THE LATEST ALBUM RELEASES RATED AND REVIEWED
VARIOUS ARTISTS – THE GREATEST SHOWMAN REIMAGINED ★★★★★
FROM sing-a-long cinema screenings, to school plays to this new take on the soundtrack, it seems we can’t get enough of The Greatest Showman.
The Reimagined album is just that: popular artists putting their own spins on the most popular tracks. Opening with Panic! At The Disco and the rip-roaring The Greatest Show, Brendon Urie’s vocals soar – followed by Pink with A Million Dreams (and the sweetest guest spot by her daughter Willow in the Reprise).
There isn’t a weak cover on this album, and on five-piece a capella group Pentatonix’s version of the Greatest Show, it is easy to forget there are no instruments involved.
BRYAN FERRY AND HIS ORCHESTRA – BITTER-SWEET ★★★★★
INSPIRED by his work on the soundtrack of the Sky Atlantic/Netflix series Babylon Berlin (set against the backdrop of Berlin’s 1920s jazz scene), Bryan Ferry embarks on a comprehensive reinterpretation of his back catalogue through the lens of jazz.
And despite Ferry’s clearly retrospective aim, Bitter-Sweet feels fresh – a testimony to the sheer modernity of jazz.
His music bends itself to the free-flowing feel of the genre and Bitter-Sweet sees Ferry in his element. It’s a joy to hear.
RITA ORA – PHOENIX ★★★★★
PHOENIX is a fitting name for an album that might never have happened in the wake of very public spat with ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris and a long-running feud with her former label, Jay-Z’s own Roc Nation.
Given that Ora has had six years to write and refine Phoenix, the 28-year-old’s highly anticipated second LP is a serviceable collection of pop songs, but it lacks real kick.
First Time High marries glossy production with a feel-good dancehall swing while Summer Love, featuring the worldconquering Rudimental, is a decent crack at a drum and bass anthem.
There are no bad songs and there’s certainly enjoyment to be had – but was it worth the wait?