Review: Quiet revolution seems to be the driving force of this sophomore set from lauded trio London Grammar. Lyricist and vocalist Hannah Reid has expanded her subject matter a little, though angst and love lost are still her major concern. Her delivery, too, is a little gentler, something presumably party inspired by the band's warmer and dreamier musical outlook. There are a few heartfelt sing-alongs, of course, but for the most part Truth is a Beautiful Thing is a more considered and voluptuous excursion.
Review: It's been twenty five years since the last Roger Waters solo album, and given the fractious nature of global affairs of late, it's hardly surprising that the lugubrious 74-year-old rock colossus has had no trouble finding things to get angry about of late. Dishing out songs on drone warfare, terrorism and American nationalism, 'Is This The Life We Really Want?' - which is stylistically very much in the mould of his post-'Dark Side' oeuvre - may be no barrel of laughs, but it's oddly reassuring that his righteous rage remains undiminished, not to mention aided and abetted by the skills of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich in its intensity and relit ire.
Review: Whilst it's now impossible to view Leonard Cohen's final album outside the context of his passing, the fact of the matter is that this lugubrious sage had been ruminating on the nature of endings and goodbyes for much of his near half-century of artistry, and it's hard to think of a figure who's been quite so eloquent and wise in this endeavour. 'You Want It Darker' seem may a fitting way to bow out, but moreso it bears testimony to the fact that Cohen's questing spirit remained undimmed right until the last, and his travails in the exploration of faith, romance and the human condition were never to lose their finesse and bite.
Review: The mercurial and magical Jeff Buckley departed this realm leaving a severe shortage of actual material, thus this collection of early demos - recorded in 1993 in advance of his debut album proper 'Grace' - marks a cherished opportunity to experience his soulful intensity and otherworldly powers as an interpreter of song. The majority of 'You And I' consists of covers, traversing all the way from Sly & The Family Stone to The Smiths, yet all imbued with his uniquely raw, intuitive and captivating approach. The world will never see the like of Jeff Buckley again, which makes 'You And I' a document worth savouring.
Review: Surely not even the most ardent Bowie fan saw any of this coming. Yet to offset the justified grief and mourning at the most otherworldly and mercurial of all musical icons departing our realm, he's left us with one of his greatest albums to date and certainly his best in a full quarter century - one that returns him spiritually to the dizzying collision of bracing experimentation and melodious drama that typified the so-called Berlin trilogy of the '70s yet transplants that ambience to a new more complicated age. Jazzy inflections, electronic filigree and stark soundscapes collide elegantly amidst that stentorian voice, and whether or not Bowie put this together as a farewell, he couldn't have done it better if he'd tried. We'll truly never see his like again, alas.