Vocally, he’s unsettlingly beautiful.
Aiming to pin down essential emotions in a personal way, ‘Utopian Ashes’ succeeds beyond their imaginations – a crisp, entrancing song cycle, it’s unaffected feel helps it linger long in the memory.
It’s not easy to write an album about yourself without seeming egotistical, and it’s also not easy to write one which touches on themes of gang violence and poverty without falling into braggadocio or morbidity. On this album, Vince Staples has pulled off both. It may be a short album, but it’s an incredibly deep one.
‘As The Love Continues’ is Mogwai at their best, and is possibly their most consistent record since 2006's ‘Mr Beast’.
'Talk Memory' ... album number six, sees BBNG in full jazz mode, a nine-track opus of gorgeous musical exploration on their own terms.
'Ignorance' is a well-crafted and heart-felt piece of work that dances seamlessly through the caverns of dark and light, a perfect offering to hold onto with hope.
A record that thrives on the most miniscule of details, ‘Chemtrails Over The Country Club’ is a project that rewards patience ... An enchanting listen, her world-building remains absolutely undimmed on this triumphant, bewitching project.
The sonics are strange and hard to recreate: they are forward thinking but in some ways ageless, a natural fit for Tirzah’s magnetic voice.
In its length and scope, there’s a feeling here of witnessing H.E.R. in 360 – panoramic R&B that more than justifies the wait, a sumptuous, multi-faceted jewel that seems to reveal fresh colour with each play.
A project that wrestles with complex ideas, ‘Nine’ never quite settles. Masterful in its softness of touch, Sault know when to apply and relieve pressure; at moments it can be intense, yet others are bathed in a beatific R&B halo.
Constructed amid the dystopia of 2020, ‘CARNAGE’ instead stands as something unique, the sound of two vastly experienced musicians removing themselves from expectations, and constructing something both beautiful and visceral, tender and blood-thirsty, wholly terrifying and completely absorbing.
Overall, this mixtape was worth the wait and something you can tell he’s really put time and effort into – unlike the usual microwave nonsense being distributed.
As a complete aesthetic statement, the debut album from Dry Cleaning hardly merits contemporaries at all – suffocating, surreal, and exploratory, it takes chances other groups could scarcely envisage.
Definitely not a reinvention, it plays to the band’s strengths while amplifying new qualities, a record as bruising as it is subtle. Working to their own passions and desires, ‘Blue Weekend’ places Wolf Alice beyond the reach of their peers.
‘DEACON’ is a triumph because it realises and relives love’s quiet, archived moments, be it romantic or spiritual. It’s a triumph because it reminds us R&B exists on a vast continuum, forever a source of inspiration and innovation.
‘Promises’ is five years' worth of experimental soundscaping condensed into one mind-boggling harmonic journey. A highly accomplished piece of music.
That backwards glance has helped deliver his strongest album to date, and one of grime’s true classics.
Ending such a lengthy wait for new material was never going to be easy, but Jazmine Sullivan makes her Everest-like task look deceptively simple. A woman speaking her truth in poetic, soulful fashion, ‘Heaux Tales’ could be her defining chapter.