Elizabeth Aubrey

80

While Tangk may bring us a more compassionate, empathetic version of the band who seem to be trying to find something that resembles peace after years of tumult, they still haven’t quite lost their punk spirit.

80
The Dorset-born musician's first album since 2016 is both elusive and mesmerising.
100

Sleaford Mods have lost none of their political bite, humour, and astute observational skill. UK Grim will cement their place as one of Britain’s most influential – and successful – UK bands.

80
This is Jacklin’s most personal offering yet and while the pain of mining her soul for such material is clear, through these diary-like confessionals, so too is her catharsis.
80

The risk here pays dividends. It’s their most ambitious and cohesive album to date and embracing their shoegaze selves brings renewal: for a band known for torment and chaos, it’s a joy to hear them sounding so hopeful.

100

‘Ghosteen’ is one of the most devastatingly accurate accounts of grief that you’ll ever listen to. Yet it’s also, astoundingly, one of the most comforting.

60

Some of Binge’s issues are happily corrected on Hotel Diablo. Addressing his personal battles more overtly, MGK largely dispenses with the quickfire rapping he’s known for in favour of a slower style that fuses rock and rap effectively — and it suits him.

100

Vast and bold in scope, Anima finds clarity amid confusion: it’s Thom Yorke’s best solo offering.

80

Reward’s instrumentation is often stripped-back and delicate; yet alongside her bold, surrealist imagery, ideas can feel vast in scope. This is one of Le Bon’s strongest works to date.

60
Things go a little awry when Hozier plays safe and channels his cheerier side, with the result forgettable and hollow.
80
Fusing grime, rap, drill, dancehall and afrobeat, no genre is off limits for the Ladbroke Grove star, whose innovation has caught the attention of audiences here and in the US.
60
Ultimately, their message of positivity prevails — but only just.
40

Important ideas become ambiguous and lost thanks to under-exploration, making it feel directionless; a diss track lumped in the middle makes little thematic or cohesive sense either, adding to the EP’s awkward flow.

80

This EP cements Crutchfield not only as an evocative songwriter and storyteller, but also as an artist who can re-imagine often, skilfully, breathing new life and meaning into songs that many will now struggle to forget.

60
While the first half of this album feels like a misstep, the second just about redeems it.
80
Despite experimenting with so many styles, there is no loss of cohesion or distinctiveness; this is a fascinating and exciting debut with both imagination and style.
80
Her latest leans more towards alt-Americana, with Musgraves exhibiting a much more assured and confident style as she celebrates women in a multitude of roles and relationships.
80

This album ... comes as a wonderful surprise as the band return to the sound that brought them to prominence 11 years ago, albeit a slightly darker and mysterious one.


February Playlist