Review: Despite Dave Grohl's position in the rock firmament, the man rarely seems content to rest on his laurels, and this is proven once again by the mission he and the band embarked on to come up with Sonic Highways, their eighth album proper. Travelling around America to simultaneously record this album and create the HBO documentary series based on the musical history and local scenes of eight cities, he took inspiration from those he interviewed - from Dolly Parton to Bad Brains - to craft an album rich with the passion that first compelled him to play music. The result is the most life-affirming Foo Fighters record in well over a decade - explosive, melodious and fierily idealistic, it's a modern rock masterclass.
Review: Few people adhere so gloriously to the old-fashioned idea of a pop star than Brandon Flowers, who more often than not comes across - in classic Ziggy Stardust fashion - much like an alien emissary who's landed on the planet designed solely for this purpose. By no means a master of understatement, he nonetheless maintains a positively effortless expertise in making the kind of stadium-ready barnstormers that many others struggle to create. Moreover, he's excelled himself on 'The Desired Effect', producing an uplifting, refreshingly unselfconscious selection fashioned entirely from bombastic pure pop glory; the influences of Pet Shop Boys and Springsteen may be manifest, but this confection is Flowers' and his alone.