THE LATEST ALBUM RELEASES RATED AND REVIEWED
TRANSFORM: HOWARD JONES ★★★★★
HERE’S a chance to relive the 80s, but souped-up to almost surround sound.
Lyrically, Howard Jones is as life-affirming as he was 35 years ago.
Eagle Will Fly Again, used in the Eddie the Eagle film back in 2016, feels like it should have been on the soundtrack to Airwolf.
With the help of super-producer BT, Jones weaves uplifting tracks that have stepped straight from the decade that fashion forgot to remind us that everything is possible, with some self belief and determination.
HERE COMES THE COWBOY MAC DEMARCO ★★★★★
IF anybody still thought Canadian Mac DeMarco was just a slacker with a boyish sense of humour they’ll be put right with his fourth LP.
K is a simple, Dylanesque folk ballad that lays bare DeMarco’s skill as documenter of the lovelorn.
Next track Heart to Heart is as slow-burning and addictive as anything he’s produced before.
But there are also new influences. The playful Choo Choo toys features George Clinton-esque funk while closer Baby Bye Bye brings to mind RAM-era McCartney.
As he approaches 30, DeMarco’s chops as a producer and songwriter are continually being burnished.
THE GUMPTION TANIKA CHARLES ★★★★★
VOCALLY, Charles hits somewhere between Motown and early 90s R&B with this 12-track release.
Opening track Tell Me Something – asking what gave a boy his gumption, naturally – is moody and emotional, broken down into spoken word at the end of the song, another nod to R&B classics.
Love Overdue, the first single from the album, makes you want to dance.
Charles sings with jubilation, gospel perhaps another influence to her sound.
Soulful and slick, Charles’ latest release was definitely made with, well, gumption.
After the success of 2017 release Soul Run, her follow-up effort will undoubtedly be another hit.