On Seraph, cohesiveness comes from the honest effort in combining styles to make something unique and personal. And that is the key to this album's greatness.
There are a few welcome tropicalia influences but it’s hard to get on board with an album that feels like it should be played with an accompanying installation or, worse, in the gallery’s gift shop.
Born Under Saturn shows no diminution in the songwriting: the single "First Light" is a startling, eerie, beautiful song that itches away at you, and might be the best thing they’ve yet done.
It can at times be a head-swirling, disorientating listening experience but ultimately it’s a kaleidoscopic trip through psychedelic musical pop art.
For a band consisting of four members, ‘Born Under Saturn’ is both remarkably adventurous and eclectic.
Born Under Saturn is an album of ambition, and while the gaffes certainly hold it back, there are enough good ideas crammed in throughout, making the album a worthy trip to a spacey dancehall.
These songs roll in like dark clouds, heave and grunt like a galley slave under the lash, or beat relentlessly, like a forehead hammering against a wall.
To Be Kind thrills in and with discomfort: radical dynamics and collapsing rhythms, uncompromising runtimes and repugnant sentiments.
By the end, you will also feel as though you have touched something profound, something elemental. If this sounds enticing, good luck, and be careful.
This time around, the band seem a bit more comfortable with using production to serve the songs on the record ... The effect is wholly satisfying, confusing and obliterating — everything a Swans record should be.
While its progeny hasn’t fallen far from the tree, ‘To Be Kind’ is altogether more colourful, an expansive record – fleshier, bloodier and lusciously psychedelic.
An astonishingly impressive introduction that boasts more confidence than anxiety.
Come for catchy hooks sung in an affected southern accent, not for insightful and, intimate songwriting.
This is real-girl pop with massive charm.
Aside from an understandable naivete, Trainor's weaknesses are her stylistic cherry-picking and her compulsion to appear adorably relatable and socially correct all at once.
Sol Invictus is not quite Faith No More at their eccentric peak, but Matador, Sunny Side Up and From the Dead see them get close. A welcome return from the band that refuse to be bland.
This set is too malformed to detain an attention like ‘Homework’ could. Lifelong fans will need more grit, more edge to cling to than what’s offered here.
His major-label debut contains even more deep hooks, without diminishing Lamar’s knack for riding humming beats with his surreal interior narratives.
Neither treat this project as an afterthought, giving the material as much care as if it were their own. It isn’t forward-thinking, either, though the tight-knit kinetic spirit they display, steaming with vital ardor, makes for a uniformly satisfying listen.
They don't even sound like they're having fun: the bummer attitude was a given, but neither is inspired to go beyond their own sonic boundaries, nor is there any sign of friendly one-upmanship, no indication that a truly great idea from these sessions wouldn't be tucked away for private usage.
By expanding her song topics, her song writing has become even more diverse and much tighter. The vocals still send chills down the spine and everything becomes more grand and obtuse with every song.
The effect of the album is soothing and challenging all at once; full of complex messaging yet equally suitable as backdrop for studying; worthy of lingering concentration on each and every note or dozing off to on an airplane.
It is one thing to have influences, it is another to utilise them effectively and to push genres back towards the sunlight. Bully do this with such unique aplomb they end up striding firmly forwards rather than glancing self-consciously backwards.
The Nashville band’s debut is a grab-bag of early-90s alt-rock styles that sounded tired by the mid-90s – and haven’t got any fresher since.
Like Chastity Belt or Colleen Green, Bully hot-wire the roar of 1994 pop punk — they sound like two key influences might be both Veruca and Salt.
With their fourth album What Went Down, Foals have finally emerged as the apex predator of Britain’s tangled and treacherous rock ‘n’ roll landscape.
It's startling to realize Pickpocket’s Locket is the odd Carey Mercer release you can almost mellow out to. Once you delve deeper than the pleasant aesthetic, however, it's hard not to wish for a few more distinguishing moments to hold onto.
The result is an album that, on the one hand, feels much less focused or cohesive than Kaputt, but on the other hand comes across as all the more confident and playfully mature, precisely because it’s not trying to be.