What’s on listings guide to Yorkshire
More than 25 years since Take That hit the UK charts with It Only Takes A Minute, there is no other British boybandturned-man band who have hit their heady heights and are still going strong. For Wonderland, their second record as a trio without former bandmates Jason Orange and Robbie Williams, following 2014’s III, the remaining members have created a kaleidoscope of music that will satisfy fans old and new. The title track,
Lucky Stars and Superstar (with Mark taking lead vocals), see them serving up slices of electro pop, while Giants, Every Revolution (with Howard in the forefront) and River (also led by Mark), are jaunty pop tunes, before ballads
It’s All For You and Hope leave a lingering sweet taste. There is nobody else like Take That.
Aimee Mann – Mental Illness
American Aimee Mann remains one of the most talented and enduring singersongwriters around, yet for some reason her considerable achievements still remain somewhat under the radar. Now 56, she first found fame with rockers ‘Til Tuesday in the
Eighties before branching out on her own, and has released a series of accomplished solo albums in the ensuing years. The quality of her music has never wavered and Mental Illness is yet another outstanding addition. The album opens with the lilting Goose Snow Cone, but it is on the heartbreaking You Never Loved Me, that her wonderful vocals and brilliant songwriting really shine. This is an almost flawless album, with Rollercoasters and Good For Me equally captivating. A triumph.
Goldfrapp – Silver Eye
One of those electro acts who are instantly recognisable, but as a consequence occasionally rest too heavily on their laurels Goldfrapp – singer and synth player Alison Goldfrapp and fellow synther Will Gregory – have been responsible for some seriously genre-defying, stand-out records: Black Cherry and Felt Mountain, to name but two. Granted, Silver
Eye doesn’t quite reach the heights attained by these records, but it does mark something of a return to form following Tales Of Us, the duo’s last, lacklustre offering. On that album’s launch in 2013, many fans yearned for something genuinely new from the pair; here, they are given hope. Goldfrapp have not exactly repainted their house, but Silver Eye makes for a compelling mood board.
Tall Ships – Impressions
Tall Ships are a band not on a meteoric rise, but slowly and steadily growing and honing their sound.
The result of their hard work is Impressions; a pristine LP that defies ‘Second Album Syndrome’. Five years has passed since the release of their debut, Everything Touching, but the wait was worth it. Thematically Impressions is heavy; Petrichor tackles social anxiety, Home delves into the perils of love, and Sea Of Blood deals with grief. Despite all this, Tall Ships manage to avoid being gloomy. It’s there, in places, but so is their spark, and the tempo and energy that comes across in the rhythms and layering of sounds. The joy in this band is that their music sounds so big and all-encompassing. Tall Ships are extraordinary and deserve a lot more attention.
Vaughan Williams – Symphonies Nos 3 & 4
The second disc in the
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s complete cycle of the nine symphonies by Vaughan Williams contains the enigmatic Third, entitled ‘A Pastoral Symphony’, though it might well be a battlefield scene of desolation in the First World War. It is here made poignant by the use of an optional wordless voice at the opening and close of the last movement. Andrew Manze’s conducting is most impressive in the shape and pacing of the score, but then I was disappointed with the Fourth, the sheer cataclysmic and frantic opening, vividly captured on disc by the composer, together with the following drama, failed to ignite the recording team to create the required impact.