sound judge­ment

THE LAT­EST AL­BUM RE­LEASES RATED AND RE­VIEWED

Bangor Mail - - The Music Interview -

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.

REAL LIFE

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.

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