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Album Reviews

knife party abandon ship

Knife Party ‘Abandon Ship’ – Album Review

Big Beat (2014)

Initially conceived as a side-project by Pendulum’s Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen before becoming a full-time concern in the wake of the drum ‘n’ bass outfit’s 2012 split, Knife Party now showcase their playful side on their full-length debut album, Abandon Ship. Indeed, the twelve-track affair, which was leaked onto iTunes by mistake two weeks before its scheduled release date, proves that at least a certain section of the EDM […]

iamamiwhoami BLUE

iamamiwhoami ‘BLUE’ – Album Review

WAVE (2014)

Beyoncé might have had the element of surprise, but long before Mrs Carter’s audiovisual experience gate-crashed the charts last year, a more enigmatic and tongue-twisting Swedish duo, iamamiwhoami, had already experimented with the format on two separate occasions. Of course, BLUE may initially attract attention for the array of striking National Geographic-style videos which perfectly complement its aquatic theme. But as with 2012’s kin and 2013’s Bounty, the pair’s latest […]

royksopp the inevitable end

Royksopp ‘The Inevitable End’ – Album Review

Dog Triumph (2014)

In case you hadn’t already guessed by its title, The Inevitable End sees Svein Berge and Torbjorn Brundtland, aka Norway’s most successful electro export Royksopp, say their goodbyes to the traditional album format with their fifth and final studio effort. Considering the circumstances, it’s little surprise that their long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s Senior possesses an ever greater air of sadness than their previous melancholic brand of electro, a sound which […]

calvin harris motion

Calvin Harris ‘Motion’ – Album Review

Sony (2014)

Calvin Harris’ last album, 18 Months, helped transform the Scotsman from slightly geeky pasty-faced bedroom producer into a golden-tanned celebrity-dating superstar DJ able to command six-figure fees for just one night’s work. So you perhaps can’t blame the 30-year-old for sticking rigidly to his crowd-pleasing, star-studded formula for the follow-up, Motion. Sadly, it’s a formula which begins to wear thin long before alt-R&B siren Tinashe attempts to make her voice […]

Dillon Francis Money Sucks Friends Rule

Dillon Francis ‘Money Sucks, Friends Rule’ – Album Review

Columbia (2014)

Having originally set a release date of early 2013, Los Angeles superstar DJ Dillon Francis finally gets round to unveiling the debut album he’s described as “the bane of my existence,” aka Money Sucks, Friends Rule. The 27-year-old’s first studio effort may have been a little more torturous to piece together than he’d have liked, but packed with club bangers that cleverly bridge the gap between his speaker-blasting electro-house roots […]

Kiesza Sound of a Woman

Kiesza ‘Sound of a Woman’ – Album Review

Island (2014)

The breakout star of the deep house revival which had previously seemed rather faceless, flame-haired Canadian vocalist Kiesza already seems to be preparing for the time when the whole scene collapses in on itself, judging by her surprisingly eclectic debut album, Sound of a Woman. Produced by Kuwait-born Rami Samir Afuni, the album’s 13 tracks still contain several dancefloor anthems in the shape of “Hideaway,” the euphoric fusion of thick […]

kindness otherness

Kindness ‘Otherness’ – Album Review

Female Energy (2014)

London producer Kindness, aka Adam Bainbridge, has claimed that it would be “boring as hell, lazy and cowardly” if his second album, Otherness, simply repeated the tricks of his 2012 debut, World, You Need A Change of Mind. Considering that particularly idiosyncratic record featured cover versions of both post-punk pioneers The Replacements’ “Swingin’ Party” and the theme tune to British soap opera Eastenders, it appears as though formulaic isn’t in […]

flying lotus you're dead

Flying Lotus ‘You’re Dead!’ – Album Review

Warp (2014)

Frustrated with all the “Starbucks jazz s***” out there, Los Angeles beatmaker Flying Lotus ventures into the territory once occupied by his great auntie and uncle, Alice and John Coltrane, for his fifth studio effort, You’re Dead! The artist formerly known as Steven Ellison isn’t exactly a stranger to the sound, having built a career on blurring the boundaries between jazz, funk, hip-hop and electronica in various weird and wonderful […]

SBTRKT Wonder Where We Land

SBTRKT ‘Wonder Where We Land’ – Album Review

Young Turks (2014)

Enigmatic producer Aaron Jerome, aka SBTRKT, was hailed as the king of the future-garage scene with his self-titled 2011 debut, but his much-anticipated follow-up, Wonder Where We Land, suggests it’s a crown he no longer wishes to hold. Indeed, there’s little amongst the album’s twelve genre-hopping tracks that could be described as danceable, with only the instrumental “Lantern,” a whirlwind of shimmering ravey synths, kaleidoscopic blips and bleeps and disjointed […]

tinashe aquarius

Tinashe ‘Aquarius’ – Album Review

RCA (2014)

As I wrote in my previous article, 21-year-old LA native Tinashe is the hottest young thang jumpin’ out of the R&B gate today. But does her new album, Aquarius, live up to the hype? Yes, it does—but it’s kind of a bait-and-switch. The girl draws us in with her bouncy fly-girl “Mya”-like persona, but she keeps us still with her moody, mysterious, pioneering vision. She’s not who I thought she […]

stevie nicks 24 karat gold

Stevie Nicks Mines for ’24 Karat Gold’—Album Review

Reprise Records (2014)

Typically, when an artist digs into the “vault” for previously unreleased tracks, the result is a set of “B-sides” intended for only the most devoted of fans to enjoy. (After all, there’s a reason they were vaulted.) But when Stevie Nicks does it, apparently, it’s gold. More specifically, the aptly titled 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, a brilliant late-career move that reminds us of the timeless impact the […]


Caribou ‘Our Love’ – Album Review

Merge (2014)

Ontario-born, London based producer Dan Snaith has built a career on producing the kind of psychedelic electro jams that are almost impossible to dance to. But following a conversation with a group of Ibiza revellers, which proved to be something of an epiphany, the 36-year-old is now trying to make cutting a rug a little easier with Our Love, his fourth album under the guise of Caribou. Thankfully, the follow-up to 2010’s […]

Jennifer Hudson JHUD

Jennifer Hudson ‘JHUD’ – Album Review

RCA (2014)

I always felt like Jennifer Hudson never really had a hit single that matched the vocal ferocity of her performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” in Dreamgirls. But with the release of her third studio album, JHUD, the Dreamgirl finally has some material worthy of her. Maybe it’s the free-bird Donna Summer-channeling vibe she brings to the project. Maybe it’s the “I Got This” diva swag […]

Tove Lo Queen of the Clouds

Tove Lo “Queen of the Clouds” – Album Review

Universal (2014)

The latest chanteuse to emerge from the hotbed of electro-pop that is Scandinavia, Tove Lo has managed to stand out from the crowd by positioning herself as the kind of wild child you might be a little reluctant to take home to mum–a reputation which will only continue to grow with her debut album, Queen of the Clouds. The Stockholm singer is currently riding high in the U.S. Top 20 […]

erasure the violent flame

Erasure “The Violet Flame” – Album Review

Mute (2014)

Second only to the Pet Shop Boys as the most enduring and best-loved synth-pop duo, Erasure follow in the footsteps of their rivals’ last studio effort by returning to their club roots for their 16th album, The Violet Flame. Having recruited Richard X, the enigmatic producer best-known for channelling the early electro scene on records by a whole host of quirky female artists (Annie, M.I.A., Roisin Murphy), it’s little surprise […]