It's a record that drives through suburban hells and dead-end towns leaving nothing but flames in its wake - that's not to say it's indulgent, it just isn't a record compromised for entertainment purposes.
There’s nothing showy here, nothing flashy, just an understated, immaculately put together collection of happy and sad, yearning and sweet songs.
It’s absurdly furious dance music, sounding more like Squarepusher than any sane person could ever have expected.
The songs are simple and concise, but have myriad twists on simple guitar motifs, making matters seem fresh and explorative.
It is beautiful, ethereal and organic, breathing with life and is as far removed from the clean overly produced dance music which he holds in such distain.
It is a great record, at times. But when the elements don’t quite chime it suffers. You’re left with the feeling of treading water, waiting for the whirlpool, waiting for the storm.
It’s a jaw-dropping accomplishment, one of those records that’s almost pointless to listen to as a series of individual songs – tracks are mini symphonies in themselves, and to break Loud City Song down into tracks would be missing the point.
Not all of the tracks hit their mark, and this is a far cry from the standard of much of E's earlier material.
For its abrasiveness, brute force, and determination to push the instrument to its limits, Stetson’s New History Warfare 3 should delight anyone bored with noise, power electronics, industrial, and post-rock
The album’s major problem, more than anything, is that such a flabbergastingly brilliant end stretch hints at a better record that might have been
And it’s a triumph. I’d be the last to complain if Krug continued his trend of re-enacting the career of Brian Eno but this is the true departure: an album so intimate and romantic that few in recent memory compare.
An album as beautifully conceived as If You Leave is one you follow from start to finish, riveted by the story it weaves and the emotion it bleeds.
In the context of the present, it's the sound of a band growing old gracefully in reminiscent mood yet firmly at ease with their lot.
If there’s one word for the album, it’s focused. Yes, it’s a step forward – but just the one, and some of the omissions feel like a sacrifice.
It’s an invisible force that sneaks up on you, casting you in its shadow; and slowly, with each pulse and every temperature shift, it becomes your whole world.
Honeys is a savvy, all-inclusive slab of disenchanted rage that doesn't hold back at any juncture.
The result is Mogwai’s most vital release in years; a collection of fully realized pieces that could be the closest they’ll ever come to an unplugged greatest hits.
Given the gestation period and polish, the humanity that manages to shine through this tight, crafted record is a triumph; the sound of a band having a whole lot of fun in the hope that ultimately you will do too.
While the reverb-laden guitars, heavily distorted vocals and occasional Eighties reference points remain in part, there's something altogether more illuminating about The New Life than its predecessor even remotely hinted at.
The accomplished sonic collages of Howlin' finely balance Jagwar Ma's influences and in doing so transcends into something singularly thrilling and cohesive.
Like a few moments on Tomorrow’s Harvest it’ll take many more listens to decode, but the bulk of the album is immediately dark and succulent, conjuring a beautiful air of malice.
More considered than the debut, more quietly patient and yet somehow more addictive.
Acid Rap succeeds for all the right reasons a mixtape should, finely balancing an idiosyncratic style, taught rhymes, emotional sincerity and rich production.
65daysofstatic don’t need to prove themselves when it comes to providing suitably sky-scraping climaxes but the closing arguments that populate Wild Light carry significant weight thanks to the restraint that precedes them.
It’s a little too self-indulgent – the 'serious' work of a man who’s starred in an Oscar-winning film, rather than the energetic pop of a successful boyband escapee, but there’s no doubt he’s still got it.
Such albums always reward persistence, and it may be that the consensus will eventually find favour with Trouble Will Find Me. For now though, as an album, as a piece of art, it’s beautifully painted but the colour palette needs to expand substantially.
Not only is Holy Fire utterly sublime, it’s a record that’s been six years in the making. A record where Foals have focussed their many triumphs and missteps into one cohesive statement.
Their fifth album continues the work done on their last, 2011’s Hello Sadness, the emotional context and sentiments much sharper, painfully so in some cases, with big, lovely pop hooks on even their starkest tracks.
Slow Focus isn’t alienating, it’s other, and it’s a pleasure to take a wander around its unfamiliar landscapes.
If Gorilla Manor was immediately satisfying with its youthful scuffle, the denser, layered instrumentation and songwriter here provides a more substantial reward rooted in repeated listens, rather than a quick fling.
How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident is arguably the band's finest hour. Freed from label interference and buoyed by public support, the four let rip as if it's their first - or indeed last - ever record.
There's the occasional dud, and occasional dull moment, but Pale Green Ghosts mostly succeeds in expanding Grant's musical palette, and his wry, knowing observations and lyricism remain as sharp as ever.
It’s a thing of few choruses and much abstraction, structures meandering and alpine, a confusion of sustained brass notes and drawn-out intros. At times there is breath-snatching pomp. Others it’s like watching The Thin Red Line in slow-motion.
Immunity is an album which puts a well-placed confidence in rewarding the patience of the listener, melding together current club trends with a vulnerable humanity to create an hour-long arc of total immersion.
Modern Vampires Of The City (bloomin’ marvelous title, FYI) overshadows such petty concerns by simply being immaculate, beautifully balanced and enthralling pop music.
That whilst Reflektor isn’t without its merits, the flaws are too ingrained, the cuts in the hide too deep, to be overcome by multiple listens.
Paramore is an assured and confident record. For every contemplative minute of the LP, there's three more minutes spiralling in the eye of a rock storm.
This is the exquisite album we were promised, and perhaps an important one.
Cave’s schtick these days is less demonic preacher, more old guy railing self-mockingly against the dying of the light; but he feels a way away from perfecting that shtick without Grinderman to hide behind.
Pearl Mystic has a revolution quality about it. Rather than re-inventing wheels it begs the listener to loosen the axles and throw them away.