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Album Reviews

Aphex Twin Syro

Aphex Twin “Syro” – Album Review

Warp (2014)

Announced via a fluorescent green blimp flying over East London, accompanied by cover artwork which depicts its recording costs in the style of an itemised receipt and featuring twelve song titles that read like computer code, the long-awaited sixth album from Aphex Twin proves the ambient electronica wunderkind remains just as warped as ever. The follow-up to 2001’s Drukqs and the first official release under Richard D. James’ more familiar […]

chris brown x

Chris Brown ‘X’ – Album Review

RCA (2014)

I’m just going to assume that Chris Brown’s latest effort, X, is totally about his ex, Rihanna. This collection of sad, reflective, as well as upbeat dance songs gives you two sides of the embattled singer – his somber Dr. Jekyll and his bouyant Mr. Hyde. Jail has apparently humbled and matured the 25-year-old. First, we see a sensitive young man trying to reshape his image and move past his […]

lights little machines

Lights “Little Machines” – Album Review

Warner Bros (2014)

Canadian synth-pop songstress Valerie Poxleitner, aka the slightly more showbiz-named Lights, has cited such ground-breaking female artists as Kate Bush, Patti Smith and Bjork as inspiration for her third studio effort, Little Machines. Despite the involvement of Mark Stent, the man who helmed Bjork’s 1997 opus Homogenic, the follow-up to 2011’s mainstream breakthrough Siberia actually has little in common with the Icelandic banshee’s work, save for the gorgeously glowing electronica […]

siman mobile disco whorl

Simian Mobile Disco “Whorl” – Album Review

ANTI- (2014)

Never afraid to embrace the unconventional, James Ford and Jas Shaw, aka analogue masterminds Simian Mobile Disco, not only recorded their fourth LP, Whorl, in front of 900 fans on the outskirts of the Joshua Tree National Park before sprucing it up in the studio, they also entirely abandoned their usual racks of gear in favour of just one synthesiser and one sequencer each. Unsurprisingly, the London duo’s unusual choice […]


Lecrae “Anomaly” – Album Review

Reach Records (2014)

Okay, guilty as charged. I had never heard of the superbly talented spit-fire Christian rapper Lecrae, but after listening to his album, I wonder how I missed this boat (being a Christian and all!). Well, wait, I know how. Some “Christian rappers” fall into the category of powerful content but not so powerful delivery, so I usually write them off. But Lecrae has shattered my (ahem, judgmental) stereotypes with his […]

odesza in return

Odesza “In Return” – Album Review

Named after a relative’s sunken ship, Odesza, aka Western Washington University graduates Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, stick to the familiar waters of starry-eyed electronica on their second studio album, In Return. The follow-up to 2012’s Summer’s Gone, a record which instantly positioned the duo as the much-needed antidote to the EDM fratboy crowd, might not push the boat out in terms of its production, with the majority of its […]

tricky adrian thaws

Tricky “Adrian Thaws” – Album Review

False Idols (2014)

After delivering his best record in almost two decades with last year’s False Idols, trip-hop pioneer Tricky strikes while the iron’s hot with an eleventh studio effort that shares the name he was given at birth, Adrian Thaws. The second release through the 46-year-old’s own label has been self-described as his first real club album, and although there’s little here likely to threaten David Guetta’s status as the king of […]

rustie green language

Rustie “Green Language” – Album Review

Warp (2014)

The most maximalistic DJ/producer to emerge from a burgeoning Scottish dance scene responsible for the likes of Calvin Harris, Hudson Mohawke and Jackmaster, Russell White (aka, Rustie) appears determined to hold onto his hyperactive crown, judging by second studio effort Green Language. Packed with 8-bit blips and bleeps, chunky arpeggiated synths and wonky beats, the follow-up to 2011’s Glass Swords is almost as dizzying, breathless and chaotic as its predecessor, […]

the new pornographers brill bruisers

The New Pornographers “Brill Bruisers” –Album Review

Matador (2014)

Someone ought to look this up, but it seems to me that The New Pornographers might hold some sort of record for longest-lasting supergroup, or at least deserve to be on some list of that sort. All of the bandmates are in other functioning bands, four are solo artists…it’s amazing these folks have time to do anything together, let alone continue making music together for as long as they have. […]

basement jaxx junto

Basement Jaxx “Junto” – Album Review

Atlantic Jaxx (2014)

Named after the Spanish word for together, it’s little surprise to hear that Junto, the seventh album from Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, aka Basement Jaxx, possesses the same sense of communal spirit that has defined their genre-straddling career. Their extra-curricular activities aside (the Attack The Block soundtrack, their collaboration with the Metropole Orchestra), it’s been five years since we heard from the enduring duo. And the follow-up to 2009’s […]

kimbra the golden echo

Kimbra “The Golden Echo” – Album Review

Warner Bros (2014)

New Zealand chanteuse Kimbra’s contribution to Gotye’s Grammy-winning global number one, “Somebody That I Used To Know,” may have only lasted one minute. But as proven by her second album, The Golden Echo, not only did it propel the virtual unknown into the public’s consciousness, it also appeared to have enamoured virtually everyone on the alternative scene. Featuring various members of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Mars Volta, Queens Of […]

jj v

JJ “V” – Album Review

Secretly Canadian (2014)

Swedish electronic duo Joakim Benon and Elin Kastlander have certainly been ringing in the changes since 2010’s confusingly-titled sophomore jj N° 3. As well as changing their JJ moniker from lower to upper case, the one-time enigmatic pair have also recently started to embrace the concept of press attention, and most significantly, have now swapped the lo-fi for the grandiose on their orchestral-led third album, V. However, fans of their […]

porterrobinson worlds

Porter Robinson “Worlds” – Album Review

Astralwerks (2014)

Arriving on the EDM scene almost at the exact point it exploded in America, 22-year-old North Carolina producer Porter Robinson became something of a poster boy for the brash-is-best generation. However, having grown tired of gigantic bass drops and hedonistic beats, his debut album, Worlds, sees him bravely abandoning the sound that launched him to fame in favour of hopping across a whole host of sub-genres while simultaneously showcasing his […]

fka twigs lp1

FKA Twigs “LP1” – Album Review

Young Turks (2014)

Following in the footsteps of J-Lo, 26-year-old Tahlia Barnett, aka FKA Twigs, has made the move from backing dancer to pop star appear effortless. However, as evident by her simply-titled debut album, LP1, the artist named after the way her joints crack is a much more intriguing proposition than either Ms. Lopez or Jessie J (the showboating diva behind whom she performed in the videos for “Do It Like A […]