama celebrating Hull fishworker and campaigner Lillian Bilocca.Continue reading...
During the 00s, Anglo-Bulgarian synth quartet Ladytron released a string of sublime singles – Seventeen, Destroy Everything You Touch, Ace of Hz – without ever quite managing to release a consistently brilliant album. Their self-titled sixth album, their first since 2011’s Gravity the Seducer, doesn’t buck the trend, sadly.
There’s a directness and urgency its predecessor lacked – in part thanks to the unlikely presence of Sepultura founder Igor Cavalera on drums – but their sound remains unmistakable: strong analogue synth lines and propulsive rhythms topped by Helen Marnie’s and Mira Aroyo’s intertwining deadpan vocals. Ladytron certainly has much to recommend it: last year’s comeback single The Animals is as good as anything they’ve done, Figurine demonstrates their way with a surging melody, and You’ve Changed finds them at their most muscular. But too many of the other songs here drift past perfectly pleasantly, without enough of a hook to snag the imagination. Indeed, the likes of Far from Home and The Mountain disappear from the memory even before the next track starts. For all the promise here, the definitive Ladytron album remains the 2011 compilation Best of 00-10.Continue reading...
Despite boasting the gravitas of tectonic plates rubbing together, the tuba is not usually a lead instrument. Fyah, though, is tuba don Theon Cross’s debut solo album. The Sons of Kemet tubist alternates between rhythm and lead, and when he’s not the star of the track, ensemble players circle around the gravitational pull of Cross’s rumble-tone. Several instrumental voices are familiar on Fyah, where a debt to Caribbean-adjacent south London sounds such as calypso and drum’n’bass is palpable. Fellow hot-horn Nubya Garcia on tenor sax and drum stalwart Moses Boyd figure extensively; honourable mentions, too, to guitarist Artie Zaitz and alternate sax player Wayne Francis, also of the famed Steam Down improv nights.
As with Kemet, the tracklisting provides a history lesson. Album highlight Candace of Meroe – a brisk, highlife-inflected workout that demands dancing – is named after the ancient queens of the Ethiopian/Sudanese region. You struggle to comprehend how the extraordinary sounds near its inception are coming out of a tuba (via a wah-wah effect). On The Offerings and Radiation, Cross’s prowling tone is slung so low as to sound filthy. One can only hope his lips and lungs are insured.Continue reading...
The grotesque inflation of concert ticket prices has helped to mitigate losses sustained by the recorded music industry. That 15-year boom has seen so many heritage acts return to the stage, and after doggedly touring the hits, more and more of them are back in the studio too. At the very least it offers the opportunity to freshen up cabaret-ready live setlists. Chaka Khan might not need a new album to sell tickets, and there’s no song here that would make an encore, but Hello Happiness is a vital calling card to remind everyone to come hear this unearthly voice, still sizzling with spice.
Producer Switch sashays through a bunch of styles, taking on orchestral disco, blues, funk and even a little dubstep with a bright confidence. Thankfully, there are no awkward duets, but instead seven paeans to the consoling powers of love and music. The dramatic, smouldering Too Hot is the standout, but this is a consistently impressive album. “Take me back to the dancefloor so I can dance away my blues,” Khan implores on the title track, before dragging you into the thrill of the throng.Continue reading...
The cellist is joined by Martha Argerich, Bernard Haitink et al; Bavouzet goes solo. Plus, a weekend of Berlioz
• The vulnerability and passion in Schumann’s music stirs an unusually intense response in some performers: almost a wish to protect as well as celebrate this troubled genius. The cellist Steven Isserlis and pianists András Schiff and Mitsuko Uchida come to mind. Now two more, cellist Gautier Capuçon and pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, have joined the fold with new all-Schumann recordings.
Capuçon is joined by the illustrious forces of conductor Bernard Haitink, pianist Martha Argerich, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Capuçon’s brother, the violinist Renaud Capuçon (Erato). It’s Gautier’s project (the giveaway is a booklet packed with alarming concept photos of him dressed as romantic hero). The 2015 live recording of the Cello Concerto, with Haitink and the COE at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, is packaged with live chamber recordings: the Adagio and Allegro Op 70, the Fantasiestücke Op 73 and Five Pieces in folk Style Op 102, with Argerich from her Lugano festival 2009-12. Renaud Capucon completes the trio for Fantasiestücke Op. 88: all rewarding performances.Continue reading...
In the wake of huge traumas, Ariana Grande has pumped out the hits, challenged the pop machine – and now releases an album she rustled up in two weeks
Once, Ariana Grande was a versatile pop singer whose visual signature – the swinging ponytail – defined her in a crowded marketplace. I saw the US singer’s 2017 tour a couple of nights before the bombing at her Manchester Arena show, and back then, Grande was merely good – a brighter pop operative than most – if a little breathy.
Since then, she has become a lodestar for how complicated contemporary life can be, and a bona fide role model for how to carry oneself through it with the correct mixture of defiance, humour and sensitivity. Grande would roll her eyes at the idea of saintliness, but Rolling Stone magazine – riffing on the title of her recent single, God Is a Woman – declared: God Is This Woman.Continue reading...
If any band was going to bounce back from years of acrimonious hiatus with a soundtrack to our troubled times, Ladytron seemed unlikely contenders. Yes, that Ladytron, from Liverpool, whose heavy-lidded, robo-cool vocals defined the electroclash movement of the early 2000s and who haven’t released anything since 2011. And yet their eponymous return is an immersive, invigorating and convincingly brooding stomp of disenfranchisement.Continue reading...