THE LATEST ALBUM RELEASES RATED AND REVIEWED
BACKBONE STATUS QUO ★★★★★
SOME might question the band making new material, given the loss of Rick Parfitt but, life goes on and so does the mighty Quo, although the pressure on new guitarist Richie Malone must be immense. This is a brave endeavour all round, and it really works.
Kicking off with Waiting For A Woman, a tongue-in-cheek tale about hanging around while the woman in question goes shopping, them it’s air guitars to the fore as the familiar 12-bar chug kicks in and relentlessly pummels the listener into submission. Before the naysayers start, there is a subtle difference running through this album that shows a new dimension to the familiar sound.
Were they right to release this collection? Definitely.
EMELI SANDE ★★★★★
THE singersongwriter’s third album is a gutwrenching foray through her deepest feelings. But don’t mistake this as a purely autobiographical take; instead, Sande has fallen head first into a body of work that will speak to anyone who has ever felt marginalised, unsure of who they are, or has gone through a troubling time.
Having had a period of difficulty in her life, Sande rises like the proverbial phoenix with tunes that are a new level of epic, all melodic and uplifting and hymn-like.
You Are Not Alone is a spinetingling ballad, as is the up-tempo Shine, complete with the most bombastic, uplifting choral chorus.
This may be her best work yet.
HYPERSONIC MISSILES SAM FENDER ★★★★★
THE highlyanticipated debut album from Geordie artist Sam Fender has finally arrived after what seems like an eternity. Named as one of the BBC’s Sounds of 2018, Fender brings forth truth, guts and flare to what would otherwise seem like just another rock record.
Hypersonic Missiles opens with the politically-motivated and aptly-named title track while Two People, an emotionally-wrought tale of domestic violence, offers a stunning audio portrait of Fender’s vocals against the backdrop of acoustic guitar.