I Was Hoping You’d Pass by Here is 36 minutes of quiet, unassuming, glass-half-empty brilliance that doesn’t announce its presence but leaves you awestruck and moist-eyed when it ends.
Record is a late-career triumph from a class act.
In Nihilistic Glamour Shots, Cabbage have delivered a debut which is tough, funny, serious and highly listenable. It’s been totally worth the wait.
It seems a little bit early to be talking about Album of the Year, but Shadow People by The Limiñanas has got to be in with a shout. This impossibly stylish and polished album by the French psych duo Marie and Lionel is the perfect way to start 2018.
On Room 25, Noname reveals herself to be a formidable force with her heartfelt delivery and always-gripping conversational style. Her immense talent as a rapper is shown in her clever and biting word-play on this moving and incredibly charming release.
It’s not a faultless record by any means: Marr’s vocals can be a little ineffectual meaning the political thrust of many of his songs is lost, and the album would be much sharper with a bit of pruning ... but on the whole it’s a huge leap forward from 2014’s workmanlike Playland, and has a warmth, a generosity of spirit and a genuine concern for humanity that show exactly where the true spirit of The Smiths now dwells.
At about 80 minutes long, it’s a sprawling album, but in the main it doesn’t drag.
Isolation succeeds as a whole album because she flitters through different genres with apparent ease. No matter what she attempts, the songs are brimming with ideas, memorable hooks and gleaming production. They are enhanced by her adventurous and fearless spirit which shines through on this incredible debut. I’ll be surprised if there’s a better album released all year.
Uniform Distortion is simply joyous.
Undoubtedly made in its creators’ image, LUMP is an eccentric but forthright child, one that will never pander to peer-group popularity, but will always gain acceptance through intelligence, sensitivity and honesty combined.
Although Sunflower Bean’s Twentytwo In Blue won’t be the most original LP of the year, it’s undeniably significant, as it’s an insightful guide book for the older generation in understanding how the youth feel today.
Sure, the lyrics might need a bit of polishing, but this is a strong debut from a band who understood the beauty of a POP song.
Pure Comedy was a prophetic document of America, as easily applied to the shit storm in our own broken country as to the Trump administration but God’s Favorite Customer is far more relatable on a universal scale.
Taking everything up a notch from 2015’s hit debut ‘Chaleur Humaine’ (Human Warmth), this is most intensely personal and overtly sexual work yet.
Natalie Prass’s voice is a lot more diverse this time around. Rather than sticking to her self-stylized sweet vulnerable tone throughout, it changes character and personality per song. It takes away her distinctive identity but creates an eclectic listen.
This is a brave, spectacularly bleak record, and is all the better for it.
I don’t think I have heard an album that from the outset firmly plants its flag and proceeds to just go from strength to strength for quite some time. From track 1, until the record’s fade, this succeeds in doing exactly that.
Is it a coincidence that it’s released in Mental Health Awareness Week? Maybe. Is it reassuring to hear these anthems to misery coming from one of the best songwriters in the world? Absolutely.