SOUND JUDGE­MENT

THE LAT­EST AL­BUM RE­LEASES RATED AND RE­VIEWED

Llanelli Star - - SOUND OUT -

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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 RAMera 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.

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