Best Al­bum And how we rated them

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY - Post Trop­i­cal The Gloam­ing Jun­gle StVin­cent Our Love Hozier Trou­ble in Par­adise LP1 Burn Your Fire For No Wit­ness

Ev­ery day Robots

Damon Al­barn “The al­bum is point­edly au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal, as Al­barn looks back with out anger a this ur­ban / ru­ral child­hood, delves in to early Blur tour di­aries, and brings us for a spin around sig­nif­i­cant (for him) London land marks. There’s more than bit of en­nui thrown in as well. It’s a def­i­nite Al­bum of the Year con­tender.We used to laugh when, dur­ing the beered-up height of Brit pop, Al­barn was com­pared to Ray Davies. We’re not laugh­ing now.” James Vincent Mc Mor­row “If there’s a sign a ture feel­ing on Post

Trop­i­cal, it’s a sense that Mc Mor­row has eased him self into mak­ing mu­sic that fits him like a mi­cro­phone sheath. If there’s a sig­na­ture sound on the al­bum, it’s the sub­tle and em­phatic flour­ishes of clas­sic 1960s soul that im­bue the songs with a warm glow off a mil­iar­ity.

“And if there’s a sign a ture in­stru­ment, it’s Mc Mor­row’s falsetto voice, which is used to such good ef­fect that you’re some­times left almost as breath­less as the singer.” The Gloam­ing “The Gloam­ing revel in wide open if each mem­ber has han­kered after the company of play­ers, all com­ing from dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent places, their knap­sacks brim­ful of salty ideas, colour­ful whims and a fear­less ap­petite for min­ing seams pre­vi­ously un­ex­plored. This is con­tem­po­rary mu­sic mak­ing at its very best: un­self­con­scious, free­wheel­ing and yet deeply thought­ful, re­veal­ing layer upon layer with each lis­ten­ing.” Jun­gle “Full of shuf­fling funk, disco and soul, it’s a record of feel-good pop grooves, sunny blasts and sero­tonin galore, one that de­mands open win­dows and hazy sum­mer af­ter­noons. There’s also an in­trigu­ing darker side to the ma­te­rial, as the band mas­sage the stress of in­ner-city liv­ing and ur­ban en­nui into the grooves. You can hear a lot of in­flu­ences–from Talk­ing Heads to Prince to Happy Mon­days–but the proof of the pud­ding comes in how well this record of fu­ture-funk party favourites works so well on re­peat.” StVin­cent “St Vincent is a be­guil­ing col­lec­tion by some one with the courage and visi on to reach that bit fur­ther. And as some in­di­ca­tion of the qual­ity on of­fer here, it’s en­tirely pos­si­ble that Clarke could also re­lease a stripped-back acous­tic ver­sion, which would bring a whole new Cari­bou “Snaith’s trade mark sen­si­tive, soul­ful voice threads a poignant sense of vul­ner­a­bil­ity through out the al­bum.Yet even with the pro­life ra­tion of emo­tion and lyri­cal sen­si­tiv­ity, Snaith never loses sight of what he pre­sum­ably set out to do: get the masses mov­ing.” Hozier “Mu­si­cally it’s taut, and as the thrilling Jackie and Wilson and the men­tal-good Work Song at test, this is as far from boiler plate soul / blues as Hozier is fro­mal most ev­ery other cur­rent chart Ir­ish act to­day. Even the small touches work: that spec­tral choire merg­ing from now here dur­ing Some­one New, the eerie hush that en­velops the bat­tered folk stylings of Like Real

Peo­ple Do. De­but al­bums have no right to sound like this.” LaRoux “Thenew, more­con­fi­dent, prac­ti­cal Elly Jack­son is more sure of her vi­sion for LaRoux than ever be­fore. Her self-as­sur­ance is au­di­ble in the zing of songs such as Kiss and Not

Tell and Sexotheque, all ear worms that nail that magic for­mula of mem­o­rable melodies and lyri­cal depth. This al­bum is a much truer rep­re­sen­ta­tion of her per­son­al­ity than the de­but was.” FKAT wigs “There comes a time with any fledg­ing genre when an artist comes along and flips the whole cart over.In the case of the ghostly, eerie, chilly r’n’b in vogue for the past fewyears, Tahliah Bar­nett may be the one. LP1 is­stylish and sub­stan­tial. Fa­mil­iar shapes from r’n’b’s past colour Give

Upand Pen­du­lum. But then Bar­nett brings in ideas around melodies and meth­ods from another cos­mos on

Lights On and Hours, and you re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate her sin­gu­lar, thrilling tal­ent.” An­gel Olsen “This is a stun­ning record, from the lo-fi crackle of opener Un fuck­the world to the grungy bounce of For­given / For­got­ten and the in­so­lent, Neko Case-like Americana of Hi-Five. Olsen nails the bal­ance be­tween in ten­sity and play­ful­ness, her mal­leable voice a par­tic­u­lar high­light on the ram­shackle jolli­ness of High & Wild, the crys­talline pu­rity of Win­dows, and quiv­er­ing stand out track Iota. Soft and me­thod­i­cal in parts, abra­sively tick­lish in oth­ers, Burn Your Fire For No Wit­ness is an en­gross­ing record.”

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