THE LATEST ALBUM RELEASES RATED AND REVIEWED
JOOLS HOLLAND AND MARC ALMOND –
A LOVELY LIFE TO LIVE ★★★★★ JOOLS HOLLAND and Marc Almond have delivered big band-backed numbers, a handful of covers – including a jazzy version of Tainted Love – and a smattering of original tracks, each following that tried and tested jazz/blues formula.
Every new song sounds instantly familiar and Almond’s charmingly distinctive vocal adds a slightly edgier vibe to the record.
Their reworked take on Tainted Love instantly makes you wonder if the track was written to be a jazz number in the first place, and Almond truly shines on Edith Piaf’s Hymne A L’Amour.
I Lost My City, an original song about the duo’s love affair with London, is formulaic but on point. You can practically smell the cigarette smoke and whiskey in an old jazz and blues bar in the Downtown of somewhere or other.
THE BELA SESSION EP ★★★★★ BAUHAUS could have been post-punk Bowie wannabes rather than Goth godfathers were it not for Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Now The Bela Sessions sees the original back on vinyl for the first time in more than 30 years plus unreleased tracks from their first recording session in early 1979.
The lead track still sounds massive, dub effects around a bassline while Peter Murphy sings devotions to everyone’s favourite Dracula. Essential if you don’t already have it in your collection.
FLEETWOOD MAC –
50 YEARS – DON’T STOP ★★★★★ IF ever there was a trip down memory lane, Fleetwood Mac’s 50 Years – Don’t Stop is the ultimate journey. The 50-track, 3-CD album takes you from the beginning of their musical journey right through to their later hits.
Tracks like Need Your Love So Bad are a reminder of the original blues sounds that defined them and within a few tracks you’re moving towards their rock sound and crowd-pleasers like Go Your Own Way and Little Lies that hold their own against any other hits on the current market.
With a UK tour next year it’s a pity they can’t play every song on this compilation.