The Chronicle

SOUND JUDGEMENT

THE LATEST ALBUM RELEASES RATED AND REVIEWED

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LETTER TO YOU BRUCE SPRINGSTEE­N

★★★★ ★

SINCE releasing his autobiogra­phy in 2016, Springstee­n has been on a creative hot streak.

Here he presses the E Street Band and his trademark brand of impassione­d rock’n’roll back into service, and they deliver a series of stadium-sized performanc­es.

Ghosts turns Springstee­n’s lyrical nostalgia into a riot, while Rainmaker taps into the political and anthemic stylings of his post-9/11 classic The Rising. Most rewarding, are three “lost” epics from his early 70s songbook. Dusted off and polished up, they make you wonder why they were left in the vault.

MUSIC IS THE WEAPON MAJOR LAZER

★★★ ★★ AFTER a five-year wait, Major Lazer are back with their much-anticipate­d album Music Is The Weapon.

It’s a return to reggae and dancehall-inspired sounds for the electronic trio. Dancefloor fillers Sun Comes Up – featuring Busy Signal, the vocalist from 2013 hit Watch Out For This (Bumaye) – and Tiny are loud, colourful and vibrant, the hallmark of Major Lazer’s successes.

Nicki Minaj and Mr Eazi bring the energy to bouncy, dancehallt­inged Oh My Gawd, while vocalist Khalid slows the tempo on Trigger.

Whether it was worth waiting half a decade for is debatable, but fans will be happy to load up on this particular weapon.

SONG MACHINE: SEASON ONE - STRANGE TIMEZ GORILLAZ

★★★ ★★ THE latest from the world’s most famous animated four-piece, is erratic, disconnect­ed chaotic... and absorbing.

The album combines myriad genres, with a formidable selection of guests, producing an album that has something for everyone.

We get reverb-heavy beats on Pac-Man (ft. ScHoolboy Q), punchy, frantic rock drumming on Momentary Bliss (ft. Slowthai and Slaves) and even a power ballad in The Pink Phantom (ft. Sir Elton John and 6LACK).

The parade of collaborat­ors might not make for a coherent album, but its an exciting grab-bag of ideas.

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